Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sail And Fin Combinations For The 2010 Starboard I Sonics

I found this on the Starboard Website. It is really good information on the Fin and Sail combinations on the new 2010 Starboard I Sonics from Remi Villa, Kevin Pritchard, Jimmy Diaz and Cyril Moussilmani. Check it out below

Remi Villa

I am very excited about the new iSonic range with this new shape modifications who improve the acceleration, top end speed and jibe, but also by the new Constructions technologies in function of the winds conditions to get more reflex to comfort. Need a board as light as possible and nervous in lighter winds (Carbone Deck and Bottom) and one to absorb all the vibration in strong winds (Wood bottom and deck) and for medium winds a nice combination of the 2 worlds with Wood on the bottom and Carbone on the deck.

150: This board cannot be use in the PWA rules but it's the perfect link between Slalom and Formula. For those who don't like Formula and prefer the glide sensation of an iSonic, it's the perfect machine for light winds with a sail around 10m

144: For very heavy guys in the PWA rules to perform in the light winds with 9 to 10m

131 My favorite for light winds at 88kgs with Severne Code Red 8,8 and 9,6m" and Deboichet R16 48 to 52, almost same outline as the 144 with less volume, the new construction (Deck and bottom in Carbone) help a lot in lighter winds with instant acceleration.

121: Light winds boards for medium riders with Severne Code Red 8,3 and 8,8 with Deboichet R16 44 an 46

111: My Favorite in medium wind with Severne Code Red 7,5 and Deboichet SL4 40, the perfect board for medium wind for heavy guys.

101: Medium boards for the medium riders, excellent with the Severne Code Red 7m and Deboichet SL4 38

94: Totally new this year, who is basically a smaller version of the 101 with the same kind of sensation but in higher winds. Excellent board for the light racers as a medium board.

86: The machine for heavy racers in strong winds and my favorite one with Severne Code Red 5,4 to 6,2m" with Deboichet SL4 32 to 34

86 Slim: Easy machine for the lighter riders who give excellent potential with Severne Code Red 5,4 and Deboichet SL4 32

This is my recommendation but can be adjusted depending of your style :

Very Heavy Racers :
- iSonic 144 Carbone for max performances in lighter winds with sails 8,4 to 10m

- iSonic 111 Wood/Carbone nice combination of Wood and Carbone to have the best of the 2 worlds with sails 7 to 8,4m

- iSonic 94 Wood to get more comfort in higher winds with sails 5,8 to 7m

Heavy Racers :
- iSonic 131 Carbone for max performances in lighter winds with sails 8,4 to 10m

- iSonic 111 Wood/Carbone nice combination of Wood and Carbone to have the best of the 2 worlds with sails 7 to 8,4m

- iSonic 86 Wood with sails 5,4 to 6,8

Medium Heavy Racers :
- iSonic 121 Carbone for max performances in lighter winds with sails 7,8 to 9m

- iSonic 101 Wood/Carbone nice combination of Wood and Carbone to have the best of the 2 worlds with sails 6,5 to 7,8m

- iSonic 86 Wood to get more comfort in higher winds 5,4 to 6,8m

Light Weight Racers :
- iSonic 111 Wood/Carbone nice combination of Wood and Carbone to have the best of the 2 worlds with sails 7,5 to 8,4m

- iSonic 94 Wood/Carbone nice combination of Wood and Carbone to have the best of the 2 worlds with sails 6,2 to 7,5m

- iSonic 86 Slim Wood to get more comfort in higher winds with sails 5 to 6,2m

Kevin Pritchard:

86: This board is a classic. The 86 is always a joy to use and it is my favorite board of the range. I use it from 6.7 to 5.0 and with the 34 SL4 this board is sweet. This board is steady, fast, controllable, easy and fun to ride.

94: The 94 is a small guy's big board.. We have made it a wider than years past and has more power to it and it is built with the flat-water get up and go type sailing.

101: I really like the 101. Fast, early planing, great in the gybes. I can use this board from 6.0 to 7.6 and it has some good range to it. Usually use it with the 36 to 38cm SL4.

111: This board is a workhorse. You can use it from 6.7 to 8.4 in high and light winds. I used this board the most last year and look forward to racing on the 2010 model. The range of fins you can use on this board is really incredible. I was using 36cm up to 42cm fin and could even go with the 44cm on the 8.4. Great all round board.

121: The 121 is the board for the guy who wants to go out and ride a fast light wind slalom board. If I wasn't competing on the PWA tour this would be my light wind board. It is still fun to gybe, gets up and going fast, you can use it with a big sail as well as down to 7.6 and still be competitive.

131: This is the ultimate light wind board for me. I use it with my 9.3 and my 47 R 16 and it smokes in light wind. With the new Carbon, the board just sails across the lightest of wind..I hope to do great things with this new shape!

Jimmy Diaz

86: This is an incredibly versatile board with a huge range, very easy to use with exceptional control, which translates to great speed. Jibing this board is a dream! I like to use the 86 with the Tectonics Falcon 30 from 5.2 to 6.3 sails and with the Falcon 32 with 6.3 and 7.0.

111: I use this board from 6.3 to 8.0 but like it the best on the 7.0. Tectonics Talon 38 is my favorite fin for this board, which has a very big range. This year it has great top end speed and the wood/carbon version seems to have that extra edge to optimize its' performance. Can't wait to race on this board.

131: This is one of my favorite boards in the line. It has great range in winds from 8 - 25 knots. It seems I can trim this board out very comfortably in all types of winds by simply moving the base forwards or aft. Compared to the 133 this board has better acceleration and reaction in getting from 1/4 speed to top speed and the top end speed has increased quite a bit. I use this board with a Meanline 48 cm fin in almost all conditions except well powered on my 8.0 in which case I will switch to a 46. I like this board on 8.0 to 9.5 sails.

Cyril Moussilmani

86: Simply the best slalom board for all kind of condition. Pozo 5,4 to Defi wind with 7,0m fins size 32 to 34cm deboichet.

94: The board you can use every where with any sails 5,4 to 7,8. size fin's 32 to 36 cm

101: wind board for big sails you can use 7,0 to 7,8 with 36 and 38 cm fins

111: The board for medium condition to 7,0 to 8,5 or 9m for light guys. size fins 38 to 42cm

121: The small guys light wind board ideal for very light guy's who scare to take the boomba 131 size fins 42 to 48 cm

131: The Boomba for light wind race, a very easy board with a increadible wind range 6 to 25 knots it's simply fantastic. size fins 48 to 52cm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Picture Of Me Used To Promote European Speedsailing Championships

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted but i have only just been able to get it scanned. While i was at the European Speedsailing Championships in Dungarven last month i was looking through a local Cork paper and saw that a picture of me was used by the paper in a news article on the European Speedsailing Championships. Pretty cool and really stoked to see myself in the paper and i hope it is the first of many times it happens in the future.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dungarven 21st and 22nd November 2009

I'd been keeping an eye on the forcast for Dungarven all week. It was forcasting SW to WSW 30-40 knot winds which is perfect for to sail the course on Starboard and if we did get the WSW winds then we would be seeing some big speeds over the weekend. We all started making plans to meet up on Saturday morning and a few more would be down on Sunday. Steve Flannagan managed to get us a house to stay in so we didn't have to find accomodation for the weekend which was a big help.

Myself, Steve Flannagan and Paul O'Riain met up at midday on Saturday as the course was only sailable from about 1pm as low water was 3.30pm. on arrival it was blowing 23-30 knots but the wind was from the SSW so it meant the course was square and only sailable on Port so we all started rigging up. I decided on rigging up 2 sets of kit to make sure i could change sails quickly if i had to and decided on my 6.6m KA Koncept and 5.8m KA Koncept to use on my I Sonic 86 with 32cm Vector Maui Rockit fin and Starboard I Sonic W49 Speed Special with 24cm Vector Maui EX Speed. The wind was a bit up and down and as i havn't had the chance to sail the I Sonic 86 yet i decided to use that with my 5.8m Koncept and got out on the water.

First impressions of the board are great, it planes early and once up to speed is very easy to sail and feels more comfertable to sail than the I Sonic 87 it replaces. It also accelerates very quickly which at first caught me by suprise but once i was used to that sailing the board was fun. Upwind ability is also very good with me making ground quickly upwind to the sand bar.

On my first run down the course it was apparant that the fin i had in the board was too big and my 28cm or 30cm Vector Maui EX Speed would have been better as when the gusts hit me there was too much power in the fin causing the nose to rise up wildly at times which was making it hard to control the board at times. I still managed a 30.75 knot peak which as it was my first time on the board i was happy with and after a good couple of hours i came of the water after a good session and hoping that the next day brought more of the same. We all then headed to get some food after packing up and got an early night ready for the following day.

As high tide was a little later we all got to the beach at midday and a few more guys had turned up for today. John Kenny, Keith Gorman, Martin Waldron and Guy Molyneux came down from Dublin and Farrell O'Shea came over from the UK. It was windier today, about 30-40 knots WSW so like yesterday i decided to rig up 2 sets of kit again and decided on my 5.8m KA Koncept and 5.0m KA Koncept to use on my Starboard I Sonic 86 with 30cm Vector Maui EX Speed and my Starboard I Sonic W49 Speed Special with 23cm KA Starboard Assymetrical Fin. As the wind was forcasting to pick up i also decided to get out my Starboard I Sonic W44 Speed Special with 20cm KA Starboard Assymetrical Fin as the course was looking very broad and this board would be perfect if the wind got over 40 knots. I decided to start off on the I Sonic 86 so hit the water with that and my 5.0m Koncept and set my harness lines a little longer so i could get my weight a little lower which would help when bearing off onto the speed course. Unfortunatly for me as i was about to bear away i came unhooked by accident as a gust hit and felt a sharp pain in my left forearm muscle so sailed onto the bank at the top of the course. I gave it a few minutes so see if the pain would go away but it didn't and looked like i had just pulled the muscle so sailed back in which was hard as i could hardly hold the boom and got the camera out to take pictures for the rest of the day. I made a video of the pictures that you can see below and if you want to have a look at them on picacsa you can find them here

Congratulations to all of the lads with most of them getting personal best speeds and i am hoping that my arm gets better soon so i can try to better my own speeds before the end of the year. Max speeds recorded were all round the 39-44 knot mark so there was alot of happy faces coming of the water. To be honest after all the injurys i have had this year i am hoping next year will be injury free for me so i can push on and improve my speeds and national ranking

Friday, November 13, 2009

l'Hydroptere smashes World speed record over one nautical mile

Got this off

L'Hydroptere's record campaign in the Mediterranean ended in great style last Sunday as Alain Thebault and his ten crew smashed the record over one nautical mile, exceeding 50 knots.

An average speed of 50.17 knots (92.91 km/h) over one nautical mile (1.852km) is the new record to beat over this distance.

Alain Thebault and his crew members now have the speed records on both distances over 50 knots, that is 51.36 knots over 500 metres and 50.17 over one nautical mile

Since April 2007, L'Hydroptere has continually improved the existing records over these distances.

Seeing the've just recorded an amazing speed over the nautical mile looks like the Windsurfers will now have a hard time getting the records back but i am sure Antoine Albeau, Finnian Maynard and Bjorn Dunkerbeck will give it a go to get them back over the next couple of winters. At least with Anders Bringdal onboard L'Hydroptere, a windsurfer is involved at setting these amazing speeds.

Checkout some of the photo's of L'Hydroptere below

Sunday, November 8, 2009

European Speedsailing Championships, Dungarven 1st - 7th November Day 7

I got down to the beach for Skippers briefing at 9.30am and there was again little wind but it was forcasted to pick up as the day progressed. It was also raining which made it miserable waiting around but atleast we had the big tent to wait in. As today was also the first day of the Irish Nationals there was some of the Irish lads around to give speedsailing a go. As one of them needed a board to use Killian said he could use his Bic Techno 75 and asked me to get it ready for him. I got the board for him but let him know if official racing started i would need it back incase i needed a bigger board.

At around midday the wind stared to pick up so we were told to get ready by the organisors so i got into my suit and started to get my gear ready. I got my Starboard I Sonic out with 36cm Vector Maui fin and my 7.5m and 6.6m KA Koncepts onto the beach and waited for racing to start. Not long after we were told to get ready the green flag went up as the wind had switched to westerly and was blowing over 20 knots. I grabbed my I Sonic and 6.6m KA Koncept but i was a little late getting on the water and the wind started to die off about 15 to 20 minutes after the round has started so i was now finding it hard to get going so i came in to get my 7.5m but the wind was dropping more so went to find the guy who had the Bic Techno 75 as i now needed a bigger board to get going, but he had sailed off downwind and i had to wait for him to come back upwind. After about 30 minutes he eventually was back up wind so got the board off him but by now the wind had dropped right off and i couldn't get in a run so i was pretty pissed of as you can imagine but it's something i can learn from and make sure in the future nothing like that happens again.

As enough sailors got the required speeds in the rules the round was official and we finally had a result and it all came down to those first 15 to 20 minutes that the result came from. For me it was dissapointing that i didn't get a good run as i know i could have got further up the fleet had i got down the course.

We had prize giving later that evening and the result's were:-


1st Andrea Baldini

2nd Bjorn Dunkerbeck

3rd Steve Flannagan

4th Dirk Jan Knol

5th Pearse Geaney


1st Zara Davis

2nd Karien Scholten Vrendenbregt

Big congratulations to Steve Flannagan who i know over the past couple of years has put alot of time, effort and money into speedsailing, Stoked for you mate and Pearse finishing 5th in his first international event, hope to see you at a few speed events next year and also Zara for becoming European Womens champion. Very heppy to see Andrea become Europen champion aswell as i know he has wroked very hard over the past few years to achieve this, lets hope this is the first of many title's he will hopefully win in the future.

I myself finished 19th and i am dissapointed with my final position but i know what i have to do in the future to improve my position at events.

Now the search is on over the winter to find some more speed strips in Ireland and finally break the 40 knot barrier

European Speedsailing Championships, Dungarven 1st - 7th November Days 5 & 6

As the wind was still forcasting North Westerlys we were all called back to Clonea beach on day 5 at 8am for skippers breiefing but when we got there there was hardly any wind so we were put on hold until the wind showed any signs of picking up. Around 11am it looked like it was getting windy enough so i rigged my Starboard I Sonic 87 with 36cm Vector Maui Rockit fin and my 7.5m Ka Koncept and put it down on the beach to be ready incase the call came to start speedsailing. Not long after the wind looked like it was picking off it started to die again and the call was made around 4pm to abandon the day and skippers meeting was called for 9.30am back at the Speedstrip the following day.

On day 6 we all went back to the Speedstrip and again the forcasted winds never showed so most of the day was spent waiting again. In the afternoon it picked up a little so the green flag went up and we were sent onto the water so i borrowed a Bic Techno 75 from Killian from Wind & Wave as my Starboard I Sonic 111 was still not fixed and put a 42cm Vector Maui Canefire fin into it and went out on that with my 7.5m KA Koncept. Not long after getting on the water the green flag came down as the wind had dropped again so again the wind dissapointed us again. With only 1 day left of the competition we were all hoping that the last day brought some decent wind and Skippers Briefing was called for 9.30am with the forcast showing West to South Westerly's for the final day.

European Speedsailing Championships, Dungarven 1st - 7th November Days 3 & 4

We were all called to the beach for skippers meeting at 9.30am on Day 3 so i got down to the beach at 9am to get my gear together ready for the day. The 20-25 knot winds forcasted the day before never materialised and it was not even half what it was forcasted so it looked like it would be a waiting game all day but i still got my Starboard I Sonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui ZX Fin and 7.5m KA Koncept and also my Starboard I Sonic 87 with 36cm Vector Maui Rockit fin and 6.6m Koncept onto the beach incase the wind showed up. Not long after i had put my gear on the beach a freak gust flipped over my Starboard I Sonic 111 onto the fin of a board next to mine and put a 4" hole in the bottom of it so i was gutted as it is still practically a new board and now was out of action for the week. We spent the rest of the day waiting but the wind never picked up enough to get any speedsailing in so the day was postponed and skippers meeting called for 9.30am the following day.

We woke on Day 4 to be greeted again with winds from the North West and also alot less than forcasted. It seams that all the wind was missing us here in Dungarven with all the reports coming in from all the other locations in Ireland of people overpowered on their smallest sails. This was annoying as all we needed was a decent strong South Westerly and all the guys here would see what Dungarven is like when it gets the right direction. I got down to the beach for 9.30am for skippers briefing and there was not enough to get in any sailing so the organisors checked out Clonea Beach just round the headland to the east to see if we could hold any racing there. About an hour later we were told to relocate as it was blowing 20-25 offshore at Clonea and really flat aswell. I packed up my 5.8m , 6.6m and 7.5m KA Koncept and my Starboard I sonic 87 and W49 and headed over to the other beach. When i got there i rigged up my 7.5m KA Koncept and 6.6m Ka Koncept and Starboard I Sonic 87 with 36cm Vector Maui Rockit fin and when the green flag went up i headed on the water with the Starboard I Sonic 87 and 7.5m KA Koncept. When i was on the water it was apparant that there was big holes in the wind and was really gusty but also the wind was also up and down so i was spending most of the time up to my waist in water and never got anywhere near the course. Eventually the wind dropped off to almost nothing and i had to get a lift back to the beach on a rescue boat, as most people did and was realived to find that the organisors did not call it an official round and it was only a fun round. At least we all got on the water and now we all hoped we would get some good winds to get a result.

Monday, November 2, 2009

European Speedsailing Championships, Dungarven 1st - 7th November Days 1 & 2

As my car was still not ready i rented a van from O'Neills Van Hire in Tralee for 350 euros for the week which was a great deal and enabled me to get all my gear to Dungarven so i could compete in the Europeans and i collected it on Saturday morning, headed back home and packed up all my gear and set off for Dungarven.

I arrived in Dungarven later in day at 7pm and this year myself, Steve Flanagan and Killian McKay rented one of the houses at the back of the Park Hotel so we are walking distance of the town which makes it easier getting about to the things that will be organised in the evenings in town.

We all got to the beach on Sunday morning to find this year a big tent has been provided for all the kit so we can store it all near the waters edge and don't have to derig the sails. I got my gear all into the tent, registered for the event and rigged all my sails and got the boards ready with fins and mast feet so i can just grab a board and sail and get on the water quickly.

That evening we had the opening party with Irish Dancers performing and a great time was had by all.

As skippers meeting was called for 9.30am on Monday Morning we all got down to the beach early to find no wind and not much forcasted so we were put on hold till midday so i checked i had everything ready in case the wind picked up. At midday it was looking like there would be no wind for the day so racing was postponed and next skippers meeting will be at 9.30am on Tuesday. Looking at the forcast it looks like it could be a great day with 20-25 knot west to north west winds so i am hoping that the forcast holds and we can finally get some speedsailing in here in Dungarven.

Keep checking back here and when i get a chance i will update the blog with all the latest news from here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Irish Speedsailing Championships Round 4 Belmullet 24th, 25th & 26th October

As there was no wind for Round 3 we cancelled that round and waited to see if there would be enough wind for Round 4 and as it turned out we needn't have worried as the forcast was 40-50 knots for the Saturday and 20 Knots for Sunday. I was straight on the phone when the green light for the event was given to UISCE (097 82111) which is the local watersports centre/school as they had accomodation for the weekend for 140 for 3 nights including food which is great value and booked my bed for the wekend.

On Friday i went to pack my car but the car would not start so i started to panic as i didn't think i would be able to make the journey to Belmullet so started ringing round my friends and was able to borrow a Ford transit Van for the weekend and set off on the road to Belmullet after packing the van, arriving just before 1 am and was still able to get a pint in the local pub, got to love pubs in the middle of nowhere :-)

Waking up on Saturday morning we were greeted to a solid 30-40 knots of wind with it forcasting to build through the day so we all got breakfast and met at the beach for the briefing at 10am. Killian from Wind & Wave also came up to compete and he had my new board with him, a Starboard I Sonic 111 (Wood Constrution) but i wouldn't be getting that board wet today as it was too big for the conditions. I decided to go for the wood construction instead of the wood carbon as the board is less fragile so should last me longer. Not long after getting my I Sonic 87 out of the van and put a 28cm Vector Maui EX Speed into it John Kenny headed out on his 5.4m so i waited to see how he got on as i was planning on rigging my 5.0m KA Koncept and he shot off into the distance and when he got closer to the other side you could see the spray from his wipeout. He came back in and said it was pretty wild out there with a 3 foot chop rolling through the bay. At the same time Gregg Day was well overpowered on his 3.7m (see picture above) so i decided to wait and see if the conditions would ease a little before i went on the water. Steve Flannagan also went out briefly but was completely out of control. I decided at this point to wait till Sunday to go on the water as it was Gear Breaking conditions and with the Europeans a week away i couldn't afford to replace any of my kit so i headed back to UISCE to chill out and relax. Later that evening we were told that the weather station that they have at the centre was recording gusts over 50 knots in the afternoon so it was a pretty wild day.

Sunday brought conditions that were alot more manageable and it was blowing 16 to 20 knots as forcast so after breakfast i got to the beach at 9.30 am and i decided to use my new Starboard I Sonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui ZX fin and 6.6m KA Koncept and got on the water and had a great day. The new board feels alot nicer than the Lorch Thunderbird 64 it replaces and once i get used to sailing it will definetly be quicker. I managed a 28.68 knot peak and 27.55 250m but couldn't manage any more. I was bearing off just before the gusts to get decent 250m runs but was finding that the gusts were running out off juice after a couple of seconds. After a great day on the water we called it a day and as the forcast for Monday was bad we called it a day and had prize giving. I finished in 6th spot and 5th Master so that has put me back up to 5th place overall and within 10 points of 4th place overall so i will be focusing on a good position at the next round in Dunagrven to try and finish 4th overall for the year. I am happy i am back in 5th spot as i was dissapointed after the last event dropping down to 6th so i achieved what i wanted to do for this event. All we need now is wind for the next round and have a great finish to the Irish Speedsailing events.

As nothing was going to happen on Monday we all headed into Belmullet partying and had a great time and most people woke up the next day with huge hangovers.

Now i will be focusing on the European Championships which start on the 1st of November till the 7th of November and hopefully we get wind and see all the top guys busting over 40 knots. Keep checking back each day and i will try to keep the blog updated with how i get on.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Speedsailing At The Canel This Winter

Just got this news off
Looks like there will be no speedsailing at the canal this winter so the windsurfers will have to wait till next winter to challenge the kitesufers and Hydroptere. Check out the report below
After many weeks of consultation between Christophe Simian, head of the base speed of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and official timekeeper, and Pascal Maka, race director of the Masters of Speed, it's finally Friday, October 16 in late afternoon that the information is dropped, there will be no attempt to speed this winter on the famous Canal ...

Evil for good despite all the organizers rendezvous runners for six months for attempted between October 15, 2010 and March 15, 2011 "And if the date is distant indeed, it is motivated more than ever to go you ... It is also especially as the windsurfers are concerned by this attempt will have to register before the end of November this year, almost a year in advance!
The organization hopes to mobilize forces in quickly and with little hope, also encourage brands to truly invest in research and development in speed ...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Irish Speed Sailing Championships - Current Ranking

The current Irish Rankings have just been released and i am currently lying in 6th spot with 280.57 points. Not too happy that i have dropped 1 place from 5th but i will have to focus on getting further up the rankings before the season ends as there is another 3 rounds (depending on forcast). It's great though to see so many people now giving speed sailing a go in Ireland and hopefully we can get alot more people coming along to the events or logging some GPS speeds. You can check out the full rankings below

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Sponsor

I am very pleased to anounce that i will become a Wind and Wave team rider. Wind and Wave is a shop based at Malahide by Fingal Sailing School and is idealy located next to the estuary if you are looking for windsurfing equipment.

For the past 4 months i have been using Starboard boards since i left Lorch Boards so linking up with Wind and Wave is great as they are a Starboard dealer so will be supplying my boards from now on. I am sure now riding Starboard I-Sonic Speed Boards it will be only a matter of time before i break the 40 knot barrier. For next season i will be using the I-Sonic 144, 111 and 86 and I-Sonic w49 and w44 Speed Specials for speed.

If you want to try any of them out give me a shout and we can meet up for you to try them

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Irish Speedsailing Championships Round 2 Belmullet 3rd to 4th October

Late on Thursday the call was made to run the next round of the Irish Speed Sailing Championships in Belmullet, County Mayo so first thing Friday i rang the usual B&B, the Leim Siar Bed and Breakfast to book my accommodation for Friday and Saturday night but unfortunately Hannah wasn't taking bookings that weekend so tried to find alternative accomodation. I couldn't find anything for Friday night but managed to get a Twin room in the Broadhaven Hotel on the way into Belmullet for 120 euros a night for myself and Steve Flannagan so it worked out as 60 euros each which is pretty cheap for a Hotel. The hotel itself is very comfortable and the Breakfast is a buffet where you can have as much as you want so keeps you pretty full for most of the day.

As i didn't have anywhere to stay on Friday i had to drive up on Saturday morning so tried to get some sleep and got up at 3.30am and left to drive up to Belmullet from Tralee, County Kerry at 4am. First part of the journey was pretty quick as there was not too many people on the road but once i got North of Galway the roads got worse and had to slow down a bit and got there just after 9.30 so made decent time, although i was really tired after not getting too much sleep and having to get up early.

Anyway i started to rig and as it was blowing 23-25 knots i decided to use my Starboard I-Sonic 87 with 30m Vector Maui EX Speed fin and 5.8m KA Koncept. Once on the water it was really choppy and hard to get any decent speeds and no matter what i did i couldn't get over 28 knots. I think my main problem was after having a couple of pretty big crashes earlier in the year I'm having a bit of a mental block sailing fast when it is like this, something i will definitely have to work on as my kit is not the thing holding me back. I decided to go and have a break for lunch after a couple of hours on the water, gather my thoughts and Psyche myself up to get better speeds.

After lunch i had a quick look at my kit and loosened the out haul which made the sail a bit baggier and lowered my boom and hit the water. It seamed the wind direction had changed slightly and was at a better angle to sail parallel to the chop and managed to get a 30.87 knot max speed which i was a bit happier with. One of my other problems i had was as i havn't been on the water alot due to injury or lack of wind i have lost a bit of muscle endurance and i ended the session with massive cramps in both of my Calf's in my legs and Cramps in my arm's. Now the wind is back watertime shouldn't be a problem but i have invested in a cross trainer to work on my fitness.

I ended the competition in 1oth place (6th Master) and am now 6th in the overall rankings so have dropped 1 place from 5th which i am not too happy about so i will have to focus on getting back up the rankings so hopefully i can finish higher when the season ends.

Looking forward now to competing in the Europeans in Dungarven next month, unfortunatly the first round was canceled due to a bad forcast. We would have had wind for maybe 2 days but really marginal for the rest of the week so the right decision was made to wait until the forcast improves, just hope we get wind for either of the last 2 rollovers so the event will take place and i can work on increasing my PB's .

Got to use my Pro Motion 5/3mm Winter Suit for the first time and it is very warm when on so should be perfect for this winter. The no fatigue forearms worked well aswell not restricting my arms and never felt tight at all which was my my problem with my last winter suit

Only picture i got from the day was when i was walking out.

The 53 knot 'Boost' into the blue !!!

Got this of the Sailrocket website, looks like they have crashed again

Wed, 7 Oct 09 10:29
I'll cut to the chase...

Yesterday we did a run in gusty conditions with recorded winds during the run ranging from 18.6 to 26.3 knots. The run started slow and peaked at 52.8 knots going past the timing hut... with no main flap on (approx. 4 knots still up our sleeve)... I got the flap on and pushed on trying to make this run count. At the end of the course we hit a small freak wave (a last remnant of the North bound Atlantic swell that wraps around the distant Pelican point and rolls back up the bay). The front end got 'boosted' and it appears that the main foil failed at the top inboard tip due to the centre of effort moving rapidly down with the boat fully loaded at around 48-50 knots.

It didn't go as high as last time and turned 90 degrees to leeward... but it did the full flip and inverted landing. As I sat there looking at the clouds I congratulated myself on my choice of full-face KBC helmet and HANS neckbrace. They absorbed the impact well as my shoulders smashed the 'roll-bar' clean off as I flew out. I was fine.

At that stage I thought... "That's it... no more. This boat has issues". I thought the boat had just lost pitch stability in a gust. Alex pointed to the main foil which was wobbling around in the air. I was quitely relieved. Component failures are easier to resolve. The upturned boat was dragged backwards to the shore with the wing dragging alongside trailing bits of broken flap.

Once we got it ashore we could do a basic damage assessment. The boat itself is undameged... amazingly enough... neither is the whole main section of the wing... or the two end flaps!!! Even the strut is still intact. The main flap is confetti and there is a few spots of random damage that will take some detailed repairs. We got the boat back last night and brought the wing back this morning. We've already started. This boat has had a hard life... perhaps the hardest of all(considering it is the same hull/beam and wing originally launched)... but it just refuses to die.

We've gone over all the data and watched all the videos. It was only on the video that we saw the wave. The peak speed was actually done earlier where we did 5 seconds over 50 knots. The sun was glaring of the wing angle display. From the PI/COSWORTH data logger I could see that I could have sheeted in a little more and as mentioned, still had the flap to come in. The wind was measured at around 25 knots there so it's not surprising. The video showed how solid the front end of this boat is in normal conditions. To me it didn't feel like anything super special. If only the wind wasn't so damned gusty! This boat has a world record in it and we are going to do every thing in our power to drag it out.

We will go through the foil failure and work out a repair. Obviously it didn't have enough of a safety margin. The foil itself is fine... it's only the very top tip where it is supported by a ball joint at the top of the centre-board case. So we found another weak link that may have let us down at a higher peak speed with even more drastic consequences. Looking at the damage now I feel that we got of lightly.

Of course we caught it all on video with stills from both directions. I even had an onboard camera... which turned itself off the second the nose lifted (I will write a whole report about onboard cameras for boats as no-one has got it right. We've tried them all and spent thousands... and they all fail or give average results).

It will take us 7-10 days to be back in action. The boat will be better than ever and we remain undeterred. we know this particular boat is far from perfect... but we also know first hand that it is bloody quick and that on its day it should be able to top Hydroptere's current record. I will happily climb back onboard. One day, just as it has for every other world record holder that has had the perseverence, it will all come together for us... and it will all seem easy.

all the goodies will be posted once we sort out our other job-list.

Perseverence pays.

Cheers, Paul...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vestas Sailrocket Begins Quest For Outright World Speed Sailing Record

The UK based VESTAS SAILROCKET team have returned to Walvis Bay in Namibia for one more assault on the outright speed sailing record. The 28 day record period commences on the 2nd of October.
Since Sailrocket was first launched in 2004, the outright speed record has been broken seven times by a variety of different craft. The rival Hydroptère team now hold the record, having achieved a speed of 51.36 knots over 500 metres on the 4th September 2009 in Hyères harbour on the French Riviera.
Paul Larsen, Sailrocket’s pilot, now needs to go 4 knots faster than his previous record-breaking run in order to take the crown.
“50 knots is last year’s story”, said Paul. “We simply have to go well over that now. I look forward to taking this wonderful boat out to do battle one more time. There’s a final chapter to be written and I’m sure she still has a few knots up her sleeve. It will be one hell of a ‘suck-it and-see’ ride on the ragged edge that’s for sure!”.
Walvis Bay provides excellent speed sailing conditions, with its combination of flat, shallow waters and steady, predictable winds. It was there that the team broke records last December. Since then, they have been in the UK, making improvements to the design.
VESTAS SAILROCKET Designer, Malcolm Barnsley, said, “We have learnt so much since we started. Through constant development we have managed to solve most of the teething problems of this new concept and have allowed the real potential to begin to shine through. On paper, the 500m record is definitely within reach but everything has to be just right and if we do make it I doubt it will be by a big margin. Even in a place like Walvis Bay, which provides fantastic conditions on a regular basis, it will take a special day. Let’s hope we get those perfect conditions to make chasing down those four knots as easy as possible!”.
With the limits of wind-powered speed being constantly pushed – by windsurfers, kitesurfers and craft like the Hydroptère – there appears to be a renaissance of sail-power at the moment.
“Nothing focuses the mind like competition”, said Paul. “The record hasn’t fallen so many times recently by chance. Sometimes the limits are as much psychological as they are physical. When the level you need to attain gets so high that your current best isn’t enough then your options become limited and in some respect the job gets easier. You simply have to change your sights and find another gear.”
Malcolm Barnsley’s day job is as a test engineer at wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.
“With fuels running out, we’re going to be looking to do more with wind. I see it as a very broad picture and that things we’re exploring with the Sailrocket can feed in to the long-term future of energy and travel”.
In the wake of Sailrocket’s success, Malcolm has been given time to keep working on the project in pursuit of the ultimate goal. Vestas support is more than just financial.
“Fundamentally, we’re working on extracting energy from the wind as efficiently and reliably as possible. I’ve carried across a lot of the experience from my work environment and have a lot of technical support available within Vestas. We have experts on many things, including aerodynamics and structures, and the Vestas resource makes this project powerful and very unlikely to fail”.
The team will be on full standby at Walvis Bay Yacht Club throughout the whole record period. Regular updates and live feeds will be streamed from the website throughout the attempt.

Check out this clip:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

KA Sails Press Release From Sandy Point "Super Sunday"

Just recieved the KA Press release of the speeds achieved at Sandy Point on Sunday.

Sandy Point “Super Sunday”Sunday 27th September 2009. With an intense low pressure system forming in Bass Straight it looked like a big opening for the Annual Speed Fortnight at Sandy Point near Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. Sailors were greeted with a very high tide due to the storm surge and a very angry looking inlet with the “Prom” lighthouse regularly recording gusts in excess of 70 knots. After waiting an hour to access the inlet around a dozen sailors rigged and prepared to battle the windiest conditions seen at the “PiT” for years. The currents GPSSS Record holder Chris Lockwood had flown in from Perth and most of the nation’s top speed sailors were present. The stage was set. As the first few sailors returned from the speed run the story was really similar. “That was wild”,“Couldn’t sheet in”, “totally out of control” being the general mood. KA Sail Team riders Craig“Spotty” Spottiswood and Tony Wynhoven being the only 2 sailors with any degree of comfort in the conditions. Chris Lockwood appeared to be struggling with too much power. At the end of the day it was the two KA Sailors dominating. Both Craig and Tony had completed enough runs to get a 5X10 second average and the “fist pumping” Spotty had a huge tale to tell. With a 50.01 peak speed on his GT31 he couldn’t stop grinning. But there was more. His 49.869 2 second, 48.709 500 meter and a 47.775 5x10 second Doppler speeds are simply amazing, the 5X10 being a new GPSSS record. Equally amazing is the fact that Spotty was riding all production gear. Carbon Art Speed 44, KA Koncept 09 5.0 and KA Lockwood<>McDougall 21.5 Asymmetrical Speed Fin. Tony had an equally big day. After rigging his 08 KA Koncept 4.4 for the first ever time he finished with a 49.11 2 second and a 46.19 5X10 second. Tony was also riding stock production equipment, FS Missile S and XS, KA Koncept 4.4, and KA Lockwood<>McDougall 21.5 Asymmetrical Speed fin. No custom gear, no man made speed strip. Other sailors recording PB’s for single runs over 45 knots were Andrew Daff , Adrian Bonomi and Mat Robertson, all with stock KA 4.4 Koncepts and KA 20 Speed Fins. To do 5 runs in these conditions was gruelling, with the trip back taking up to 45 minutes. All but a handful of sailors settled for just 2 or 3 runs, with more than half the fleet staying ashore. Congratulations guys and a huge well done for all the sailors that gave it a go. The spirit of adventure is truly alive and well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Craig Spottiswodd's Report Of His Amazing Achievement At Sandy Point

Managed to get Craig Spottiswood’s report below from and his speeds recorded. Once again a windsurfer using an off the shelf KA Koncept and Carbon Art SP40 and KA Assymetric Speed Fin has shown everyone the amazing speeds you can achieve with these awesome sails.

Average 5 x 10 second - 47.75 Knots (88,44 kmh ( 90,83 90,66 87,62 87,38 85,72 )

Max. GPS (display) - 50.01 Knots (92,62 kmh)

Max. 2 sec. (software) – 49.87 Knots (92,36 kmh)

100 m run – 49.58 Knots (91,83 kmh)

250 m run – 49.50 Knots (91,68 kmh)

500 m run – 49.25 Knots (90,21 kmh)

Sorry about the delay, YEEEEE!!!HAAAARRRRR!!!! You Beauty!!! just been letting the good vibes settle in, still coming to grips with it all, the result was most unexpected for me. We have all been waiting for a day like this at Sandy Pt for sometime, with the past heavy rainfall and sizeable swell running in Bass Strait I did not think the tide would go far enough out. I thought that it was only going to be a survival day with maybe a 43 average. The tide in the end just went far enough out to set up what seemed a wider than usual rideable course down the bank. No special suits, man made trenches or vehicles to get you backup the course, just a hard endurance battle to start, finish and walk back in the constant 40-50 knot sandstorm with the lead weight on your back, the actual runs were awesome!!.

4 hours 6 runs…Run 1 with camera onboard peaked at 45 with a 10 sec around 43, it was pretty unsettled. Sailing back did not seem a good option, with all runs requiring a long slog thru the soft sand to the first dune then sail the last bit to the start. This was so exhausting, you had to wait some time before you had enough energy to do another run making it hard to get lots of runs in before the tide changed. Run 2 data 47.86 max , 47.1810sec , PB and now quite excited, with the course also improving with deeper longer runs. Run 3 data 49.996 max , 49.046 10sec, 47.183 500m seemed more controlled with 50.01 on the GT31 display making my jaw drop and fist punch the air, followed with congratulations with Adrian B and Tony W on the long walkback. Run 4 data 49.724 max, 48.952 10sec, 48.709 500m was also controlled just the slow down were getting really wild as the tide came in. Really stoked about the 500!!! Run 5 data 48.693 max, 47.312 10sec, 45.694 500m. The tide now starting to have more effect, and I was getting really exhausted but new there was still a worthwhile run better than the first to cement the 5x10. Run 6 data 47.197 max, 46.285 10sec, 44.723 500m. Chris L and myself left on the course, made my last run as he came back, another long walk followed this time all the way to the BBQ, thanks for moving the car Rupert. Best 5runs were all done with a broken battern at the bottom camber, it broke on the first run due to me adding more tension beforehand. All in all to be honest the runs were ridiculously smooth and constant and left me feeling I could of had aslightly bigger sail or a little bit more wind. I know this sounds stupid but it was so GOOD!. Left us with the impression the 49 5x10, 500 is achievablewith same conditions, and maybe better with a lower tide. AMAC and Chris thesail, fin and board did not flinch at all on the big runs, absolutely awesome result on stock, off the shelf gear, hats off to you both!.Totally stoked there were so many crew there to witness, and to give it a go in such conditions. Pleased to see Tonster, Daffy, Ado others get PB’s, great effort considering the size/weight for some of you guys. Thanks also to Mick and Jodi for capturing the moment whilst we took on the wind and sand.
Cheers Spotty

More Pictures From Sandy Point on Sunday 27th October

Found some more photo's from Sunday at Sandy Point. Just hope we get some wind soon as i want to get my Speed Board out. Respect to all the guys who got personal best speeds.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some Video and Photo's Of The Wild 40-50 Knot Conditions Today At Sandy Point

Just found these photo's and Video from the Aussies Speedsailing at Sandy Point today. Check them out. Enjoy

New Sponsor

Got some great news today. MCPM which is a new project restoration company for Motorbikes will from now on be helping me out with my Competition and Travel expenses in return for me advertising the company on my sails.

I am stoked about this as most of you know that getting to and from events and expenses when you are there can amount to alot of money each year so knowing that i now have some help will hopefully enable me to get to more events to better my Irish and World ranking.

If you want to get a motorbike restored let me know and i will put you in touch with the company.

Record Falls at Sandy Point - GPSSS 5X10 Record is smashed...

Just got this news of the KA Sails website.

In incredibly wild conditions today, Ka Team Rider Craig"Spotty" Spotswood easily passed Chris Lockwoods previous 5X10 average speed record. Although yet to be made official this record again reinforces the awesome potential of both the Ka Koncept and the Ka Speed fins.Amazing job Spotty, congratulations. All the rest of the guys got well over 40 knots so looks like they have thrown down the gauntlet for the rest of us in Europe for when we finally get the wind this winter.

As soon as i know more i will let you know

Thursday, September 10, 2009

KA Ambassadors Wanted

Thanks for your interest in the KA Ambassador program.

Applications from all over Europe are welcome.

We are looking to recruit a team of KA Ambassadors who are competent windsurfers who sail regularly at local beaches using KA sails supplied at a discount by KA.

You don't have to be the fastest or the flashiest, we want a mix of guys and girls from 13 to 60 who love to windsurf.

KA Ambassadors are selected by KA based on a selection criteria that seeks to:

o Provide coverage for KA at a wide range of popular windsurfing spots
o Provide a blend of up and coming and experienced sailors
o Provide a mix of male and female riders
o Assess the communication and promotional capabilities of potential Ambassadors

If this interests you please get in touch and email me at with your contact detail and explain why you fit the ambassadors program. Don’t forget to tell us where you from, you’re age and where you sail normally.

When we think that you will fit the program we will contact you and sent the details.

KA respects your privacy. The information you provide will not be used in any other way except to assess your application and to communicate with you about the program.

Thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2009 EX Demo KA Sails and End Of Season Stock

Checkout the great deals the KA Importer has on end of season stock and also last years 2009 demo sails. If you are interested in buying anything please contact me on or (00353)87 9704602

Full details of the 2009 Ka Sail range can be found here

All sails are in holland but we have great deals on shipping the sails to you

Used Sails All sails are in excellent condition


4.2 black € 300
5.3 red € 330


5.8 blue € 325
6.4 yellow € 330


6.6 red € 350
7.4 red € 350

6.6 black € 390
7.5 black € 395


9.0 blue € 465 (available november)
11.6 yellow € 550

New Sails


3.7 € 363 (1 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 1 x Red)
4.2 € 374 (1 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 6 x Red)
4.7 € 388 (1 x Yellow, 4 x Red)
5.3 € 394 (1 x Yellow, 2 x Red)
5.7 € 399 (1 x Red)


4.7 € 377 (1 x Red)
5.3 € 383 (1 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 2 x Red)
5.8 € 390 (1 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 2 x Red, 1 x Black)
6.4 € 396 (1 x Blue, 4 x Red, 1 x Black)
7.0 € 404 (1 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 1 x Red)


5.3 € 396 (5 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 2 x Orange, 2 x Black)
5.9 € 402 (6 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 3 x Orange, 2 x Black)
6.6 € 408 (11 x Blue, 2 x Yellow, 1 x Orange, 8 x Black)
7.4 € 417 (4 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 1 x Orange, 2 x Black)
8.2 € 425 (4 x Blue, 2 x Yelow, 1 x Orange, 1 x Black)


4.4 € 424 (2 x Black)
5.0 € 430 (1 x Blue, 3 x Yellow, 3 x Red)
5.8 € 437 (3 x Blue, 3 x Yellow, 5 x Red)
6.6 € 442 (1 x Blue, 2 x Yellow, 8 x Red, 2 x Black)
7.5 € 450 (2 x Blue, 2 x Yellow, 2 x Red)
8.5 € 462 (1 x Blue)
9.5 € 474 (2 x Blue, 1 x Yellow, 1 x Red)


9.0 € 505 (3 x Yellow, 1 x Black)
9.8 € 533 (1 x Yellow, 1 x Black)
10.7 € 558 (1 x Black)
11.6 € 584 (1 x yellow)

As always if you are interested in trying out these awsome sails please contact me. See you on the water.

Hydroptere World Speed Record Pics And Video

Managed to find some pictures of the record run in a video and also a video of the run on Youtube. An amzing achievment by the lads on Hydroptere. Check them out


Monday, September 7, 2009

Dungarven, Sunday 6th September 2009

When we saw the forcast of 25 knot gusting 37 knot South Westerly's myself, Steve Flannagan and Guy Molyneux made plans to meet up on Sunday at midday to coincide with the low tide at 13.40 which exposes the sand bar so we can speedsail here.

I arrived just before midday after driving across from Tralee, County Kerry and Steve and Guy arrived not long after coming down from Dublin. What met us was not looking good, it was raining and blowing about 8 knots. Undeterred we all decided to get into the wetsuits and rig up. I decided to rig up 2 boards and sails as it was forcast to pick up so rigged my Lorch Thunderbird 110 with 36cm Vector Maui Rockit fin and 6.6m KA Koncept, also my Starboard I-Sonic 87 with 30m Vector Maui EX Speed fin and 5.8m KA Koncept. Not soon after we were rigged the wind started to fill in and it was now blowingaround 15 knots so just enough to get going. Once on the water i was apparant that because the wind was Southerly the course was pretty square and only sailable on port tack and also pretty choppy.
My first run down the course was over 30 knots and the wind kept building until it was around 16 knots gusting up to 23 knots and never got any windier but i finished the day with a max speed of 30.57 knots. Shame the forcast never filled in as we really could have got the speedboards out and gone for some decent speeds but nice to get back here and sail again. Didn't get a picture today as my camera would have got destroyed in the rain so the one above is from late last year.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fenit, Friday 4th September 2009

Had a few things i had to do today so got to the beach late in the afternoon. It was blowing around 20 knots and gusting up to 25 so decided to use my Starboard Isonic 87 with 30cm Vector Maui Fins EX Speed and 5.8m KA Koncept. As it was close to high tide there was a few small waves which made sailing interesting with me on slalom kit and i only got an hour on the water before the wind dropped right off. Starting to really get used to sailing the Isonic in the rough stuff and having less volume than my Lorch Thunderbird 110 really helps as the board is not bouncing around as much so is doing the job i bought it for perfectly. Just got to see what i can get out of it on the speed course now.
As i was packing up there was an amazing rainbow over the estuary, check out the photo above