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.

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