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

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