Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1st Round Irish Speed Nationals Belmullet

I just had a great weekend where i went to Belmullet in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland for the first time where i was competing in the 1st Round Irish Speed Nationals Belmullet. I went up on Friday night with Steve Flannagan as we got a great deal in a B&B near to Elly Bay, Belmullet where we would be competing for the weekend. I can highly recommend the B&B to anyone looking for accomodation in this part of Ireland. The B&B is Leim Siar Bed and Breakfast and you can contact them on their website http://www.leimsiar.com/ or ring Hannah Quigley to book a room on (00353)97 85004 or (00353)862 512965 and make sure you let them know that i recommended them to you.

On Saturday morning we were greeted by the sun shining, beautifull clear water, and 20-28 knots of wind. As the tide was dropping the walk to the waters edge was a killer taking over 5 minutes carrying your kit. All the lads were getting max speeds over 30 knots with Woodsey in particular getting some very quick runs on a 15 year old f2 Sputnik so that shows you don't need the latest and greatest kit to have a go at speed. He also finished 4th Overall and 3rd Master. As it was my first time on the water since my injury last month i was gonna take it a bit easy but the chop on the course was horrendous and on my first run down the course i had a repeat of my wipeout that put me off the water but this time i thankfully didn't injure myself and managed to get a few more runs down the course. I managed to get a 29 knot max speed considering the conditions and my first time on the water since my injury i was happy with that speed and i finished 6th Overall and 4th Master

JK was showing why he is the current reigning champ with a 36 knot run on his Starboard Futura 122 which was amazing in the messy chop on the course and finished in 1st place overall and 1st Master for the weekend.

During the morning Steve Flannagan managed to take over 1000 pictures of everyone before he himself got on the speed course and on his first run had a massive wipout that didn't put him off from challenging for the overall lead with some very fast runs outside the bay in the big swell and finished 2nd Overall for the weekend

In the afternoon Oisin and Mikey Clancy after wave sailing all day came over and borrowed speed kit to have a go themselves with both getting speeds in the region of 30 knots and finishing 3rd Overall, 2nd Master and 5th Overall respectively.

On Sunday the forcasted 18-20 knot winds did not show but that did not deter Keith Gorman from hitting the water after driving over from Dublin as he was working Saturday. He went out on his small slalom kit but in the dropping winds was soon back for his biggest sail and board to get back on the water to logg some speeds and get the result. He finished the weekend 7th Overall and 5th Master. The rest of us waited to see if the wind would pick up but called it a day in the late afternoon after a great days speedsailing the previous day.

A great weekend was had by all and thanks to Cormac and UISCE (http://www.uisce.com/) for the great lunch on Saturday and i know i will be back to this amazing part of Ireland again.

Checkout http://www.irishspeedsailing.com/ for pics from the event and checkout the small video i made below of the pics of me sailing on Saturday (Cheers Steve)


video

Monday, April 27, 2009

Irish Slalom Series Round 1 April 4th-5th 2009 Pictures


Not had a chance to sort through the photos i had taken at the Irish SlalomSeries Round 1 April 4th-5th 2009 until now. I have uploaded them to Picasa here

http://picasaweb.google.com/alastairnichol/IrishSlalomSeriesRound1April4th5th200\9?authkey=Gv1sRgCIjpiuCJ0In3cw&feat=email#

If anyone is interested in purchasing any of these photos they are 3 euros each or if you buy 5 i will do a little discount and they are 10 euros for 5 pictures. Let me know the number of the picture you want and i will send you my Paypal address to pay for them and once they are paid for i will email the pictures toyou

Sunday, April 19, 2009

West Kirby Petition - Please Support

For any one who's sailed or plans to sail at West Kirby, please condider signing the petition found at the link here

http://wkirbyml.epetitions.net./

Why:

The council plan to alocate just 30 car park spaces for windsurfers. The remaining 50 or so spaces will be for the general public on a pay & display basis. Wether its on an epic day or a light wind slalom day, this will effect us all.

Personaly, I have no problem with the general public tuning up to absorb the great scenary, but just Imagine travelling a long distance for a decent westerly, only to be turned away by the warden due to all the spaces being taken!!

This could spoil the top North West UK speed and freestyle spot. Consider it, then sign the petition please.

Irish Speedsailing

Following on from last week’s Speed Sailing meeting, there are a few changes and announcements for the upcoming season.

Thank you to Martin Waldron

Due to work and family commitments Martin Waldron is stepping back from being the main organizer for Speed events in Ireland, the time and effort that he has put into the sport and discipline over the past year has been phenomenal and without his efforts we wouldn’t have found new speed locations such as Dungarvan on our own shores. The effort he put into hosting the first international Speed event in Ireland with the ISWC Production World Championships last year was to be commended!! Martin will still be heavily involved in the sport and will be putting his experience to use as an advisor to those of us that will be trying to take up the work he has done.

Steven Flannagan be taking over as event coordinator for the national and international events that Martin had been working on, which includes the Irish National Speedsurfing Championship events and the ISWC European Championships to be held later this year. Martin will still be involved in a 50/50 capacity in the running of these events till September, as he has already done most of the ground work and then step back further from then. He will however keep on his role of Regional Time Keeper for GPS-Speedsurfing.com

We would all like to take this opportunity to thank Martin for all his hard work and look forward to sailing with you in the future.

Malahide Speed Meet

After a very successful and eventful day hosted on March 8th in Malahide by Killian from Wind & Wave, where he introduced his new Speed Wall. This saw some great sailing in some very challenging conditions, with the leaders changing positions after each run across the estuary!! Some interesting crashes included my one run of the day where Steve Flannagan ended up flying backwards through the air at nearly 35knots!!!! To then get back on the board only to get shot off into an involuntary forward loop again at nearly 35knots!!! The final result ended up with our very own speed champ John Kenny aka JK taking the title with a Max Speed of 34.86knots, very closely followed by Steve Flanagan with a top speed of 34.58knots. The battle for 3rd and 4th was also hotly contended with Ollie Ryan just beating Keith Gorman into 3rd place. Young Guns were also out in force with Jack, Lewis and Ryan showing what they’re made of.

New Events & Locations

From a events side of things we have added some additional dates to the calendar to make up for the lack of wind we had over the past two months and for the Round 1 rollover period. Also we are introducing some new possible locations that should allow for greater sailing opportunities as well as being more accessible to introduce newcomers to the thrills of speedsailing.

New possible event locations will include:
· Malahide Estuary
· Ladies Island
· Burrow Beach
· Sutton Creek
· Spot X
· Belmullet

New Events
·Round 1 (New) - 1st possible rollover - April 25th and 26th (location based on forecast)
·Round 1 (New) - 2nd possible rollover - May 2nd to 4th in Malahide Estuary (to coincide with Fleadh Sheoil, results will be run separate to King and Queen of the Estuary)
·Round 1 (New) - 3rd possible rollover - May 9th and 10th (location based on forecast)
·Round 2 - Dungarvan (TBC – Forecast depending) possible dates: Oct 3/4, Oct 17/18 or Nov 7/8
·Round 3 - Irish Speed Ladder on GPS-SpeedSurfing.com Jan-Dec 2009
·Round 4 (New) - An additional round will be run in Belmullet in conjunction with Usice and Round 4 of the Irish Wave tour on the October Bank Holiday weekend (Oct 24th to 26th) - Details to be confirmed.
·ISWC European Speed Championships - Dungarvan/Tramore - This year will be run on a rollover basis, possible dates: Oct 17-24 or Oct 31-Nov 7 or Dec 14-21

New Website

Our new web site will be launched soon which will contain news and info about Speedsailing in Ireland as well as reviews about potential speed locations in Ireland and the current results and leader boards.

http://www.irishspeedsailing.com/

Rules & Guidelines

We are working on a set of guidelines for what counts as an official event (wind minimums etc), plus also guidelines around how to submit results and accuracy of GPS units. This will be published on our new website shortly

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Macquarie Innovation Crashes

Just read this post by Andrew Daff on http://www.seabreeze.com.au/ about Macquarie Innovation. Here is a copy of the post and pictures

And may have raised their record. They also crashed and damaged the boat so that was most probably it's last run ever.In 20-25 knots of WSW wind and on a rising tide, Macquarie Innovation went for broke today........ and broke. In the first run the boat looked fast and smooth with a reported top speed of 53 knots. It looked to me like they held their speed for pretty much the whole run and seemed to finish at top speed. There is every possibility that they have raised their own class C mark and may even have topped the outright world record but we won't know that until tomorrow after all the downloading and processing of data is done.They came back and went for a second run almost immediately. Conditions we getting better as the wind moved more south west to give them a better angle and filled in to, by my estimate, a steady 25 knots. The start and the first half of the run looked good but right at the end the boat slewed one way and then the other as it appeared that the skipper lost steering. The boat proceeded continue to turn downwind for 20 meters or so and then the front hull dug in causing the boat the capsize forwards. The wing hit the water and the boat stayed in it's nose with the aft hull way up in the air. The support boats were quickly on the scene but there was not much they could do but let the boat drift slowly to the lee shore sandbar. A local windsurfer, Craig Spottiswood was quickly on the scene from where he was watching at the bottom end of the course and helped the crew hold the boat in the shallow water while they worked out how to right it. After righting, they walked the boat back upwind and towed it across the channel to the base where it was dismantled and stowed. Both the crew are safe and well. The wing has some damage as it buckled on impact with the water but looking at it while they de-rigged it was hard to see.The crew pod was looking very worse for wear. It did the job it was designed to do, namely, coming apart to allow the crew to escape uninjured. It is the only part of the craft built without carbon fibre for this very reason.






Monday, April 6, 2009

Macquarie Speed Sailing at Sandy Point Australia

Just found some footage of the MI yacht sailing at Sandy Point on it's record run. Check out the video