Thursday, April 29, 2010

Irish Speedsailing Championships Round 3 Brandon Bay 24th April

After a long windless winter and the postponements of rounds 1 & 2 of the Irish Speedsailing Championships due to a lack of wind we were finally in luck with a good wind forecast for round 3 with a good wind forecast. The organisers were monitoring the forecast all week and with good winds on the cards for Ireland's West Coast it was decided to try out Brandon Bay in County Kerry. Brandon Bay is better known for it's world class waves but due to there being no swell and an offshore wind it becomes a 2-3 mile long speed course from Fermoyle to Stradbally. Fermoyle due to it's close proximity to the Connor Pass and it's unique thermal effects in a S-SW wind where the wind can easily be 2 forces stronger was to be the location for the weekends action.

We started off at Jamie Knox's Watersports Center for a quick briefing before driving over to Fermoyle. On arriving we were greeted with a 24 knot SW offshore wind so i decided to rig my 2010 6.4m KA Koncept and because it was gusty with some holes in the wind on the course decided to use my Starboard I Sonic 86 with 30cm Vector Fins Maui EX Speed fin. Before we got on the water the wind decided to play about and drop so we waited to see what would happen.

I decided that while the wind had dropped to go and scout out some of the nearby spots to see if any of them were working better but unfortunately they wern't so headed back to the beach to see the wind had picked back up and the lads were on the water posting some quick runs. I quickly got into my wetsuit and hit the water myself but the wind had shifted direction to S-SE so was alot gustier than earlier and i was struggling to get going on my small kit in the very gusty conditions. I eventually got going and as i was sailing down the course i had a pretty violent spinout where the whole board bounced out of the water and i wiped out. Unfortunately that was the only run i made as the wind dropped so i was unable to get any better speeds than the max speed of 25 knots in that run and that was it for the day as the wind never did pick back up. I was dissapointed that i wasn't able to clock a better speed but we have no control over what the wind does.

I finished 5th Overall and 3rd Master.

We finished off the day at Spillanes for a big feed and then held the prize giving in front of the incredible backdrop that Brandon Bay has to offer. Big thanks go to my sponsor Chinook for donating some prizes for the event and i hope to see you all at the next round in September.
Also big thanks for Claire Metcalfe for braving the rain on the beach to take the photo's

Please see the pictures below of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners

1st Place Gold Fleet Oisin Van Gelderan

2nd Place Gold Fleet Steve Flannagan

3rd Place Steve Williams

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