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

Fleadh Sheoil, Fingal Sailing School, Malahide, 1st, 2nd & 3rd May

This coming weekend in Malahide is the Fleadh Sheoil 2010 which this year is being held at Wind & Wave / Fingal Sailing School, Malahide Esturay, Dublin, Ireland. Please bring a friend or family & get some new people on the water & into windsurfing. This is a perfect weekend as all gear is available for new people to try out & will cost them nothing! The worst that will happen is they’ll have a good time & laugh about it afterwards in the pub!!

Below are the details of what is planned for the 3days. As always any more ideas or feedback are welcome.

See you all on the 1st May!!

In addition to the windsurfing events detailed below, throughout the weekend there will be full use of our kayaks, Sups & sailing boats on offer for whoever wants to give it a shot!

Fingal Sailing Schools centre, facilities & gear will be ‘open’ for anyone to use. Also, if you would like to bring any of your own gear you’re more than welcome & we’ll feature it on all promotional information.

There will be a bbq running throughout the weekend based on the decking – so fingers crossed some sun will shine!

GPS Speed Wall will be in use throughout the day as part of King & Queen of the Lake Competition. Prize giving Sunday night.

Demo gear will be on hand from:

Starboard Severene Sails

Mistral Simmer Sails

BIC Tushingham

KA Sails

So, The Plan for the weekend is as follows:

Kick off Saturday 10.30am

11.00 – 12.30

Beginner / Improver Windsurfing Classes – max. of 6 people per group. Put your name down to ensure your place is secure!

11.00 – 12.30

Clinic: Rigging session. Gybing & round mark course

11.30 – 12.30

Sup session: bring your own or use the centre gear.

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30

Beginner / Improver Windsurfing Classes – max. of 6 people per group. Put your name down to ensure your place is secure!

14.00 – 15.30

Clinic: Start line racing procedures & techniques, rules of racing guidelines & tips

16.00 – 17.30

Fun Racing for everyone. Fun course marked out in estuary.

If we’ve light winds match racing will be held in different heats, small sails & long boards.

Saturday Night Entertainment – open to all

7.30pm – Wine Bar, Gibney’s Pub. Area reserved for all Fleadh go-ers with complimentary tasty Food Platters !!

Sunday Plans:

10.30am kick off

11.00 – 12.30

Beginner / Improver Windsurfing Classes – max. of 6 people per group. Put your name down to ensure your place is secure!

11.00 – 12.30

Clinic: Freestyle tricks: learn the names, the do’s & dont’s of all flat water tricks!

11.30 – 12.30

Sup session: bring your own or use the centre gear.

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30

Beginner / Improver Windsurfing Classes – max. of 6 people per group. Put your name down to ensure your place is secure!

14.00 – 15.30


1) More slalom / speed sailing – tips & techniques

2) More freestyle moves – advise & coaching

16.00 – 17.30

Racing – more slalom & a monster blast for womens / silver / gold fleets.

Make sure you attend as many clinics as possible as spot prizes will be announced Sunday night for winner of all racing:

Sunday Night Entertainment; for all ticket holders

Tickets are €20 per person. Limited number of tickets available – 50 max.

Sold on First come first served basis.

Ticket holders receive complimentary drink (selection on offer at bar) at GAA club, 2 course dinner, & entrance to late bar with live band. Contact Fingal Sailing School for bookings 01 8451979 or

7.30pm kick off: GAA Club, Malahide.

8pm – 2.30am Dinner followed by live music & bar extension

(bar extension is open to those without tickets also – entrance fee of €12 to the club)

Winners announced & Prize giving for :

King & Queen of Lake

Slalom Races

Monster Blast

Fun Spot Prizes

Monday: final day

Kick off 11am (watch the heads!)

11.30 – 13.00

So at this stage all beginners / improvers should be putting tips & coaching into use, have a practice or get more help if needed: instructors & coaches will be on hand!

11.30 – 13.00

Sup safari: adventure through the estuary & beyond. . . .

14.00 – 16.00

Your choice: instructors & gear on hand for any questions or help / advise needed.

Have a mess about for the last 2 hours either if you prefer!!


Have a great weekend!! And hope you can all make it

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wanted : F2 Race 380

After i competed at the first Inland event at Pitsford i realised that to be competitive i needed a raceboard with more volume. My current F2 Lightning World Cup Edition is still very competative when the wind gets up but i loose out in light winds when the F2 Race 380's and Starboard Phantom's have a definite advantage due to them having 290-300 liters of volume compared to the 250 of my current Lightning.

If you have one for sale of know of anyone that might have one sale can you please contact me or leave a comment on this post and i will get in touch, Cheers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

UKWA Inlands Round 1, Pitsford Reservoir, UK

I had made the decision earlier this year that i wanted to do a few longboard events this year so when my father wanted me to go across to England to collect a motor bike for him i jumped at the chance as it meant i was able to get across for the first round of the UKWA Inlands at Northampton Sailing Club, Pitsford Reservoir, Brixworth, Northants, England.

It was also the first time i had raced a longboard in 20 years so the goal for me for the weekend was to get out there and have fun and start to get my old longboard skills back. After travelling for 16 hours i got to Pitsford late on Friday evening and set up my tent and unpacked the car to get ready for the weekend and then headed off to the local pub for some food and a few pints. I got up early on Saturday after a cold night in the tent, it got down to -1 so it was pretty cold, and rigged some sails. I rigged up my 9.0m KA Race and 8.3m KA Koncept and made sure my F2 Lightning was race ready.

I registered in the Raceboard Unlimited fleet which meant i was not limited to a 9.5m sail and could use any sail size i wanted. It is also fleet more suited to my weight as most of the guys in the 9.5m class are 75-80kg so i would be at a disadvantage as i am 20kg heavier than most of them. Unfortunatly there wasn't enough wind all day so we packed up and had a meal in the club house with a few drinks and headed to bed around 12.

After the temperature getting down to -1 again on Saturday night the sun was a welcome sight on Sunday morning and we were also greated with some wind (2-8knots). The course was laid and we got in 3 races before the wind dissapeared for the day. I used my 9.0m KA Race on my F2 Lightning and with each race i was getting used to my longboard again and i finished the event in 2nd place in the Raceboard unlimited fleet and 5th master.

I was happy with my result after not doing any longboard racing for so long and i can't wait to get to compete at another event so hopefully i can get back across this year for another one

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My New Mountain Bike

As my old mountain bike was nearly 12 years old i decided it was time to get a new one so i started searching possible bikes to get and decided that the Kona Hoss would be high up the list. Checking ebay yesterday i found a new 2009 model that had never been used with a very reasonable buy it now so decided to buy it. I'm stoked to have got it because it is the perfect frame for a heavier rider and a great base frame to start upgrading the components that came with the bike over the coming year. The spec of the bike is:-

Frame: Kona Clump 7005 Aluminium
Fork: Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 2 100mm travel
Gears: Shimano Deore front and Shimano XT Shadow rear derailleurs
Shifters: Shimano Deore trigger shifters
Chainset: FSA Alpha Drive ISIS cranks 44/32/22
Brakes: Hayes Stroker Trail Hydraulic V6
Wheels: Sun Black Eye rims built on KK Disc front and Shimano M525 disc rear hubs
Tyres: Maxxis Ignitor 26 x 2.35
Handlebars: FSA XC280B oversize Riser
Stem: FSA oversize 190LX
Saddle: WTB Speed V Sport SE
Seatpost: Kona Double Clamp

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My New Road Bike

A friend on mine let me know he was selling his Road Bike as he was upgrading to a carbon one so i got it from him for a great price. It's a Giant Defy Alloy Road Bike and will be perfect for helping improve my fitness. The full spec of the bike is:-

FrameGiant AluxX SL aluminium, Fluid FormedTM
Fork Cromoly, OverDrive Steerer
Shock N / A
HandlebarGiant Alloy Anatomic Bend, 26.0mm
StemGiant Alloy
Seatpost Giant Alloy
SaddleGiant Performance Road
PedalsCaged w/ Clips
ShiftersShimano 2300 24 speed
Front DerailleurShimano 2203
Rear DerailleurShimano 2300
BrakesTektro Giant specific Dual Pivot
Brake LeversShimano 2300
CassetteSRAM PG 850 12-26
ChainKMC Z7
CranksetFSA Tempo, 30/42/52
Bottom BracketCartridge
RimsGiant Sport Road, Double Wall
HubsFormula Sealed
SpokesStainless Steel
TyresKenda Kriterium, 700x25mm