Friday, December 23, 2011

Mistral 2012

Not long now till the new 2012 Mistral Boards will be available in Europe, Check them out :-))

Friday, December 2, 2011

Irish Speedsailing Championships Round 6 Dungarven, County Waterford, Ireland 26th November


Unfortunately for me my back injury flared up again in October so that has kept me off the water since the middle of October but last weekend was the last round of this years Irish National Speedsailing Championships. We watched the forecast all week and Dungarven was the only location showing a decent forecast of winds gusting up to 35 knots, but only for Saturday so the call was made to run this round as a 1 day event and the call went out to meet at the usual spot by the church at Dungarven.

As money is tight for me i couldn't afford to pay for accommodation so i decided to drive over from Kerry on Saturday morning, planning to leave at 5am to get there in plenty of time for the briefing but when i went out to start my van, it wouldn't start so not really the best start of the day for me. After waiting for a couple of hours for the AA, they got the van started for me and i eventually got underway at 7am. Arriving at Dungarven around 10.30am i was disappointed to again see little to no wind when it was howling elsewhere. Never the less i decided to get my Mistral Screamer 95 ready (which is currently my biggest board until my 2012 Mistral's arrive) with a 36cm Vector Maui Fins SL9 Alfa Fin & Starboard iSonic W53 Speed Special with 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and rigged my 6.4m, 7.3m & 8.3m KA Koncepts so i was ready if the wind picked up.

Just after mid day the first signs appeared that the wind was picking up and with most people planing on 7-8m sails in the gusts the call was made to measure the event on a 10 second average of your 5 best 10 second runs because of the gusty conditions, so i got into my wetsuit and grabbed my Mistral Screamer 95 and 7.3m KA Koncept and hit the water. I became apparent very quickly that it was very gusty with massive holes in the wind and i was struggling to get going. I was also suffering with my back so made the decision not to use my 8.3m in case i hurt it further. I got a few runs in, but nothing special as i was underpowered so i asked one of my friends, Brian Doyle if i could borrow his iSonic 111 so i had a bit of float to help me get going in the lulls and put my 42cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin into it and went back out with my 7.3m KA Koncept. Before i got my deal with Mistral my own iSonic 111 was my go to board in conditions just like this and i found no problem at all getting it going with the extra volume as the lulls were so big but my back was really hurting now but i still managed to get in enough runs to get a result which i was happy with as i could hardly move my back.

Unfortunately i only managed to finish 8th overall and 5th Master but considering i went against my physios orders to compete as i had to do so to get a result otherwise i would have dropped down the rankings, i am still in 4th position overall with just the 2 GPS rounds left to run until the end of the year so i am hoping that my physio can work her magic and get my back sorted so i can get another Speedsailing session in before the end of the year. For me this year my back has hampered me competing and also kept me off the water at times which has annoyed me so i am hoping once and for all i can get it fixed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For Sale

It's now time replace my sails so my current quiver of 2010 KA Koncepts (8.3m, 7.3m, 6.4m & 5.7m) will be available for sale in late December/Early January when my new sails arrive. I have updated my For Sale section here http://irl-250.blogspot.com/2010/01/for-sale.html or you can click the For Sale box on the right hand side of the page and all sails can be seen here in County Kerry, Ireland and i can supply further pictures upon request. I can accept a deposit for any of these sails to secure the sail when they become available for sale in late December/Early January.

I also have available for sale a 6.4m KA Kult (Freeride/Bump & Jump/Wave Sail), a 10.5m Demon Design VG5 Raceboard Sail with 580cm North Viper 100% Carbon Mast and some wave fins and these are all available for sale now.

I can deliver the sails to any of the Irish Speed and Slalom events or i can arrange postage/shipping at the buyers cost.

As always i can do a bit of a discount if you buy more than one sail from me so let me know if you might be interested in anything i have for sale

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Invited To Become An Author on www.speedsurfingblog.com


A few days ago Erik Loots contacted me and asked if i would like to become an Author on his website www.speedsurfingblog.com and i happily accepted his invitation. I have followed the Speedsurfingblog for a few years now and i find that there is alot of very useful information for speed sailing on the site and it's also a great source of all the latest speed sailing news.

My own blog here is only a few years old and i am honored that Erik has been following my own blog posts and feels that i can provide a useful contribution to his own website. I hope that in the coming future you will find what i post to the Speedsurfingblog informative and useful and that you continue to follow my news updates here.

See you on the water :-))

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Sponsor

I'm very pleased to announce that for 2012 i will be riding Mistral Speed and Slalom boards. When i first started racing back in the late 80's Mistral were the boards that everyone wanted to ride and now with the legendary Anders Bringdal at the helm the will certainly regain that legendary status in the coming years. To be part of this is awesome and i will be getting my boards through Wind & Wave in Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland. See you on the water :-))

Irish Speedsailing Championships Round 5 Ladies Island, County Wexford & Dungarven, County Waterford, Ireland 8th & 9th October

Apologies for the late post as i have been away for a few weeks and this is the first chance i had had to write this. Earlier this month the call was made with the current forecasts that Round 5 of the Irish Speedsailing Championships would be run at 2 different locations. As Ladies Island had the best forecast of 15 to 20 knots for Saturday the first day was run there and then with the forecasted 30 knot SW winds for Dungarven we would run the second days competition there.

I made my way over to Ladies Island on Saturday morning getting there mid morning leaving Kerry at 5am. On arrival i was disappointed to see little to no wind but with the forecast due to pick up i decided to get ready my Starboard iSonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui Fins ZX Fin and rig my 7.3m KA Koncept and wait for the wind to pick up. Due to the forecast showing marginal winds quite a few competitors decided not to travel down and wait for Sunday which turned out to be a mistake as after about an hour the wind picked up to over our 18 knot wind minimum so it was game on and official racing was called by the race officer. I quickly got ready and then hit the water and had a great time and despite the very gusty conditions and big chop i managed a 29.6 knot peak which gave a 3rd place for the day and in a decent position to get a good place for the event. I was also starting to feel more at ease in the chop after having some pretty big crashes in similar conditions over the past few years.

After everyone had packed up we decided to head over to Dungarven so we didn't have a big drive in the morning and booked into the Park Hotel and after some food and a few pints got to bed reasonably early to get ready for the forecasted winds the following day.

When i woke i was disappointed to yet again see the forecast was wrong and the was hardly any wind so i had a leisurely breakfast and headed down to the beach to see what was happening. Everyone had come down today and most were gutted to hear there was more wind yesterday but it is a 2 day event so not turning up for one of the days is always a risk. After a few hours the wind started to pick up so i decided to get ready my Starboard iSonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui Fins ZX Fin and rig my 7.3m KA Koncept. Also if the wind was to pick up to what was forecasted i also got ready my Starboard iSonic 86 with 29cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed fin and Starboard iSonic W53 Speed Special With 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and rigged my 6.4m KA Koncept. After quickly getting into my wetsuit i got out on the water but there was massive holes in the wind making any decent speeds hard to achieve and after a couple of hours the wind dropped off so i headed in. I was disappointed to hear the round was called official which in my opinion was no where near our average wind minimum and considering how gusty and holey the wind was should really have been a fun day but that's the luck of the draw and i reluctantly went with the decision.

After 2 days competition i finished 5th overall and 4th Master which keeps me on track to achieve a top 3 position in the overall rankings for the year and i can't wait for the last event in November where i will be using my new sponsors boards for the first time in a competition. See you next month

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2012 KA Sail Range

The new 2012 KA Sail sail range has just been released and the sails look awesome. Peter Weitenberg, Jesper Orth, Martin Love and Andrew McDougall have done a great job this year improving the already great KA Sail range and have a new sail range available this year, the Killer which is a sail suited to Onshore and Cross Onshore conditions so expect this sail to excel in the conditions we find here in Europe and fits nicely into the Wave Sail Range alongside the Kaos, KA's down the line wave sail and the Kult, KA's bump and jump sail which heavier riders such as my self find perfect for use in waves due to it's extra power compared to the other 2 wave sail ranges. This year the Kult has been geared a little more towards the freeride aspect of the sail but will still excel in waves if you want a sail that does it all.

The Koyote continues to be the choice for people wanting a fast easy to use sail, being based on the awesome Koncept sail range but is a easy, comfortable and forgiving sail range perfect for freeride sailors but is still a seriously fast sail, having topped 40 knots on numerous occasions.

The KA Race has been improved yet again and will be the weapon of choice for Slalom and Formula sailors out there. The low end of the sail has been improved and now has a bigger wind range in each size with less drag. Expect to see Jesper Orth doing well on the PWA tour and Chris Bond doing well on the UKWA Formula circuit this year using this sail.

Finally the new Koncept, my favorite sail in the range looks stunning and i can't wait to get my hands on it. Look at the overall top 5 on www.gps-speedsurfing and you will see the Koncept holds 3 of these places as well as being the current GPSSS World Record Holder proving this to be the weapon of choice for Speed Sailing. This year the sails have a slightly lower aspect resulting in a more balanced foil. A constant yet extremely defined power dynamic has been built into the sails and any tendency to oversheet and stall the sail has been eliminated. This excellent sail has been improved yet again and is now better than ever.

I will have the KA Kult, Kaos and Koncept available for demo here in Ireland so if you want to try them give me a shout and you can see further information on the KA Sail range here

See you on the water







Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Irish Speedsailing Championships Round 4 Dollymount Beach & Burrow Beach, Dublin, Ireland 17th & 18th September

After the disappointment of having to cancel the first 3 rounds of this years Speedsailing championship we were delighted to finally get a decent forecast and the call was made to call a notice of race late Thursday Evening. As the forecast showed Westerly winds on Saturday and North Westerly winds on Sunday the call was made to run Saturdays competition at Dollymount Beach, County Dublin and Sundays competition at Burrow Beach, County Dublin. I for one couldn't wait until Sunday as Burrow Beach is my favorite spot to speed sail in Ireland.

I left home in Kerry late on Friday night stopping half way on my way to Dublin for a sleep and then carried on first thing Saturday morning arriving at Dollymount beach just after 10am. It was clear that the winds were very light and with the forecast due to pick up i decided to rig up anyway. I decided that i would use my Starboard iSonic 86 with 29cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin, Starboard iSonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui Fins ZX Fin and Starboard iSonic 144 with 48cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin to cover me for all conditions and rig my 7.3m & 8.3m KA Koncept's and wait for the wind to pick up. Around lunchtime the wind picked up to around 14-15 knots so the call was made to run a fun competition till the wind picked up and most people headed out on the water. Personally i decided to hang on and save my strength in case the wind showed up. Later that afternoon the wind got up to about 20 knots so i quickly got into my wetsuit and was about to head out when as soon as the wind had come it dropped off again which was disappointing but decided to head out anyway and grabbed my 8.3m KA Koncept and Starboard iSonic 144 and hit the water. It was very gusty with massive holes in the wind and after spending most of the time slogging around and only getting a couple of runs in i decided to head in and wait for tomorrow.

That night i headed over to Malahide to an excellent B & B i have used in the past, got some food and an early night ready for the early start the following day. As low tide was just after 9am the call was made to meet at the beach at 7am to make the most of the time when we would have the sandbar exposed as this gets covered over at high tide. Here at Burrow Beach the optimal wind direction is a North easterly where you can sail within a meter of the longer sandbar that runs from east to west but today in the North Westerly wind direction the sandbar to the East that runs from North East to South West can be sailed, although not as long so you can't get a decent 500m run in so the call was made to measure just a 10 second average to make it easier for the competitors to achieve decent speeds.

I got there just before 7am and as there wasn't alot of wind but it was due to pick up i would get ready my Starboard iSonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui ZX Fin and Starboard iSonic 86 with 29cm Vector Maui Delta Speed Fin and rig my 7.3m and 8.3m KA Koncept and got into my wetsuit. Not long after 8am the wind picked up to over 20 knots so it was game on and official racing was definitely on. I decided to initially as it was gusty and a few people were finding it hard to get going i would get a couple of quick runs in on my Starboard iSonic 111 so grabbed that and my 7.3m KA Koncept and hit the water. I did my first run and was stoked to see at the end of it a PB on this combo of 34.4 knots and then got a couple of runs around 32 knots before switching to my Starboard iSonic 86 with the same sail after about an hour. I then spent rest of the session searching the biggest gusts to get some decent 10 second speeds and got another run over 34 knots which was again another PB on the combo i was on and the rest over 30 knots so i knew coming of the water i had a decent 10 second average. looking around at everyone else with big smiles on their faces i wasn't the only one having a great time and i called it a day just after 12.

I managed to finish the day with a peak speed of 34.4 knots and a 10 second max speed of 33 knots which was enough for me to finish 3rd Overall and my first ever podium position at a speed event. I hadn't expected to finish in this position and was ecstatic with my achievement and it leaves me in a good chance of achieving my goal of finishing in the top 3 of the 2011 Irish Speedsailing Championship's at the end of the year. The result leaves me 3 place overall in the 2011 rankings at the moment and I've just got to make sure i achieve good results at the remaining two events and i should achieve my goal. See you all at the next event next month :-))

Monday, September 19, 2011

For Sale

Due to a upcoming change in my Board sponsor i now have for sale my current quiver of Starboard iSonic's (W49, W53, 86, 111, 144), Starboard 12'6" Cruiser Sup and Starboard Evo 100 Wave Board. I have now updated my For Sale section here http://irl-250.blogspot.com/2010/01/for-sale.html or you can click the For Sale box to the right of this post and all the boards can be see here in County Kerry and i can supply further pictures upon request.

The boards can be delivered to any of the Irish Speed and Slalom events and i can also arrange shipping through my shop sponsor Wind & Wave at the cost to the buyer. I will also be going to Weymouth Speed Week in the UK so can deliver the boards to there or a location en route which can be arranged.

I can also do a bit of a discount if you buy more than one board from me so if you are interested let me know.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

UKWA Inlands Round 5 Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir, Oxford, UK June 10th & 11th 2011

I arrived late afternoon after my drive from West Kirby and after helping the organizers shift some of the boats around to make room for the racers that would be attending the weekend i checked the forecast and decided that with the winds showing anything from 8-35 knots plus i would rig my 10.5m Raceboard sail, 9.5m KA Koncept and 8.3m KA Koncept so i wouldn't have to rush around in the morning and i then got some food and got an early night ready for the weekend's racing.

I got up pretty early on Saturday as i had to fit a new mast track to my Starboard Phantom 380 Race that i broke earlier in the week and got myself ready for the first race. As it was forecast to pick up i decided to play it safe and took out my 8.3m KA Koncept on my Phantom for the first race which wasn't a good decision as i was massively underpowered and couldn't keep up with the rest of the fleet. For the second race i didn't really have time to get a bigger sail and as the wind picked up slightly and i was alright in the gusts i decided to keep using the 8.3m till we stopped for lunch. I did a bit better in this race but was still underpowered so when the wind dropped after lunch and we went back on the water for the 3rd race i grabbed my 9.5m KA Koncept. This wasn't a great decision either as the forecasted wind finally showed up and was now gusting up to 25-30 knots so i was now massively overpowered in the gusts so i struggled round the course till the finish and decided that as there was to be a quick break after the next race i would keep the 9.5m as i was still alright in the lulls. As i got to the windward mark in the 4th race a massive gust came through the course, which i found out later to be 35 knots plus i got catapulted and the mast hit my the thumb on my right hand pinning it between the mast and the board and felt like i had possibly broken it so i retired from the race and got some ice on my hand and called it a day as i couldn't grip anything with my right hand. After a great Barbecue organized by the club and a few beers i fell into bed exhausted around 10pm and had a decent sleep ready for the next day.

When i woke my hand was still hurting and i was unable to grip that well with my right hand, but after looking at the event results and the overall rankings i needed to complete at least a couple for races to get into the top 10 for the year and as i couldn't finish 9th i decided i would do enough to secure 10th for the year and then call it a day. As it was as windy as the previous afternoon i grabbed my 8.3m KA Koncept and Phantom and hit the water and completed the 2 races i needed to before lunch and after a quick check of the current overall rankings i was stoked to see i was in 10th position with no chance of the person in 11th catching me so i called it a day and packed up my gear. At the start of the year it was my main goal to achieve a top 10 finish and to have finally achieved it meant alot to me after the effort and money spent this year to get to all the events.

Unfortunately as i am still out of work and unless i can get myself a new job i will be unable to do any events next year and improve on my overall ranking as i have done since finishing 17th last year. If i can gain some interest though i plan to hopefully organize an event in Ireland so if you want to do some longboard racing in Ireland give me a shout.

West Kirby, Merseyside, UK 7th & 8th September 2011

I arrived up at West Kirby from Southend just after Midnight and checked out the conditions by the lake to see if i could park the van there but there was no chance of that with the van rocking in the wind when i parked up so i retreated to Morrison's Supermarket car park to get a bit of cover so i could have a decent nights sleep. I got up reasonably early to see Farrell O'Shea and Stuart Trunkfield already there getting in some runs down the wall. It was looking like 5.7m weather for me and as mine was out of action i decided to wait till the wind was forecast to drop a little to head out so went of the Morison's to get some breakfast.

When i got back the wind had dropped a bit to around 20-25 knots so i decided to rig my Starboard iSonic W53 Speed Special with 23cm KA Starboard Asymmetric Speed Fin and 6.4m KA Koncept, got changed and hit the water. It was pretty gusty but the 6.4m was feeling just right in terms of power and after a while on the water. It was also not that broad so you had to bear off into the middle about two thirds of the way down the wall and eventually i started edging closer to my GPS Max Speed PB with a 35.28 knot run. My next run was the exact same speed and i was starting to wonder if i was ever going to break my old PB old 35.86 but i didn't have long to wait as i locked onto a decent gust on my next run and was stoked to see a new PB on my GPS at the end of the run of 36.2 knots. I know it's not that much of an increase but i know now it's only a matter of time that i break 40 given the right conditions. After a little bit longer on the water i called it a day as i was getting tired so i packed up and went of in search of food.

I found a great place called The Moby Dick not far from West Kirby Marine Lake that does a great carvery for 5.99 and you can pretty much pile your plate full of food so it's a great meal after a long session on the water. After some food a few pints i parked the van back down in Morrison's Car Park and got some sleep ready for the next day.

On Thursday when i woke the wind had dropped right off so i went back to the Marine lake and parked up the van ready just to relax and chill out for the day and rest my body but around lunchtime the wind picked up to 20 knots so i quickly rigged my Starboard iSonic 86 with Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and 7.3m KA Koncept and got changed. Just as i was about to head out the wind started to drop so i quickly got my iSonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui Fins ZX Fin and went out. I only got 2 runs down the wall before the wind dropped right off and after slogging around for an hour i called it a day, packed up and chilled out for a bit. Later that evening i went over to Slinky's which is run by Tristan Haskin's (Owner of www.gps-speed.co.uk) parents and had a few pints before heading of to bed to get a decent nights sleep to get ready for the drive to Farmoor the following day where i would be competing at Round 5 of the UKWA Inland championships.

Southend, Essex, UK 6th September 2011

After driving from Weymouth yesterday evening and sleeping overnight in the van just by the rigging spot on Southend Sea Front i was hoping after a great session at Weymouth yesterday i was hoping that today would be the same and looking at the forecast of gusts up to and over 40 knots i also hoped to break a few of my GPS records.

When i got up it was great to see a few of the top UK Speedsailors here coming from all over the UK and after some breakfast i decided to rig my Starboard iSonic W53 Speed Special with 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and 5.7m KA Koncept. The decision to rig here is made hard by the fact that where you are sailing so far from the rigging spot so whatever you rig is what you have to sail that session. After getting changed into my wetsuit i made the long walk which is about a mile out to the channel across the mud and was pretty tiring walking into 30-40 knots of wind and once out to the channel i had to have a rest and watched a few of the guys going down the course to see which route they were taking as i knew there is some shallow spots that i definitely didn't want to hit.

My first run down the course was a bit cautious, just feeling my way down so i had an idea of the line to take but i still managed a 35.1 knots peak which i was happy with and hoping that today was my day to break 40 knots. Setting myself up for my second run i sailed upwind to the sand bar and bore off but after about 5-10 seconds into my run, a massive gust hit forcing me to sheet out as i got lifted by the gust which caused the nose to lift out of the water just as i was going over a bit of chop, which in turn caused me to spin out as the fin lost grip. I tried to hold it and re-correct the spin out but before i knew it the leeward rail tripped which me catapulting into the sail. I felt something give in the crash which i initially thought was the mast and was happy when i came to my senses and saw the mast was in one piece but this was short lived until i saw the panel i had just gone through in the bottom of may sail. I think it was my knee which caused this but i can't be sure as it happened so fast but for me that was the end of the session so i derigged and started the long walk back to the rigging spot.

I was pretty disappointed as i knew i could have gone faster but glad at the same time i hadn't hurt myself. Still always nice to try out new spots and i can see now why alot of people rate Southend so highly and hopefully i will get to sail here again sometime. After looking at the forecast the call was made to make the long drive up to West Kirby for my 3rd days speedsailing in a row.

Weymouth, Dorset, UK 5th September 2011

Sorry for the lack of sailing updates as i have been off the water since my last event at Rutland in July due to me breaking my big toe in my Left foot and the delay in getting this post up as i have been very busy since getting back to Ireland on Tuesday morning.

Last week i went across to the UK which as luck would have it i timed perfectly with some decent wind so i decided to visit some of the best speed spots the UK has to offer. As the forecast was looking great for Portland on Monday i decided to head there first. Many of you will know the speed strip along Chesil beach is a historic Speedsailing location that has seen many speed records set here in the past and also the location for the epic Weymouth Speedweek that i attend every year.

I arrived at Weymouth on Sunday night and decided to base myself at the Ferrybridge Car Park at the Weymouth end of Chesil Beach as this gives good access to the Speed Course. When i woke on Monday Morning it was blowing around 20-25 knots with it forecasting to pick up so after some breakfast i rigged up my Starboard iSonic 86 with 29cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and 5.7m KA Koncept got into my wetsuit and went out on the water. Unfortunately the wind was very gusty with massive lulls in the wind and although i managed to get going and got one run down the course i was unable to get going on the way back and spent the next hour up to my waist in water only getting going on the odd gust so i decided to head in and get a bit of lunch.

Rather than waste the session i decided rig my Starboard iSonic 111 with 38cm Vector Maui Fins ZX Fin and 6.4m KA Koncept after lunch and went back on the water and although the 6.4m was a bit big for me in the gusts it was perfect in the lulls and i had a great session on the water in the sun and managed a peak speed of 28 knots. After having a bit of a rest and packing up my gear i checked the Forecast for the following day and although the Forecast was looking great for Portland i decided tomorrow was the day i would try Southend for the first time as i knew i would regret not doing so if i didn't go

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For Sale


I've just updated my for sale list here :-


or click on the For Sale link to the right of this post.

let me know if you are interested in anything

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2012 Starboard Phantom Race 377

The first details have been released of the new 2012 Starboard Phantom Race 377 and it definitely looks different to the current 2011 model which you can see from the picture and video below. Can't wait to try it out and see how different it is


Phantom Race 377 Prototype from Remi Vila on Vimeo.

2012 Starboard iSonic's, iSonic Speed Specials & Ultrasonic

Checkout the new 2012 Starboard iSonic's, iSonic speed's & Ultrasonic

The board sizes are the same as the previous year but the iSonic's have all had slight tweaks:-
  • The rail thickness has been reduced in the nose which helps improve control
  • The deep deck concave has been moved forward to help make jibing easier
  • New pinched in tail outline make the board feel freer & new tail cutouts reduce the wetted area for improved speed &
  • The iSonic 117 wide features new heel extensions for improved leverage
Checkout all the details below and the video with the new iSonic in action





The 2012 iSonic Speed Specials look to be the same shapes as last year with the only difference being they have new strap insert positions giving two extra narrow stance options and they also only have 1 row per strap instead of two with reduces the weight. I think you'll agree with me they look great and hopefully i will be able to find some money so i can add the W58 to my speedboard quiver :-))


The Ultrasonic is the light wind cousin of the iSonic family and is designed for pure light wind planning performance without the need for the use of Formula Equipment. Haven't tried one yet but i hope to do so soon and see how it compares to my iSonic 144


Monday, August 1, 2011

2012 Starboard Wave Boards

The new 2012 Starboard wave boards have been released and they look awesome :-)

Check out the pics below with details of the Kode, Quad, Evo and Flare and further info can be found on the Starboard website here http://www.star-board.com/2012/news_events/read.php?post_name=starboards-2012-kode-quad-evo-and-flare




Saturday, July 30, 2011

UKWA Inlands Round 4 Rutland Reservoir, Whitwell, UK June 23rd/24th 2011

After sailing at West Kirby on Tuesday 19th i headed up to the North East where i had an job interview on Thursday so stayed with my Sister before heading down to Rutland Water on Friday morning where i was going to be competing at the 4th Round of the UKWA Inlands at Rutland water on the 23rd and 24th. I arrived down at Rutland around mid day and i decided to rig what i needed for the weekend so i wasn't rushing around on Saturday morning so i got my Starboard Phantom 380 Race with 50cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire fin and rigged my 10.5m Raceboard Sail, 9.5m KA Koncept and 8.3m KA Koncept as i wasn't taking any chances with the last 2 events being so windy. Afterwards i got the barbecue together, had some food before heading to the local pub to have a few pints before getting an early night.

I awoke early on Saturday, checked the forecast which was showing 6-18 knots for the day from the North West and registered for the event. Just after 10 we were called onto the water and had 2 races before lunch in winds around 6 knots gusting up to 14-15knots so i grabbed my 10.5m and hit the water. The racing was tough as there was massive wind shifts of 45-90 degrees and i was particularly finding the shifts tough to read as in the previous event. I would find that i was getting headed by a wind shift so i would tack off and then get headed again so unless it was a massive wind shift i decided not to play the shifts. When i got in for lunch i was finding my neck all the way to my shoulder really painful with the deltoid muscle really tight and i couldn't move my neck to look over my shoulder when looking to tack off on a lay line to a mark in the second race so got one of the other competitors, Keith Atkinson who is a personal trainer to have a look at it and he said in was strained and in spasm so he massaged the muscle to free it up a bit and i sat out the next 2 races (which i would use for my disguard's) and see if i was able to get out for the last race of the day. Luckily the pain subsided a bit with the help of some pain killers and the muscle although still sore and painful freed up a bit so i decided to get out for the last race of the day which was a tower dash between the two concrete towers in the lake. The wind had picked up and was gusting upto 18-20 knots so i changed down to my 9.5m KA Koncept and went onto the water. This race was great fun with a massive upwind leg fully powered up to the first tower and then a big downwind leg to the second tower, then back to the finish by Whitwell. I took it easy so i didn't hurt my shoulder more but on one of the broad reaches on the downwind leg i managed a 25 knot peak on the phantom which for me is new PB max speed so was stoked with that. After a barbecue and a few beers it was an early night for all so we were fresh for racing the next day.

On Sunday the wind was a little lighter, around 5 knots gusting 12 knots and again very shifty so i grabbed my 10.5m and Phantom and went out on the water. My shoulder was still sore but was able to get out on the water so i grabbed my 10.5m Raceboard sail and Phantom and went out on the water and we had 2 races before lunch. It was hard again with the wind shifts so i stuck with the same decision as the day before and not play the shifts unless they were massive. After lunch we had another 2 races in the testing conditions before the race officer called it a day and i for one was happy with that so i was able to give my shoulder a rest.

I finished the event 25th Overall, 1st Overall in the Raceboard Unlimited fleet and 5th master which leaves me 6th overall, 3rd Master and 1st Overall in the Raceboard Unlimited Fleet in the 2011 Inland Ranking if my calculations are correct and also means i have won the Raceboard Unlimited fleet for the year and on course to achieve my goal of finishing in the top 10 for the year.



Thursday, July 28, 2011

West Kirby, Merseyside, UK 19th July 2011

Sorry for the delay in getting this post up but i only just got back to Ireland on Tuesday after spending a week in the Uk with no internet access and had loads of things that needed doing once i got back so have been busy all week.

On Tuesday 19th July i travelled across to the UK early as i was competing at Rutland water the following weekend (23rd & 24th) hoping to catch the back end of the storm that hit West Kirby over the weekend. I was gutted i couldn't make it across sooner and missed the best of the wind but couldn't justify the extra cost i was quoted on Saturday with Stena Line, 460 euros compared to 296 euros i paid with Nutt Travel on Monday and also the extra cost of a couple of extra nights accommodation which i couldn't really afford to pay.

I arrived at West Kirby around mid day to find the wind 14 knots gusting 24 knots from the North West so i decided to use my Starboard iSonic W53 Speed Special with 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and 6.4m KA Koncept, got into my wetsuit and hit the water. It was also the first opportunity to try out the 6.4m on my new 460 KA 100% Carbon RDM Mast since i got the mast earlier this year. Because of the wind direction it made the sailing down the wall very hard due to it being very broad, around 130 - 140 degrees and on my first couple of runs i was running out of power on my speedboard after about 50-100 meters so went back in and got my Starboard iSonic 86 with 29cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and went back out and with the extra volume and tail width in the 86 it made getting down the wall easier. Unfortunately now the wind was getting very gusty with big holes in the wind so there was alot of waiting for the gusts to get down the wall and then once sailing down the wall you had a big rolling chop near the end so it made sailing really tricky and hard to get any decent speeds but i still managed a couple runs with a max speed of close to 32 knots. Around 4-5pm the wind started to back of and i was spending alot of time up to my waist in water so i decided to call it a day and get a welcome warm shower.

The 460 RDM mast worked very well in the sail compared to my 460 KA 100% Carbon SDM mast with the sail reacting well in the gusts and the sail felt lighter with less of a swing weight so for me the new mast worked very well and i can highly recommend trying the RDM mast in your own Koncept. Hopefully i will get another chance to sail West Kirby soon and get on my smaller speed boards and have a decent crack at 40 knots

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Alteration To The Racking In My Van


After sleeping in the van for a few events I decided to change the interior racking slightly to incorporate a bed as the existing layout didn't give me much space and and any longer than a few days spent on the van was uncomfortable. I kept the existing bench I put in for my old bed as this will be useful for storage. and as you can see from the next few pictures I put in a vertical section of 2 x 2 in the middle of the old racks so I was able to get enough space to build a base for a bed. I also added a rack higher up to utilise the space at the top of the van interior more.



The only downside of this is I sacrificed the racks that were for my wave boards and sup but these can fit in loose if I'm heading to the beach and I don't need to sleep in the van. Give me a shout if you want any other info if your doing your own van. The van is definitely more comfortable to sleep in now :-D

Ventry, County Kerry, Ireland Saturday 2nd July 2011

On Saturday 2nd July as there was no wind over in Cork a few of the lads decided to come over to Kerry to sail and as Ventry near to Dingle was showing the best forecast the decision was made to meet up there. Ventry is a awesome spot with a bid sandy beach and big bay for sailing in and if you ever get the chance to visit this part of the world check it out.

I got there around mid day and there was around 9-10 knots I rigged up my Starboard Phantom 380 Race with 50cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin with 10.5m Raceboard sail, got into my wetsuit and went out on the water. Almost as soon as i got on the water the wind picked up to around 13-14 knots so I headed in and rigged up my 9.5m KA Koncept and went back out.

I have been waiting for the chance to use the 9.5m Koncept on my Phantom for a while now to see what it would be like and when powered up works very well on the Phantom, providing loads of power on all points of sail and feels awesome off the wind. When I find similar conditions in the UKWA events in the future I will definitely be pulling this out the quiver bag to race on and it will be good change down sail from my light wind Raceboard sail, a 10.5m Demon VG5 in planning conditions.

I had a great cruise round the bay in the sunshine and came of the water happy that I made the drive over and got the chance to sail in this stunning location and thanks to Brian Doyle for taking the photo :-))

East Ferry, County Cork, Ireland Saturday 25th June 2011


Last weekend i had originally made the decision to head to Dungarven as the forecast was showing 25-35 knots SW -WSW winds so i drove up on Friday night and after a couple of pints in the Park Hotel i retired to my van in the car park to get a decent nights sleep. As high tide was mid day the speed strip was only sailable until around11am so I got up at 7am and drove over to the speed strip only to be greeted by little to no wind :-(( so yet again it was a wasted drive over.

Not long after i arrived a few of the local lads turned up and were just as gutted as me about the conditions so after a bit of waiting we decided to relocate to a spot in Cork Harbour called East Ferry which took about an hour to get over to. On arrival there there wasn't alot of wind, around 8-14 knots so I rigged up my Starboard I Sonic 144 with 50cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin and 8.3m KA Koncept, got into my wetsuit and hit the water.

Not long after getting on the water the wind dropped off and I was just slogging around off the plane so I decided to head in and hung around to see if the wind would pick up but apart from a few gusts coming through the wind never did pick up so I packed up and headed back to Kerry. Gutted the forecast for Dungarven never showed up because it could have been epic there but at least i got some time on the water.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

West Kirby, Merseyside, UK Monday 13th June 2011


On my way back to Ireland the forecast was looking great for West Kirby so i decided to re book my ferry to a later sailing and drove up to West Kirby on Sunday evening to sleep there overnight and be ready for a full days sailing on Monday. When i woke up on Monday morning the forecasted wind wasn't there so i went to get some breakfast and wait and see what the wind was going to do. West Kirby is a spot i have always wanted to sail at and finally on one of my trips to the UK there was some wind forecasted from the right direction.

Around 11am the wind started to pick up and was averaging 14-15 knots so i decided to use my Starboard I Sonic 111 with 38cm Vector Fins Maui Rockit fin and 7.3m KA Koncept, got into my wetsuit and hit the water. On my first run down the wall i was nicely powered up so i decided to head straight in and got my I Sonic 86 with 29cm Vector Fins Maui Delta Speed fin and went back out with the same 7.3m KA Koncept and for the next 3-4 hours i had great fun seeing how close i could get to the wall until i had to come of the water and pack up to leave and catch my ferry.

I managed a 32 knot peak speed which considering the light winds i was happy with but after seeing the potential of this place for me i will definitely will be going back there on a decent forecast

UKWA Inlands Round 3, Rutland Reservoir, Whitwell, UK June 11th/12th 2011

Sorry for the late update but been very busy since i got back to Ireland and this is the first chance i have write something about last weekends racing in the UK.

I went back across to the UK last weekend as it was Round 3 of the UKWA Inland Championships at Whitwell SC, Rutland Reservoir, Whitwell, Epingham, Oakham, England. As with last year this event also included the Rutland Marathon. I decided this time to take an earlier ferry where i arrived in Hollyhead just after 1am and parked up to get some sleep. After a decent nights rest in the van i awoke at around 9am and continued onto Rutland getting there around mid afternoon. I reckon i'll do this from now on as driving through the night is alot more tiring. After catching up with everyone, getting some food and a few beers i got an early night to get a decent rest for the weekend ahead.

I awoke early on Saturday and checked the forecast which was showing anything from 4-33 knots so i got my Starboard Phantom 380 Race ready and rigged up my 10.5m Raceboard Sail, 9.5m Raceboard Sail & 8.3m KA Koncept, registered and waited to be called out on the water. Not long after 10am we were called out so i grabbed my Phantom and 10.5m and had 2 races in shifty winds of around 10 knots. I was finding the conditions hard due to winds shifting around so much and every time i got headed and tacked of the wind shifted again so decided in the end not to play the wind shifts in the end. We went in for a quick lunch and another briefing to let us know the course for the marathon and then were sent out for another race which would be run back to back with the marathon. On my way back in from the 3rd race the wind had started to pick up more and i was finding the 10.5m too big so went in to change down to my 9.5m for the marathon and went back out. From nowhere just after the start of the marathon the wind picked up to 25 knots plus and on the first leg upwind i couldn't even sheet the sail is as i was massively overpowered so i decided to retire which i was pretty gutted about but as i have a bad back i didn't want to damage it anymore but full respect to the guys that made it round which wasn't that many as over half the fleet retired just like me, i'll definitely get round next year. After a Barbeque and a few beers i had an early night to get ready for the next day.

On Sunday the wind was around 10 knots gusting over 30 knots which made for interesting racing. and we were called out onto the water as soon as the race crew got the course laid. I decided to use my 8.3m KA Koncept as i wanted to be in control in the gusts and went out on the water and we had 4 tough races in the testing conditions. It was hard work getting upwind but off the wind was fun and recorded a speed of 21 knots 165 degrees off the wind almost on a run so it was great fun as well. I know 21 knots doesn't sound like alot but that far off the wind on a board 380cm long is a pretty good achievement. Just after 3pm the race crew called it a day which everyone was happy about as we were all knackered and hopefully after 2 windy events there will be more windy events this year.

I managed to finish 24th overall, 4th master and 1st in the Raceboard Unlimited Fleet which leaves me 4th overall, 2nd Master and 1st in the Raceboard Unlimited Fleet in the 2011 Inland Ranking which i am really stoked with as my goal for this year was to break into the top 10 or be close to that at the end of year so hopefully i can dig deep and get decent results in the next two events and finish the year achieving my goal


Friday, May 20, 2011

UKWA Inlands Round 2, Derwent Reservoir, UK May 14th/15th 2011

Last weekend i traveled over to the UK for round 2 of the UKWA Inland Championships which was held in the North East of England. For me this was a return to a location i used to compete at as a youth in the North East Windsurfing Series so i couldn't wait to get there. After another long journey through the night i got up to Derwent early evening and after some food on the barbecue and a few beers i got an early night to get ready for the weekends racing.

I awoke on Saturday Morning to be greeted by winds of 15 knots gusting up to 35 knots so i decided to rig up my 9.5m Raceboard sail, 8.3m KA Koncept and got my Starboard Phantom 380 ready and waited for the start of the first race. The race crew made the call to get us out on the water for the first race so i grabbed my 8.3m and Starboard Phantom 380 and hit the water. It soon became apparent to me that i was massively overpowered and i couldn't even hold the sail going upwind making sailing round the course that was laid impossible for me so i sailed around opposite the sailing club and decided to not to do the first race. I wasn't the only one who had this idea and only 2 people made it round so i wasn't the only one finding the conditions difficult. Not too long after the race finished the race crew postponed the racing for the day due to too much wind so we all decided to get our smaller kit on the water and go free sailing. I rigged up my Starboard I Sonic 86 with 27cm Vector Fins Maui Delta Speed Fin and my new 2011 5.0m KA Koncept and went out on the water. The wind was very gusty with massive holes in the wind so half the time i was massively underpowered but the new sail is awsome, very light in my hands and so stable in the gusts and i can't wait to get it on a speed strip and see the speed potential of the sail. I didn't stay out long as i didn't want to tire myself out for racing the following day so packed up for the day, had a barbecue and a few beers and had an early night to be ready for the following days racing.

On Sunday morning it wasn't as windy as the previous day, around 10 knots gusting 26 knots but the race crew took full advantage of the wind and called us straight onto the water. I decided to again use my 8.3m KA Koncept as i would be unable to hold down the 9.5m in the gusts and went out on the water. The 8.3m was perfect in the gusts but a little underpowered in the lulls and I was finding the going tough as i am not used to the Starboard Phantom 380 in this wind strength but with every race i was getting more used to how the board was handling but unfortunately my back was feeling the strain and starting to hurt so had to sit out some of the races but in total 5 races were completed during the day and for me it was some of the most enjoyable racing i have done in the past couple of years. Looking around you could see everyone was knackered but all had big smiles on their faces so they were enjoying it as much as me.

I managed to finish 6th overall, 2nd Master and 1st overall in the Raceboard Unlimited fleet so for me it was a solid result towards my Inland Series ranking and i am now hoping that the rest of the events get some decent wind and can't wait for the next round at Rutland Water. Also i'm gonna have to get out in strong winds on my Starboard Phantom 380 rather than grabbing the speed kit so next time it's windy i will be alot more used to the kit.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Derrymore Strand Sunday 1st May 2011

Finally some wind showed up on Sunday and as it was from an Easterly direction a few friends told me there was hardly anything in Castlegreggory so i went over to Derrymore Strand. I have never sailed here before and it seams that in an Easterly the wind gets funneled and accelerated through the valleys nearby which is very similar what happens at Gowlane in Brandon Bay where the wind is normally stronger than other local spots.

Just after i arrived the wind dropped off a bit to around 12-14 knots so i decided to use my Starboard I Sonic 144 with 50cm Vector fins Maui Canefire fin and my new 9.5m KA Koncept and got into my wetsuit. It was the first time i had used the sail and again KA Sails have made this amazing sail better. For such a big sail it feels light in my hands, stable and the cams rotate smoothly and will be a great light wind sail for me this year.

Had a nice session on the water before heading in after a couple of hours and it was so nice to finally get back onto the smaller boards after the extended windless spell we have just experienced. No GPS track this time as i forgot to charge them :-(( but all the guys that sailed here today now know that in an easterly this is definitely the best spot in Tralee Bay

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Sponsor

I'm happy to announce that through Thain Leisure in the UK i will be sponsored by Curve Surf Products. Curve Surf Products are an Innovative Surf Travel Gear company from New Zealand that produce a complete surf system comprising of 11 unique and innovative surfing hardware accessories.

I will be using the Curve Waterman Hydration Backpack to provide me with much needed hydration on the water when competing in the UKWA Raceboard series and Irish National Speedsailing Championships.

Round Hayling, Hayling Island, UK 22nd April 2011

On Thursday 21st April i headed down to Hayling Island as i was going to do the Round Hayling on Friday arriving at Hayling Island Sailing Club early evening. The Round Hayling is a race i have always wanted to do since it was massive 20 years ago so i was stoked to finally get the chance to take part. After a few drinks with friends in the bar i got an early night to get a decent sleep ahead of the Round Hayling. I woke up pretty early and after a great breakfast i checked the latest forecast which was 4-9 knots so i rigged up my 10.5m Raceboard sail as i would need it in the light winds i would find and my Starboard Phantom 380 Race and waited for the start of the race at 2pm.

At 2 pm we all gathered which was around 100 windsurfers on the beach just by the race tower of Hayling Island Sailing Club and when the gun went it was a mass beach start and we all headed downwind towards Northney Marina and Langstone Bridge. As we were going with the tide we made it down to the marina pretty quickly and turned west towards Langstone bridge and at this point i reckon i was somewhere between 20th and 30th place so right on pace for my goal of finishing in the top 30. Now i heard stories about this part of the race and thought i would be pretty hard but on approach all i needed to do was grab the uphaul, drop the rig to the water and drift through under the bridge. Once i got to the other side i uphauled the sail and made my way upwind to the Ferryboat Inn at the entrance to Langstone Harbour. Rather than pinching upwind like everyone else i decided to free the board off the wind a bit for more speed as i was pretty powered at this point, railing the board with ease but once i got into the middle of the Harbour i got caught in the current and had to tack back into the shallows in the east of the Harbour and lost about 10-15 places here but gained some of them back by the time i had got through the entrance to the Harbour and headed east along the sea front.

At this point the wind went more easterly and dropped off to around 3-4 knots making it hard going beating upwind along the beach but i carried on hoping the wind would pick up. I got about two thirds up the beach to just by the Coastguard tower, which is around 2 miles from the finish when the wind dropped off completely to nothing which made the organizers finish the event there as with the tide now coming out of Chichester Harbour by the Sailing Club it would be impossible to make headway against it with the lack of wind. At that point i reckon i was somewhere around 35-40 position so i was pretty gutted i couldn't finish but hopefully i will get a chance next year to make it round the Island.

Minnis Bay, Kent, UK 19th April 2011

As i was doing the Round Hayling on Friday 22nd i stayed in the UK after round 1 of the UKWA inlands at Pitsford and stayed with friends in Kent. On Tuesday 19th April i met up with one of my sponsors, David Gollick of windsurfingfins.co.uk at Minnis Bay about 4 miles west of Margate in Kent for a sail. The wind was dead offshore and there wasn't too much wind, around 5-7 knots so i decided to head out on my 10.5m Raceboard Sail and Starboard Phantom 380 race for a bit of practice ahead of the Round Hayling on Friday. I didn't really spend much time on the water but it was nice to get out and stretch out the muscles before heading in to relax on the beach in the sun before heading out for a meal and a few drinks with friends in Ramsgate that evening

UKWA Inlands Round 1, Pitsford Reservoir, UK April 16th/17th 2011

Sorry for the late update but i'm only just back from the UK and had limited access to the net while i was there so was unable to update my blog until now.

It doesn't seam that long since the UKWA inland series finished last year and it was time again for me to make the long trek across the Irish Sea to the UK to compete at the first round of the UKWA Inland Championships. I arrived late Friday night and after some food had an early night so i could get a decent nights sleep to prepare myself for the weekends racing.

I got up early Saturday morning to be greeted by little to no wind but regardless i got my gear together and rigged up my 9.5m Raceboard Sail, 10.5 Raceboard Sail and got my Starboard Phantom 380 Race ready and waited for the start of the first race. Late in the afternoon we were all called out to race so i grabbed my 10.5m Raceboard Sail and Phantom and headed out on the water but it was really testing conditions, about 3-6 knots with wind shifts of up to 90-100 degrees which meant most of us actually managed to make the 1st windward mark on 1 tack and the downwind run was more of a broad reach so the race was finished when we got back to the windward mark which we again made on 1 tack. That was it for the day as the wind dropped right off so we packed up, had a Barbeque and a few drinks then went to bed hoping there would be more wind the following day.

We all awoke to a bit more wind than the previous morning but still not enough to race so we waited around until called on the water just before lunchtime for the second race. I again grabbed the 10.5m and Phantom and went out on the water. The wind was alot more consistent in direction and around 6-7 knots so i was hoping the wind would stick around or the rest of the day but unfortunately not long after the start of the second race the wind dropped off to around 3-4 knots and when we finished we were sent in to wait to see if the wind picked up again but it never did so as there was only 2 races completed and 3 needed for an official result that was it for the event and it would not count towards the overall ranking unfortunately.

I finished 2nd place in the Raceboard unlimited fleet and 5th master which was the same result here last year. Just hoping now that we get some wind at Derwent for the next round and i can get a decent result towards my UKWA Inland Ranking

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Sails Ready For Action

2011 9.5m KA Koncept

2011 5.0m KA Koncept

2011 5.8m KA Kult

Yesterday my new sails and masts arrived :-) so i got them stickered up and rigged them today to see what they looked like. My 2010 Koncept's (5.7m, 6.4m, 7.3m, 8.3m) and my KA Kaos and Kult wave sails (4.2m, 4.7m, 5.3m, 5.7m, 6.4m) didn't get alot of use with a couple of the sizes used only a few times due to the lack of wind last year and the injury's i suffered so i decided to hang onto them for another year so this year the decision was to only change over a few sizes.

As my 5.7 Kaos was a 2007 model i decided to swap it for a 5.8m Kult which has a bit more power suits my weight better than the Kaos. I prefer to feel a bit of power in my back hand on my larger wave sails where the power of the Kaos is more on and off. I do love the Kaos in the smaller sizes but the Kult suits my wave quiver better in the larger sizes and this year the red/black is a great colour combo. The Kult is also a great bump and jump sail.

I changed my 2008 5.0m KA Koncept to a 2011 model as the new Koncept's are lighter and more powerful. A big change for me this year is this 5.0m and my 2010 5.7m & 6.4m will be rigged on RDM masts. A few of the KA team riders have found the RDM masts to work better in the smaller Koncept sizes so i decided to give them a try and see if this gives me that little bit of extra performance i am looking for to break 40 knots. The sail definitely feels lighter in the hands so i'm expecting big things from this sail which i hope will be my favorite size just like my old 5.0m. Check out the for sale section for my 2008 5.0m which is now for sale.

Finally i have changed my 2009 9.0 KA Race to the 9.5m Koncept. I found the 9.0m Race to be heavy and i hurt my back a few times when uphauling the sail when the wide luff tube filled with water so i have gone back to the Koncept in this size as it is a lighter more manageable sail for me while my back continues to give me grief. It also has a shorter boom than the KA Race which should help me when overpowered . The black/white colour scheme is perfect for me as a Newcastle United fan ;-)

Can't wait to get them on the water and once i have i will let you know what they are like. As always they are also available for demo so let me know if you want to try them or come and find me at the beach.

Dungarven, Ireland Friday April 1st 2011

I'd been watching the forecast all week for Dungarven and on Thursday evening it was still forecasting winds gusting over 40 knots from the South West i decided i would head over. As low tide was at 11.40 it was going to be a morning session to mid afternoon as you really only have decent flat water conditions for 3 hours after low tide so i got up at 5am and left Kerry arriving at Dungarven just after 9am. When i arrived the wind was alot more west than forecast making the speed strip pretty much unsailable as it was way too broad and also the wind was around 15 knots. I decided to wait a while and see what the wind was going to do before deciding what to rig. After about an hour the wind started swinging to the South with the wind direction now S - SSW and picked up to about 18-20 knots but gusting up to 35knots.

With such big gusts equipment choice was going to be hard to choose where i would need a 7.3m in the lulls and 5.7m in the gusts so i decided to rig up 2 sets of equipment and use boards with a bit more volume to get through the lulls than being hammered in the gusts on my 7.3m , my Starboard I Sonic Speed Special W53 with 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin with my 5.7m KA Koncept and my Starboard I Sonic 86 with 29cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin with my 6.4m KA Koncept and got into my wetsuit. The wind was still the same so i grabbed my I Sonic 86 and 6.4m and went out on the water. This proved to be a good choice but i was still underpowered in the lulls and stacked in the gusts but it's still better to have both than be only underpowered or overpowered all the time.

The new Delta Speed fins from Vector are awsome :-). This was the first chance i had to us them since i got the fins earlier this year and once up to speed they provide loads of lift to get upwind and then once off the wind don't overpower the board at all and you can push against the fin with confidence that it will not loose grip. Can't wait to get to try the smaller sizes if the performance of the 29cm is anything to go by.

Unfortunately the wind direction was pretty square to the speed strip all day so only managed around 28 knots on my GPS but it was great to finally get some speedsailing in and blow of the cobwebs. Here's hoping that the wind is now finally back for a while so i can start to get decent speedsailing sessions in

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Van Converted To Carry All My Windsurfing Equipment


In the middle of last year i managed to get my first van :-) as my Ford Escort estate was becoming too small to transport all my gear to the beach. I managed to pick up a 1998 Long Wheel Base Hi Top Peugeot Boxer Van. I decided early in my search that the van i was looking for had to be a long wheel base so i could fit everything in easily and a Hi Top so you can stand up easily inside the van when getting changed so it was a bonus that i found the exact size van i was looking for. It was also ply lined so this would cut down on the cost of materials needed to convert the interior. Since i got the van though it has constantly been in use either travelling to events or transporting bikes for my dad's bike restoration company so i haven't had the chance to finish the interior and as it wasn't needed for anything this week and the current spell of lack of wind i decided to get it finished.

My first job in the interior was to remove the plywood of the walls of the van so i could insulate the walls. I also decided the wooden floor was in a pretty sorry state so this was removed to be replaced. I got some 12mm Plywood from the local hardware store and using the old floor as a template cut the new plywood so it would fit the floor of the van and installed the new floor. I then got some rolls of loft insulation and fitted these to the walls of the van and reinstalled the old plywood walls that i removed. The main reason i insulated the walls was to reduce a bit of road noise but also help keep the heat in the inside of the van as i intended to sleep in the van at events to help reduce costs. I then got some linoleum used for floors in houses to cover the floor to help keep water of the wood and make it easier to clean. The linoleum i got looks like metal checker plate which has fooled alot of people into thinking i have put a metal floor into the van and i think it looks really cool in the van. As there was no panels on the inside of the doors i made some from 6mm Plywood and installed these on the doors of the van


For the racks for my board i decided to use lengths of 2" x 2" which i got from the local hardware store. First i installed 4 lengths vertically with a brace inbetween them for strength and i then installed 4 lengths horizontally for the racks i will put my boards on. These racks can be removed when i am using the van to transport bikes.


I decided to utilize some space near the back of the van for storing my mast extensions. I got some tool clips, attached these to the wall of the van at the back of the van so i have easy access to them


On the opposite side i decided to utilize the space there for storing my deck plates and got some 6mm Plywood and cut some slots into it for storing my deck plates


As the van is wide enough for me to sleep width-ways without my head or feet touching the sides i decided to use what space was left in the van and build a base for a bed with a shelf underneath for storage. I got some 2" x 2" lengths of wood from the hardware shop and first built the frame for the bed. I have made sure there is a cut out in the frame so i have space to get changed in the van. I will make up another section of MDF on a frame to support it to fill up this gap to put a mattress on when i want to sleep in the van.


And then i installed this into the van, securing it by screwing it the the floor and walls and made the shelf and top from 12mm MDF. On the shelf you can see the two 12" sub woofers for my sound system.


As you can see from the next photo's with all my kit in i can carry everything i have to the beach now and will not have to pick and choose what i take anymore. This will also be great when going away on road trips as you never know what you will need.


You can see in the next picture the cut out in the shelf so i have space to get changed in the van.


Finally as i love my music when i am driving and i will be doing alot of miles travelling to and from events i made sure the sound system was up to scratch by installing a Pioneer Head unit with 2 Pioneer 6 1/2" three way speakers in the front and 2 Pioneer 6 x 9" three way speakers in the back with two JBL 12" sub woofers connected to a JBL amplifier for plenty of bass.

I hope someone can use some of my ideas when converting their own windsurfing vans and if you need any advice please get in touch