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 :-))

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