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.

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