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