Now that i have been back in work for 5 months it has meant i am restricted to getting on the water at weekends and usually there has been wind during the week and once i get time off at the weekends there has been little to know wind and i can't remember the last time i got out on my smaller kit at a weekend as i'm usually on my Raceboard and 9.5m but last weekend i made the trip up to Fleetwood in Lancashire which is a spot that since i have heard about i have been waiting to try out once the right wind direction was forecasted which has to be a North Easterly through to East South East.
On Saturday i finally saw the forecast was right but as low tide was at 10am it meant an early start from Birmingham, getting up at 4am and on the road by 4.30am. I had arranged to meet Mark Bailey at his house and then share the rest of the drive up as Mark has sailed here before so could give me the low down on the location. Arriving just after 8am we saw the winds were around 15-20 knots and there was sunshine with little to no cloud cover so i knew this was gonna be a great session on the water. Chris Bates also made the trip up so it was good to catch up with him as well. I decided to get my Mistral Screamer 95 ready with a 36cm Vector Fins Maui SL9 Alfa fin and rig my new 7.5m KA Koncept, get into my wetsuit and hit the water. The Koncept this year has a shorter mast and longer boom so more low aspect and I've been dying to get them on the water since i got them.
Heading down the beach i should have watched where the guys launched as you have to stick to the rocky parts, which i didn't and what looked like dark sand was in fact mud so i had to get through ankle deep mud to get on the water, definitely won't make that mistake again. On my first run down the channel i kept close to the channel buoys to make sure i didn't hit any of the sand bars and i soon became apparent that the wind direction was pretty square so i knew there wouldn't be any big speeds today. The new Koncept is awesome though and yet again Jesper Orth has improved an already great sail. It's so stable in the gusts which now were gusting upto 25 knots meaning i was was massively overpowered but the sail stayed rock solid and once going just wants to keep accelerating and the cams rotate like there not there. On some of my runs on the day i tried some slingshots off the wind for a few seconds to see it's potential broad off the wind for when i am at West Kirby and i'm stoked with the surge of acceleration you get in the initial bear off and the continuing acceleration from the sail, can't wait to try the smaller sizes :-D
After a couple of hours i was knackered sailing so overpowered for the first time in so long so i headed in for a rest and while on the beach the wind speed started to drop so i called it a day but happy i made the trip up. As the wind was so square i only managed a couple of 29 knot peaks but as the Screamer is more of a freeride board i was happy with my speeds and now i need to get a few more sessions on the 7.5m to get in more tuned so hopefully i won't have to wait as long to get out on it again. If you want to try out the new Koncepts get in touch and i'll hopefully be able to meet up with you so you can get the chance to try these awesome sails for yourself..
The picture at the top of the post was taken by Mark Bailey