Thursday, June 21, 2012

UKWA Inlands Round 3 Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir, Oxford, UK June 16th & 17th 2012

I wasn't able to get to the last round that was held at Bewl last month so i was looking forward to getting back out racing on my Phantom 380 at the next round of the UKWA Inland series. As with most of the Inland events for me now this was a short drive from my new home in Solihull but as the England vs Sweden Euro 2012 match was on the TV on the Friday night i stayed in Solihull  to watch it and got up early on Saturday morning to make the short trip over to Farmoor Reservoir near Oxford, arriving at 8am.

I soon became apparent that i was going to be a windy day just like the forecast had said with gusts of over 30 knots already. I soon made the decision to leave my 10.5 Raceboard sail in the van and rig up my 9.5m, 8.5m & 7.5m KA Koncept's and get my Starboard Phantom 380 race ready with a 48cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin and awaited the start of racing for the day. Just after 11am we were called out onto the water and it was gusting over 30 knots so i grabbed my 8.5m KA Koncept and went onto the water for the first race. Not long after the start the wind picked up again as the race got underway for a 4 lap race. I got round the 1st lap alright but half way up the 2nd beat i along with half the fleet got flattened when the gusts started registering close to 40 knots and i was just able to make it back in to the beach after retiring to find that once the race was finished they were postponing racing until the wind dropped so we went in for lunch.

After lunch with no sign of the wind dying most of us that had the gear with us rigged up our short boards and went out for a play. I rigged up my 5.0m KA Koncept and got my Mistral Screamer 95 ready with a 30cm Vector Maui Fins EX Speed Fin and went out on the lake next to where we were racing just the other side of the dam which was flatter. It was hard to get an good speeds as one minute i was massively underpowered and then the next massively overpowered but still had a good session on the water. At around 4pm the call was made to cancel racing for the day so we all packed up and a few of us headed into the local village for some pub food and a few pints and then retiring to our vans in the pub car park for some much needed rest at around 11pm.

I woke up early around 7am and headed back to the lake and saw it was not as windy as before but still gusting to 16 knots. After some breakfast and i decided to rig up my 9.5m & 8.5m KA Koncept in case the wind decided to pick up and as the wind was still around 15-16 knots when were were called out for the first race at 10am i grabbed my 9.5m KA Koncept and hit the water. The sail size was fine in the gusts giving me plenty of power but there was massive lulls in the wind so i was finding i was underpowered in these so when we went in for lunch i rigged up my 10.5m Raceboard sail so it was ready for the afternoons racing. In total we had 5 great races on Sunday the variable gusty conditions and it was great fun.

I finished 21st Overall, 1st Overall Raceboard Unlimited Fleet (4th Master) which leaves me 17th overall for the year with 2 events left so i'm hoping i can do well enough at the next 2 events to give myself a good chance of finishing higher up the fleet come the end of the year

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