Thursday, June 14, 2012

West Kirby, Merseyside, UK 8th & 9th June 2012

I'd been watching the forecast all week and i became apparent that by Thursday 2 speed spots in the UK, The Ray in Southend and West Kirby up in Merseyside were going to fire up and right up till 7pm on Thursday i was still undecided as to which direction to head from Birmingham as they are similar distances away. In the end it took a couple of West Kirby regulars, Mark Hayford and Howie Rowson to persuade me that West Kirby was gonna be good and as i hate the walk at Southend the decision was made, i was heading North up the M6.

As the wind wasn't forecasted to start picking up till lunchtime i left Birmingham at 9am finally arriving at West Kirby just before mid day. It was great to see David Temple here , having made the trip up from Devon for a Festival close by and sacrificing a days music to check out the Kirb for the first time and not long after i arrived Chris Bates turned up. Mark Bailey also made the trip up and Mark Hayford also managed to get here as well. David was already on the water saying the wind was building and was nicely powered on his 6.8m so decided to rig my 2012 7.5m KA Koncept and get my Screamer 95 ready with a 34cm Vector Maui Fins SL9 Alfa Fin, got into my wetsuit and hit the water. I didn't last long till i was back to change down as the wind picked up and i couldn't even sheet in the 7.5m so i rigged my 2012 6.6m KA Koncept and went back out on the water. On my first run down the wall i managed a PB on the Screamer 95, a 35 knot max speed. When i first used the 2012 7.5m a few weeks back i was blown away with the performance but after my first run on the 6.6m KA Koncept i was speechless with it's performance. It was rock solid and stable in the biggest gusts and the surge in acceleration as you slingshot and bear off down the wall is awesome and the sail feels like it has an endless supply of power. I definitely think that this will become my favorite size. Soon the wind had started gusting upto 35 knots so i went in and grabbed the W53 iSonic Speed i had borrowed from Chris Bates, cheers mate, as my new Speed Boards haven't arrived yet and stuck my trusty 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed fin into it and headed back out on the water and on my first run i got just over 36 knots but the best was to come on my next run as i manged to lock into a gust and after my run saw 36.66 knots Max Speed on my GPS, yes a new PB :-) Unfortunately i couldn't improve on this as the wind was really gusty and square making bid speeds hard to achieve but i spent the next couple of hours trying until i came of the water exhausted when the wind started to nuke but at that point i couldn't hang onto the boom any more but it was great to see how much wind the 6.6m KA Koncept can handle. Steve Thorp turned up at this point and gave us another masterclass in Speed Sailing which was great to see. I packed up around 9pm and headed upto my mate, Alan Jones house who kindly let me stay again, cheers mate, had a few beers and got some sleep ready for the next day.

I awoke pretty early and got down to the lake at 8am as it was forecasting around 25 knots of wind and as the wind was forecasted to drop by mid day i wanted to make sure i got another session in but on arrival i found the wind was around 10 knots and no one was there so i headed upto Morrison s for some Breakfast and got back to the lake just before 9am and there still was not too much wind and no one there. As i was pretty tired i decided to have a quick nap in the van only to only to wake at 12.30, oops and see the car park was full and the wind had picked upto 15-25 knots. Jon White had made the trip today and had already been out for an hour on his 7.3 and was well powered up. I decided to rig my 6.6m KA Koncept again as i wanted to see it's lower wind limit and grabbed the W53 iSonic speed again with my trusty 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed fin, got changed and headed out on the water. It was great to find out the 6.6m KA Koncept was giving my enough low end power and grunt to get going in 15 knots and after hanging onto it in 35 knots yesterday it has a massive wind range which is great to know. I had a great couple of hours on the water where i managed to get a peak speed of 34.77 knots which was good as the wind was square again with big holes in the wind. Later that day i came off the water and made the trip back down the M6 exhausted but stoked at such a good couple of days Speedsailing and hope that it's not months before my next trip back up there.

Big thanks to Karen McBarrons for taking some pictures of the session, you can see them here

You can also checkout one of my runs captured on video, thanks to Mark Hayford for taking the video
video

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