Tuesday, September 18, 2012

West Kirby, Merseyside, UK 14th September 2012

I'd been keeping an eye on the forecast all week keeping my fingers crossed that there would be wind carrying into the weekend but by Thursday the weather settled showing hardly any wind on Saturday and Sunday, but Friday 14th September was showing winds gusting upto 35 knots from the west. As i was starting work on Friday afternoon at 12pm i made the call as i finished work at 9pm on Thursday evening to make the drive up to West Kirby and get a quick dawn session i before returning back to Birmingham in time to start work. The main reason though was earlier in the week i took delivery of my new 2013 Mistral Speed 73 Speedboard (73liter/47wide) and i couldn't wait to get it out on the water.

The drive up was easy enough with too much traffic and i got up just before 1am and i parked up in my usual spot in Morrisons car park and got some sleep ready for my Early start. After being woke a couple by the wind i got up at 5.45am and made my way over to the marine lake and despite it being dark i got my gear ready and as it around 25-30 knots and having a short window of sailing i would only be able to rig one sail i decided to rig my 5.8M KA Koncept and got my new 2013 Mistral Speed 73 ready with a 20cm KA Starboard Asymmetric Speed fin and got into my wetsuit. As everyone had been posting on Facebook about making the trip here all week i knew who was gonna turn up so i wasn't surprised when Ian Richards was first to arrive as i was rigging and Chris Bates, Farrell O'Shea and Michael George arrived not long after i was rigged.

After catching up with everyone quickly i got out on the water at 6.45am and on my first run i got a new PB of just over 39 knots :-) so i was pretty stoked. As usual here when it's windy now it's flat at the top of the lake and then the further you get down the wall the size of the chop increases so gets a bit hairy at the bottom end when slowing down but the new Mistral Speed 73 goes across the chop like it's not there which is a definite advantage to have as you can just concentrate on sailing quick rather than having the board bouncing out on the chop. Also when i first got going on the board it felt like i had been sailing the board for years as it was so easy to sail so my first impressions of the board were pretty good. After a couple of runs with 37/38 peaks i made my way back to the top of the lake to take a quick 5 minute break but just as i was about come of the water the wind started to pick up so i lined up for my run and slingshot down the wall just as a massive gust hit and the acceleration from the board was amazing and it felt pretty quick but it wasn't until i got down the end of the lake that i saw just how quick, i looked at my gps and was stoked to see 41.22 knots on the display, YES, finally I've achieved my goal i set for myself when i started to speed sail, i broke through the 40 knot barrier and joined the elusive 40 knot club :-D

As i got back to the top of the lake i saw Mark Bailey, Matthew York and Tristan Haskins had arrived and i told everyone what i had just achieved and you couldn't shift the massive smile on my face. Everyone was as stoked as i was and after a quick drink i got back out for some more runs to try and get a decent 5x10 sec average and just after 8am i had to come off the water to get back to Birmingham on time for work. One thing i can tell you is there is definitely more to come form the Mistral Speedboards and the decision to change from Starboard to Mistral was definitely a good choice :-D

After getting De-rigged, changed and saying my goodbye's i headed back down the M6 pretty gutted i couldn't get longer on the water but still stoked to finally have a 40 knot plus run. Hopefully now this is the start of decent wind for Speedsailing in this country after not having any decent wind since June. My achieved speeds are below and i hope to see you on the water at West Kirby when the next big storm hits

Average speed37.19 knots ( 40.35 38.91 35.74 35.63 35.33 )Shows Runs in Virtual Earth
Max. 2 sec. (software)41.06 knots
100 m run40.83 knots
250 m run39.8 knots
500 m run35.6 knots

Later that day i heard Matthew York also joined me in the 40 knot club and it was great to see a good friend also achieve his long standing goal just as i did


  1. Hi Alastair,

    Well done on the great speeds. Well pleased for you.

    Be more than happy for any Mistal cast offs :)



  2. Hi Mate,

    Cheers, still buzzing I broke 40 knots, next target is a 40 plus 5x10 sec average and 500m speeds :-))

    Will let you know about the Mistral's but got nothing available at the moment. Maybe I'll see you at Speedweek if your around and you can take them for a spin.



  3. Can't make Weymouth sadly. Good luck.

    Will be in the market for a falcon isonic or the mistral slaloms soon, but cant decide lol.

    Lets hope for some wind for speed week.