|Stephen Squirrell (21928km): |
Saturday 28th July – windsurf ***** Point Clear – sunny and hot
Fanatic Falcon 80 with Tushingham X – 15 5.8 and 28 cm fin
F2 Ride 282 with Tushingham Lightning 6.5 and 32 cm fin.
35.94 knot max., 32.45 knot ave., 15.05 knot hour, 24.90 knot mile, 61.80 km., 18.41 knot alpha.
The weather finally broke yesterday with heavy rain and thunder and lightning it was amazing. A 4x4 tried to retrieve their jet ski after getting caught out in the strong winds and got it stuck on the beach. It has been under the water a few times now and has been entertaining Felixstowe carnival crowds as they tried to tow it off, getting at least two recovery vehicles stuck as well!!! With two really days forecast we loaded up the van for an away weekend in Essex and headed to Point Clear, stopping to take a pic of the submerged 4x4 a popular pastime this morning. As we left Felixstowe we got more torrential rain, sad really as it was when people were setting up the carnival floats, they must have got soaked! Arriving in Point Clear first at about 9.30 we decided to park in the quieter and slightly more sheltered far carpark. The water was well in and with wind from the west gusting to 30 mph on the sea wall and 25 mph on the beach I got the Falcon 80 off for a rare outing, plus the 282 with two sails the 5.8 and 6.5. In the end I only rigged the 5.8 as fast speedsailor Matthew York arrived so my spot record was definitely under treat today! I was first on the water at 10.40 and headed straight into the lagoon. On reaching the far end I tried a run back along the shingle bar in the flattest water but it never seems very fast going this way and you are lucky to get a 30 kt. peak, averaging a slow 27/8 so I changed and tried going fast the other way. This is how I got the spot record by bearing off down the channel in rolling chop and was soon getting run after run in access of 30 knots peaking with a pleasing 35.94, not bad for an old boy on old kit and I must have got a 30 knot average before I was joined on the water by loads of kiters and windsurfers. The wind was up and down so it is hard to get several fast runs here especially on small kit. There was also a lot of weed and as soon as the sea breaches the shingle bar it chops up but it was great fun trying and I managed some OK gybes on the small kit. It gets a bit busy for a small lagoon and the kiters scare me as they jump and turn in front of you without looking first:( It was nice to catch up with speed buddy Peter Cutts as I haven’t sailed with him much this year. I was struggling to get getting in the lagoon so headed back to the van at what must have been high water as the open sea was big. I rigged the 6.5 and took out the 282 to try for a mile and headed out to sea but noticed my North boom seemed very loose at the front and I am sure the arm is broken, I will check it later, this is the second replacement North boom I have had due to breakage, thank goodness for the 2 year warranty! If it is broken again I will not be happy and will see if North will replace it with something better! After changing the boom I headed off again towards Jaywick then turned and sailed a couple of miles past Brightlingsea up the River Colne. The wind was a little patchy by East Mersea but it certainly picks up over the army firing ranges and you have some lovely flat water and got a near 25 knot mile which was OK. After a couple of long runs I returned to the lumpy lagoon and tried for some alphas but as usual I can’t beat 20 knots but again had some fun trying in the warm water and lovely sunshine. With the tide dropping and the wind increasing I returned to the van as I was knackered. I was a fight with the wind to get the gear back on the van but I did it, then after a welcome cuppa Mag and I went for a blustery walk in a circular route around the caravan site. So a 5 star day for me out for three hours covering 61 km making 458 km for the month, best month of the year so far, also my years best max and average so pleased. We are hoping to stay here the night but it is very windy so will have to see. As for tomorrow it is supposed to be even windier and from the south the wrong direction for the lagoon, so an open sea small sail session I will have to see if I bother. Monday is looking promising but our van is going into the body shop for repairs so I cant get my gear to the sea!