|Sailor||2 Second Peak (Kts)||5 x 10 Second Average (Kts)||1 Hour (Kts)||Alpha Racing 500m (Kts)||Nautical Mile (Kts)||Distance Travelled (km)|
|Stephen Squirrell (21289km): |
Tuesday 2nd October – windsurf ***** West Mersea – sunny periods.
F2 Xantos 295 with Tushingham Lightning 7m and 38 fin.
29.21 knot max (spot PB )., 26.27 knot ave 9 Spot PB ) ., 17.92 knot hour ( Year and spot PB ), 22.24 knot mile, 96 km., 18.10 knot alpha .
Today was always going to be a bit of a chance wind to 20 knots dropping during the day, also WNW maybe even NW, cross off at West Mersea, also we were starting off at low water and sailing the tide in. With so many if’s a couple of Felixstowe sailors Andy and Swainy called off and sadly missed a treat with winds in excess of 25 knots in the end and launching at low water is no problem, in fact it’s better as the sea is smoother:) Mag and I arrived at 10.30 after getting held up in road works in Colchester as two locals were rigging up at the windsurfing hut. We parked up on the green for only £3 a day, I walked to the beach to check the wind but being slightly off it was difficult to gauge especially as the water was mainly free from white water. I then walked up to the locals to have a chat, they were rigging 7m as they had had a good ay yesterday with this kit and they hoped the wind would build. Back at the van I took off the bigger Xantos 295 (133lt) put my wetsuit on and walked my board the 200m to the water which was easy along a shingle spit and it was definitely windier here. My first thought was 8.5, then 7.8 but finally rigged my favourite 7m, put on my GW-60 (GPS), giving it another chance as it’s been playing. My plan today was stay near the launch area and go for a fast hour as I got my years best on my last visit. At a guess the wind was slightly North of West – WNW and a bit patchy but then again, the wind is coming off the land from towards Tollesbury. The sea is definitely smoother at low water and there were some top gusts and I got my best speeds 28/29 knots but I couldn’t hold the speed over 10 seconds:( It was also a good day for gybing especially in the flatter water near each beach. I had to stop after the first run to adjust the boom/lines and had a few lulls but in the end was pleased with a 17.92 knot hour, a season best:) With the hour out of the way I then decided to explore so beat up to Bradwell Power Station, landing to take pics and found some lovely smooth water over by the small island leading to West Mersea Quay. As the local said he had sailed up to Radio Caroline moored a couple of miles up the Blackwater so I decided to take a look. The wind had picked up a notch or two and the locals had gone ashore to change down but the 7m was great and although the 282 might have been better the 295 handled the conditions well:) As usual there was steep chop heading upriver but I made it to the old lightship and landed directly opposite all be it on a muddy bank nearly four miles from my starting point! After taking some more pics I headed over to Tollesbury Fleet in search of some flat water. Although I found the flat water the wind was not strong enough for fast speeds. I had checked out the speed stats for West Mersea and the top speeds have been achieved by Matin Byford sailing in the narrow channel opposite West Mersea Quay but I checked it out but was nervous of sailing up there as a lot of moored boats, I should have been braver as I later discovered Martin had been sailing up there today! Perhaps the next windy day, I will have to get together with Martin so he can show me the ropes:) By now the wind had swung a bit more off leaving a shadow near the beach so time to head back. I still had several runs trying for 100 km. but the wind was now very patchy so I decided to call it a day. Felixstowe sailor Mark Smalling had been sailing but with 8.5 which must have been a real handful at times, he helped me carry my kit back to the van having been away for four hours nearly non-stop making it a 5-star day, great fun. After a later lunch, chat and pack up Mag and I then go for a couple of mile walk along the beach to the point by the broad walk looking particularly lovely especially when the sun came out from behind some impressive clouds! We then had a cuppa at the van and headed for home, on reaching Colchester we went the Manningtree way to avoid the horrible A12 and got home hassle free:)