|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 (25200km): |
Sunday 14th – Windsurf ** The River Stour at Bradfield – Sunny periods.
Fin – 18.87 knot max., 16.07 knot ave., 9.91 knot hour, 9.91 knot mile, 37.3 km., 3.67 knot alpha.
Starboard Formula and Slingshgot Hover Glide F/Wind with Tushingham Lightning 8.5
Today was always going to be a bit of a risk but as I didn’t go to Bradfield yesterday for what turned out to be a bit of a waste of time for most of the foilers with only David Coles going on his big foil kit we hoped for better things today. To be honest to forecast looked good with a Northerly 12 knots all day so Mag and I left early arriving at Bradfield at 7.45 and the onshore wind was very light! So, Mag cooked the porridge and the wind seemed to build as Andy Mexome, David Coles and Mark Smalling were coming:) After breakfast I nearly rigged 7.8 as the wind was building but that didn’t last long and I went for 8.5 for another foiling session. Andy arrived and I think he wished he went out on his road bike; a theory confirmed an hour later after a wobble about on the Stour in very light winds! Andy and I were the first out at 9.25 after some top banter on the beach and were not holding our breath for a good session as the wind had all but disappeared! Then amazingly I got flying for a short distance on my first run but the gusts were few and far between:( Amazingly in the end there were nine windsurfers out in very poor conditions, just goes to show how desperate windsurfers get! I had a few short flights and getting out of the water is easier with this foil but I am still wiping out regularly luffing into wind, it defiantly doesn’t help having only a 61cm mast and can’t wait to pick up my 90 cm mast. If only we could get a solid 12 knot breeze as you learn absolutely nothing sailing along at 5 knots with no chance of getting airbourne! The only one getting regular airtime was David Coles on his 10m and Jamie with his 9m. After chatting for ages after the session trying to get some pointers the only answer is to rig big or go home, I think especially when learning you need 15 knots of wind or to stand any chance of flying I need to rig my 9.4 which goes against all you read about getting going in 10 knots with a small sail. Racer David says it’s best to rig big as it is easier to sail upwind and down, also makes sailing more enjoyable with some wind pressure in the sail and as I always sail overpowered for fin sailing, I will have to do the same when foiling! Mark went out at high water with the wind even lighter so I returned to the van for a bite to eat. Then Mark got up and flying on the odd gust so I decided to give it one last try but only got out of the water once and the wind went again. So, progress foiling is very slow, not helped by the crap wind I keep going in, if I am ever going to pick this up then I am having to give fin sailing a miss for a bit!
Walk **** Bradfield to Wrabness.
After more chat I actually managed to pack up much to Mags relief as she couldn’t believe you could talk about foiling so much! Mag and I set off for a walk along the foreshore. We passed the canoe fisherman who has been camping here for weeks as we walked along the beach, then up onto footpath by the onion field which was a host of lovely wild flowers the sky larks flitting about. The river was dropping away now and the marsh was a covered in purple sea lavender:) At Wrabness nature reserve you enter the wood as a tractor was cutting the footpath verge! Back on the sea wall you walk past Wrabness rigging beach and down onto the beach again. Again, we stop and watch the large number of sand martins still busy feeding their young in the sand cliff:) We walk just past the corner where the beach huts are before turning and returning to the van after covering three miles. So a nice weekend in the end and if I learned anything it was rig BIG!!!!!