|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 (26724km): |
Saturday 10th – Windsurf ***** - The Ray - Southend – cloudy start but sunshine later:).
Fin – 39.81 knot max., 37.71 knot ave (All time personal best) ., 8.42 knot hour , 0.00 knot mile , 44.10 km ., 0.00 knot alpha.
Fanatic Falcon Speed with 25 fin and Tushingham X-15 5.2.
As another big storm hits the UK it was another trip to The Ray and Southend, my second visit of the year. I have already sailed 300km this week so was a bit knackered really to face the forecast 50 mph winds! With a late afternoon low I was in no hurry to get there so did my exercises in the garden, then breakfast while Mag packed me up some of her yummy homemade quiche and with no trailer today as I had already loaded the van with my falcon speed and 80 plus the 5.8 and 5.2 I decided to leave a little on the early side at 9.30 just in case they closed the Orwell Bridge! Mag stayed at home today, one she dose not like Southend and two our son Rob with partner Hannah are coming up for the week with the lovely Grandson Arlo:) I journey was going fine as I drove along the A 12 at 55, its much better going 70 miles without the trailer when some arse decided to try and run me off the road, after super long blast from my horn with much gesticulating I continued with one eye on the traffic coming the other way in hope of spotting Rob driving the other way and promptly drove straight past the Southend turning, sadly not for the first time, I must concentrate more. This adds over 20 miles to the journey as you have to drive along a section of the dreaded M25! Still I still got there around midday and the tide was really low with a few speedsailers already rigged including Ian Richards, Simon Chippington and Shemi Adams with sails of 5.2/5.4 so it was 5.2 for me and my Fanatic Speedboard gets it yearly dust off! I have trouble rigging my 5.2 as the mast catches at the top but with some help from Simon I managed to get the mast to the top and gave it loads of downhaul this time as the last time I used it the cams keep popping off! We were a bit nervous as it was pretty windy and Ray first time and Felixstowe mate Andy Mexome arrived, we gave him a quick Ray run down and then he rigged a 5.2 wave sail. The walk out wasn’t too bad apart from the slippery wooden bridge and I arrived at the first creek with three kitesurfers! I tentatively sailed out of the creek then walked over a small section of sand to start near the moored fishing boat. There was some huge gusts coming from the WSW and it was very lumpy crossing the Ray and then very broad to the fist corner which was the fastest section all day, and you needed’ Balls Of Steel ‘to water start, get comfortable in both straps and then bear off before you hit the far bank! The first run I took it easy on the broad section then turned the corner into perfect flat water but although great fun to sail it was not fast and only got 33 knots. Getting back upwind was easy in the flat section because it was so windy but getting across the channel to the other side was very challenging to say the least sailing straight into a vicious chop, I found the best way was to take my feet out of the straps and take it very slow with mega gusts hitting you all the way! With confidence coming my times improved to 37 knots but a UK 40 was still alluding me! After a few words of advice from speed expert Ian Richards who said try to sail the rough section faster which makes the slingshot better and faster, this worked like a dream and I went to 38, then 39 missing out on 40 by .18 of a knot, very frustrating! In the end I went over 39 twice and really went for the 40 but was getting knackered so after a run of 37/8 runs, I decided to call it a day and start the long walk home in the hope that I had broken my average PB. I packed up quickly, ate my lunch, rang Mag to say I was still alive and headed home which took a tiring 1.5 hours. We then had a great evening with the fantastic Arlo, then when he went to bed, I checked the session and had improved my average from 37.07 to 37.71 knots so this has to be my best ever speedsailing session. Just a little disappointed I didn’t make 38 but got close and also, I tried a couple of long mile runs but didn’t go quite far enough as I got nervous of the depth at the bottom of the East course!