Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Knocked down

Can't believe I have an ear infection. Started Friday and was painful all weekend, now it just feels blocked.

Training was really going well, every day up to a couple of hours in the pool or gym. Starting to get ready for the NWF speed contest in Weymouth.


Can't wait, should be a lot of fun.

Lots of new kit to tweak before then though. Hope it warms up a bit and I can get out on the new slalom sails. Waves are going to have to take a back seat.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grande Cru Classe

I have now been sailing for 36 years.

The first picture is from 1989, I had already been sailing for 11 years. I had been Guernsey Wave sailing champion and Slalom champion. Speed hadn't come into the picture yet. The second form 2013, same bay, same wave.

The third picture is from 1994 ish in St Marie de la Mer, my fourth year of speed and already an equal 4th place finish in the 1992 overall standings. The fourth is from Luderitz 2014, by this time I have had a second place in the 2010 overall standings and sailed over 50 knots.

I might be blowing my own trumpet here but I think I'm getting better at windsurfing !!

Bjorn recently stated that to be competitive in PWA wave sailing 35 is the maximum age. I would agree with that, you don't see many over 35 year olds double looping. 

Bjorn has just retired from Slalom at the age of 46, that has got to be the limit. 

What about speed? In the overall 5 x 10 sec GPS standings 9 out of the top 15 are over 40, most closer to 50 or above. Personally I think you can be competitive at speed records up until 55. Speed contest I think you are going to struggle past 50. 

All good news for us oldies!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sail size / board size / fin size

Got asked yesterday what equipment setups do I use. It differs from training, competition training and competition.

I use Patrik Diethelm boards, Neil Pryde Evo 7 sails and Black Project Fins


Board                            Sails                              Fins
PD 135                     9.5 & 8.6                           R45
PD 110                       8.6, 7.8, 7.0                      R35
PD SPEED 52         7.8, 7.0, 6.4, 5.8           RS28,  RS26, S29 & S26.5
PD SPEED 43            6.4, 5.8, 5.4                   X50, X55
PD SPEED 41              5.8, 5.4                           X55


PD 135                      9.5 & 8.6                 R45 & R47.5
PD 110                        8.6, 7.8, 7.0                   R37 & R35
PD FSW 102                   6.4                                 RS30
PD SPEED 52          7.8, 7.0, 6.4, 5.8            RS28,  RS26, S29 & S26.5
PD SPEED 43              6.4, 5.8, 5.4                   X40, X45

I try and get away with the smallest fin I can. Instead of changing fin as the wind picks up I would probably change board and fin. Once I have found the right fin for the board it rarely changes with the exception of the PD 52 which has the most options with fin type.

The sails cross over a lot and I have always options.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Waves

Waves in Guernsey have been pumping and it looks like we have a hell of week ahead

Friday, December 12, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Big week ahead !


Looks like a huge week ahead for Guernsey.

We have NW winds at the moment which is blowing swell straight into Vazon. The forecast is keep blowing then swing westerly and increase.

This could be all time big!

Westerly winds are cross onshore at Vazon, not great for down the line but definitely the direction for huge swell. Maybe one frontside bottom turn then backside riding back to the beach.

Huge air here we come

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

LUDERITZ 2014 My Story

Luderitz 2014

My Story

Luderitz, Namibia keeps pulling me back year after year. 2012 was the first time the canal had been built and the Luderitz Speed Challenge was born as we know it today. The world and British records were smashed in that year.

I competed in the last two weeks of the Speed Challenge in 2012 and achieved my fastest speed over 500m of 48.21 knots with a peak speed of 50.20 knots, 0.6 knots off the British record that was set the week before I arrived. In 2012 we had 4 days of sailing with 5.5m and 6m sails in winds upto 40 knots. After the event we all presumed that personal bests and records would be broken every year.
2013 saw the event moved forward two weeks and the winds didn’t blow. We had days of sailing but not strong enough for records. My fastest was 45.5 knots over 500m and a peak speed of 47.3 knots. 5 days of sailing but only with the biggest sail I took, a 6.4m just for training purposes.

So 2014 came along and I was full of confidence, 2013 could have been a fluke year of low winds, we might get condition like 2012. The event had been moved another two weeks earlier than 2013.
Equipment wise things had been learnt from the previous two years. My boards were the same as 2013, Patrik Diethelm 41 and 43cm. My sails were the same make as 2013, Neil Pryde Evo6 updated from the Evo5 of 2013. Everything was set.

In the previous two weeks of the 2014 event up until we arrived there had been two days where four people had sailed just over 49 knots. The Luderitz airport forecast for that day showed 28-31knots of wind on the first day and 26 –31 knots on the second. The canal usually has 5-8 knots more wind than the airport but the nearest place that forecasts the wind is the airport. We really need a forecast of 30-35 knots minimum for a real crack at big speeds. When I got my record in 2012 the forecast was 28-34 knots.
During the two weeks we were there we had 3 days of sailing. Friday Oct 24th was the first day and I struggled to get five runs down the course due the light winds (22-28 knots forecast). Top speed was 44.6 knots peak of 45.87. Nice to get back on the canal again though and still early doors.

The next day of wind was 30 Oct, forecast of 24-29 knots of wind. 2 sailors went just over 49 knots and Patrik (who shapes my boards) blew every one away with a 51knot run. Being so close to the record he was given priority to jump the queue which did help but hats off to the maestro. I have to admit that I just could get it going this day, I had a 500m speed of 46.96 knots, max 48.60 knots. I change my fin from a 22cm to a 20cm and immediately felt the board was sliding through the water easier but by then the wind was dying.

The next day the forecast wasn’t good however we were pleasantly surprised with 20-26 knots of wind, the course was open and everyone was on edge to see if the wind would fill in and we could have a crack at our pb’s. It didn’t blow strong enough although I recorded 46.91 knots 500m and 48.5knots peak in a lot less wind than the day before. I was leading for most of the day until Patrik clocked and amazing 48 knots.


Overall I am happy with my performance, I am a big speed sailor and I am there to compete in strong winds to get records. The past two years haven’t produced strong winds however I am still in the mix with my speeds.

Luderitz will almost certainly never blow 50 knots and if it does because of the extreme broad angle of the canal it will be un-sailable.

I need 30-35knots of wind forecast to break the British record and push over 50 knots.

My equipment is working great, I just have to get the right combination. Fitness was great this year, joining the gym helped a lot and sailing all day with 5kg of lead on my back was not an issue.

What to change:  Not much. I weigh 115kg, in the lighter winds that we have had for the past two years I think 108kg would be right for me. That’s the goal now.

What is next: I am looking forward to a bit of play time in the wave with the boys in Guernsey this winter. There is a European Championship in Fuerteventura mid 2015 which would be great to compete in, different set up to record attempts but something I have always enjoyed. Luderitz 2015? It’s a long way off, I have still got unfinished business though.

Current Results
I am ranked 12th on the GPS Speedsailing all time overall rankings
I have the GPS British 10second record 48.94 knots
12th Fastest 500m all time windsurfer speed 48.21 knots
2010 Speed world cup Vice champion (last world cup)
More results can be seen on my cv.

Thanks to my Sponsors

NUTZ wetsuits
Crabby Jacks Restaurant
Smith Signs
Neil Pryde Sails
Aurigny Airlines
Patrik Diethelm Boards
Chinook booms
Black Project Fins