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|Sat 12 Nov - Beadnell - Ross Ketteridge
The gamble paid off. The weather forecast said that we’d get the best wind further north and that it would tail off by 2pm. As it was forecast to turn westerly, Beadnell was the only realistic beach of choice.
The result? Exactly as forecast, and a great two hour 5.5m session that started a bit gusty at midday but steadied off over the following two hours.
Even in the early gusts, it was quality wind, providing screaming reaches right across to the south end of the bay where, as usual, the wind was steadier and quite a bit stronger.
Carl, Raymond, Adrian and Tdog joined in the fun. Raymond, well done on those waterstarts! I was surprised to see no others making the journey, but I guess, as I say, it was a gamble, as there were effectively only two hours sailing available before the falling tide made it a bit nerve-wracking on the old snapped-fin-on-rock front.
I had the GPS with me. Adrian recorded his first top speed, at 27.4mph, and I smashed my previous 27.5 with a 27.8 mph run. I was wishing I'd taken my Flow as I'm sure it is a faster board than the Maui Project!
A thoroughly excellent session, and I must apologise to Tony who rigged a 6.2m after my advice that came just after a freak 10 minute period of slightly reduced wind strength that was followed immediately by a sustained period of full F5!
|Sun 30 Oct - D Bay Boardwalk - Ross Ketteridge
A great turnout at the boardwalk today, with most sailors on 5.5m or thereabouts. Roll-call as follows: Gavin (launching new 80lt wave board for the first time), John C (first sail in ages), Tony C, Boydy, Peter (maiden voyage of new 100lt board), Alistair (first time in logo high swell), Nicolas, Matt B, Matt from Derwent and Ray.
It was a challenge to say the least. The rip was as strong as I have ever experienced it. Running with the wind, it made getting through the big vicious white water a difficult thing not to mention a bit of a lottery. The unwanted jackpot would come every few minutes in the form of a huge wall of water, just when you thought that the ninth large, sharp, frothing wave, that you just managed to get over, was the last one. Once thus knocked off your board you were in deep water but not free of the rip zone, so off you would drift, at an alarming rate, trying to hold on to your gear as waves crashed over your head every three seconds. Water starting was almost out of the question if you were caught out in this section since the tail of the board was held down stream, the sail was being pulled under by the current and the speed of the current meant that the relative wind strength was about F3 at best. So it was that there were more “walks of shame” today than I have ever seen before in one session. Even by some of the better sailors.
Once on the outside, the swell was big (logo high) and confused to start with but more organised as the wind swung from SE to WSW as the day progressed. Amazingly warm, it was, at about 16 degrees.
The wind came and went, as did the rain. The better sailors had by far the better sessions as the aforementioned extensive shore break, white water and rip current prevented many runs even getting to the outside.
Not a good session for me, as I struggled to get out many times, and once there, apart from a few lovely runs (especially on the way back in, down the fronts of the monster swells), the wind was fickle and left me generally underpowered. On the plus side it was a great workout!
|Saturday 8 Oct Super 8 Derwent - Martin Haigh
A last minute decision to go to Derwent got me there after the debriefing but in time to get the right gear rigged up (7m) as I was planing across the lake in the pre race warm up
The impressive turnout meant that there would be 4 categories with their own set of 4 races (except for the last one) My first race (group 4, i.e 4th race) was a real ICE breaker and appologies to everyone for dropping the first gybe with frostbitten hands
After lunch the wind dropped but the excitement of the competition gave everyone the warmth to continue with only the Formula boys getting on the plane.
As ever, the prizegiving was very well provided for by the sponsors and a good turnout from Coquet Shorebased Trust saw them reap some of the prizes. Well done to Reiner too for his work as 'flag man' on the race start boat.
And well done to Dave Dobson for organising such a successfull and entertaining event
Further Report from Dave Dobson
Best turnout to date with 30 registering and sailing. Four Groups with Group 1 comprising the guys who regularly do the national UKWA circuit and Group 4 those who were new to the event. Group 2 had at some time had had some minor competiton experience and Group 3 mainly comprised juniors and youths. With competitors coming from afar afield as Lincolnshire, Sheffield, Halifax and of course our regular supporters from Scotland there was something of a "national" feel to the event. While there was a good turnout from Coquet S.C., the sole NWC representative was Martin Haigh, although Rhiener (sorry if spelling is wrong) did some sterling work helping out on the Race Control boat. Four races were completed by each Group and in Group 1 Alan Jackson demonstrated why he is consistently in the UK,s top 10 with some excellent sailing, particularly his starts. Great to see those in Group 4 coming off the water smiling. Thanks to all who supported the event, DRSC for providing the facilities and especially Surfstore and Tushingham Sails for their sponsorship.
|Sun 09 Oct - D Bay Boardwalk - Ross Ketteridge
The turn out of sailors was better than the turn out of the wind. In the former case, that was Gavin, Ray, Peter, Paul G, Alistair, Brian, Ally Tony C and Meike. In the latter, that was the very bottom end of a F4 from 2pm rising to a mid F4 an hour or two later.
Those who persevered on big sails (all on 7.5 Tush T2s) had some good planing but how they managed it in the biggish swell, close-spaced shore break and severe rip, I don’t know.
I hit the water later on 6.2/94 and had a good 30 to 40 minutes of well powered blasting. By this time Brian was on out 5.7 and others were down to 6.5. This part of the session was fun as the swell on the outside was giving some nice ramps, some quite steep. However, as the wind turned more onshore, it weakened, and with it the rip strengthened, so getting out became a pain and lost you lots of ground downwind, and getting going on a 6.2m became impossible.
Not as good a session as the forecast suggested it might be.
|Sat 01 Oct: Derwent Reservoir - Steve Boyd
I had last minute wedding things to sort out out so did not get finished until 12.30 and did not fancy a gusty offshore beadnell and as it seemed to be stuck in a more westerly headed for derwent with terry mcgill and son.
On arrival terry had rigged 4.5m so i rigged a 5.3m. this was okay for a while then i changed down from 94liter to the 87litre wave board and instantly got control back still in an overpowered sense. it was very gusty but with some massive sustained bursts at times the sailing was exciting and max adrenaline orientated. the middle was massive power but the power was allowing good sailing on all points of sail.
The flatwater speed bay on the other side was protected from the chop but not the wind which was accelerating in gusts down that bank to give some awesome high speed off the wind blasts with even awesome overpowered gybing and coming back out full tilt back into the fire. even i struggled to get around some gybes as the speed and the wind was just terrific fun. right on the edge and sometimes past it! wish i could have had a gps just to check the speeds going into the bay as i was always off the wind flat out and on the edge of a catapult with massive power still on the back hand. Awesome! sail sizes ranged from 4.1m to 5,3m with most on 4.5-5.0m.
For any speed freaks out there the westerlies can give some awesome overpowered flat out blasting perfect for practising for speed and gybing (most speed events are held in cross offshore venues where the wind is always strong and gusty and the water reasonably flat-exactly the same conditions!) for the record i should have been on 4.7m but was having way too much fun.
Nik salloway was the only casualty. He got a kiss on the top lip (which split his lip) from the boom. Luckily his good looks have not been altered, just focused more attention on the lack of them! The wind reminds us all who is boss once in a while.
|Sat 01 Oct: Amble - Steve Carragher
Just for the record, Paul, John, Matt, Andy and I met at Amble late afternoon. On arrival we debated on 4 point something but soon 5 point something was more appropriate. Cross off, blue skye, flat on the inside and steep 5 foot chop on the outside. Very gusty inside so the best sailing was to be had out to the NW of the Island. Here the wind tends to funnel down the estuary and causes the chop to form into sharp breaking peaks. Great for easy airtime. A decent session.
|Sat 01 Oct - Beadnell Speed Comp - Ross Ketteridge
The water was flat, the sun was out and the whitecaps were dancing on the turquoise sea as far as the eye could see.
We hit the water at 1pm, an hour before high tide, and sailed until 4pm, when the clouds and rain switched the wind off. The temperature was around 16 degrees C.
To be honest it was gustier than the last westerly I sailed in there, but that didn’t stop dozens of screaming reaches right over to the South side, with the usual entertaining turbo-charged mega gust as you passed the long nanny. A swell at the south end was just starting to form, but wasn’t really rideable.
So flat water blasting was the order of the day, at as high a speed as we could go, and, for once, we actually knew how fast we had sailed, because we had the club GPS with us.
Gavin, Ray, Alistair, Carl, Tdog, Dave R, new guy Nick and a couple of other local boys were sailing. Ray was testing his new Ezzy 5.8, Alistair had his first outing on his new JP Real World Wave 82 while the rest rode their trusty steeds, most on 5.5m.
The GPS was handed from sailor to sailor and we recorded some interesting times. They will be recorded in detail separately, but suffice to say there were a few surprises. Of course everyone was expecting Tony Tdog to record the fastest time on his new Naish 105lt missile, but he was eclipsed by Gavin, who managed an impressive 30.4mph maximum speed. Each maximum speed was witnessed before being zeroed and passed along the line. Theories abounded about Gavin’s amazing result and some unkind wit suggested that he had achieved 30.4 by sailing at 25.4 mph while throwing the GPS, in its Aquapak, ahead of him at 5 mph. Being out in the least windy portion of the day, near the start of the session, I was unable to post the fastest speed, but I’m not one for making excuses, as you will know.
I had a great day out. The highlight, for me, was during a 5 minute breather for myself, Gavin and Ray, on the far south shore, standing on the beach looking back across the blue, windblown sea across the beautiful sunny panorama of Beadnell Bay. I felt truly blessed to be able to sail in such a beautiful, clean, deserted beach with great mates, an hour from home. A real moment of karma.
Postscipt form Steve Carragher
Just for the record, Paul, John, Matt, Andy and I met at Amble late afternoon. On arrival we debated on 4 point something but soon 5 point something was more appropriate. Cross off, blue skye, flat on the inside and steep 5 foot chop on the outside. Very gusty inside so the best sailing was to be had out to the NW of the Island. Here the wind tends to funnel down the estuary and causes the chop to form into sharp breaking peaks. Great for easy airtime. A decent session. Andy thought it was an epic compared to friday.
|Tuesday 27 Sept D-Bay - The Judder Fest - Gavin Duthie
Another late summer wind offering featuring wall to wall sunshine, 19C and a stonking fat SSW F5 on the outside and probably 50% on the inside. High tide at the boatramp saw Tdog, The Bobster, Boydy and Multisport Brian enjoying a thrash in the bay. A 3ft swell was running but as the wind blown stuff increased it got lost in the general mayhem of board slapping bone juddering chop. An excellent work out for sinew, muscle, and brain not so good for ankle, knee and back bones.
|Thursday 29th Sept Beadnell by Default - Paul Hewitt
The forecasted westerly was looking ok, having checked the postings as nobody venturing out I headed to Budle only to be turned around by the police, access was closed due to an rta, I turned around and headed for Beadnell to be joined by Callum. It looked really good so we rigged up and headed out on 6.4-117 & 6.5-135, we had 3 hours of blast lull etc, when it was on it was excellent. A good afternoons work out in sunshine
|Wednesday 28 September D-Bay - Gavin Duthie
After yesterday's judder fest at the boatramp, we decided to give the good old north end a whirl hoping for a bit of a clean up job from the Scaurs. I met Carragher at 12.45 in sunshine and a steady cross on (SSE) F5 high tide with white caps everywhere,( even on the inside) . It looked fairly flat ....... wrong ! We both rigged 4.7's and stepped from the car park onto the beach and onto our boards, ..... ah the beauty of the north end in a high tide. So .... windsurfers about to enjoy the elements alert ... cue big black clouds as forecast and driving rain, along with a pretty meaty F7. We both hung on for a few survival runs, reluctant to be defeated we struggled on trying to keep the boards down in the 5ft swell that had fetched up.
When Boydy arrived, it gave us both a reason to come in. He rigged a his 4.7 also but by the time he ventured out the rain had gone and it had moderated to a F5/6. Carragher and I found this much more comfortable but Boydy struggled a little at first, until it picked up again with the arrival of Andy F (shock' horror,amazement !!) to a good solid top end F6.
A very enjoyable powered up session, and for me the first time on my 4.7 since Big Sat at the same spot in May.