Results of the day
1Steve Thorp40.88
2Ian Richards40.28
3Michael George36.42

Square and windy, bit dissapointing times (especially considering the nationawide carnage today), always fun though. 

Not a good day for testing kit, 50 -55 knots square and very gusty. First run forgot my to put on my harness and from there on it did not get any better.

  I was using Will Trossel's Evo5 5.4 rig, feels really nice, super stable going accross the wind, not so confident with it bearing off..... more tuning needed.

Total carnage ensued with the record high tide, not a good day for taking too long in the shower block.


The forecast was for the wind to be from the WSW before first light (i.e. dead square) and swing around to the NW by mid-afternoon. Somewhere in the middle we expected some W to WbN and the perfect angle for speed.

Around lunchtime we knew there would be a big tide and an enforced 2 hour break (probably 11am to 1pm). The plan was to sail the square course before 11am and if we were lucky the wind might tweak around to a westerly. If not in the morning we would hope that we'd get a westerly or even WbN from 1am onwards.

Ian was first out at 9.10am, followed 10 minutes later by Steve and then another 10 minutes later by myself. The course was very square and it was very easy to sail back alongside the wall. The wind was very gusty, presumably due to the direction.

For the time we were sailing the wind was averaging 40/45 knots and gusting 50/55 knots. I think the reality was that it was dipping to 30 knots then bursting to >50 knots. Combined with the square course this made sailing very difficult.

I did 4 runs without much lead in my weight jacket, just to check my setup and get ready for when the wind started to swing. Happy that my kit was right, I filled up my weight jacket and donned my helmet ready for battle!

On my next run, I set off down the wall in a bit of a lull but could see a gust ahead of me. I braced myself for the the hit, bore off, got lifted and slam-dunked into the water at 40 knots! No major damage or injuries... just a sprained foot but waves were now crashing over the wall.

It was only 10.30am and the wind hadn't changed one bit... still a WSW!

We hurried to de-rig and left the car park before it was flooded. Ian stayed in the changing room longer than me only to get trapped by the sea. I waited in the cafe for an hour wondering why he was taking so long, lol.

By midday the whole of the promenade was being battered by a storm surge. Properties were damaged and cars were trashed but we weren't really aware because we were waiting for the tide to retreat. The locals were definitely having a bad day.

By 2.15pm the lake was still part of the sea and the police had closed the roads. The wind was too broad by now and the opportunity for good speeds had passed. It turned out that the storm surge had emposed a 4 hour break when the wind was the perfect strength and angle!

The journey home sucked... 7 hours instead of the usual 4 hours due to problems on the M6.

Several other riders only got 1 or 2 runs down the wall and I doubt we'll see any more posts. I think a positive thing that I'll take away is that I was able to get going on all 5 runs when I saw others struggling. I think my crash might have been a PB as well... it must have looked good!

This session could have been oh so good but I'd go as far as to say we were skunked. It was a gamble worth taking but it didn't pay off this time.