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National Windsurfing Championships 2018
Iona receiving her trophy from Guy Cribb having come first in her fleet (4.5m)

31 July- 1 Aug Hillhead

Host Host: Lawrence
Date Date: 31/07/10
Venue Venue: Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay
Forthcoming event Forthcoming event See the build up
Rating OMWC Rating: 3 star rating
Well, the forecasts were 'marginal' with Saturday late afternoon looking the best chance for some good sailing.

As posted on the site, we arrived at Hill Head at around 2pm ish to find Duncan sitting on one of the seats facing out to sea deeply engrossed in a book. This was in part due to the light winds, & also in part that we had his kit in our van ;). We watched the dingy race for a while, & as they headed in, we started to rig up. Me (Lawrence) on an RRD X-fire 120L board with 10.3m rig, Duncan on his AHD wide freestyleeeee board & a Sailworks Retro 8m. We both got planing, but it was not that fantastic, so I played around with my GoPro camera seeing where I could clamp it to board & rig (& trying not to lose it this time).

We were then joined by John G & Jen, & a few minutes later by Heather & Bill.

John, Bill & Heather rigged a bit smaller than Duncan & I - around the 6.5m-7.5m mark & I saw all were planing, albeit not really that powered up as it was still lightish winds. The wind then died & most headed back for the beach. We thought that it was all up for the day as it was now 6.30pm-ish.

I went out for one last run & as I did a wind seemed to come from nowhere instantly - I was overpowered on the 10.3m, those on 6.5m must have been perfect & I saw many flying around & they seemed to be having a great sail. This was about 6.30pm-7pm ish so beyond a 'sea breeze' effect & not forecast. It was odd.

As we had a BBQ to fire up back at home there was not enough time for me to rig something smaller, although I did attempt one run using Duncan's 8m on my RRD FSW 95L, Duncan also having gone back to the beach due to being overpowered. I did not like the feel of the 8m Retro, so packed up, leaving the others sailing

Back at ours, we had an enjoyable BBQ with good chat & company, Bill & Heather arrived & Duncan had new gf in tow, Katerina. We had a late-ish night.

Sunday, we spent most of the day looking at the trees (not moving) in Southampton & the forecasts on the web & the various Solent webcams. We knew Bill & Heather were not going to be at Hill Head, & Duncan stayed overnight with us, & John G had said that he would not be down at Hill Head on Sunday either. So we concluded that if we went down to the beach, we woudl probably be sitting on our own. So come late afternoon with no wind showing anywhere we called it a day.

Surprisingly, it would seem from the diary enteries that a couple of OM'ers did turn up - Jonathon, Nick & Helen. Even more surprisingly, it would seem that the mystery wind re-appeared late afternoon/early evening & they got a decent sail in. To the 3 of you, we offer our appologies for not being there.......I'm now gutted having read your posts! Jonathan on a 5.9m no less & planing!!! It really did look like a waste of time from our position, but it just goes to show, the Solent can surprise with some odd wind effects just when you least expect them.

Last updated: 03/08/10 10:09 By: Lawrence
Views: 1669

Diary for johng at Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay on 31/07/10

Hunter S Gouk
Rating:3 star rating
Board:116 litres

Not much wind when I arrived, but various people sitting around - Lawrence, Nuala, Dunc (hi Dunc!!) Things started to wind up a bit, so people rigged big stuff, like 9m or so. I went for the 6.5 and by the time we had all got on the water, it was working well. However, I was horribly uncoordinated today, although it was very pleasant planing over the water in the sun. Had a break for an icecream and a pause while the wind came back. The second time it came back much stronger, and after downhauling the 6.5 decided to go for the 5.5. I was tired by then, the lack of coordination seemed worse, and the sail still didn't seem right. So I stopped, and yes, I was tired, took ages to put all the gear away. Nice sharing chips with Roger and Beatrice though - hope you got home ok guys!

A good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Diary for Heather at Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay on 31/07/10

Rating:2 star rating
Board:138 litres

Enjoyable sail even if a little unpredictable! BBQ fab in the evening and even went home with home made jam. Delicious - thanks Nuala

Diary for Lawrence at Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay on 31/07/10

Rating:2 star rating
Board:120 litres

Arrived about 2pm-ish (not 100% sure what it was) - lightish winds & the local dingy club were racing. Sat & watched them with Duncan & Nuala for a bit.

When they came off the water decided to rig big. As conditions were not mega I also decided to 'play around' with my GoPro camera, seeing what unusual places I could try & mount it on the board & rig.....rather than just the head cam position that I have used to date (or the board nose position where I temporarily lost the camera). So I did not get that much sailing in, but when I was out I was planing - suffered spin out more than normal mind......

The wind died about 6ish & no one was planing so we headed in for a bit, went out to give it one last try & was just thinking of packing up when a fresh wind kicked up from nowhere within seconds. I was overpowered but made it in. Duncan also headed in on the 8m. Nu wanted to use the van to get the kids tea (local fish & chip shop) so I grabbed the RRD FSW 95L out of the van & tried Duncan's 8m on it - the sail felt horrid! too much belly with a wandering center of effort made it an unenjoyable experience so I headed in. By the time Nu got back it was really too late to contemplate rigging smaller as we had a BBQ to fire up, plus really get the kids to bed.

JohnG, Heather & Bill where out with smaller kit & seemed to be having a great time though.

Bill & Heather, Duncan & new friend Katrina joined us for a BBQ at ours & we had an enjoyable evening chatting & catching up.

Heather please note: despite going out on two different board/sail combo's I'm still only going to enter one diary entry for the day ;)

Suggestion to Andrew:- count the number of differnent DAYS people sail rather than the diary entries......I can understand the desire to capture in the table stats what different kit people use - I am finding the table stats of board & sail used very interesting, but it would be good to fully capture all kit used in a session in the stats rather than just capture the 1 piece of kit that you enter against a single session diary entry.

Diary for Andrew at Cornwall on 31/07/10

Andrew pondering life.
Andrew pondering life, from the top of Las Dunas, in Tarifa.
Rating:2 star rating
Board:130 litres

There was a hint of wind at Daymer Bay, so decided to give it a go. Only out for about 30 minutes before it died completely, but so so nice to be sailing at Daymer again.

Diary for nuporter at Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay on 31/07/10

Rating:1 star rating
Board:109 litres

rubbish sail- used Duncan's board and only did one blast out and back- wind had died- so didnt get going and sail felt very heavy- nice to get wet tho'

Diary for Heather at Hayling Island on 01/08/10

Rating:3 star rating
Board:138 litres

Didn't get on water until 5.30pm. Thought there was not much wind - oops. Really could have done with a smaller board and sail! Still great fun and certainly wasn't blobbing about!

Diary for jonathan at Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay on 01/08/10

Vulcan attempt # 1
My first proper vulcan attempt...
Rating:4 star rating
Board:99 litres

Lawrence may choose not to read this...

I won't bore you with all the details, but despite my best intentions, I ended up turning up to this event at 4pm on the Sunday afternoon - Late Tate eat your heart out. However the timing turned out to be spot on. I turned up just as the wind had picked up and steadied. 5.9m and my freestyle board was perfect - could have been on a bit less. Also the wind coincided with high tide, which at Hillhead generally means flat(ish) water.

So I had a great 2.5 hours. Nice, well-powered gybes. A few out-of-control aerial gybes but a few half-decent ones. Downwind 360s still a problem - although getting ever closer...

I have to say, when I came off the water at about 6:30pm I think the standard of sailing at Hillhead was the highest I have ever seen. Probably half the people out were having good attempts at Vulcans and/or loops.

It was also good to see Helen and Nick B. I think everyone else had been fooled by the fact that wind was very local to Hillhead (which has happened quite a few times this summer).

Diary for johng at Lepe & Calshot on 01/08/10

Hunter S Gouk
Rating:4 star rating
Board:116 litres

Went down to Lepe with the Gkids for a day on the beach. They rather like the attached park and things! Anyway, had lots of fun with them and a fine lunch. Then, miraculously, a wind sprang up, and I skived off for an hour, leaving the g-kids to the tender mercies of the d-i-l, granny and my daughter.

Excellent session! Board a bit too big, but I was rather unbelieving, so went bigger rather than smaller. Managed some ok chop hops, and bashed about for an hour in the sun and excellent wind. When it dropped a bit, after an a hour or so (5-ish?) I stopped and went back to fly kites and stuff. Everyone seemed happy, despite my g-daughter borrowing my board shorts and rash vest, lacking a swimsuit, sampling the water but finding it too cold. It was really warm I thought, no cold feet at all, lovely!

Amazingly, nobody else out! One guy did come up to me as I was packing away and asked if I'd been out - he was blasting away as I left. So where was everyone?? Note to self: move to seaside, clearly lots of opportunities that don't get caught by those relying on forecasts!

Added by helenmacdiva on 01/08/10

Well where were you all??

With the choice of sailing with complete unknowns at Hayling, or sailing with some friendly faces at Hillhead, I chose Hillhead. Had a really really great sail, even got my small board out and was absolutely flying. Only saw two friendly faces though - nice to see you both, Jonathon and Nick.

I'm really sorry everyone else wasn't there. See you all another time I hope...

Added by jonathan on 03/08/10

I used the following to make my decision to go down www.surfersoft.co.uk. It is ideal for Hillhead as it shows you all the nearby weather buoys so you don't get fooled by a rogue reading.

Added by jonathan on 03/08/10

sorry, try this link www.surfersoft.co.uk
PS looks good tonight, shame I'm in London

Added by Lawrence on 03/08/10

Thanks Jonathan - the second link works!!!