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


Diary summary statistics

By Board
By Sail
By Board/sail
VenuesBoard / sail sizeTotal
Weymouth    41  12 8
Southend on Sea         1 1
Poole  1        1
Lepe & Calshot   1  1  1 3
Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay   1      23
Hayling Island11243  111216

Each cell shows number of sessions, click on a cell for more details.

Weymouth on 26/05/14

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

Saturday was pretty damp, not inspiring for first sail of the year, so wimped out. Nu & I met up with Andrew and Audrey at the Turks head in the evening for a meal, they had both arrived early enough on the Friday to get out for a nice evening sail in sunshine. Nu and I didn't, opting to travel late in the hope of avoiding the worst of the bank holiday/start of half term traffic.

Sunday looked the best forecast anyway, sunshine and around 18mph wind, so I like to think I was saving myself for that!

Sunday arrived and we had sun, and wind! Portland harbour wind site was reading 16-21knots, which I looked up, was force 5, and slightly unusual for Portland, side-off shore wind, so sailing out into harbour rather than racing the cars on the road for a change.

Equipment choice was tricky, largely due to a general lack of sailing over the past few years and not being so in tune with ability (lack of) and my own kit. Most were out with 6-6.5m on floaty ish boards, after a bit of indecision, I opted for the 95l and as this is a pretty much a sinker for me, I decided to go for a larger sail, as I could see people on & off the plane with their 6.5s. I also went for my smaller fin, 29cm, hoping for more control from the board as I expected to be fighting the rig in the gusts and didn't want to be fighting the board too.

As it turned out, the sail was perfect, hardly dropping off the plane and not being over powered in the gusts. The sea state was pretty mild too, even when away from the shore, so board control was not a problem either, the fear of pairing the 29cm with the 7.8m on the 95l in chop is one of spin out, but I could lean pretty heavy on the fin without in breaking away in those conditions, and even then it was easy to pull the board back under you, and I almost had to intentionally push the fin to spin out. So all in all, the kit selection was spot in for me.

Got round all gibes attempted, many on the plane which was a surprise after lack of sailing.

All in all perfect conditions for a rusty sailor.

Audrey and Andrew came over to Nuala's parents place on Sunday night and we all had a Chinese take away with was nice.

Forecast for the bank holiday Monday was poor, no wind and no sun. Sure enough, that is what happened and we didn't bother launching.

So two duff days and one perfect day, so good over all.

Hayling Island on 27/10/13

Rating:2 star rating
Board:95 litres

Arrived at Hayling seafront around midday. Drove around car park looking for OM'ers, didn't recognise any vans.

Decided to rig up at the far end - wow the beach has changed, that is so much better!!! No sea wall & rocks to battle with, just a sloping beach into the sea! Top marks, I used to hate that bit about Hayling.

Well, I decided to put the 3.75m up that I purchased several years ago now for 'emergency use' - think this might have been its first outing.

Anyway, the tide had started coming up well by now, most sailers were coming of the water. There was a bit of a swell, but large confused chop overlaid the swell, it made sailing hard, certainly for someone like me who can count the number of times he's been out over the past 3 years on the fingers of two hands. Boy, do I need a big red 'L' on my sail now ;)

Wind was up & down, one minute I was off the plane, next I was just about holding onto the sail. Coming off the plane in the lulls when the gusts were so strong was not much fun really.

After only a few runs, & with only one other sailor out, I decided to call it a day, I didn't feel comfy. I did manage to get around on one carve gybe, not the prettiest carve gybe, but I stayed on the board at least! I packe dup around 2.30

Got home & checked Chimet. Between 12.30 to 2.30 the average wind strength was mostly around 35 knots, one gust hit 50 knots, with a number of gusts exceeding 45 knots. The gust average was probably around 45 knots. This info might come in useful later on to me when deciding what sail to use. The 3.75m was probably the right sail for me to be on today I think.

Added by Andrew on 27/10/13

Hi Lawrence, sorry we missed you. We had all sailed and gone by the time you arrived - basically because we had exactly the same experience yesterday!!

Added by Lawrence on 27/10/13

No worries Andrew - I figured that the wise ones had arrived early & left early before the tide started coming up. I was later than I wanted to be, but at least I got wet!

Poole on 15/06/13

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

15/06/2013 - Bramblebush. 5m & 4.25m RRD 95L 28cm fin. V.Windy side-side-on 18"-2' chop of v short period.

After very little sailing since 2010, I struggled. Eventually I was put out of my misery by winding myself & realising that I'd banged my ribs so much it hurt too much to continue.

Was good to see so many OMWC'ers at an event.

Poole Harbour weather site recorded 40knt gust 1.19pm on Saturday.

Added by Yannis on 17/06/13

It was probably you exhaling as your ribs hit the water

Hayling Island on 15/09/10

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

......went after work, dropped by behind the Esso garage as it was high tide, but there was no parking room (think I saw Mike T's van there, & a red one which may have been Andrew). Anyway, as there was no space, & the tide had turned anyway, I decided to go down the front.

......Luckily I was not alone, there were 3 others out, or in the throws of rigging.

There was a gentle swell, but no breaking waves - much different to day before. Wind was side shore, maybe fractionally offshore at times, very on-off still, but mosly planing - 6.5m was spot on for me.

'tweaked' the down haul more times than I care to remember in reaction to the wind being so on-off - I started off rigging it close to the indicators on the sail (which for me is minimal downhaul) the sail felt very 'pully' but did not feel like it was 'breathing' very well - not a desirable feature in the gusty conditions. I added more downhaul, 3/4 inch or so - better, but still did not feel like it was responding to gusts very well. Added another 3/4 inch or so - very flat now with floppy leach, closer to how I usually rig it......first run out & the wind was 'off' so I came it & took off just a little downhaul maybe half inch. This now seemed to be the best compromise setting for the conditions......Ironically it was close to what I'd 'normall' set this sail to, but sometimes it's good to 'play' with the settings on equipment rather than do it how you always do it. The T'Bird is such a lovely sail to tune, it has such a wide range of settings.

Had a good sail once I'd finished playing tunes on the sail - fast blasting over gentle rollers, with a few nice gybes too

It was getting dark about 7pm (it was cloudy with only a few patches where we could see the brightness of the low sun).......the after work opportunities will be coming to an end soon - make the most of them while you can!

Hayling Island on 14/09/10

Rating:2 star rating
Board:95 litres

Another sneaky half day off work to catch the wind, but had to get back home for 5pm to look after kids.

Met up with Beth, who had posted previous day that she would be out.

As it turned out, the conditions had me heading back to shore in plenty of time as it was.

Very confused sea state, wind very up & down - non planing in gusts, but a bit wild at times in the gusts.

We made it out to the sand bar, but the tidal race was causing standing waves - one second it was flat in front, the next a wave seemed to appear from nowhere. Other times, the water just seemed to disappear from under the board & you'd drop down. Weird. Maybe it was just me, but speaking to others they all commented on how confused the sea was.

Did one big jump, which I promptly failed to land, but it was quite a nice big floaty one while it lasted.

I was probably a tad over powered for the conditions & the board a bit floatier than ideal - had a 25cm fin in which is my smallest for this board, to try & claw back some control.

Not my greatest ever sail, I was decidedly 'average', the conditions were probably 'good' on the rating system - there was plenty of wind around, if a little holey.....but as the old adage goes, a bad day on the water is still better than a good day in the office.

Hayling Island on 05/09/10

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

.....another year passes & another year that I have not entered the racing at the big event of the year at Hayling, sigh......(Note to self - do it next year!).

I 'woke up' the the national windsurf festival at hayling (formally FatFace event) being on the weekend of the 4th & 5th on the Tuesday when Nuala made a comment to me. I checked the forecast for the weekend on the Wednesday & it looked poor & with my big boom broken & no replacement sort out yet, I thought that there would be no point entering this year.

Sure enough, Saturday was light winds, & as I had my father visiting we stayed at home chatted & played with the kids......I don't think I played Top Trumps so much even when I was a kid myself! So Saturday passed with no sailing.

Sunday looked surprisingly good, so we headed off with kids & grandpa down to Hayling. Hayling was packed both in the car park & on the water. A quick bite to eat for lunch on the beach then a quick walk round the tents to see the latest kit/deals, then the debate on sail size - it did not look so windy but it was lowest point of tide - my initial thoughts were 8.5m, & this quickly dropped to 7.8m.....then I talked to a few sailors & decided 6.5m would be best as my father could then try my board out more comfortably. As it turned out, the beach was a little protected due to the unusual Easterly winds, & 6.5m was spot on.

I had a few short runs while Nuala was also out while my father (Richard) looked after the kids & got into his wetsuit. It felt very odd sailing off the beach on the opposite tack to normal, & the waves were coming in at a shallow angle to the length of the board which made jumping slightly harder too, I have not been aware until today how used to starboard tack jumping I had become. As it was low tide & due to the wind direction runs were straight out to the sandbar, where even if you fluffed a gybe you could you were only in knee deep water, & if you suffered equipment failure, the wind & waves woudl push you into the safe arms of the sandbar & beach. I came in & handed the reins over to him & took over child minding duties.

Richard had a couple of runs & handed reins back saying he could not see Nu - i went out looking for her - she was not out on the sandbar & not sailing. I ditched board back on beach & walked downwind towards the kitesurfers. Eventually I spotted Nu in the shallows with her board - boom clamp failure, but another friendly helpful sailor had lashed her boom up to the mast, so I sailed it upwind back to base while Nu walked back.

I had a few more runs on my kit with the tide & waves coming up, it was getting good, but I knew I had to pack up, Richard need to get back to our house inorder to pick his car up for the drive home & Xavier was back to school the next morning & Fini back to child minders, & Nu back to school too, so early starts alround.

Well done to those OM'ers who made the effort & raced!

Weymouth on 29/08/10

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

PM - returned to the beach at 5pm with Nuala, I was cold & was not planning to go back out, but Nuala suddenly said she was going back out & Duncan had finished with my sail........so, I dug out the 95L - as it looked like it had filled in.

Initial few runs were great - very flat water & the wind had swung round slightly & it seemed slightly less holey.......but then after 45mins or so the wind had veered maybe 60 degrees compared to the morning & then it started dropping.....& getting more holey again. As I crossed Nuala's path she called out she was heading in - it was now easy to get to shore as you could practically point high & go perdendicular to the shore.

Had a few very nice planing gybes all the way round in the flat water before it started to drop.......& it was a lovely evening with the sun coming out & blue skies......

Weymouth on 29/08/10

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

AM - first session of the day.

.......many boards blatting back & forth across the bay a max speed......it looked great.

Initially I went out with the 6.5m & 95L - getting off the shore was a challenge as the off-shore winds where very gusty close to the shore, but got slightly cleaner the further out you went.

Where most sailors where, it was still quite holey - & on a sinker its was not always fun. I the gusts it was great - spot on, in the holes I was struggling & up to my knees.

After a few frustrating runs, I headed back to the shore (still a challenge due to the wind direction).

I then took out the x-fire 120L so I could better float through the holes. I had half a dozen or so great runs across the bay, pretty maxed on the x-fire (used smaller 34cm fin). It felt like the holes were filling in, so I headed back in & swopped back to the 95L. Had a few runs with that before heading in for lunch.

Put boards away, gave Duncan my 6.5m, got out of wetsuit & went back to Nu's folkes for lunch.

Weymouth on 28/08/10

Rating:2 star rating
Board:120 litres

.....having spotted a crack on the head of my largest boom, I am now limited to the 8.5m being my biggest rig.

I'm writing this entry on the Sunday......I recall planing, but it can't have been exactly mind blowing as I am struggling to remember anything about yesterday's sail!

I recall having to walk out a long way due to low tide, & being nervous at having a sudden stop with a relatively large fin (44cm).......so I must have gone out midday-mid afternoon as that was low tide.

Gusty conditions, sometimes going very well, sometimes not planing. Due to slightly unusual wind direction, & teh on-off wind & the risk of grounding, it was quite hard sailing back upwind to the launch beach (the old boat yard) as it was off shore wind.

Hayling Island on 24/08/10

Rating:5 star rating
Board:95 litres

Where were you Andrew & Clare?????

I Left work an hour early (I have very understanding bosses - what can I say?!), met Nu & the kids at my work & headed off to Hayling for a mid week 2nd day running session, having gone out yesterday too.

I let Nu go out first & rigger her 4.5m for her, she launched at about 4.30pm & returned at 6pm, & she got even more wind than me chimet avg 27-28 knts gusting 35.

I got out from 6pm till about 7.30pm & Wow - it was even windier than yesterday & still sunny! Chimet reading avg just above 25 knts with gusts hitting 30knots while I was out......I'd rigged my 5m & had to come on & tug on the extra inch of downhaul I had allowed myself - this was about the end of my comfort zone with this sail in the gusts, but was fine in the lulls......if I had rigged my 4.25m it would have been too small, as I suspect Nu's 4.5m would have been too......4.75/4.8m would probably have been optimal today

Mike made it too the beach today, but no sign of Clare or Andrew......too bad, you missed out on another Hayling epic!.......actually, if I am being honest, I'd only give this 3 stars today, but as Andrew & clare missed out, I felt I had to give it the full monty ;) .......& another notch on the windsurfers bedpost whcih is the OM diary count ;)

Added by Andrew on 24/08/10

Finally decided it was about time I went home, been regretting it ever since. Oh well there's always tomorrow....

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