Monday, 10 June 2013

UKWA Inland 3: Farmoor

This weekend saw the third event of the UKWA Inland series, which was hosted by the London Windsurfing Association at Farmoor reservoir near Oxford. The Raceboard fleet was well represented with 24 competitors registering for the two day event including 5 youths.

Whilst Saturday saw plenty of juniors compete in the Team 15 event, only three stayed for the 2nd day of the UKWA event. The Inland series is a great introduction to national level racing for all ages, and the next event (at Whitwell, Rutland water) runs alongside the RYA Junior National championships, which is a perfect event for all Team 15 windsurfers. 17 young windsurfers raced in the Techno class, and the promising forecast enticed four Formula racers to the gusty lake.

With a really gusty offshore wind, it was difficult to judge the wind strength from the ‘beach’. Race officer James Palin set a box course, with the Raceboards sailing an Inner loop course, with an Outer loop for the Techno’s, and a windward/leeward for Formula. The wind was pretty strong, with some big gusts in excess of 20 knots sweeping down the course.
Rigged and ready, it's windier than it looks!

Tom Naylor flew past me soon after the start, but decided to take a trip to the other side of the lake, missing the layline and handing me the win. James Moon delivered a strong performance to take 3rd ahead of Rob and Annette Kent, with 15 year old Lewis Barnes delivering a solid 6th place.

I got a pretty bad start in the next race, but managed to get some good upwind speed and get the gusts and shifts right to arrive at the windward mark first and take the race, with Rob Kent in second.

After lunch, it looked like the wind had dropped, it had but there were still some pretty strong gusts coming through. I won both races, but didn’t get it all my own way; the gusty, shifty conditions causing big mix ups in the fleet each upwind leg. Downwind, some were unlucky to get stuck in a hole, whilst others could carry a gust to the leeward mark. A mixture of lots of pumping and following the gusts downwind helped me recover from some bad positions. Tom Naylor and James Moon seemed to be having their own private battle, with Tom just edging ahead in each race. Rob Kent found some good consistency, ending the day in 3rd behind Tom Naylor and ahead of James Moon. Consistency was hard to find in the tricky conditions, and whilst Tim Colles had some impressive speed to get a couple of top 6 results, Alan Jackson, Annette Kent, and Adrian Rippington fared better with their top 10 consistency.

The Techno and Formula fleets also managed 4 races, with Henry Bloodworth and James Hatcher showing the way around the course with four bullets and four seconds respectively in the Techno fleet, and Chris Bond dominating the Formulas.
Raceboards ready to go

The wind was much lighter and very shifty on Sunday, especially in the afternoon. I won each of the four races, with marginal winds rewarding me downwind, allowing me to make up for any mistakes on the shifty upwind legs. Rob Kent is quick in this wind, and was consistently 3rd except in the last race where he got done by a big wind shift. Tom Naylor was less consistent, but with two discards, he counted only 2nd and 3rd places to take 2nd place in the event, following his win at Rutland a few weeks ago. James Moon started the day well with a 3rd place, but couldn’t keep it up, and ended the event in fourth. Annette Kent performed well in the light winds, showing the fleet how it is done with her 8.5. It was Nick Welsh’s first time on a Raceboard, but some impressive results saw him finish first youth and 12th overall.

HB and James Hatcher were absent from the Techno fleet on Sunday, but Alice Read destroyed everyone with straight bullets to win overall as well as first 7.8 and first girl. Hugo Thomas was first 6.8, and Rebecca Kent first 6.8 girl.

Raceboard results summary:
  1. Louis Morris, 1st Lightweight (Tushingham XR Race 9.5/Starboard Phantom 377)
  2. Tom Naylor, 1st Veteran (Tushingham XR Race 9.5/Starboard Phantom 380)
  3. Robert Kent, 1st Master (Tushingham XR Race 9.5/Starboard Phantom 377)

1st Woman: Annette Kent, 5th overall (Tushingham XR 8.5/Phantom 377)
1st Senior Veteran: Alan Jackson, 6th overall (Tushingham XR 8.5/Demon 9.5/Phantom 380)
1st Heavyweight: Tim Colles, 9th overall (Tushingham XR 9.5/Phantom 380)

1st Youth: Nick Welsh, 12th overall (RSX 8.5/Phantom 380)

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