Continuing our speedsailing series on Boards, we now catch up with the British rider Ian Richards who recently hit the big 5-0 at West Kirby.
Name: Ian Richards
Years windsurfing: Way too many, 30+ years.
Years speedsailing: 8 years on GPS.
Top speed: 50.30 knots, peak speed.
Favourite equipment: Fanatic Falcon speed, NeilPryde 5.4, TM50/21 fin
Favourite conditions: Flat, broad and very windy.
Favourite spot: Southend on Sea
Have you always been into speedsailing?
I’ve always enjoyed going fast, but really got hooked when I got my first GPS unit.
What was the first real speed board that you used?
A small Mistral SLE
Where do you usually sail? Why do you like it there?
Langstone Harbour, it’s the nearest water to where I live and it’s a good training spot for the big days at Southend or West Kirby.
Why would you encourage others to go speedsailing?
Simple… It’s great fun.
And what advice would you give someone?
Buy or borrow a GPS unit, give it a go the kit you already own and go from there, also check out the GPSSS website for info.
Why do you prefer it over other types of windsurfing?
I think it’s the competitve aspect, trying to beat your mates or improve your own personal record.
When does just ‘going fast’ turn into proper speedsailing?
It depends whether you are a beginner or expert, and also the location you are sailing, but 40 knots is the big hurdle for most.
How did you hit 50 knots the other week? What was different about this day?
I recall getting a very fast exit out a slingshot at around 47 knots and then a second gust at the right time just did the job, the water state was also quite flat for West Kirby.
What are your next aims? How fast do you think you can you? Over how far?
Well I enjoy the all round GPS sailing thing, so there is always something to aim for: Alphas (gybing), Distance, Hour, Nautical Mile.
Maybe a trip to Luderitz next year, if I win the lottery.
Check out more in our Boards speedsailing series: