Chris Bond reports from the next stage in the formula windsurfing UK circuit…
Another fantastic weekend’s Formula racing. The wind god certainly delivered in south Wales offering some seat of the pants racing conditions over the 2 days.
The location for the Stena Line Cup 3 event proved a little too far out of the way for some of the fleet so numbers weren’t high but the competition most certainly was. The off shore wind on day 1 made sail choice a little difficult so we could only go on the wind speed reading from the safety boats which informed us of a gusty 14-22 knot wind. I chose a 10m as did Dave Coles (Dolphin) with the rest of the fleet opting for smaller options…….how I wish I was one those now! By the time racing started the wind was gusting 33 knots and the waves could have made auditions for the film The Perfect Storm!! Conditions suited Mr Coles so the Dolphin dominated the days proceedings with 3 wins out of 3 with Tim Gibson taking 2nd and myself 3rd closely followed by Adrian Wallis and Bob Ingram. The racing was scary with most competitors taking a dunking at some point and all getting lots of unwanted airtime! I also managed to slice my foot off, well it was hanging by a thread…..alright I sliced it badly on my fin so ended up with gaffer taped foot for the rest of the weekend. As typing this write up, I am still suffering from the aches, pain and bruises of yet.
Day 2 saw slightly lighter winds – thank god!! The wind was blowing 16 knots with the odd gust of 24 just to keep us on our toes. Dolphin Dave was feeling confident in what looked like his preferred conditions. However, sadly for Dave, the rest of the fleet were not like John West – we were not Dolphin Friendly!! Dave led the first race all the way to the 2nd windward but that’s where the eco friendliness came to an end – Tim and Chris decided not to follow the Dolphins early gybe and this proved successful with Tim crossing the line in 1st followed by myself then the frustrated Dolphin. I could go on for 3 pages about the next race (I wont though) as yours truly was the winner followed by Tim then Dave. The lunch break followed with 2 more races to follow and everything points wise was very close. Sadly we lost Adrian at this point for medical reasons but he’ll be back for the next event. I was on a high from the last race and this looked as though it had been the catalyst for what I thought was my next win – however, to my disgust the race was abandoned due to a lull at the windward mark. I threw all of my toys out of the pram, spat my dummy out and had a tantrum before growing up and accepting the race officer’s decision. The last race of the day was incredibly close but Tim grabbed it and I managed to gybe and overtake the Dolphin right on the finish line to take 2nd. This meant that Tim won the event overall with Dave in 2nd followed by myself.
The weekend was a huge success on and off the water. Since the sad exclusion of RSX from the future of the Olympics, more and more attention has been shifting to Formula. We now have 3 Techno sailors making the switch as well as Spanish amigo training to join the fleet in the near future. Anyone wishing to join us, then just make yourself known to us and we’ll welcome you on board – if you need more persuasion why not read this article: http://boards.co.uk/features/formula-windsurfing-change-life.html
Until the next time – Agent Bond out.
Chris Bond is sponsored by Robin Hood Watersports and Point7.