UKWA FOUR NATIONS CUP, IRELAND - DAY 1
50 knots and head high - Brandon Bay fires for the first UKWA Wave event of the season hosted by Jamie Knox Watersports and supported by Ultra Sport Europe.
The first round of competition was held at Dumps as the wind blasted the sailors who were all hanging on to their smallest sails.
The amateur fleet was dominated by Louise Emery, her competition experience showing through as she pulled ahead of Mark Seaney in 3rd and Simon Crowther (aka event photographer) in 2nd. Simon is suffering a fair ribbing from his mates, while Louise is all smiles!
The youth fleet saw Graham Woods display a mix of talent and heat savvy sailing to pull ahead of Rich Jones who although pulling off some Goitas and Shakas in the mental winds couldn't match GMans consistency.
Tom Knox the 14 year old son of Jamie Knox showed his local knowledge in the Junior fleet as he shot through winning 4 rounds straight off the bat, but was soon shown a challenge in the shape of Aleksy Gayda who was shredding the head high waves (for him), launching into a almost perfect backloop in the afternoon wind to take 2 wins.
The pro fleet saw a real battle for the top spots. Andy King was tipped for greatness as he showed the fleet that a winter in Cornwall has paid off as he launched into some massive forward loops and contorted pushloops in the pre heat practice. It therefore was a surprise to see him bomb out in the quarter finals - soon renamed Angry King, he went and freesailed like a total demon upwind of the contest area pulling off double forwards. Back in the thick of the action, John Skye was showing good skills as was John Hibbard and Chris Audsley. The results of the first round saw Chris Audsley in 3rd and Jamie Hancock in 4th . The final saw a showdown between John Hibbard and John Skye. Skyeboy came through with a solid move packed heat with clean back loops to push Hibbard into 2nd place, who although riding well couldn't quite find the ramps to answer back to Skyes challenge.
The afternoon saw a change of beach as the whole circus moved on to Stradbally, where the wind was more crossshore. A fluky wind eventually put paid to anymore competition for the day leaving the pro fleet preparing for a semi final of John Skye and Oisin Van Geldren and Andy King and John Hibbard. Even the postivley optimistic Jamie Knox couldn't will the wind to continue to blow and at 7.30pm the competition was called off for the day. The other fleets were happy for the break after a solid day of windsurfing. The forecast for wind and waves remain good for the rest of the week so expect more action as the week progresses.
Big thanks to the local event crew and Jamie Knox Watersports for hosting the event. Watch this space for more news.
2 John Hibbard
3 Jamie Hancock
4 Chris Audsley.
1 Tom Knox
2 Aleksy Gayda
2 Rich Jones
2 Simon Crowther
3 Mark seaney