Portland harbour promised a good speed sailing conditions for Thursday, 26 July. The 25 knot SSW forecast is the perfect direction for the harbour speed course. The neap tides also allowed the course to work all day.
Being such a good forecast, Simon Hinkley called an Ultimate Speed Meeting for a week day. Timing equipment is not used at these events. Only hand held gps units are used. This enables events to be called at very short notice. Thus guaranteeing wind for the event. The main unit used is the Navi GT11 (Very accurate hand held gps), Garmin Foretrex 201 and 101. Unit prices vary from £60 to £150.
If the forecast is good. (23 knots plus) The USMs are called provisionally four days in advance. The wind direction dictates where the USM will be held. This gives the competitors time to organise their weekend for the coming event. The event will be called two days in advance if the forecast stays good for the event.
As it was a week day only 5 speed sailors could make the week day gathering. These included Adam Gustafsson, Peter Young, Tony Robinson and Duncan Adam.
With a solid 15 to 20 knots SSW at 8am it looked like it would be a classic day. Personal bests were being made all day as the wind increased to a solid 20 knots with 25 knot gusts.
While using the Exocet Warp slalom 58, with a Demon Design Wildfire 6.0 speed sail and a 25 fin, Simon Hinkley managed an unofficial 37.02 knots over 500 metres. This beats Nigel Bowley’s Portland Harbour record by 0.2 knots. This was achieved at Weymouth speed week in 2006. Simon who won the fastest amateur at the 06 speed week was very pleased with his speed. He was using the new more accurate Navi GT11 gps which brings more reliable results to gps speed sailing. “I will be sailing in the pro fleet for Weymouth 2007 and with Exocet and Demon Design I have a great chance to officially break the harbour record this year.
The Portland harbour course is not as fast as other speed courses around the world. So a 37 knot 500 is not to be sniffed at. The angle was perfect. I hooked up to a big gust and just hitched a ride. As it was so broad there was a rolling chop but the Warp slalom 58 just floated over it. I just hope that it’s better for Weymouth in October”.