Round Brownsea Record Broken

Guy Cribb, Andy Sommerfield and Julian Lockwood all set off to try and break the Round Brownsea Record yesterday in a SSW wind, gusting 20 knots plus.

We stuck to the original record route- too and from FC Watersports front door.

Cribby leapt over the wall rather than using the steps which gave him a ten metre lead from the shop, and as such caught a miracle gust from the start and shot off whilst Andy and Jules were left in a lull for about 3 minutes!?

Guy sailed all the way to Hamworthy on one tack, having purposely sailed downwind away from the lee of Brownsea to begin with. Tacked off Hamworthy and then cleared Brownsea Island and bore off downwind having completed about two thirds of the distance, and the slowest part (upwind) in about 11 minutes!

"I was thinking I would finish in under 20 mins at this stage, but then made a stupid mistake. I turned downwind too soon and found an underwater headland sticking out which I had to sail upwind around. This was on the lightest part of the course in the lee of Furzey Island and as such I came off the plane. I remained off the plane for about 4 or 5 minutes sailing against a strong current, but still knew I was in with a chance of breaking the record."

Cribby held the record for about ten years from 1992 (26 mins ish) but since then Ed Brtinell from K-Bay has held it at 24mins 30 secs ish.

Andy and Jules didn't quite make it past the Truckline Terminal on one tack and so had to put a few tacks in to get to Hamworthy. Jules fell off on one and was left floundering in the current being pulled in towards Poole Quay! But they were quickly catching Guy whilst he was stuck in the lull.

Jules was on a 6.3m / 109 JP SS, Andy on 6.2m/ Fanatic 105 and Guy on a 5.8m North Ram and the brand new Mistral 110 2009 Slalom board on it's maiden voyage.

Guy finally caught a gust and sailed the shortest route on a hell broad reach at over 30 knots towards the harbour entrance, but had to do most of it unhooked as the water was extremely shallow in places.

"I didn't fancy being catapulted this broad into the mud. Once I was in deeper water I hooked in again, let my outhaul right off and shot straight downwind to the finish, putting in a few gybes off Brownsea Castle, and pumping madly in between all the moored boats causing wind shadows, I managed to plane right into the shore, sprinted up the beach, up the steps, down the road and into FC Watersports, knackered!"

Cribby set a new record of 24 mins and 8 seconds. Jules and Andy came in together at 31 minutes.

Guy is convinced the record could go again to pretty much anyone on bigger kit in a better tidal state, like high tide where we could use bigger fins. Although the wind direction of SSW was really good.

"I was only on a 36cm fin with a small sail, underpowered by racing standards. I didn't risk using my bigger sail and bigger fin as it would have been too dangerous in the shallow water round the back of the island. Like any race, if you've sailed the course once you can sail it faster a second time, and now I know some of the obstacles and wind shadows to look out for, I reckon we could do it in under 20 mins in lighter winds with bigger kit, which would have a wider wind range to?stay planing through the lulls."?

No other sailing craft has ever been around Brownsea this fast.