The Tri Service Wave Sailing Championships were run again this year during the week of the 22nd – 26th March and held at Rhosneigr beach on Anglesey. The event was well attended again with a total of 25 sailors from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal air Force making the trip. The event was held over a 5 day period in order to utilise the best wind and wave conditions of the week. The forecast was looking ok for the week with winds forecast form the SSW around 16 – 20 knots most of the week and temperatures of around 10 degrees, which was a bit warmer than last year!!
We all met at Funsport shop at the beach on Monday morning and had a look at the conditions, a good force 5 from the SW was blowing (port tack) so a good opportunity to blow the cobwebs away and get the small kit out, the waves were about head high also so conditions looked pretty good, being port tack was quite a challenge for some of the south coast sailors who normally are used to starboard tack jumping but most mastered the change of tack despite some spectacular wipe outs..
Tuesday gave more moderate winds so most sailors opted for 6.5m sails and 100 litre boards , enough breeze to get out on the water to do some blasting, the wind dropped off in the afternoon so an opportunity to run through the format for the wave event which was planned for Wednesday.
The competition was based around an Open fleet and Novice fleet, sailors were drawn into heats of 4 and 5 where the heat winners would advance to the finals and the losers would get another chance to sail again in a series repo - charge heats.
The heat duration time was based around 10 minutes per heat with a 5 minute transition time and sailors were scored on 2 best jumps and 1 wave.
The jumps were scored on one forward rotation and one back rotation with a factor of 10 being applied and the waves were scored in a similar format, so sailors could choose to either go for back side riding or front side depending on their wave selection.
Being a Tri Service event the competition was fierce both within the open fleet and novice fleet with sailors landing big forward loops going for push loops, back loops, jump variations, backside and front side wave riding.
On Wednesday we completed one full round of both open and novice fleets which gave us a contest result.
Andrew Heighton Jackson (Army) took the honours in the Open fleet, with a steady display of solid jumping and both forward and back rotations with some nice front side riding, Steve Roberts (Royal Navy) second and Craig Hamilton (RAF) third. The standard of the Open fleet has definitely risen as sailors were charging..
In the Novice fleet Rob Hickley took first place, Marti Jerrard second place both from the Army and Alan Cross sailed his way to a commendable third place.
Due to the forecast looking a bit lighter for Thursday we decided to run an expression late on Wednesday afternoon, this was based over 20 minutes and judged on the two stand out sailors, basically the most radical moves one. Craig Hamilton (RAF) landed a massive push loop and Richard Cessford (RN) was putting down some big stalled back loops.
Thursday greeted us with light winds so we didn’t get on the water but spent the day down the beach discussing the comp from the previous day and generally doing a lot of looking at kit and drinking tea..
We had a group meal organised on Thursday night after the prize giving at the local curry house, which is always an event in its self!! Not too much beer was drunk as the forecast for Friday morning was looking pretty good so we managed to get a short sail in before most people headed home during the afternoon.
So to round up another very successful event and a massive thanks to Animal Clothing who have come on board this season to sponsor and support Army and Forces windsurfing.
Also big thanks to all the other sponsors of the event.
Williams Windsurfing – supplied prizes
Tiki wetsuits - supplied the contest rash vests.
Seasprite - supplied prizes
Funsport: Dave and Lucas – event support
Next event – Forces Open Championships Hayling Island 4 – 7 May
Jon Metcalfe ASA Windsurfing Manager