Fred Willis reports from the first Poole Slalom session of the year, Saturday 14th May . The 2011 plans are for Thursday evening or Saturdays with an email circulating to keep the ‘slalomites’ informed.
This week saw a NW wind forecast for Poole Harbour so it was decided to compete at Baiter Park in Poole Harbour. Mid afternoon saw the tide start racing in so we had a good 15 people turn up armed with sails from 6.5 to 9.5 and charge across to Brownsea Island and back. Over the 2 hour period the fleet managed 22 nautical miles with a 3 buoy downwind course.
Standout performances from Simon Cofield who makes sailing a 145 board with 9.0 in overpowered conditions look easy. However, when underpowered he still maintain a devastating turn of speed. For the rest of us it was a mixed bag. Simon Pettifer was on his new 9.5 Simmer race sail and found it a touch big but still turned out a consisted performance. Jono Clarke-Storey was coming in consistently 4th or 5th until a lack of fitness saw him not able to hold onto the board. Alex was as usual turning in a great performance on his Exocet and Naish from a few years ago but showing us all that talent outweighs the age of your kit!!!
It was also great to see some new faces with SWA’s Chris Beng coming along with several new face. Sorry that I didn’t get your names but spread the word.
The incoming tide caused a bit of havoc as it strengthened. Not only did it make the wind in the shipping channel two forces stronger and anyone with 9.5’s go out of control, it also meant that if you fell off in a gybe you got washed under the shipping channel buoy. This happened to me when I tried to be clever and cut the mark too tight. Also, one of our colleagues fell in the wind shadow created by a moored boat just after the first gybe. Pinned against the side he did a good job of escaping without any damage but it was a lesson to be learned by us all.
The next Poole Slalom is scheduled for Thursday 19th May. Sign up at ukwindsurfing.com/information/clubs/poole-slalom and you’ll be kept informed. Please note that we ask participants to be members of the UKWA for insurance reasons.