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March so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member Details Session Description
Toys Used
Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1869

1st January 2019
Windsurfing: Alton Water
Wind Direction: NW
Wind Stength: 5/12
Surf / Sea State: flat
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: sunny periods
Max Speed: 14.50 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 8.63 (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Tuesday 1st January Ė windsurf **** Alton Water Ė sunny periods.

Fanatic Cat with Tushingham Lightning 9.4 and 39 fin.

14.50 knot max., 12.40 knot ave ., 4.05 knot hour, 0.00 knot mile, 16 km., 9.00 knot alpha.

Was keen to get out on New Years Day and when Neil Hurrell WhatsApped that my most disliked venue Alton Water Reservoir where running a dinghy race the length of the Ďpond to Lemons Hill bridge and with poor tides for Levington and light winds I decided to join him for a bit of racing, itís been a few years since I was on a start line! Mag decided to come for the day out which was good because when we arrived at ten Neil had already rigged 9.4 and Linda was sitting in their car so they had a lovely catch-up:) I soon had my raceboard on the beach with my 9.4 a combination little used last year and Neil had his new to him an impressive looking Starboard raceboard ready to go! I then headed to the clubhouse to pay my £10 entry fee and was just in time to catch the briefing. The start was eleven and there were a few bouys to negotiate which is always taxing for a poor old windsurfer to remember! Lucky for me there was 27 dinghies of many varieties to follow so I wouldnít get in a muddle but sadly only two windsurfers just me and Neil with three Stand up Paddle boarders on some impressive looking cruising boards! There was also a father and son setting up some very expensive and new windsurf foiling gear but they were not taking part in the racing especially with the NW breeze being light. After getting Mag to take some pics Neil and I headed of for some start line jostling! As I didnít have a watch counting down and was a bit nervous of mixing it with the large number of boats, I ended up way short of the line at the start ending up in dirty air. You had to make a couple of bouys before the long beat up the reservoir. I didnít see Neil at the start but he faired better and was in the mix with the rest of the boats but once in cleaner air we soon sailed close together and were very close all the way up the beat, Neil was ahead on one tack then me on the next, then I sailed too close to the pond edge and ran out of water ending up jumping off which let Neil get ahead and he made the black turning mark at Lemons Hill Bridge first! There was several watching the action from the bank and I expect the leading boats were nearly back by this point! This end of the pond is picturesque all be it fairly narrow making for some shifty winds but always good for wildlife including rolling fish, herons and cormorants with a buzzard over head:) It was now a two-mile run back to the finish sailing directly into the sun making seeing where you are going difficult! Lucky for me I had Neil to follow about a hundred metres ahead. I then fell in near where I had run aground on the beat letting Neil get further ahead! Then with some steady pumping I got a bit closer but thought it was a lost cause catching him as he made it to the turning bouy near the draw-off tower turning onto a beat. By the time I made it to this bouy Neil was over by the far bank bouy but the wind increased and I planed this short leg and it was now only a 188m beat to the finish! I could see that Neil was not going to make the finish line in one tack and turned while with the wind good now I stuffed it up wind with my only hope getting to the finish in one tact before I hit the concrete slipway! This was when I got really lucky as the moment my fin hit the concrete was the moment the hooter went, followed a second later by a second hooter!!! So, after all that racing, we were only separated by a tiny margin with neither of us sure who had come out on top??? With the best wind of the day now blowing down the pond I had a good beat up again. I was going to try and get back to the bridge again but had to stop half way as I met the last boat coming back so turned and went to play with the foilers including Jamie from Levington. To be honest I wasnít impressed by the foiling here as for a lot of the time I was sailing a lot quicker as they struggled to get flying even though some was using a 8.7 although Jamie only had a tiny sail up and was way underpowered! Then with the wind easing and everyone packing up I decided to call it a day heading ashore for a cuppa with Mag and a coupe of Lindaís mince pies:) It was time for a hot shower, one plus of windsurfing here before packing up as Neil and Linda left to go shopping having arranged to meet up on Friday to go birdwatching at Lackford Lakes:) Then after loading the trailer Mag and I had a nice walk to the sailing centre where I asked the result, itís always a bit complicated as the handicaps have to be worked out but Guy Mortimer checked and said the red sail had just pipped the blue making me the winner, you couldnít make it up to be that close after an hour racing! We then continued over the dam as the wind dropped making nice reflections over by the drew off tower. New Years Day had been popular at Alton with several walkers and bikers enjoying the air. It was then the 18-mile drive home to try and upload the session which is when my unreliable GW-60 gps watch let me down and refused to play ball. Then Alton Water posted the results missing the windsurfers and SUP out all together:( I messaged a few GPS sites looking for help, sorted out my pics and went to bed hoping to sort it out in the morning.

Wednesday 2nd January.

The GPS still not working but with some help from our friend Belgium Speedsailor Patrick Depoorter, Dylan de Jong and Maggie itís sorted for the time being :)

Photo Gallery Here

MK Booms here

Toys Used:
Fanatic Mega Cat 380 III 380
Tushingham Lightning 9.4
Gull Delta L



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