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August so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member Details Session Description
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Owner: squiz
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Member#: 6644
Location:
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1768

4th August 2019
Windsurfing: West Mersea
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Stength: 10/15
Surf / Sea State: flat and lumpy
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: mainly cloudy with the odd sunny period but warm
Max Speed: 21.51 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 25.25 (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Sunday 4th – Windsurf ***** - 50th Around Mersea Island Race – mainly cloudy with the odd sunny period but warm.


Fin – 21.51 knot max., 19.75 knot ave ., 11.53 knot hour , 18.52 knot mile , 46.80 km., 12.27 knot alpha.


Fanatic Cat with Tushingham Lightning 9.4 and 39 fin.


I wasn’t overly keen on going but Neil and Craig Hurrell signed up ages ago and with the long-range forecast for the race looking promising I decided to give it a go and emailed my entry form in on the last day agreeing to pay my £20 on the day and in the end I am glad I did as we had a really great day reminding Mag and I of the good old days of windsurfing and had loads of laughs with some great company:) We all agreed to park at the big grass carpark just down from West Mersea Windsurfing hut and sail around to the start which meant I could take my trailer as parking at the Yacht club is very limited! Mag and I decided to leave Felixstowe early to get prom parking spot with the sea view and have breakfast. We arrived at 9.15 with Peter and Sarah Goodchild, a long-time friend and good long boarder but we had a problem! The car park gate which was supposed to have been opened at 8 0 clock was still locked:( Sarah made a few phone calls and eventually a doddery old boy on a trike arrived apologising profusely but said he was on holiday and that it was someone else’s job! With the gate open Peter let me in first so we could get our spot and were soon joined by the Hurrell’s, Neil, Linda and Craig:) After a chat the first job was for the four of us to bike around to the Yacht club for the briefing and sign on. The briefing was under way when we got there with plates of yummy bacon rolls which I helped myself too and the windsurfers were the first to sign on. You had the choice of start time and which direction around the island you sailed. We had chosen to sail to port, left around the island and starting at 1.55. We then biked back to the vans and had porridge with Mag before setting up my 9.4 after putting sail numbers on, the first time I had done that in several years. I still had some old race numbers from my old UKBSA racing days and chose 65 my age :) We then had ages to kill so Neil fitted our new windscreen wipers and had more top banter we had a team pic before setting off at 12.30 in 10 knot SE. It was a run to the yacht club and I have never seen so many moored boats to navigate, a bit of a problem as it was difficult to see where I was going through my misty old sail! We landed on the slipway to wait for our start time, with starts going off every five minutes, then with five minutes to go we headed out. With the tide flowing hard in it was easy to hold position but there was a huge amount of weed everywhere:( Neil, Craig and I got a good start as we beat against the tide though the boats but I was going very slow and had a large lump of weed on my dagger and fin so had to drop in to clear it. I then made my biggest mistake of the day and tried to beat tight to the left of the little island on the entrance to the creek while Neil and Craig went to the right, a little further to sail but they got out of the strong tide quick and were able to sail away from me as I had to put in several quick tacks in really strong current with loads of moored boats! Once out in open water things were a lot easier and after eight tacks covering 1.60 miles it was then on long beat to East Mersea. I tacked right in front of Mag and the gang waving as I passed with the Hurrells now way ahead! I was managing to overtake loads of dinghies as the beat turned into a run as I rounded East Mersea point into the River Colne. I then had the I can’t see where I am going problem for much of the four-mile run to the Stood. I managed to follow a laser which helped a lot but it was tiring as I couldn’t get into the harness mush. I got really close to slalom sailor Simon Chippington who had started an hour earlier but had never been on a longboard before so did well to finish especially as it was very lumpy out to sea! It was great approaching the Stroud the causeway linking the island to the mainland and the road was at least a foot under water and there was an huge crowd there watching and helping get the competitors bot windsurfers and cats/dinghies across:) I managed to get some pics as a mum and her son helped me to the other side. I was soon underway again with only 1.65 miles to the finish but I sailed to far to the right where it was very shallow and was lucking not to go in but when I reached deep water again, I had to drop in and remove the weed from my fin! I reached the finish with no more dramas and landed just as Neil and Craig were sailing back to the vans so I was well beaten today but had a great sail none the less! It was then just a case of signing off and sailing back. I went to the right of the island this time having learned my lesson and headed across towards Bradwell power station as the wind increased to a good 15 knots. This was much more like it, shame it wasn’t this windy when we were racing! I then reached the nearly two miles back across a very lumpy sea with the track right at the back going really well. In the end I did this crossing 7 times trying for a 20-knot average which I just missed out on as the sea was just too lumpy but great fun none the less and managed my best speed of the day, 21.51 knots. Getting knackered now I headed back and was greeted on the beach by Mag who had had a nice day chatting and making cushions with Linda and Sarah. With the Hurrell’s backed up and ready to leave we quickly arranged where to windsurf tomorrow and said our goodbyes. So my 60th session of the year coincided with the 50th Mersea Race and a 5 Star day was enjoyed by most:)

PS – at the time of me writing this, 23.20 we are waiting to see if Craig Hurrell is the fastest windsurfer, fingers crossed !!!

PPS - Have just got the results of the Island race - a big congratulations to Craig Hurrell who came 1st, Neil Hurrell 2nd with me 4th:) Great day!


Around Mersea Race results here


Photo Gallery Here

Toys Used:
Fanatic Mega Cat 380 III 380
Tushingham Lightning 9.4
Mystic Yourizoon Shortie xl

 

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