When we woke up at 0705 hrs it looked like the wind was having a lay in, so after retrieving my aching body out of my doss bag, it was back to the rigging frenzy and decided I would concentrate on my 6.2 and 7m, whilst the wind slowly built then at 0900hrs we attended the race brief, which in french time mens more like 0915hrs by the time they got themselves sorted. The race director was telling everyone how dangerous it was to jump start the line in front of a speedy boat, which was pretty obvious to me, then there was a group of people on the stage and I thought these were some of the boat crew who did an excellent job yesterday rescuing people.
So when Franky one of the organisers who repeats everything in English for us international folk, it materialised that these 6 guys and gals were indeed people who had been rescued the day before but had lost their kit out to sea and looking for volunteers to lend them some kit to continue, strangely enough didn’t see many people volunteering, meanwhile the 1 hour sequence was delayed till 1000hrs, ok more french timing they started at 1020hrs, meanwhile the wind had certainly woke up, with 25 knots at the start line and 35 knots at the bottom mark, with a forecast for increased winds, so my chosen weapon was 6.2 …….
Most people are on the water with 40 mins to go tuning their kit etc and it was evident to me that the local wind effect was taking shape as we struggled to hold your kit on the water and winds gusting 35knots plus on the start line…. It was also apparent that the safety board was yet again going to have a busy day ahead as people struggled to get back to the beach in the ever increasing winds….. Then we 5 mins to go and I decided to beat up wind in readiness for the gybe and reach towards the 600m start line, when bang went my outhaul system , after my repair out to sea I was getting further out and with the off shore winds it was getting stronger now about 40knots decided to get my ass back on dry land….. Knowing that my change down sail required the same mast as I was using, I decided to sit the race out and strangely enough so did about another 200 people who had registered themselves back off the water…..
Yeh, I know its very wimpish of me to retire but it was obvious in offshore winds I didn’t want to add to the safety boats workload which was evident from the beach was increasing by the minute……. I must admit I have done a fair bit of racing in my time and I am glad I took part as this event is something rather special, a good vibe even though you can’t really have an in-depth conversation with most we all get by and a real feel of comradeship, and would recommend anyone to come and have a go just to experience this windsurfing marathon of all marathons and say you have done it!
2nd race of the day and the wind ever increasing…. Probably 5.1 to 5.6 race sail weather, but sadly I don’t have such a thing so I joined many others on 4.7 wave sail on my 93 freerace board…… Ill make no excuses apart from say I hit the sandbank on the downwind leg and exploded as the board rapidly came to a halt……. Just a little battered and bruised, I decided to carry on downwind around the gybe in one piece and on the upwind leg my little wave boom was under some serious strain, creaking etc after my pile in earlier, as was my body at this stage and decided to end after just one 12 mile lap….
Hats off to the leaders who was on their 2nd lap they were flying and in total control, whilst many of the other sailors were exploded out of control, possibly by being vastly overpowered, tripping a rail, spin out all those good reasons we blame when we have a good crash…. Whilst James Dinsmore on the other hand secured a 17th place on the first race of the day and then 24th in the last race before going into the last race he was 11th overall which is a fantastic result plus being a Hayling boy even better….
Well, its 1800hrs the sun is still beating down and the music is blasting out, don’t think they have much of the way of health & safety here just everyone having fun celebrating our love for windsurfing… Anyway, we have now packed our kit away once more in readiness for the last day of racing, but also tonight we have the defi wind barbecue tonight which I am sure in true windsurfing style we will all talk a good race……
Last Day tomorrow and I hear the wind is forecasted to be more of the same, so more aching limbs for sure.