Thursday, November 04, 2010
Ooer - didn't we do well!!
Well as you may have seen in the local rag we cleaned up at the CI champs in Jersey with Hutch coming in first, me second and Stark (raving) coming in third.
Things were looking good as we headed out on the conventional ferry on the Friday evening with a good F6 forecast for the Saturday and a less good but do-able F4 for the Sunday.
We arrived in the land of the toads and found our hotel and then settled in for a few beers and were joined by a few of the Jersey sailors. There was plenty of talk that evening and the following morning after a massive fry for breakie we headed to St Quens for some action. The wind was still relatively light and there was no discernable swell to speak of but we headed out on our 5.3s and 80l boards in the onshore wind chop. As the first heat kicked off a huge black squall came through and this coincided with me walking down the beach (it was low tide and about 200m to the water's edge) into the F6-7 wind!! That said as I launched I took the opportunity to go for a backie of the first wave, which I didn't land but it was a good effort and a good way to rack up some points on the score card and to catch the judges attention!! Hutchy as usual was sailing a blinder and despite the bang onshore wind and minimal waves he was still managing to squeeze out a few loops. I too managed a few forwards and backies; as well as sweet aerial jibe in by a couple of Jersey sailors!
After a lunch stop we then headed back out for round two and the Ian Atkinson Memorial trophy comp. The wind was still onshore but had switched slightly to the north meaning it was the dreaded starboard tack; a none too familiar experience for us donkeys!! The wind had also picked and we were fully wound on the 4.7’s; and the increasing wind also pushed in the swell meaning that there was the odd logo high ramp being offered up. The increasing wind and relentless confused shore break proved too challenging for most and during the 45min expression session only 4-5 people made it out back, with the majority struggling to get through the dumping shore break. With Hutchy and I successfully making it out back we then took about 10mins to get the lie of land, or should I say water, and then started to rack up the points. A couple of the better Jersey sailors were out there with us but it was a pretty solitary experience on the whole, combined with random breaking swells there was a need to keep your wits about you. That said Hutch and I managed to rack up a few loops and backside wave rides with Hutch again having the upper hand.
At the end of the heat I took a beating in the shore break and as I was being tumbled in the white water I was waiting for dull crack of carbon but as I surfaced I saw that I’d amazingly only broken a couple of battens and tore the pockets. On the positive side the sail stayed in one piece and I sailed back up the beach, luckily for me I’d switch over from Naish a few years ago, or else I think I would have had a long walk up the beach with sail in tatters!!
The following day the wind never materialised so the upshot of it all was that Hutch came first overall, I was second and due to his two fifth places and the positions of the other sailors Matt Stark came in third giving the donkeys one, two and three. Richard Klein was the fourth Guernsey sailor and he too managed to get into the top ten - so all in all a pretty good trip for the Guernsey team and luckily for the Jersey boys it wasn’t port or we would have really cleaned up – oh hang on we did anyway!!!