22 Jul 2016

The UKWA Cup Series Came To Portland Harbour

By Louis Morris

The UKWA cup series came to Portland Harbour last weekend. The 19 raceboards completed 8 races with wind from 5 to 12 knots.

Without many shifts or gusts, boardspeed and good starts were rewarded. I was really happy to win every race, as several of my competitors were also really fast in these light wind conditions.

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This is the last competition before the European Championships in a months time. There are 19 people attending from the UK, including 10 youth competitors. I’m really looking forward to it!

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Results:
1st Louis Morris (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Mark Kay, 1st heavyweight and 1st master (Demon/Starboard)
3rd Rob Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)

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14 Jul 2016

Louis Morris Looking Back Over The Last Few Months

By Louis Morris

It’s been a while since I wrote on my blog except for general event reports, which is a shame as I like writing. I’ve been busy. With windsurfing?

 Kind of, although it doesn’t feel like I’ve done a lot of it.

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Waiting for racing at Datchet. Photo by Oscar Williams.

I’ll try and think back to February, when I last wrote on here. After coming back from winning the SWA wave event at Rhosneigr with yet another broken board, I managed a really fun session at Trecco with some uni friends, and some nice wave riding at Horton with Sara Kellett and the locals.

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Clew-first cutback in onshore conditions at Rhosneigr. Photo by Jim Brooks-Dowsett.

Then there was a long period without much wind or waves. However, I made the trip to Oxford to race with the London Windsurfing Association in some pretty cold conditions. It was great to get back out on my raceboard and have some fun racing with Lewis Barnes,

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Some waves in east Cornwall. Photo by Laura Mottram.

I finally got back out in some wave conditions in April. First, a 2 hour mission through terrible traffic from Bath to Trecco for some really fun cross shore wave riding. Then a wet and windy session at Seaton in Cornwall, which is the closest wave spot to my home, but it needs an ESE or SE’ly, so doesn’t work very often. The waves were pretty messy, but there was a good crowd out, and I landed some of my cleanest ever back loops. I just need to work on more height, and more control. After another month without a wave session, I had a tiny light wind offshore day at Bigbury, a slightly windier day of tiny waves at the rock garden, and most recently, a really fun 4.2 cross-on session at Trecco. I started trying takas, got back into tabletops, and keep working on my backloops. Pushloops next, and getting my confidence back with stalled forwards.

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Waveriding in South Wales.

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Close racing. Photo by John Liddy.

I’m supposed to be training for the Raceboard European Championships in Brest, France at the end of August. There’s a good crowd of us going from the UK, so it’ll be a lot of fun. But how’s the training going? Well, I’ve been riding my bike a bit, mostly just commuting but also the odd long evening ride. Occasionally I do some exercises to strengthen my core and upper body, not as much as I probably should to. And on the windsurfing side, well, rather than not sailing raceboard at all and wavesailing sometimes (like in the winter), I wavesail hardly at all, and take my raceboard out occationally. So, I don’t feel like I’ve done as much training as I imagined. Reminds me why I’m not trying to be a pro windsurfer, I just don’t do the whole athlete thing, I just like windsurfing and racing for fun, and doing loads of other fun interesting things as well. Anyway, I feel confident and motivated, the UKWA events are great training, and every time I compete I learn something new, and get a little bit better.

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Pumping off the start line. Photo by Oscar Williams.

Rob Kent, and lots of other people! I somehow managed to win back more than I paid for my entry in the form of wine, so if nothing else, that may entice me back next winter!

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Racing in the LWA icebreaker at Farmoor. Photo by John Liddy.

After what seemed like ages, the wind returned for the easter weekend, but I was stuck trying to coach children in very strong winds at Weymouth! I was very unhappy, just because I hadn’t had a good windsurf for weeks and now that it was windy, I couldn’t go. I was pretty close to wanting to quit coaching. But my grump past, and I’ve not quit. I do actually really enjoy coaching, I find it very rewarding, and love seeing the kids improve, have fun on the water, and then see them during the summer having a great time in the races. I’ve been assisting Ali Yates with the South and West Welsh squad this winter, and it’s been amazing to see the progression of the sailors, and even nicer to see just how much they love windsurfing! With Ali now in a full time job in north Wales, it looks like I’ll be looking after the S/W welsh squad next winter. I feel like I’ve got a lot to live up to!

I’ve been studying for the MRes year of my PhD program, and had the opportunity to do some really interesting research at the universities of Bath and currently, Bristol. I really like chemistry research, and I’m enjoying it far more than my undergrad. However, it’s hard to get in loads of windsurfing sessions. Until now, I’ve been in Cornwall at this time of year, making it easy to windsurf any spare minute. However, for me to get an after-work windsurf living in Bristol, I need to drive for well over an hour through terrible traffic. I’ve had a couple of nice after work wave and raceboard sessions though. I really wanted to compete in the first event of the BWA wave tour in Rhosneigr this year, but in the end I couldn’t go, I was just too tired after working like crazy for a deadline. It was so gutting to miss out, even though the conditions looked pretty marginal at best.

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Cruising on the rail. Photo by John Liddy.

The racing season got underway at the end of April with some great racing in a mixture of light, shifty, and consistent medium conditions at Christchurch, then some more light and shifty winds at Rutland, and even more light and shifty wind at Datchet! I’m feeling confident and fast in these conditions and in medium winds, and I’ve done a bit of training in stronger wind. I think my speed is ok in the strong winds, but it always takes a bit of time for me to feel comfortable in these conditions.

One last thing. You may have heard that Tushingham will stop making sails this year. It’s pretty sad news, especially as the Tushingham XR-Race is such an amazing all-round raceboard sail. I found the sail design aspect really interesting, and wish I was around on the team back when they were developing the raceboard sail. We had some ideas about how to improve the low end of the sail to help in light wind inland conditions and for heavier riders. So, I suppose I’m a Severne team rider now. I’ve not got any Severne sails yet, but I look forward to trying the Severne raceboard sail once they arrive in the UK. However, I’ll be using the Tushingham XR-Race at the European championships. It’s what I’m used to, and it’s too late to get tuned up on a different sail.

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5 Jul 2016

Round Three of the UKWA National Series

By Dave Coles

Round three of the UKWA National series got off to a slow start for us as half way through the trip up to Bridlington we had a problem with the fuel filter on the van.

So after a five-hour wait for the rescue service we were told they could not fix it at that time of night and to park up for the night, and they would sort it in the morning.

As the forecast for the weekend was looking good, and there was no way I was going to miss racing if I could help it, so we carried on up the road with a hundred and fifty miles still to go and at times a top speed of 15 miles an hour it was a slow trip arriving finally in the early hours of Saturday, but we had made it.

Saturday morning we had sun and plenty of wind almost too much, I was first out and sailed the course a couple of times to find the best lay lines up and downwind, the wind here can be very shifty, race one went to plan I got a first, Tim Gibson was second, followed by Chris Bond in third.

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Race 2 and again everything was going well until I had a header on the beat allowing Tim to take the lead which he held on to until the run to the finish where I gybed inside him and claimed the lead back by the finish so results for race two was the same as race one.

After lunch we went back on the water for race three and wind was now really blowing up to 34 knots and a very choppy sea, it took a while to get us away for this one as the committee boat kept dragging its anchor, and they had to change boats.

I had a good start in this one again and led for the first half of the race until I gybed and got hit by a big gust half way though and ended it with a swim, however, I managed to claim the lead back going up the second beat as I tacked early hoping to get a lift which I got but only to loose it again just near the windward mark so dropped back to third Tim was second, and Chris Bond was first. So the end of racing for the day, the wind was 25 – 34 knots and used 9.5 Reflex all day.

Sunday with the wind was slowly building all morning which gave us a bit of a rest and time to recover after the previous hard day. Finally, we were called out the wind was 12 – 14 knots and was building so I took Reflex 10.7 thinking it would keep building while Tim and Chris both went 12m again. I led the first half of the race then lost out to Tim as the wind dropped, Tim won this one I was second and Chris third, so back to the beach and waited for the wind.

After a while it was back on the water and this time I was determined not to make the same mistake so took the 11.5 Reflex wrong decision, again the wind was blowing 20 knots plus for this one. I again led the first lap, but wind was really shifty and ended up on the wrong side of a shift and dropped to fourth, however on the last downwind leg I risked everything and managed to get inside everyone and made an early gybe and took the lead by the finish, Tim dropped from 1st to fourth, Chris made it to second and fellow Severne sailor James Batty made it into third.

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Overall Results for Weekend 1st Dave Coles – Severne – Starboard 2nd Tim Gibson Gaastra North 3rd Chris Bond Point 7 – Gaastra Ist Youth Jame Batty – Severne

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Team Tweets

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RT @JoWright592: Picked up all my new kit for the year on Saturday! Thankyou for the continued 8 years of support @TushinghamSails http://t…
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Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
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Great second day with the Techno Class Association at Queen Mary Sailing Club, everything from 70 litre wave... http://t.co/L6ASfeg1z4
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RT @windsurfmag: Need a technique brush-up? Our Gurus’ comprehensive guides listed here might hold the magical key you’re looking for! http…
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All seasons in one day at Queen Mary Reservoir today. Big storms but still plenty of water time, round 2 tomorrow.
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