Louis Morris

Race

2014 Raceboard National Champion and Inland Champion, 3rd at the 2013 World Championships using the XR Race. Off the race course, Louis can often be found chasing wind and waves around S. Wales and the westcountry with his Rocks.

"I started sailing at the weekly kids club at Siblyback lake when I was 8, but I found windsurfing too hard! When I was 10 I rediscovered windsurfing, and went sailing and windsurfing alternate weeks until I got planing - then I was hooked. I went to the occasional Team 15, but it took me a while to get really keen on competing.

My first UKWA event was on 4.5 in 2006, but I started UKWA racing properly on Techno 7.8 two years later, and got into the National Squad. I switched to RSX at the end of 2009, and although I didn't go for any squads, I really enjoyed it, and got 6th at the RYA Youth Nationals in 2011. I figured that I didn't have the time for an Olympic program, I just wanted to have fun racing, so I switched to Raceboard, knowing that there is always plenty of friendly competition. In 2012, I had my best year ever, and won 3 of the 4 UKWA events I entered. I'm currently a Chemistry student at the University of Bristol, and I'm the Student SWA racing champion.

Besides racing, my recent discovery is wavesailing, and love to get out in the Cornish waves at home whenever possible. I've worked as an instructor for a few years at Siblyback, where I first started, and I'm really keen to promote Raceboard windsurfing to up and coming young ex-Team 15 and Techno windsurfers, and everyone else! Future plans: compete internationally, win some UKWA, push my wavesailing, maybe try slalom in a couple of years if I have time".

Louis Morris

9 Oct 2015

Stokes Bay: The Final Round

I have to admit, at one point, the forecast didn’t exactly fill me with excitement for the last event of the UKWA National Championship Series at Stokes Bay, Gosport. However, after about 1.5 hours of postponement, racing got underway in …

I have to admit, at one point, the forecast didn’t exactly fill me with excitement for the last event of the UKWA National Championship Series at Stokes Bay, Gosport. However, after about 1.5 hours of postponement, racing got underway in about 6 knots of wind.

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 (photo by Robert Hajduk)

Due to the constrictions of the shipping channel, racing took place on a windward/leeward course set close to the shore, with wind shifts and tide playing a very important part in tactical decisions. By the time we started racing, the tide was fairly slack, but probably still running in the deep water, so the winning tactic was to head right and make use of less tide, and possibly some kind of wind bend by the shore. Tom Naylor had really impressive light wind speed, and arrived first to the windward mark. I managed to pass him, but had to really work to keep him behind me in the first race. In race two, it was a similar story, but this time it was Rob Kent who had a good race, finishing just behind myself. Mark Kay was particularly impressive upwind all weekend, and beat Tom to take 3rd. With a late start to the racing, we were treated to a third exhausting light wind race. Again, I won, with Rob in second, but this time Tom just managed to keep Mark from the top three.

After a well-earned break, we headed out for the final race of the day. The wind was now just strong enough to plane downwind, and with a bit of extra power in his sail, Mark Kay found his familiar superspeed self. It was a very close race between us on the first lap, but a good second beat gave me a large enough lead to pump a little less on the last downwind. Tom sailed a solid race, but was unfortunately one of four competitors to be pushed over the line early by the strengthening tide. Annette Kent had a solid performance, finishing ahead of Harriet Ellis in every race, which put her in a good position going into the final day to take the national title.

In the youths, it was Alice Butts who sailed the best in the light, tidal conditions. However it was very close, with only a couple of points separating the 4 youths at the end of the day.

On Sunday, the SE’ly wind was there early on, but took it’s time to build, and the two morning races took place in similarly light wind to Saturday, with a fast tide pushing against it. The best tactic upwind was to head out to deep water and catch the tide and stronger wind. I managed to get away to a strong lead and win both races, although eventually retired from the first race following an incident on the start line, and a lack of enthusiasm for protest hearings. Behind me, it was very close racing between Tom, Mark, and Rob. Mark and Tom managed to get great upwind board-speed in the short chop, whilst Rob’s strength was downwind.

The wind built to a nice 12-14 knots in the afternoon, and the tide started to switch direction. Myself, Tom, and Mark started to have a little bit of a speed advantage over Rob in the stronger conditions. I didn’t have an amazing start in the first race, but a strong downwind saw me take the lead, only to run out of outhaul rope at the leeward mark, forcing me to tack to pull on outhaul on the other side of the boom. This sent me into slack/wind with tide water, whilst Mark and Tom headed into the channel and established an insurmountable lead on me, with Mark winning the race. In the final race, I took the start a little too relaxed and was called over within the final minute. I had to go around the end, but couldn’t find a gap, and in trying to manoeuvre myself into a position to start on time, fell in and gave everyone a 1 minute head start as I had some fun uphauling my sail! Mark and Tom sailed off to take first and second, whilst I played catch up. I managed to pull back to about 5th or 6th at the windward mark, then pumped like crazy to arrive at the leeward mark in 3rd, a position I managed to keep to the finish.

Pretty frustrated with my silly mistakes, as my speed was certainly good enough to win both races. In the end, I could still win the event, and unfortunately my mistakes impacted Rob more than me: with two 2nd places, Tom was able to displace Rob from the event podium, and take 3rd behind Mark in 2nd.

Lewis Barnes was going quicker in the slightly stronger breeze, and took a 4th and 5th. Similarly, Jenna Gibson started chipping away at the points; with 3 top ten finishes on Sunday, she managed to snatch the youth prize from Alice Butts, who did just enough to keep Thomas Cave, who prefers stronger winds, behind her in the final result. However, with the most consistent performance throughout the year, it was Thomas who was first youth in the overall series, congratulations to him in his first year on raceboard.

Sunday was the day for Harriet to get some points back from Annette, but unfortunately  for her, it wasn’t quite enough, handing Annette both the event, and overall series win for the womens prize.

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In two weeks, the final inland event takes place at Pitsford Reservoir near Northampton. After that, we look forward to more great racing next year. However, there are still the LWA icebreaker events to go to if anyone wants some more racing between now and next spring.

Event results summary:

1st, Louis Morris
2nd, 1st master, 1st heavyweight, Mark Kay
3rd, 1st veteran, Tom Naylor
1st supervet, John Pete (6th overall)
1st lady, Annette Kent (7th overall)
1st youth, Jenna Gibson (10th overall)

Complete results: http://www.windsurfingresults.co.uk/StokesBay2015.html

Series results summary:

1st, Louis Morris
2nd, 1st master, 1st heavyweight, Mark Kay
3rd, Robert Kent
1st Veteran, Tom Naylor (4th overall)
1st supervet, John Pete (6th overall)
1st Lady, Annette Kent (7th overall)
1st Youth, Thomas Cave (9th overall)

Complete results: http://www.windsurfingresults.co.uk/UKWACup2015.html

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8 Sep 2015

Pwllheli Raceboard Report

It would be hard to beat the fantastic conditions we had at Weymouth, but if anywhere can than Pwllheli can. It is possibly my favourite place to race, with great open sea racing conditions, or tactical shifty flat conditions depending on wind direction, with camping virtually on the beach and Snowdonia as a backdrop to the race course.

Mark Kay and Lewis Barnes had been training for several days prior to the event, although by the sound of it more short boarding got done than race training, and those that arrived early on Friday were treated to some great windy conditions. As I found, pitching my tent at 11:30pm.

The wind and waves had moderated a bit in time for racing on saturday morning, but it was still a bit on the breezy side, with 16-18 knots cross-onshore from the SW. I chose my 9.5 XR-Race (like always!), and 46cm drake fin (smaller fin for stronger wind and chop).

The raceboard fleet pushed the start a tad (apparently it was my fault), and we started the weekend with a general recall. A collision with a lobster pot buoy soon after the re-start let half the fleet past me, so it was Mark Kay, Tom Naylor (Tushingham), and Tom Dryden (Tushingham) who arrived first to the windward mark. All four of them had really good speed upwind on saturday. I tacked off after my collision and found that either I was very very fast, or that the right side of the course paid a lot, because I was 4th to the windward mark. Mast track issues put Tom Dryden out of the race downwind, I managed to pass Tom Naylor with superior angle, and closed the gap on Mark. On the second beat Mark and I headed to opposite sides of the course, and I had taken the lead by the final mark, and won the race.

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Louis Morris (photo by Karen Battye)

In the second race, it was Mark and Tom who battled it out at the front the whole way round. I couldn’t overtake with speed alone, and tacked too early upwind several times due to a strengthening tide. Mark won, Tom 2nd, myself 3rd. Lewis Barnes had a better race, but opened the door on the last reach for Rob Kent (Tushingham) to take 4th place.

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Rob Kent (photo by Andy Stallman)

The wind dropped to about 14-16 knots in the afternoon, with a slightly flatter sea-state. The speed difference between myself and Mark was virtually nothing, and I had him right on my tail the whole way round. Lewis and Rob didn’t have their best race, but that should take nothing away from Andy Gibson, who was flying all day and took 4th, ahead of Tom Dryden who didn’t break anything and took a well deserved 5th.

Rob bounced back in the final race of the day, but still couldn’t displace Tom N from his now customary 3rd place. Meanwhile, it was closer than ever, too close in fact, between myself and Mark. Mark arrived first to the windward mark, but I had a great downwind leg and arrived at the leeward gate first. We both opted to gybe and head left, and Mark took the inside and hit my mast with the end of his boom as I came out tighter than he expected. All good, we were both still upright, and I now had him behind me. I tacked on what I thought was the layline whilst he carried on for a little longer. In clean air, Mark is very fast upwind, and I could hear him getting closer, I tried to point as high as possible to squeeze into his lee-bow and control him again. I thought he’d got me, but as he overtook, his boom clipped my shoulder and sent him over the front. Luckily out of the way of me so no further collision took place. Mark recovered quickly enough to keep Tom at bay and take an unfortunate 2nd.

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Annette Kent (photo by Karen Battye)

Thomas Cave was the fastest youth in the breezy conditions, and had some close racing with experienced racers Annette Kent (Tushingham) and Harriet Ellis. Harriet was unlucky, missing two races after breaking her mast, battens, and sail in the waves.

Most of sunday was spent waiting for wind. We were teased with 4 knots SW, but the race committee decided to continue waiting, and eventually it swung NW (offshore) and reached 6-8 knots. By the time we started, we had a slightly gusty and shifty 8-10 knots. The fleet was quite split after the start, with neither side looking  better than the other. I opted for the middle, with two tacks timed with shifts. I had really good speed and angle, a great start, and good laylines, so arrived upwind first. Rob and Mark weren’t far behind, but I planed almost all the way downwind on both laps, so pulled away quite a lot and won by a comfortable margin. The next race was a similar story, although the wind was a little lighter so it was entirely non-planing. In this wind, Mark and Rob were very well matched upwind, but Rob had the slight edge downwind, and managed to take 2nd in both races, with Mark 3rd and Tom Naylor 4th. These conditions often suit Lewis, and he was very quick upwind, but didn’t managed to piece together the tactics, and settled for 5th and 9th.

Thomas Cave likes it windy, couldn’t keep up with fellow youths Alice Butts and Emily Kent. Alice sailed excellently, and even finished ahead of Annette in the final race. However, with only two light wind races, Thomas had done enough to take the youth prize by just two points. Annette Kent was first lady, with good light wind races, Harriet also sailed well, but with only one discard, couldn’t recover from her kit-breaking wave.

Full results

Results summary:

1st Louis Morris (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Mark Kay (Demon/Starboard), 1st heavy, 1st master
3rd Tom Naylor (Tushingham/Starboard), 1st veteran
1st Lady Annette Kent (Tushingham/Starboard) 8th overall
1st supervet John Pete (Demon/Starboard) 9th overall
1st youth Thomas Cave (Neilpryde/Starboard) 11th overall

With only one event remaining to decided the UKWA national champion, things are really close. With two discards now available, Louis Morris and Mark Kay both hold 4 points each, and whoever beats the other at the last event will win the series, providing they finish within one place of Rob Kent who can still win in theory. Annette Kent and Harriet Ellis are also on tied points, so it will go right down the the last event.

Series results

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5 Aug 2015

Training at Siblyback

Video of myself training and having fun with my brother and sister at Siblyback lake during June-July…….enjoy!

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Team Tweets

TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
@TushinghamSails:
RT @JoWright592: Picked up all my new kit for the year on Saturday! Thankyou for the continued 8 years of support @TushinghamSails http://t…
24 months ago
TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
@TushinghamSails:
RT @BOARDS_Magazine: Team15 is amazing, read about some awesome kids: http://t.co/KwUVXXd9vF @RYASW @polkerrisbeach @StarboardWind @Tushing
24 months ago
TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
@TushinghamSails:
Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
24 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
Great second day with the Techno Class Association at Queen Mary Sailing Club, everything from 70 litre wave... http://t.co/L6ASfeg1z4
24 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
RT @windsurfmag: Need a technique brush-up? Our Gurus’ comprehensive guides listed here might hold the magical key you’re looking for! http…
25 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
All seasons in one day at Queen Mary Reservoir today. Big storms but still plenty of water time, round 2 tomorrow.
25 months ago
samrosswindsurfSam Ross
@samrosswindsurf:
The Neilson Holidays clinic are filling up fast, great to see so many returners but also some new faces.... http://t.co/QpY2MXhlr4
25 months ago

Tushingham Key Players

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NEW CLINICS, HOLIDAYS & ADVENTURES 2014!
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