Louis Morris

Race

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

10 Oct 2014

Stokes Bay – Raceboard report.

The UKWA National course racing championship is a series of 5 events, the final one was at Stokes Bay (Gosport, on the Solent) last weekend.

The forecast looked pretty windy for Saturday, and sure enough, it was very windy whilst we were rigging, but after a lot of rain and a 90° wind shift, we had about 12-14 knots. To avoid the shipping channel, the course was set quite close into the beach, which was great for spectators, but also meant that the inner loop of the course had very fluky wind, with a big hole by the windward mark. Add some strong tide, and you have some interesting racing!

During the morning, the tide was going opposite directions (or at least, much stronger inshore), which meant that left paid best. The wind was strong enough to plane all the way round, and I had good speed and was tactically strong enough to win by a comfy margin whilst Mark Kay, Rob Kent, and Lewis Barnes were in close combat. One of the leeward gate marks drifted leading to some confusion and disqualification those who went through the gate the wrong way (including Lewis).

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The wind dropped a bit for the second race, demanding a bit more downwind pumping. And this time the racing was very close with a few lead changes as people got the right gusts and shifts and played the tide correctly or not. I was leading, but after the last upwind, Rob was hot on my tail, and had a better downwind to win the race (I had a stinking cold and just ran out of energy, that’s my excuse anyway!).

Race 3 was no less exciting and very very gusty as the wind started to swing a little more offshore. The tide was very strong now, and even stronger on the left, so it was a case of trying to get the shifts right without heading out into the channel. Mark had a flying start and a perfect first beat, but then tacked on a header at the leeward mark, sending him out into the strongest tide and allowing 4 people to overtake! Myself and Rob got a good shift by the shore that allowed us to leebow the tide and get a crazy layline to the windward mark, so again I won with Rob 2nd and Lewis in 3rd.

The race officer tried to change the course to a windward/leeward further out in cleaner wind, but the wind dropped by the time we started and it had to be abandoned.

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There was no wind until about 1pm on Sunday, and even then it was about 2 knots, some people just went home, and lots of people started packing up, but then at 3, we had a great finishing race in 8-10 knots. The tide wash pushing upwind very quickly, but miraculously nobody was OCS on the start. I had a good start but gave myself some work to do by heading too much up the middle of the course; luckily I got the craziest long distance with tide layline ever and won the race ahead of Rob and Lewis again.

So I won the event, with Rob Kent 2nd, and Lewis Barnes finally converted his crazy speed into a super consistent set of 3rd places. Mark Kay was as fast as ever, but just didn’t manage to put together a good enough set of races to displace Lewis from the podium. Annette Kent had a really good event and finished 5th overall, first lady by a long way. Jenna Gibson was also very impressive, managing to finish ahead of Harriet Ellis, proving that a skilfully used old Mega cat is still as good as anything!

Full Event results

National Championship series results:
1st Louis Morris (Tushingham/Starboard 377)
2nd Robert Kent (Tushingham/Starboard 377)
3rd Mark Kay (Demon/Starboard 377)
1st Veteran (4th overall) Tom Naylor (Tushingham/Starboard 380)
1st Lady (6th overall) Annette Kent (Tushingham/Starboard 377)
1st Supervet (7th overall) John Pete (Demon/Starboard 377)
1st Youth (10th overall) Rebecca Kent (Bic OD/Mistral Equipe)

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29 Sep 2014

2014 RYA/UKWA National windsurfing Championships

(Inland Nationals, Junior Youth and Masters championship, Team 15 Champions Cup): Raceboard report.

For 2014, the RYA Youth and Masters were combined with the National Junior Championships, Team 15 champions cup, and UKWA Inland nationals to form one massive event at Rutland Sailing club. There were 220 windsurfers and it was pretty busy on the beach and on the water, but thanks to some good organising, the event went very smoothly! There were 27 raceboards entered, of which 6 were youth: the highest youth entry for a long time.

Louis Morris Mid Gybe

Myself: focussed mid gybe (photo by John Liddy)

On Saturday, the wind was quite light and very shifty, which lead to lots of shuffling up and lead changes during the race which was pretty exciting stuff. It was the kind of conditions which Rob Kent and Guy Spreckley excel in. Rob got it wrong in the first race (and Mark Kay got it even more wrong) allowing me to win with Guy in 2nd, but in the next 2 races, he sailed brilliantly to take the win, whilst I was playing catch up having ended up on the wrong side of some shifts. By the last race, the wind had picked up to about 10 knots or so: enough for me to plane all the way downwind and be faster than most upwind, with a good start and a tactically sound upwind, once ahead I just had to play it safe in the middle of the course and won comfortably. Myself and Rob ended the day on tied points, with Guy in 3rd.

Guy Spreckley

Guy Spreckley (photo by John Liddy)

On Sunday, there were some gusts up to 15 knots but still lulls of 8 knots or less. It was still shifty, but with the wind slightly more easterly than Saturday, there was usually a big gain on the right side of the course. However there were a few shifts and gusts that undid this gain, and there were a few times when I had to dig myself out of a bit of a hole. Having a sail with the power to keep pointing and railing through the lulls yet convert gusts into acceleration rather than drag really helped me to keep my speed up through the gusty conditions and capitalise on shifts to recover some sticky positions. Like the last race on Sunday, my downwind speed was best than most, and I managed to win all of the races.

Tom Naylor

Tom Naylor giving it some power downwind (photo by John Liddy)

Mark Kay found another gear and was fighting back with 3 2nds and a 3rd, he was certainly a lot quicker than on Saturday, and it sometimes felt like he was attached to the back of my board by a 50m bit of string! Rob Kent did just enough to keep his 2nd overall, Guy Spreckley didn’t quite have the speed to keep up his amazing performance from the first day so slipped into 5th overall behind an outrageously consistent Tom Naylor. Tom was flying upwind as usual, and put some effort in downwind to get 9 4th places and a 5th: enough to get him 1st veteran and 4th overall.

annette black and white

Annette Kent (photo by Andy Watkinson)

With 8 sailors racing on 8.5 (youth + ladies) there was some noteworthy battles there as well. Lewis Barnes usually races as a heavyweight 9.5, but borrowed an 8.5 to win the Youth national title by an impressive margin. Annette Kent was first lady: only two points ahead of Lewis and 3 ahead of Harriet Ellis. 2nd and 3rd youth was too close to call, with Jenna Gibson having the edge on her XR-Race 8.5 over Robin Mcallister on Saturday. Robin fought back in the stronger winds on Sunday to finish on tied points, but ended up in 3rd on the tie break rule.

robin mcallistair

Robin McAllister (photo by Andy Watkinson)

I have to mention Phil Hards, who had some of the best starts in the business as well as some serious upwind speed, all he needs now is a Starboard Phantom and he’d keep up downwind too! Also well done to my brother Ross who borrowed my 8.5 Lightning and ancient Megacat in his first National contest since Team 15 cup in 2011 (on 5.8) he was very quick upwind, especially when it got windy!

Full results here, Raceboard Results summary:

1st Overall – Louis Morris,1st Lightweight (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Overall – Rob Kent, 1st Master (Tushingham/Starboard)
3rd Overall – Mark Kay,1st Heavyweight (Demon/Starboard)
4th Overall – Tom Naylor, 1st Veteran (Tushingham/Starboard)

1st Lady – Annette Kent, 6th Overall (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Lady – Harriet Ellis, 8th Overall (Demon/Starboard)
3rd Lady – Jenna Gibson, 12th Overall (Tushingham/Fanatic)

1st Youth – Lewis Barnes, 7th Overall (Demon/Starboard)
2nd Youth – Jenna Gibson, 12th Overall (Tushingham/Fanatic)
3rd Youth – Robin McAllister, 13th Overall (Tushingham/Starboard)

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4 Aug 2014

2014 Race Season Update

I thought I’d give an update on my racing in the last couple of months.

For a start there was the second round of the UKWA national championship series at Bridlington. The forecast was looking pretty awful to be honest, but we got two good races in on Saturday morning; one in fairly strong wind, and one in marginal wind. I’d been doing a little bit of training before the event, and I felt a lot faster upwind than I did at Whitwell. Combined with some good downwind speed, I won both races by quite a margin. Another race was started, but the wind disappeared completely and although it teased us on Sunday, it was never consistent or steady enough for racing, although good light wind training.

Bridlington results:
1. Louis Morris (Tushingham)
2. Robert Kent (Tushingham)
3. Mark Kay (Demon)
4. Tom Naylor (Tushingham)

I went hiking in the west coast of Scotland, then came home to Cornwall and resumed work as a watersports instructor. Now I’m at Polkerris Beach instead of Siblyback. Had some fun freeride and freestyle conditions.

Jump Forward

Then I went to Weymouth for the 3rd event of the UKWA national championship series. The conditions were almost perfect all weekend, with sunshine and 8 races in 10-20 knots. I hadn’t been training since Bridlington, and felt slow upwind in the gusts, but fast downwind, and occasionally fast upwind (in the lulls). However Mark Kay and Tom Naylor really put the pressure on and frequently sailed straight past me upwind. In my efforts to regain the lead, I made lots of silly mistakes: got my laylines all wrong, dropped a gybe, crashed into Mark and broke his batten at the windward mark etc.

The event win went right down to the last race, with me and Mark on tied points. I got a good start, but tacked a bit too early then caught some weed, then tacked too early again, then my hand slipped off the boom gybing downwind and I couldn’t catch up! I settled for 2nd (the first time I’ve lost a national event since June 2012), but I have plenty of time before the next event to do some training and get my racing head back on. I also plan to rig my sail correctly if it is windy next time (I’d forgotten how long my boom should be and didn’t have enough outhaul).

race training

Tom Naylor was super quick upwind on his Tushingham XR-Race, Rob Kent was super quick downwind on his, and I was quick enough on mine to almost make up for my mistakes! Well done to Mark for winning, I’ll be back on top next time!

Weymouth results:
1. Mark Kay (Demon)
2. Louis Morris (Tushingham)
3. Tom Naylor (Tushingham)
4. Rob Kent (Tushingham)

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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…
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TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
@TushinghamSails:
RT @BOARDS_Magazine: Team15 is amazing, read about some awesome kids: http://t.co/KwUVXXd9vF @RYASW @polkerrisbeach @StarboardWind @Tushing
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TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
@TushinghamSails:
Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
11 months ago
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@samrosswindsurf:
Great second day with the Techno Class Association at Queen Mary Sailing Club, everything from 70 litre wave... http://t.co/L6ASfeg1z4
11 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…
11 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.
11 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
11 months ago

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NEW CLINICS, HOLIDAYS & ADVENTURES 2014!
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