Winter is the perfect season for speedsailing in northern Europe. We have had some good winds in January and February and also some manageable temperatures. The result is a new Personal Best for me.
The last time I broke my PB was in February 2015, so I’m very happy to have beaten myself 11 months later in worse conditions, showing I did improve my sailing a bit this past year.
On January, 29th we had a good forecast for Strand Horst, with 25-40kts and 10° predicted. I arrived at around 11am and saw that the waterlevel was really low, and also the wind was really strong. I decided to take my 44cm CA speedboard with a 5,5m KA Race and a 21cm C3 Slingshot as I didn’t want catapult hitting the bottom. This however turned out to be a mistake for two reasons.
- The water level was to low to get started on the smallest board (~60l volume). With just 5-10 cm of water under the fin I wasted a lot of energy trying to get going. This was really exhausting and not really productive for speed.
- It was to choppy. When it’s not superflat, a 50cm speedboard is always faster then a 44cm speedboard, since it can handle chop better. It is never completly flat at Strand Horst since it’s only flat for the shallow water. I now believe a 50cm medium speedboard to be the fastest option for Strand Horst.
My results on that kit were a Topspeed of 37,08 kts and a run of 36,14 kts. I switched to my 50cm HTS SR board, still using the same sail and fin. I usually use a 25cm fin so I did not know how well this would work. After another hour of surfing my speeds finally went up when the wind went down a bit as it got flatter. The kit worked great now. I passed my previous Strand Horst average of 35,64 kts soon and was quite happy with that. I did not expect to beat my all time PB, but then I found a sweet flat spot in front of the dijk. I was already on the water for 3 hours in 30-40kts winds so most energy already left me, but I gave it a shot anyway and found a perfect gust, doing my best run ever of 38,05 kts just having done 38,72 kts topspeed (2sec) in this run. Now I know my Personal best was not far of giving me some energy again. My next 10sec run was also very good with 37,16 kts. After that the wind slowly vanished, giving me one more run of 36,3 kt, being just enough to improve my old PB 5x10sec from 36,45 kts to 36,70 kts. Getting off the water my whole body was aching and my legs cramped up. 30-40cm water level is really exhausting!!!
This is not a great improvement but I’m still very content since the conditions at strand Horst are alot worse than at La Franqui. Also I was in the upper half of the day ranking again which is always nice with the high level of speedsurfing displayed here. For February I will look out for some more record breaking conditions at faster spots having 2-3 weeks vacation. Maybe I will try Ouddorp Haven and Grevelingen, Lauwersmeer again or even go to La Franqui if there is a nice forecast. Let’s crush that 40kts 😉