Speed Week

After a long drive from the final BKSA event in Blackpool  three weary
kitesurfers, Dave Williams, renowned kite speed competitor, Gary Powell of
North West Kiteboarding and James Longmuir form Slingshot/SurfSales
arrived bleary eyed for the monday morning briefing at portland
sailing academy to join the windsurfers and other strange craft. 
Notable exceptions was last years champ Jason Mcaffrey unfortunately in a
hospital bed and Richard Fabbri expecting his first child during speed week.

Monday started with light winds for a speed event giving a max of approx
18 knots but there were plenty out on the water and some great speeds were
reached , some more than twice the wind speed average. Dave Williams took the
fastest speed for the day for the kiteboarders.

Tuesday delivered the best wind albeit from an odd direction for Portland
Harbour being from the NW. Portland harbour usually presents SW
so the layout of the course was unusual.

The wind delivered 19-26 knots of wind in gusts and gave quite a
choppy harbour course for the speed boards. Dave Williams was the only
fully fledged speed rider at the event so he was probably the only one who
realised just how far 500m going flat out really feels, then there’s the
long tack back up to the start gate going round the speed course, the
riders were doing up to 50 Nautical Miles over the day.

Gary Powell stayed out in the rough water for most of the day clocking
some really decent speed for the conditions and hit his fastest run on the
inshore course in the afternoon of 28.096 kts. despite having the smallest
kite out of all the competitors!

James and Dave battled it out on the inshore course in the afternoon,
James in his first kite speed event had been picking up info from the
other competitors that seemed to pay off as at 2.18 pm he hit what was to
be the fastest run of the event of 33.419knts!, 

Dave ran in close behind just before the course closed for the day with the increasing breeze at
32.075kts winning him the Gold fleet for the week, well done! 

The rest of the week failed to present enough wind to rival the speeds of Tuesday
although Friday morning was once again busy on the water for the last
blast of decent wind  before prize giving on Friday evening.

Over the week some good allies were made in the form of Pro windsurfers
Dave White and Ant Baker who did also compete in the kite class on some of
the days and 3 of the sailors in the experimental boat class were helped
by Dave Williams and his 17m Taboo who sat on an inflatable Catermaran and
took the guys around the harbour in 7-8 knots of wind.

Most of the top prizes went to the kites and the prizes were very generous
to say the least. In all a great event that is only going to get bigger and better next
year, see you there!


James Longmuir.
33.419 knots
1st place overall .
1st kite – Dakine luggage.
1st Pro – Dakine luggage
1st BKSA speed champion

Dave Williams.
32.075 knots
2nd place overall.
2nd kite – Dakine rucksack
2nd Gold Fleet – Dakine rucksack

Gary Powell
28.096 knots
1st place Novice – Club Vass holiday and a custom speed board from
Weymouth Watersports
3rd kite – Dakine kit bag
9th Master

Statement from the Weymouth speed week web site-

“The course set on Tuesday presented a number of difficulties. In the
experience of the Weymouth Speed Week team it was an unusual wind
direction. A course was set that ran from the harbour towards the beach. The timing
gates used were set perpendicular to the assumed “best speed” course
direction of approximately 195 degrees.

The kites found they were able to run at higher speeds by avoiding the
chop and sailing along the shore line. This was a very broad course as
their direction was 155 and the wind was from approximately 300 making an
angle of 145 degrees off the wind, a course angle unsuitable for high
speeds by a sailboard in the relatively light winds.

On analysing the results it was clear that the course set was penalising
the potential speed of the kites due to the `significantly longer distance
(approximately 80 metres) that they had to sail in order to cross the
start and finish gates. Sustained 30+ knots straight line runs were only
being calculated as mid to high 20 knots.

In the interests of ensuring that the best course is set for competitors
the organisers have therefore decided that it is appropriate to run a
seperate course for the kite fleet in these conditions.

Results have therefore been re-generated for the kites.

Further it has been agreed that software changes will be made so that in
future events an improved course will be possible. ALL competitors will
commence their speed run from a single start line but they may travel at
their chosen “best” course angle. In effect this is using the very
successful new harbour course but with a start gate of potentially 100 or
200 metres, rather than the 20 metres currently available.”