Written by Lt Cdr (SCC) Ray Mitchell RNR – ARO Southern
The SA Windsurfing Regatta was held at Poole Harbour, Dorset on a rather blustery Sun 21 Aug. The event was organised by Lt Colin Webb Commanding Officer of Poole Unit using MSSC Windsurfing Kit from the SA Pod which is housed at Poole.
All eyes were on the weather in the days leading up to the event as the wind forecast for the weekend was on the high side. The day before the event the wind was so strong that flying operations at the nearby Bournemouth Air Show were cancelled apart from the Red Arrows later in the day. The forecast for the Sunday was much improved and after a few phone calls it was tentatively confirmed that the event would go on however a final look at the actual wind strength would be carried out at 0600 on Sunday morning. Fortunately the wind had subsided to an acceptable strength and the Regatta was able to take place.
Everyone turned up to check in at 0915 and the competitors with the assistance of our RYA Windsurfing Instructor PO Joshua Hill from Poole Unit set up their boards and rigs ready for the off. As the rules allow you to use a smaller rig if required some were used as it was going to be gusty.
A triangular course was set up and a set of five two lap races was undertaken. A triangular course was used to prove that the competitors were able to sail on all points of the wind as well as tack and gybe the board effectively. In gusty conditions the upwind legs can be challenging and the downwind exhilarating. If you get your tack or gybe wrong you can end up having a dip (fortunately the water was warm).
A/C Tom M from Salisbury led the field on all five races and managed to stay fairly dry. Cdt Jack L from Reigate who had never windsurfed on the sea before, and had the smallest rig due to his size, did exceptionally well to negotiate his way around the course and gain a lot of confidence in the process. By the second race he had mastered the conditions and completed the last four races in good time. A/Cs Sam, Fletcher and Mitch from Poole who regularly sail in Poole Harbour had a great time negotiating the course, getting good placings and taking a few dips in between.
Congratulations to all of the cadets that took part and a huge thank you to all of the adults who facilitated the event on a rather blustery morning in Poole Harbour.
Although the entry was fairly small we will have a good team going forward to the National Regatta at Southport at the end of September.
Up to 4.5 Metre Class
A/C Tom – Salisbury. Gold.
Cdt Jack – Reigate. Silver.
Up to 5.5 Metre Class
A/C Sam – Poole. Gold.
A/C Fletch – Poole. Silver.
Up to 6.8 Metre Class
A/C Mitch – Poole. Gold
Overall Winning District – Wessex.
The Medals were presented by our Senior Staff Officer Commander (SCC) Karen Kristiansen RNR