Since starting the series, there hasn’t been a Sunday without wind! Last Sunday (27th) forecasted 40 knots plus and possible hurricane, so we decided that was a bit much and canned it. Luckily for this race series we have the lagoon and have been able to continue other races in the challenging conditions.
We flirted with the idea of going on the sea, but you could hear the shorebreak crashing from the other side of the wall, and then the wind really picked up by 10am to 25 knots.
The course was made up of two legs; upwind then downwind. 4 laps. The start was from the side cross wind to the downwind buoy, then continuing the length of the Lagoon upwind. Charlie Grey and Robin Williams, normally on raceboards joined the round nose fleet for a big group race. It was a flying start, and when the fleet all bunched together on the first mark, there was a bit of contact between the competitors. Dan Showkum (overall roundnose fleet leader) was first to round and continued the battle into wind. Charlie and Robin closely followed.
The upwind leg was relentless and the wind continued to increase. Charlie was first to the top, then Robin and Dan in third. The rest of the guys were doing well to keep up too. As soon as you rounded the top mark coming downwind looked fun. Charlie demonstrated paddle blades were good sails too as he rapidly made his way to the downwind mark.
On the penultimate lap an almighty gust came through and competitors making their way upwind stopped dead in the water, it was a real test of stamina as it looked like such hard work!
Everyone completed the race/challenge and reflected in the cafe with a coffee and doughnut for rewards or in some cases refuel for a downwinder.
1st: Charlie Grey
2nd: Robin Williams
3rd: Dan Showkum
4th: Stewart Nicholson
5th: Sasha Van Straten
6th: Mark Matthews
Words by James Stuart