2nd Ultimate Speed Meeting 2009

photo: Bert Warmelink http://www.pbase.com/warmelink

The second ultimate speed meeting 2009 was a windy and sunny day. The only difference with previous USM was the winddirection. It was on some places really uncontrolable choppy, and sometimes you had flat moments... In those flat moments you had to be lucky not to have anyone around, otherwise with the low-sun the situation it would be not smart to continue the speedrun.

I didn't surf a long distance, this was because I was tuning my board/sail/fin constantly (this takes some time). Also I chose to stop 1 hour before the competition ended, this was because I didn't felt really 100% competitive. I thought it would have been something like a a 14th or 15th place.

On the water I did the next tuning steps:
  • First Sonntag GPS_2 26cm + RS:Slalom 5.5 + falcon speed
  • board was not balanced, a bit sticky and not loose, decided to release some downhaultension by 5mm. After this change the board was flying between the waves. I did a couple of 71kmh runs
  • Hard gusts came... no control, so I lowered the boom. One lucky run 72kmh
  • Hard gusts kept on comming... I wished I had some weight to balance my gear better, but a few weeks ago I had to drop my weight in "the Brace" because I couldn't sail back to shore. Soo I had only 2kg weight with me in my weightvest (not really helping)
  • Changed to Caspar Speed 25cm, first run was 5kmh slower than gps_2. I didn't believe the difference could be this big, next run I changed tactics and was 73kmh (fastest run for me). Third run was again a 71kmh
  • Now the decreased a lot I changed to the Sonntag SL-S 28cm. This fin was doing in way less wind constantly 68kmh run 71kmh top.
  • I changed back to the Caspar speed 25cm, which did two 70kmh+ runs. I could have used my 6.2 at this moment, but I called it a day... (I don't have 2 extenders yet, so I had to choose before competition which sail to rig. Thanks to Hans Kleingeld I did the right thing, taking my 5.5 out in beginning.)
Conclusions of the day is: the difference in behaviour between Caspar Speed-Sonntag GPS_2-Sonntag SL-S was big. I had to use totally different tactics to get the best out of each fin, the SL-S had the worst conditions AND I could not find a way to get a nice balance. So next time I will try to get the SL-S in good balance (because this fin should do 70kmh average easily). The GPS_2 had the highest acceleration and felt like the lowest drag, however the Caspar speed did feel a bit more safe between 55-65kmh, this ment I could make longer speedruns with Caspar speed without taking risks.

I tested a lot of points of my to-do list and it was fun doing it. So I was really satified, eventhough a lot of runs I stopped early because of dangerous situation (most speedsurfers don't look around a lot...) Onshore I discussed my findings with Joerg and we were both happy about the results, really succesful day. When the other speedsurfers came onshore I heard my speed wasn't soo bad. Maybe even a top 10 position !?! I was totally surprised...

Now everyone has posted I see I finished 8th, which is really above expectation and what I was hoping for. I am really happy with this result. Fastest surfer under 25yrs old/ Fastest surfer under 80kg/ Fastest surfer with a freerace sail/ Fastest surfer with only 2 sails

The Neilpryde RS:Slalom MKIII rocks, thanks Neilpryde for making such a fast and good priced sail!!! Special thanks to Kater Funsports, Peter de Wit and Joerg/Alexandra Sonntag for supporting me and getting me through the difficult period (period of breaking almost all my gear). Without them I wouldn't have any chance to do these high speeds. Now it looks like I am in a overall top 10 position :)

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Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.

1 comment:

  1. Nice result! Like Surfclinic-guru Jem Hall learned me: Focus, believe and enjoy...

    ReplyDelete