Good results come early this year and Personal Report

Dirk-Jan Knol claiming a new strand horst record 82,13km/h average in shallow water, heard he said 3 runs the fin was in the ground and the others in the air. Oisin van Gelderen and Jacques van der Hout did a  national record. Gerlof Hansma, Hans Kreisel did a new spot record. MANY improved their personal best. I would say a pretty good week for speedsurfing. GPS-speedsurfing.com had a lot of visitors for sure :)

My own story,  Wednesday I had a great session with W54. After this the tide went wrong each time for the brace, Strand Horst was too shallow for me since I had a 25cm fin. I didn't dare. Saturday I fixed my car with my brother in a garage, this has to be done because my car gets today checked for vehical testing regulations. Sunday the proto sonntag 21cm fin arrived. Sunday it turned out 5 guys were lucky and the water dropped (I swear this was on the edge for winddirection).  Sunday I did went windsurfing on Amstelmeer and soon discovered the wind was exactly Southwest... No fun, and I quited before anything got broken, had to swim for the futura 93 and reflex 6.2 after exploring.

Monday we went to the Brace, and wind looked not very strong onshore. Just good enough for some personal records. I rigged W44 and 5.6 Reflex and went walking. Soon I got excited about the windforce, but once there I realised it was actually over the edge. And we needed a boat more than ever, this was dangerous. Gusting over 50kn. Peter, Serge and Jan went on the water. I wanted to look at them first, Peter and Jan had the first run with wind around 40kn (especially the beginning was possible to enter).. Serge however arrived in at least a 45-50kn in the beginning, and not able to go on the course at all. After this Jan and Serge stayed onshore, and Peter tried the second time, but this time he also had a killer gust like Serge and crashed a couple of times in row. Must say I was scared to see him get in trouble, quickly Gauke and Serge ran for Peter and I kept all windsurfing gear on the ground.

When Peter was onshore again, both Gauke and Serge came back at me soon. I still wanted to go, but testing a new fin in these conditions didn't make it an easy decision. It was good my teammates convinced me not too go. To much risk, but conditions were definitly good enough for maybe a world record. However offshore and once in trouble no plan B for comming back. Water 4 degrees celsius, I would say life expectation is 30min once in trouble. (or even shorter if one panics).

One thing to be mentioned, don't be affraid to tell your surfmates not too go when risks are too high. Offshore in gusts over 50kn in cold tempratures was too much, and nobody should have left the safe shore that day. Afterwards I checked windforce and it turned out Monday the wind&gusts was 8kn stronger than the day before. You really feel stupid seeing someone in trouble and knowing you can't do much and worst-case-scenario is getting realistic.

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.

5 comments:

  1. Good to read that even very experienced speed surfers sometimes must be wise and conclude that there are limits to dealing with nature. Gr. Luc

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  2. Erik dared to be scared, always a good life saver :-)

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  3. I really like this article. It fills me with confidence that often it is too much and going out is a bad decision. Saturday was the day for us in the UK, but the wind was no where near the forecast. My biggest sail is a 5.7 and smallest board that is sailable is my 95l. The forecast was for 40-50knots, which is too much for me on the the kit I mentioned. As it turned out the wind only came through at 25-30knots and my 5.7 was not bug enough most of the time.

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  4. Monday wind was stronger than exected at the Brace. Within the (near) gale SW'ly windfield, you could discover a small band with a strong gale, force 9. Max gusts at the Brace where estimated at 50+ Kts, but near Vlieland even avg winds of 45 Kts and gust 58 Kts wear measured at the local meteo station.

    It's not unusual that bands with stronger winds appear ahead of a cold front. Oberved wind was 1 Bft more than the modelled large scale windfield. Within the band however the observed was 2 Bft+. So the speeders which where positioned at the Brace on 7th feb didn't see a perfect SW 7, but a strong gale, force 9. The energy difference between force 7 (30 Kts) and force 8 to 9 (40 kts) is almost 100%, so twice as much.

    We hope for calmer windy conditions soon! Keep up the good and social work Erik!

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