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30 October 2009

[Do it Yourself] Repair Battens

Tim Hemer (Speedsurfing blogger from down-under) wrote again an excellent "do it yourself" article on his weblog. Now instructions to make the battens stronger or repair the battens. I have broken about 4-5 battens, all replaced by new ones, but this would be excellent solution... especially when you know a new batten is here +- 60,- euro's...

I highly recommend to check Tim his website on a regular basis, lots of good information.

28 October 2009

Results non-offical NK speed and USM3 2009

Check the results:::

It was not official but eventually a very high ranking for me, the second good result this year in competition. Maybe I am getting faster ;)

For NK Speed 6th place (Gerlof didn't participate)
For USM 7th place
And if the race was valid my USM total ranking place would have been 7th if I am right :)

This would mean I left a lot good speedsurfers behind me last weekend. Somehow most of them didn't post their speed on the web. Yeah I like being fast in both heavy and light conditions. I finally (unofficial) improved my 2007 result (year 2007 I ended 8th). Still officially I am for 2009 nr 9 of the Netherlands (which is a result above expectation)

Let's hope in 2010 I can improve this result!!!


26 October 2009

NK Speed 2009, evaluation

The whole NK speed I was in the water, sooo I actually experienced the one and only gust. Sadly just before the gust I released my downhaul to get better low-end, but in the gust it was not 100% efficient anymore. I gybed and managed 2x 62kmh runs, beside those runs I had at that moment a 56kmh run and 2 upwind runs below 45kmh....

After another hour waiting I managed a 61kmh run and 2x 58kmh runs, but it was soooooo hard to keep speed. I had to sail on 99% to even get up to 50kmh... I was against spin-out, the board-vin-sail combo was to small to get acceleration in these low conditions. I actually thought to hear the fin struggling to get enough grip. The sail was also not capable to deliver enough drive, at least not enough drive and planning capacity.

In these low-wind conditions the power on fin is HUGE for the given speed. With a wider board and 34cm fin I think there would have been no problem at all. But sadly I decided to sell my Falcon 91 to get some money, the falcon 91 would have been soooooo fast. Now I had to do the trick on the Falcon 79 + Rs:slalom 6.2 which is the smallest combo of the day? I only saw 2 lighter guys on the sameboard size with a smaller sail, but my real rivals were all on 7.0 or 7.8 m2.

Conclusion: I am really happy with this performance (top 10 !?!), actually I think I did the best possible for me in those conditions with my gear. Next year I will get a 7.0 and 90 liter board to handle these conditions, this would be at least more comfortable.

I am dissapointed the fastest surfers were onshore during the 1 and only gust. Otherwise the race would have been official for sure!!!! I know with bigger gear I could have added at least 3kmh average, and the best surfers could add about 2kmh on top of my best performance ==> 60.4+3+2= at least 65.4kmh average would have been possible.



24 October 2009

The place sails are developed and tested...

The windsurfing research&development methods are sometimes questionable... I just want to stick to sails for this article. Now I was thinking a few minutes ago:

Who would be faster, the sandy point riders or the dutch top 10?

The dutch speedsurfers have claimed to be faster (The "wait till we go to sandy point hehe" thought). These are the reasons:
  • The KA Koncept is slower, some fast riders tested them on our waters. Not enough drive to accelerate on our courses. This is really not working, so far I know we don't have a long enough speedcourse that showed the Koncept potential. Or maybe another reason
  • Sandy Point is the fastest place in the world (curved course etc.), we don't have such a course
  • All these crazy findesigns that also don't work "great" around here. Wait till we take our "conventional" designs

Now I keep my eyes on the Australian speedsurfing websites too. Because I don't believe all written above is true. When I speak for results in the down-under, I could think up a few reasons why they could be faster:
  • With the Neilpryde RS:Racing Evo2, Chris Lockwood couldn't get settled on a recordday. I don't know it for sure, but I can imagen the sail being to powerfull. Before pryde nothing stopped Chris on sandy point. Maybe KA Koncept are not that bad...
  • Our findesigns from europe don't seem to accelerate that good on the sandy point course

Back to the story: I am getting more and more convinced there are big differences between speedspots. You can't trim for example one sail that is fastest in all conditions. But this is the keyword TRIM, which sail trimpossibilities allows the most conditions, with the highest average efficiency? I think the best average efficiency would be Neilpryde RS, but in some conditions there could be better solutions... For Sandy Point it would be very plausible the KA Koncept to be faster on recorddays.

In the Netherlands I had in a lot conditions problems with trimming the Gaastra Vapor 2008, however Robbert Seinen proved to be very fast with the same sail (in the Netherlands). Now Robbert is in some conditions fast or even some days unbeatable, would the Gaastra Vapor be fastest design on those days? I think so!!

To all developers in windsurfing industry I would like to say: Test on as much different surfspots as possible, this will help to see what the market really wants. Now some saildesigns only suit a very small group of windsurfers sailing a few "not common" locations. Some brands have 3 different sails for straight out speed, I think you can make at least 2 different sailranges suitable for different conditions/needs. In the end this would mean overall higher speeds.

Its weekend!! Will the wind show up??

After a long week working its weekend. Maybe NK speed (dutch nationals), at this moment I don't mind what happens (go or no-go). When I look to the predictions there will be a chance of 2 low-wind sessions... but not on Strand Horst. But I am no pro-weatherman, so please prove me wrong.

I really would like to surf in lowwind conditions on strand horst, I have a few fins still to test sooo if there is any wind between 14-18kn... I am thinking to sail the fanatic falcon 79 with 32cm fin, this way I can handle lots of power. I like power, eventhough I just have 6.2 m2. From there I will go down to 28cm and experience what happens.



21 October 2009

Why isnt working in this period?

I just read is a website/ source only working during the Watersport "season". I have to give compliments it is by far one of the most accurate free windpredictors! From my experience before and after the summer it is a hard period to find right numbers (windprediction), but was spot on every time (when it was online).

Now I ended some weeks ago in the middle of the waddenzee, without wind. Thanks to the unreliable prediction of windguru/windfinder... I had to swim back and had to be rescued by a fellow windsurfer (Jan Wolters)

Why is the best site offline in a period when other sites are not reliable???? I hope some day is online for the whole year, without any break... The fanatical watersportsmen would be grateful I can guaranty that!

20 October 2009

Sailrocket flipped again (@ 52kn)

The second highspeed backloop, I can imagen this is an expensive way of travelling... Eventhough its very fast in lowwind.

19 October 2009

USM2009 overall ranking after race nr#2

This is the current overall ranking list. YES I am back in top 10, maybe a 3th USM to make even a better position? I can’t wait for the next USM. Peter de Wit/ Jacques van der Hout/ Dirk Jan Knol, these are the names in the leading position no matter what conditions they are sailing. AMAZING

1_Peter de Wit_________1.4___Neilpryde RSR___(select) Caspar__ Fanatic Falcon
2_Jacques van der Hout__5___Neilpryde RSR___C3___JP
3_Dirk Jan Knol________7___Loft blade___Caspar___HTS
4_Martin van Meurs_____9___Neilpryde RSR___C3___JP
5_Sander van Huizen____16___Maui Sails TR5___Tectonics___Fanatic Falcon
5_Gerlof Hansma_______16___Neilpryde RSR___Caspar___Fanatic Falcon
7_Hans Kreisel_________17___North WARP___Caspar____F2
8_Jurjen van der Noord___18___Severne CR___Caspar___Starboard Is
9_Erik Loots_____________21___Neilpryde RSS___Sonntag/ Caspar___Fanatic Falcon
10 Serge Beumer 17 5 22 10
11 Anne Evert van der Veen 16 12 28 11
12 Andre Hoogendam 9 21 30 12
13 Ferdinand Rikkers 20 11 31 13
14 Peter de Zeeuw 8 23 31 14
15 Marcel Braas 21 17 38 15
16 Peter van Dijk 25 15 40 16
17 Pieter Hamstra 15 28 43 17
18 Luc Salomons 10 35 45 18
19 Jan Wolters 26 24 50 19
20 Jeroen de Wever 32 18 50 20
21 Marco Baaijen 24 30 54 21
22 Kees Heuvelman 18 39 57 22
23 Andre Mook 27 31 58 23
24 Pieter Rietveld 29 29 58 24
25 Willem Jan Heutink 42 20 62 25
26 Otto de Jong 40 27 67 26
27 Rob Allersma 30 38 68 27
28 Roger van Tongeren 31 37 68 28
29 Miguel Agerkop 37 36 73 29
30 Patrick Miller 41 33 74 30
31 Paul Salomons 53 25 78 31
32 Anton J. Geesink 45 34 79 32
33 Michel Meijer 38 41 79 33
34 Fred Rozendaal 28 57 85 34
35 Andries Keulen 46 44 90 35
36 Dirk Doppenberg 12 81 93 36
37 Menno Barkmeijer 22 72 94 37
38 Barry van Lingen 14 81 95 38
39 Jeroen van Zadelhoff 55 40 95 39
40 John Overmeer 47 48 95 40

6x NP RS in top 10
6x Caspar speed in top 10
4x Fanatic Falcon in top 10

AND newcomer Sonntag fins 1x in top 10 , I am sooo happy with my gear!!

18 October 2009

2nd Ultimate Speed Meeting 2009

photo: Bert 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 :)

Related links:
  • Dayranking
  • My session
  • Event page
  • Surfmaatje page

14 October 2009

To do list (Today - April 2010) (1th edition)

In the post before I mentioned my plan just to do some testing from now till April-2010. Now there are some things I would like to test (some were already planned):

  • Try the North XTR.Shox extender, in underpowered till overpowered from flat to choppy conditions.
  • Try to find a foil-surface vs speed/boardwidth optimum. Do we need more or less surface to go faster?
  • Try to find a optimum for bending stiffness of fin vs speed. Why are some very stiff fins fast, but also very soft fins fast in same conditions?
  • Try Neilpryde with low downhaul (I like more downhaul than recommended for highspeed balance) and more battentension in top of sail.
  • Optimize the Sonntag fins GPS_2
  • Optimize the Sonntag fins GPS_3
  • Try the Sonntag Fins SL-S for highspeed
  • Try big Sonntag Fins SL-S (400-430-460mm lenght)
  • Try a bit higher boom position
  • Have to try extreme short and extreme long harnasslines again to evaluate
  • Try to sail with weightvest again (has been a while ago since I used weight succesfully)
  • Try to get even more power out of the fin, like JAcques vd Hout is really pushing the fin HARD. My stance is just not stable enough when pushing.
This friday maybe USM, I would really like to use this first testoppurtunity! LOTS of wind predicted, don't forget the strong gusts possible. I will rig 5.5 to get good speed and control. This way it will be possible to test with a small speedboard with small fins. At least I can test 4-5 points mentioned above!

If you know something intresting I could test without taking to much risks and without needed to invest for gear, let me know!



09 October 2009 ::: video Sailrocket vs. Hydroptère

Matt Thurling (founder sended me a link to this video, it is always interesting for me to read or see footage of the extreme designs made for highspeed. As a windsurfer I have learned from the best at this moment (hydroptere), I actually try to adapt my surfstyle to the balanced (in all directions x-y-z) hydroptere. To balance the whole surfgear is nearly impossible, sometimes I wish I had some other guys on "board" to trim certain parts while surfing. It doesn't surprise me hydroptere need lots of people to get a great balance, with a windsurfer this would also be possible. With only one person teams like which is the windsurfing/speedsurfing-standard right now we are limiting our own speed.

To be able to break the worldrecord there has to be made lots of decisions in a few seconds. This can't be done by a single person without compromize something. In the end I hope to see myself just performing on a perfectly balanced windsurfer, with a team around which is able to feedback like an F1-team. Just doing 1 testrun, tune, another testrun to check if analysis was correct. Than going fullspeed, while team constantly checks if conditions significant change, to make even better speed.


News diary date: October 2nd, 2009

The UK based VESTAS SAILROCKET team have returned to Walvis Bay in Namibia for one more assault on the outright speed sailing record. The 28 day record period commences on the 2nd of October.

Since Sailrocket was first launched in 2004, the outright speed record has been broken seven times by a variety of different craft. The rival Hydroptère team now hold the record, having achieved a speed of 51.36 knots over 500 metres on the 4th September 2009 in Hyères harbour on the French Riviera.

Paul Larsen, Sailrocket’s pilot, now needs to go 4 knots faster than his previous record-breaking run in order to take the crown.

“50 knots is last year’s story”, said Paul. “We simply have to go well over that now. I look forward to taking this wonderful boat out to do battle one more time. There’s a final chapter to be written and I’m sure she still has a few knots up her sleeve. It will be one hell of a ‘suck-it and-see’ ride on the ragged edge that’s for sure!”.

Walvis Bay provides excellent speed sailing conditions, with its combination of flat, shallow waters and steady, predictable winds. It was there that the team broke records last December. Since then, they have been in the UK, making improvements to the design.

VESTAS SAILROCKET Designer, Malcolm Barnsley, said, “We have learnt so much since we started. Through constant development we have managed to solve most of the teething problems of this new concept and have allowed the real potential to begin to shine through. On paper, the 500m record is definitely within reach but everything has to be just right and if we do make it I doubt it will be by a big margin. Even in a place like Walvis Bay, which provides fantastic conditions on a regular basis, it will take a special day. Let’s hope we get those perfect conditions to make chasing down those four knots as easy as possible!”.

With the limits of wind-powered speed being constantly pushed – by windsurfers, kitesurfers and craft like the Hydroptère – there appears to be a renaissance of sail-power at the moment.

“Nothing focuses the mind like competition”, said Paul. “The record hasn’t fallen so many times recently by chance. Sometimes the limits are as much psychological as they are physical. When the level you need to attain gets so high that your current best isn’t enough then your options become limited and in some respect the job gets easier. You simply have to change your sights and find another gear.”

Malcolm Barnsley’s day job is as a test engineer at wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.

“With fuels running out, we’re going to be looking to do more with wind. I see it as a very broad picture and that things we’re exploring with the Sailrocket can feed in to the long-term future of energy and travel”.

In the wake of Sailrocket’s success, Malcolm has been given time to keep working on the project in pursuit of the ultimate goal. Vestas support is more than just financial.

“Fundamentally, we’re working on extracting energy from the wind as efficiently and reliably as possible. I’ve carried across a lot of the experience from my work environment and have a lot of technical support available within Vestas. We have experts on many things, including aerodynamics and structures, and the Vestas resource makes this project powerful and very unlikely to fail”.

The team will be on full standby at Walvis Bay Yacht Club throughout the whole record period. Regular updates and live feeds will be streamed from the website throughout the attempt.

04 October 2009

When your usual gear isn't there

My Fanatic Falcon 79 is in the repairshop, a small crack in the bottom has to be fixed. So todays session I couldn't do my usual trick:
Change As soons As possible to Fanatic Falcon 79 on Amstelmeer
I am quite happy my Falcon 79 wasn't there, because I learned a few things today.

My first solution: "Very good powered speedboard"
I chose to sail my Carbon Art Speed 44 with a 6.2. Reason for this the carbon art has a good low-end in choppy conditions. BUT large windgaps of 12kn was a bit to much. Sailing behind the dams was not handy... topspeed 60km/h

My second solution: "VERY good powered lightwind board"
This was a good decision, however my lightwind board (falcon 91) doesn't like banging big chop. There is a small position that works. Lower nose (of the board) will mean uncontrollable banging or crash, higher the nose will mean not efficient/ tailwalk or also crash... topspeed 69.5km/h

The day ended in a new PR on Fanatic Falcon 91, with the fantastic Sonntag SL-S 320. Ohhhh I like this fin soooooo much!!!! It did the fastest run of the day, and there were some fast guys present, hahahaha.

I left early because the speedspot was really crowded, normally I don't sail the speedspot (just making runs in the middle). But after one very excited almost into crash run I decided NOT to risk even MORE damage.

2009 total loss/damage counter:
2x carbon booms
1x NP RS sail
2x harnasslines
1x gps
3x select fins
1x fanatic falcon 79 with crack, will be repaired ;)

Enough broken gear for 2009, I am already 2000,- euro's over my 2009 budget sooo have to think twice about WHEN taking risks. This is something I realized in 2009, you have to consider the risk you take. It has a price, money or health... this year I only have to pay money luckily ;)