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31 May 2010

First Ultimate Speed Meeting 2010 [USM]

Yesterday the first ultimate speed meeting was held, with the crew Roger van Tongeren/ Dylan de Jong/ Hans Kleingeld and more. The wind came in late, but good. The USM ended in some thunder close to the water, even some flashes above the water. There were a few daredevils still on the water, lucky nobody was hit and would have ruined everybodies day!!!

The results are hard to see right now, as many tracks have to be splitted (caused by the thunder). At least one thing is sure: I performed crappy ;). The biggest problem was my mindset, I was very angry at myself for having not the right equipment. This mindset caused me to struggle at anytime. Also my GPS-display went mad on both GPS's, one GPS told me I did much higher speed than the other one. But this was not true.

Days like this make me feel really bad. But it will be challenging to perform without making any faults next 2 USM competition. This race definitly has to be the discarded race. I have now 2 weeks to get my gear complete and tuned up, this is my goal.

Hero of the day would be Peter de Wit, he was able to win on a slalomboard!?!?! I mean WTF, many, I really mean MANY others had a lightwind speedboard 53 or 54cm wide... This is an advantage I know for sure, I will get myself also a 53cm wide speedboard ;)

29 May 2010

End of May 2010

Tempratures and wind
Finally the tempratures are normal so we can windsurf in the Netherlands. Now we only need some normal wind to attack the Personal Records. We haven't been lucky lately with the wind, I can barely remember what a 30kn gust feels like. But I never did as much distance in May ever (the distance sesion 19 May helped a lot)

Boattrip 2
Yesterday we had the second trip with the boat on the wad (Den Helder - Da Curve), these trips are soo magic. Eventhough the speed was again a bit dissapointing for everyone, the trip is nice!! Like going on holiday for a very short period.

Carbon Art Speed 44
I spend some hours on fixing my Carbon Art Speed 44, this board was stored for 1 year at home. I don't know what happened but there was about 30cm rail broken (filler was broken) making it not sharp anymore. Also some dents etc. I used epoxy and sandpaper, afterwards some paint. I thought it was quite good finished, on the water the CA SP44 was back, I felt it yesterday. With medium-stronger wind it will replace my falcon speed for a while.

O'neill Superfreak Tropical ST Boot
Yesterday I bought these boots (only mine are green), I just would like to share my experience. It is very good grip, even on muddy places, but especially in the footstraps. What a difference compared to my older boots. The split toe, reinforements, little rope and band make it a solid fit around the foot. At Kater they had it in every size 44/45/46 so I could find the best fit. And price was ok for me (25,- euro's). So when you are looking for some protection against sharp objects, check out these boots ;)


Boardrange gap
My boardrange isn't really working anymore, I would like to fix it. But at this moment I negotiate for a total new sponsordeal, if it works out I will sell replace all my boards. When it doesn't work out I have to search for another solution. Selling 3 boards and buying 1 good one back to fill the gap inbetween CA SP44 and Falcon 91.

1th Ultimate Speed Meeting?
Also saw there might be a Ultimate Speed Meeting tommorow, I studied the forecast a bit and it looks like we will have wind in late afternoon-evening. It will be very interesting when the organisation will decide to end the competition. The earlier the less wind we have to deal with. For lowwind I don't have received my 7.0 yet, for medium wind I can't use the falcon 79 (has to be fixed)... Sooo highwind PLEASE, I need some quality time on water.

How to deal with it
Sometimes I am very angry at myself, I spend a lot of time in speedsurfing, but often I just can't get my surfquiver complete, or keep it complete (when some essential parts break down). This results in frustrating sessions for me. This year is again not like I planned. But now I decided to find a solution (looking on long term). The windsurfworld is very small and enemies is the last thing you want. Soo I have to keep it real... There are always periods when it goes well or wrong, just learn from it I guess.

25 May 2010

Basics and Backgrounds

Basics
Speedsurfing is a windsurfing discipline. It is about going as fast as possible on water, only wind driving you. The feeling is great to fly over the water, hanging in your harnass just a few inch above the watersurface, it feels like going 200km/h+ in a car. Still when you loose control the water will make the crash not very dangerous for your body/health, take a look to the safety & guidelines for more info. Nowadays speedsurfing results are inbetween 30kn (55km/h) and 50kn (92.6km/h), it can be as challenging to get 30kn in 15kn wind to win a dayranking or chase records at 50kn in >50kn wind.

With the GPS on your arm it is possible to check after every run the speed you did. And by learning little tricks it is possible to progress and reach great speed. For everybody it is possible to participate in fun-events (and win nice prices). For die-hard speedsurfers there is a recordranking+ speed:world:cup

After learning the windsurfing basics (gliding/gybing/etc) you can start speedsurfing. On many windsurf schools windsurfing basics can be learned in a few lessons (5-20 lessons). You will learn going and turning in 1 hour! The first part will be slow (be patient), but after your first gliding (planning) experience you will be hooked for life. Get some experience on freeride gear with gliding, and you can start with the first speedsurfing steps.

Me fun speedsurfing in 2007,  on a lake nearby  home (I am working on some better video)

Backgrounds
Speedsurfing competition and the records started in 1977 with Derk Thijs (dutchman) with the first record on the windglider (19.09kn/ 35.37km/h). Till 2004 speed were measured over a lenght 100m/250m/500m/1852m, by using videotiming the speed could be calculated. Since 2004 handheld GPS's are being used for recreational use, since 2009 there is a possibility to claim speedrecords with 2 handheld GPS devices. GPS-speedsurfing.com is a place were over 3000 members regular post their speed of the day,  this is the place you can find many fun speed events.

speedsurfing in the past

The current windsurfing speedrecord is held by Antoine Albeau, he did 49.09kn average over 500m (videotiming). The recordholder by GPS is Tony Wynhoven he did 47.88kn average over 10 seconds.
Tony Wynhoven doing a fast run

23 May 2010

Boardshape, the needs for a fast board? [part 2]


Another thing that makes boards fast is weight, this weight gets more important in lightwind conditions soo I found. This could also be translated to lightweight boards are important for extreme efficiency windsurfing, I believe this is true. At least it works really well for me and my sailingstyle.

There is always a balance between board/fin/sail for vertical lift. There are lots of compromizes possible, but this is what I prefer (for speedsurfing only):

  • Sail lifts the surfers weight for 50-60% or even more? while putting another 10-30% on the mastfoot? (these values are not measured, a very rough estimation)
  • The fin lifts out the boardweight from the mastfoot and behind+ maybe 10% riderweight.  
  • The board also will need to generate lift, but I prefer for efficienct to sail the board as much as possible out of the water.
Now the trick would be a board that wouldn't weight anything has no in speedruns almost no need for vertical lift from fin and bottomshape, which boosts efficiency a lot (this can be up to 10% more efficiënt). While a heavy board will always have problems with constant looseness, needed to compensate in total efficiency.

This is based on these recent experiences:
  • Begin April 2010, sailing Patrick van Hoof his 4kg? 100liter Sonck board, this was a really interesting experience...
  • 22 May 2010, sailing the fanatic ray 140 liter, 9.5kg
  • The 2009 and 2010 fanatic falcons (I never measured) being heavier than the previous ones (at least it feels like)
  • I read somewhere Antoine Albeau believes the JP boardconstruction is the main reason for their performance. Only thing I don't understand why 2010 JP boards are heavier compared to 2009. Starboard is now lighter in the 131 liter size, and looking to Korea results with 2 starboards in top-3..... It was a smart thing to introduce the woodcarbon, innovation in boardconstruction might be the key for next years.
With this knowledge, I also think about the advantage customboards could have. The current shapes are really good, but with construction there can be won a lot. This would result at least in a lot less enforced speedrun. When you really aim for worldrecord, especially very efficient I think getting the boardweight down is at least in top-3 for big improvements.

So if this 4kg sonck board made in past century is possible and still in 1 piece. We should aim for the same weight. I don't know much about building a board, maybe these numbers below are impossible for some. But to win you have to be smart ;)

40 wide ==> 3.2-3.5kg
45 wide ==> 3.4-3.7kg
50 wide ==> 3.6-3.9kg
55 wide ==> 3.8-4.1kg
60 wide ==> 4-4.3kg

19 May 2010

253km

photo by: Armand van Renssen
19-05-2010__What a day, distance was something I thought being not soo hard for me. But it turned out in a very long session from 10:00-18:00, 254km.... I did it for the Wad1team

I putted the distance on display and thanks to the flat water it was easy to check. The first 100km were going slow, I even took a brake at 90km. After this till 220km it went very fast, thanks to 30min of good wind which made it interesting (with my gear tweaked for lightwinds)

The last 30km were going superslow for my feeling, at 245km I was thinking ooh a few seconds and it all will be over. But than realized a few seconds later 5km it quite some distance (to walk for example)...

One little note for next time, a bigger sailsize would make distance much easier. For speed I even doubt if the 7.0 would be slower. Also put the SD-card in the GPS before sailing is much handier. Never had problems in the past (when I forgot the SD), maybe its the new firmware, or maybe I never noticed missing a part of the session ;)??

Happy with the results:

  • New 1 hour record
  • New distance record
  • 2nd place in the dayranking
  • fastest 2sec/10sec/mile/hour/alpha of the day
Dayranking http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=20879
Session http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=60529&uid=870

15 May 2010

l'Hydroptère - story of a dream

l'Hydroptère - L'histoire d'un rêve - The story of a dream (3 min) from Team Hydroptère on Vimeo.


I would like to share this one, it is a very good inspiration for me

13 May 2010

Motion Magazine 3/2010

A short speedtip + picture

10 May 2010

Top-10 Speedsurfing Spots in the Netherlands

www.Speedsurfingblog.com has for everyone willing to visit the Netherlands for some action the best 10 speedspots in a row. All speedsurfers in the world I like to invite to the Netherlands, it will be not very sunny or dry or warm, but there is a good chance to do some speedsurfing sessions with Dutch best riders on the great spots we have.

The spots are judged by:

  • Speedpotential
  • Chance for good wind
  • Difficulty
  • Local action
  • Local accomodation
[Spot number 10] Bad Hoophuizen
Bad Hoophuizen is a shallow spot, thanks to the depth 0,3m-0,6m the chop cannot build really high to form waves. This means the spot is good for speedsurfing from 14kn. Speedpotential 40kn-45kn, but some claim 50kn is possible here. The spot is accessible in mediocre winds for all speedsurfers. The spot is behind this camping, lots of 'local' windsurfers. A disadvantage is the location being not really near to the coastline, this means average less wind... But it works with almost any windangle

[Spot number 9] Amstelmeer
This is my homespot, yes it doesn't end in top-3. The Amstelmeer lies next to the sea (Den Helder), this gives great wind and strong gusts especially with NW windflow (often most wind of the Netherlands). The water is about 2-3m deep, this gives high chop or small waves. Many locals (national competitors) testing gear, training even some sneak previews or proto's. The spot gets slower and slower each year thanks to some naturefreaks, still a good place to keep good shape and have fun. 40kn would be about the max...

[Spot number 8] Ouddorp Haven
I lived for a few months near this spot, its quiet, but always a flat spot somewhere. You can stand almost everywere, watch out for sharp rocks etc. in the water. Speedpotential is quite good with Northern or Northeast windflow, at least 40kn is possible. A good spot to learn the first basics about sailing behind a (sand)bar. The spot is near the coastline which gives more chance of having good wind (Northeast is often stronger in South of Netherlands)


[Spot number 7] De Houw
It is allowed windsurfing here between 15 June and 1 August, the rest of the year only birds are allowed. Also a shallow spot (0,3m-0,6m), the spot lies next to Makkum and is great with westerly windflow. Not really possible to sail behind sandbars, so always a bit choppy. Speedpotential is 38-40kn, not really high but always good fun over here. The spot is behind the afsluitdijk (also interesting to see/drive over the afsluitdijk). Wind from the west is best on this spot. I always see some surfers when I drive by.

[Spot number 6] Haringvliet
This is a great spot with South windflow, it is officially not allowed to surf here was told me. But I never saw a sign and wasn't alone either. It is a extreme small spot, still possible to go fast near 45kn. You will sail behind the stone wall. Chance is really good for wind, but it only works with a small range of windangles... I use this spot sometimes to test alone or with a small group speedfins. Also Haringvliet is a good spot to learn the first things about sailing behind the sandbar.


[Spot number 5] Lauwersmeer
This spot is not close to my home, otherwise I think this would be the place to train for me. A lot of good windsurfers, a lot of different gear, multiple places to go fast, with any winddirection you can sail and reach speed inbetween 30-45kn (depending on conditions). Difficulty depends on windstrenght, I sailed only once and was not able to do any good (50-55kn). Often more or less the same windspeed as on the Amstelmeer, only this lake is much larger



[Spot number 4] Herkingen
This is the only spot on the list I never visited. Also not really close to my home, but it is not far from coastline and with Southwest I always see good speed from here. Sailing behind the stonewall and in front of some big wooden poles, exciting! Speed around 40-45kn are done here on regular basis. I hear often rumors this spot being to crowded and dangerous. I have to visit this spot***




[Spot number 3] The Brace
The fastest spot for most speeders so far in the Netherlands, works with SouthSouthWest-Southwest and low tide (at least -40cm). With good windprediction you will find some other speedsurfers. The reason why this spot is not nr.1 is 1.8km walking+ only 2 really fast sessions per year according to stats.... You never need a sail bigger than 6.2 or a board bigger than 80 liters here!! When the wind blows, it blows good!


[Spot number 2] 't Kuitje
Also near Den Helder, with many sandbars for many winddirections. The first time surfing here you will only be watching out for the sandbanks. After you learned where to sail it is a wonderfull spot with really flat water. Speedpotential seems to be unlimited, with 48kn already on the GPS by some speeders. Often sailed here with North East or other Easterly winddirections and low tide. Not the easiest place to go at first, but once you know how it works.... sweet water is hard ;)



[Spot number 1] Strand Horst
Actually the same type of spot as Bad Hoophuizen, only big difference is the big amount of windsurfers on the water, also the HUGE flat water area. A lot of national speedcompetitors joke about this spot, but still the Ultimate Speed Meeting and all great sessions in the past made Strand Horst the place that made speedsurfing like it is today... I have many good memories over here. Only wind lacks sometimes a bit over here...

07 May 2010

On the edge is Exhausting

Windsurfing on the edge is exhausting, especially when you want to be competitive. My advice for good dayranking on gps-speedsurfing.com would be to stay in the middle when choosing gear. As known: heavy surfers need some bigger gear than lighter surfers. Also surfstyle and settings influence what is a normal sailsize for a windsurfer.

Since sail manufactorers mainly focus on PWA we speedsurfers have to deal with a limited sailrange. Jumping from 5.5 to 6.2 to 7.0, for me it is clear on tight courses you have often to choose: to big or to small sail. Also you can be caught by surprise... how to perform well? To big is the safest bet for competition, but to small might have some oppurtunities which might lead to worldrecord speeds.

To Big
I am better in sailing to big compared to small, when sailing competitive a big sail/board/fin it means you can keep the gear on the water. To big means often more vertical lift (at least when everything is trimmed normal). If I get to much vertical lift there are I know plenty of solutions (depending on conditions). Often I make my harnasslines a bit longer to solve the lift problem. The exhausting part of sailing to big is all the forces being bigger.
This photo (By William Breukelman) was token at Bad Hoophuizen, Falcon Speed+ RS:Slalom MK3 6.2+ Sonntag GPS_2 250. Very good wind at that specific moment, I guess 28-30kn gust.


To Small
When sailing competitive a small sail/board/fin it means you have to be able to create more vertical lift than usual.. To small means often less vertical lift (at least when everything is trimmed normal). Lately I am searching to get small gear flying, but till this point I am haven't found the solution, did find and documented about 20 ways not to go faster ;). I still have a tiny little bit of hope to find it in  surfstyle+tuning. The exhausting part of sailing to small is the difficulty to get the board flying, it takes much discipline for me (and therefor it is a good training). In competition so far it has never been possible for me to get small gear flying.
This photo (by Rolf Aalders) was token in 10-14kn, I was sailing Falcon 91 liters+ RS:Slalom MK3 6.2+ Sonntag SL-S 34cm. Totally underpowered at any moment, biggest drag was definitly the board not able to fly at moments. See the sailangle decreasing a lot, this just to compromize in the total vertical lift picture. With this gear its possible to fly in those conditions, but it is a very very small sweetspot. I did this day a few runs around 30-31kn, feels different to go more than twice the windspeed. My hope is to translate this to smaller gear. The biggest problem is my smaller gear doesn't function like I want, like I know how it should feel. This made me realize I should test as much as possible different gear, need some luck and lots of patience.

05 May 2010

Boardshape, the needs for a fast board? [part 1]

First thing that seems to be important is the flattest part (or deepest concave) along the lenght of the board. This is something I saw lately among all brands. Maybe this is always been important, I don't know. (My oldtimer fanatic falcon 262 (1998) has also this in the bottomshape)

What I do know is that all my board seem to have the deepest concave or flattest V in this area. Why is simple, I tested some proto boards with this flattest/deepest spot forward, these were not really able to ride 100% in a normal boardangle (which caused lots of extra drag). Having the most lift generating part under or behind the front feet gives the board a flatter and faster ride.

The latest slalom or speed board designs are finetuning this to the last 0.1mm, the best and most stable boardangle will win.

There are many idea's, the more extreme design (more difference in flatness/ depth between grey area and normal) will make the board more stable on straight, at one point the board should be to stable and not able to manoeuvre anymore. Removing the flat part will make the board extreme manoeuvrable, don't really know if this is true?

03 May 2010

Photoshoot 02-05-2010



Yesterday morning I did a photoshoot together with Rolf Aalders. The wind was a bit less than predicted, just enough to get up to 30kn (55km/h) boardspeed. Rolf used 2 locations, the first was me sailing crosswind to Rolf. It was difficult since the closer I was the less wind I got. But we had some nice shots there. After 5 runs Rolf changed location downwind from me (schapendijk), now I could go downwind to Rolf. Even had some tiny gusts to get nice action. For me it was definitly a learning experience, I could improve by sailing more powered up. This will be for the next time.

Yesterday evening Rolf already sent these photo's and made a video on Youtube. I am really impressed, with the conditions we had I believe there wasn't much more to get :)

For the GPS speedsurfers this was the GPS data:
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/default.aspx?mnu=user&val=59402&uid=870

02 May 2010

First old board test (Fanatic Falcon 262)

http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/?mnu=forum&forum=2&val=20318
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/?mnu=user&val=59254&uid=870

Since the first boattrip was sort of an experiment I chose to take the oldtimer to make the session even more fun. It was 20kn gusts I guess and 110 degrees downwind in a channel

The first runs I used sort of the same set up as a modern kit (boomheight/mastfoot) and the footstraps totally in the back. This felt so easy and was not fast or loose, I did maybe 58km/h max. Not very good, conclusion was the board was to sticky. Soo I did the mastfoot completly back (1.29cm) and raised the boom a bit, this gave some room to get the board out of the water.

(Finding 1) The board runs less free or is overall a bit deeper in the water

One thing I could not solve was the poor footstrap position, I needed actually for my feeling to the back.. This resulted in the second finding

(Finding 2) The footstrap position is to much in front, adding positions 4cm to the back could make it possible to make the board loose and accelerate much faster. Also a flying front feet is exhausting ;)

Afterwards I compared at home my speeds with the rest, since I didn't use my newer gear it is a bit hard to compare. I am 100% convinced my new gear would have been faster, m

(Finding 3) The board is a bit slower mainly due poor footstrap position. Physical it was not really possible to pull it off for me. The difference between new and old would be between 0-3km/h, depending on the conditions, newer board do have a much wider range. 

(Finding 4) Upwind was like going super, high angle good speed. Gybing was poor, the bit more stretched scooprockerline


Now lets see if I have an oppurtunity to test the old board in different conditions.