Flying out tomorrow September the 30th To Cape Town then its a 1200km drive to Luderitz!
The event website is http://www.luderitz-speed.com/
We have arrived in Cape Town. Unfortunately KLM have lost Three of our Windsurf Bags! So we may have to stay an extra day here until our kit turns up. They are moving it from Bristol to Zurich to Johannesburg then to Cape town......Unbelievable. So we have our fingers crossed.
3/10/2010 We have finally received our missing equipment from KLM and completed the mammoth 14 hour drive to Luderitz.
Competition starts tomorrow, wish me luck.
4/10/2010 1st day of competition, but no racing today as the wind was too light and the course is not fully finished. A bit disappointed, but they say it will be ready for the next forecasted winds from Friday onwards.
5+6/10/2010 Still no wind and the course is not what we were promised at 5 meters wide at low tide and half a meter deep,what we have is in the picture below!
The organisers are doing their best to organise a digger and are setting up a chop killer for us which will help us at high tide. But the low tide canal needs a lot of work especially at the entrance so we are off now to dig out a channel by hand, so we can enter it at speed. Wind is still forecast for Friday.
7/10/2010 Still no wind but we all got together with the organisers to try and improve the high tide course for Friday onwards, wind forecast. It was hard work putting in a chop killer in using long wooden poles secured to the seabed by rope tied to buried tyres!
Lets hope it works and improves the course and makes it flatter so we can achieve the higher speeds we came here for. The forecast still looks good for Friday but Tuesday is looking like an epic wind day see the forecast on this link Wind Guru Namibia .
8/10/2010 A course of Two Halves!
The wind arrived as forecast, a steady 25 knots and I was the 1st Windsurfer on the course. The first few runs were difficult as the course angle was very broad (130 degrees) which meant I was fully powered up on the approach but underpowered on the run. In fact no one could get all the way down the run for about half an hour.
The wind then picked up to about 30 knots and Anders was the 1st to get a run down the full 500 meters powered up. We all then managed it but with relatively low speeds. We all did some retuning and the speeds increased but so did the chop on the course!
Anders managed the best run of the day for the Mistral team at 43 knots which once ratified will be a new Swedish record.
My aim for the day was to set a new Women's production record on my Mistral Speed board.( The current record stands at 36.6 knots). But unfortunately
due to the chop on the second half of the course it was not possible.The board was great on the flatter water of the 1st half of the course as you can see from my GPS tracks below. I was hitting just under 40 knots for 250 metre's then I hit the chop and slowed down dramatically. Achieving just under 35 knots over the full 500m.
I must say a big thank you to Joerg and Alexandra from Sonntag Fins who made me two new prototype GPS 5 fins a 22 and a 20cm which I really needed due to the depth of water on the run. They were amazing, no spin out even going upwind in knee high chop they held fast and very quick.
The course as I have said earlier is not what was promised and the high speeds will not come unless we can get flatter water. They are bringing a big digger in tomorrow at 7.00 am and we are hoping that we will be able to access the channel at low tide and get some smooth water and show what we can do. The next forecasted wind is Monday and the big winds are due Tuesday, 40 to 50 knots!!!
9/10/2010 The Digger moves in
A no wind day and the digger moves in at 7.00am giving 5 hours digging before the high tide. It achieved a lot in the time and has hopefully made a much better run up for the windsurfer's which will allow us to run the canal as well as the kiters. We will see on Monday the next time wind is forecast to blow.
10/10/2010 Pete's Birthday
No wind day today so the digger was at work but lost two hours due to the tracks coming off. So a restful day sightseeing and tuning sails. Went out to dinner with the team and had a lovely meal at the Nest hotel. Which Nickos, Principe, Monica and I organised.
11/10/2010 Light wind runs
The digging has improved the flatness of the course, but with the piling of the sand on the windward side of the course it has dramatically increased the winds turbulence. We got some runs in which were in relatively light (20-25 knots) winds and achieved mid 33knot runs on my Simmer SC4 6.2 sail and the Mistral production speed board.
Click Zara' picture above for a short video of the days 33 knot run.
We finally got the 40 plus knot winds we were hoping for.The kiters took to the water at 3.30 when the tide came up and filled the channel and we witnessed a new World outright record by Alex Caizergues a kite surfer with a speed of over 54 knots!
This needs to be ratified as does my new women's production record of just under 37knots and Anders new open water and Swedish record of 44.8 knots.
The windsurfer's didn't get on to the course untill 5.30 as there was not enough water to get on the run or on the course until then. The course was lovely at the top with that great t-t-t-t-t-t- sound as you fly over super flat water at speed. Unfortunately the rest of the course due to the high bank to windward was a bucking bronco ride of wind gusts. A real shame as the board, fin and sail combination was fantastic and the potential according to the GPS was capable of a run close to 40 knots on production equipment if it had been as windy all the way down the course as it was on the approach.
We are now on our way home via Cape Town and Amsterdam. Staying in a lovly lodge called Goibib near the South African/ Namibian boarder. We then we set off again this time to Weymouth speed week for the British Championships.
Its been a great experience although a bit disappointing that I didn't achieve my ultimate goal of beating the Women's overall speed record on a windsurfer mainly due to the course not being up to the promises made.
Finally thanks to all the people who have supported me in this adventure and all the emails and texts of support it has been much appreciated.