Tenby report... from Dan Simpson
21 June 2007
UKWA Welsh Cup 16-17th June
We have enjoyed coming to beautiful Tenby for two years now for excellent UKWA slalom racing. This year for a change it was course racing, the Welsh Cup in fact. Tenby is perfect for racing with a beautiful long white sandy beach, easy launching and flat water sheltered by the picturesque Caldey Island and a fantastic old town to enjoy in the evenings. Wind or no wind this was sure to be one of the best events of the year.
The local Greenhill School had given us permission to stay in their grounds and use their loos and showers just a few minutes from the South Beach race site. This was fine and added a bit of a competition to be the first to the race site to obtain the best parking spots. "All action Jackson" decided that he would wake up at 6am just to get a good spot, he was slightly annoyed when the car parking attendant told him to move back to the bottom car park due to the length of his van.
Saturday dawned with very light winds. The Techno and Raceboard Fleets hit the water and managed to get a few races under their belt. Dave Gilchrist, Ali Masters and Kim Jiskoot were consistently the fastest in their fleets and by the time we went home on Sunday they were Welsh Champions. The wind filled in very slightly and it was a bit of a mad panic as the orange flag went up for the Formula Fleet, as most people had not even taken their formula gear out of their vans. A few of us, myself included, had only just returned from the town on a shopping spree.
The wind was very light. Even with my powerful 10.7m Neil Pryde RS6 sail I had to pump like mad to keep planing through the lulls, and I weigh just 73kg. Xavier Ferlet was using his new Neil Pryde 11.8m RS racing sail and was looking very comfortable in the light winds. Reigning British Formula Champion Keith Atkinson's new Point-7 racing sail was just 11m and so powerfully built Keith really needed another 2 or 3 knots of wind to make it work at its best. So everything was to play for, all the fleet was looking forward to some good racing.
The Formula Fleet attempted many starts but it was very difficult to remain planing in the extremely marginal conditions and most races were abandoned. Chris Higham pulled a muscle in his calf and had to be taken ashore in the safety boat. We only need about 7 knots of wind in order to race but the wind was messing about and despite a patient and determined effort from race officer Jay Williamson we completed just one race. In this race Keith Atkinson quickly tweaked the muscles in his back and retired. Xavier crossed the finish line first but as he had also crossed the start line too early he was disqualified. I was highly delighted with this move by Mon Amis and I went on to claim my first ever National Event win ahead of Nick Deverell and Richard Jones in a light wind race so marginal that only 12 out of 23 racers managed to finish. This was excellent practice for the forthcoming Formula Youth Worlds in Estonia which is very likely to be a light wind affair also.
Saturday night's entertainment was awesome. Chris Lewis had organized and negotiated an evening out to "Heatherton Activity Centre" They kindly stayed open for the sole use of the UKWA competitors and their families and we had a great time with Go Karts, Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting, Base Ball, Archery, Bumper Boats and much, much more at a bargain price. After that I wandered along to the â€˜Mykonos Restaurant' to help Keith Atkinson celebrate his birthday in a Greek kind of way. My dad first met my mum in Greece and so he drank to her health repeatedly!
Sunday morning was just like the forecast had predicated. The Techno, RS:X and Raceboard fleets went afloat to enjoy some nice light wind racing. This once again suited the fittest pumpers and the lightweight sailors. Ali Masters proves time and time again that he is a force to be reckoned with in all condition but especially the light winds.
The event was wicked and probably one of the best of the year, we would have preferred a bit more wind but even Chris Lewis cannot organize that. A massive vote of thanks goes to the race crew for setting the course, patiently waiting for the elusive wind and of course keeping us safe.
Thanks to Tenby Council, Mike Prout and the splendid Surflink Club at South Beach who allowed us to use their facilities.
Chris Lewis was the star of the show for organizing the whole event. Thank you Chris.
See you all at Hove for the Slalom Racing. Why not bring a friend or two from your local club and swell the ranks. See you on the water
Dan Simpson GBR 21 is sponsored by:
Dakine, Tiga, Neil Pryde, BLOC Eyewear, Surfkraft, Finnex, Williams Windsurfing, Oxford Sailing Club,
The 2007 Welsh Open Champions are:
Formula Fleet Champion
Dan Simpson (& 1st youth)
Bob Ingram (& 1st 11m)
RS:X Fleet Champion
Kim Jiskoot (& 1st Youth)
Raceboard Fleet Champion
Dave Gilchrist (& 1st Veteran)
Richard Baker (& 1st Veteran)
Techno Fleet Champion
Techno 6.8 (u15)
For images see ukwindsurfing.com/pics_n_vids/2007