Slalom BSA round 3-Poole
20 May 2010
The third round of the 2010 national windsurfing slalom tour was held at Branksome Dene Chine near Poole in Dorest. In the first year for the BSA the association has really taken off with two fantastic events on both Tenby, Wales and more recently the second round event in Weymouth, Dorset. attracting a regular travelling competitor base across all fleets as well as accommodating locals and first timers looking to try something different and explore a new aspect to the sport of windsurfing. The BSA's goal of offering organised and social events is clearly working and as such it was with high expectations that the vans were packed and the teams headed down to Poole for the third round of this years series!
Branksome Dene is a real hidden gem, quite literally! a local hotspot its not even signposted off the main road and its special and unique appeal is clear for all to see once you descend through teh wooded valley down into a secluded car park right above the famous stretch of white sand that runs along the coast from Bournemouth to Sandbanks. Indeed this Dorset creek is reminiscent of foreign climbs with pine and palm trees lining the car park and providing our very own paradise for the weekend.
The pre event forecast did not look favourable and by scouring many a web site and forecast you could just about draw some solice from the fact that Sunday looked like it could be the day when the north easterly wind roared the most, the unseasonal northerly winds which have plagued the country for over a month now have not only reduced temperatures and grounded airplanes they have also led to a serious drought of outstanding windsurfing conditions on the south coast and for this 3rd round of the national tour the anticipation amongst of the wind starved competitors was clearly evident, evidence the like of which can only been seen at feeding time down the local zoo.
Saturday dawned to grey skies and an unfavourable offshore wind direction leaving competitors and organisers alike frustrated. However, it also gave the wind starved inhabitants of the car park a welcome opportunity to catch up, share rigging experiences and generally just chill out and enjoy a day off down by the beach with mates. 2008 British Slalom Champion jamie Hawkins was on hand and hosted a technique clinic on board design which was attended by most, with time still on our side jamie was even happy to look at people kit and help tune board and fins set up s personally. thanks to Jamie and his sponsors Neil Pryde and JP for this. Saturday however did not manage to deliver action afloat and as the clock ticked away an official end to the day's was called and with the sailors released from standby they all headed off to the designated rendezvous for food, drinks, more drinks and an early nights sleep! One thing the BSA are managing to deliver is a great social aspect to each event and Poole was no exception with a great evening had by all.
Sunday- the day of action! the forecasts promised much and indeed a few extra people had turned up to take advantage of the master blaster format where over the course of a weekend you will have 8 races (4 each day) but only need 4 to get an overall result! the extra faces and promised forecasts however did nothing to inspire the wind and like saturday it spent all morning teasing and tempting but never quite delivering. after lunch it was decided that some master blast fun racing would be called for and with kit already rigged and primed to go pretty much all competitors were super happy to get on the water for a simple out and back follow the boat and round the bouy race! even though it was not official championship racing the wind was enough for sailors to get planing and that was more than enough to bring some broad grins and smiles to the eager racers. Pryde Group UK kindly donated a number of prizes for fun race entrants including a new Neil Pryde X3 boom to one lucky youngster, Chris Martin of Pryde Group UK was happy with the days racing and remarked on impressed he was at the turnout and the racing spectacle-
"Its great to be down here in Poole, we've been unlucky with the weather this time but in many ways the unusual conditions and even the lack of wind have helped to make this event both memorable and special, the BSA so far this year have achieved great things and i can't wait till the next event- i have my year planned out!"
at the close of play the wind had not delivered a championship counting result, but none the less it did not detract from the excellent weekend had by all and it certainly was not for the lack of wind dancing and sterling efforts made by the race committee and race crews who spent hours afloat in ribs chasing and searching for the wind. Thanks to the UKWA race crews for all their efforts once again. The BSA is an association set up with the sailors in mind and alot of work goes towards that end, and so thanks must also go to Neil Pryde and JP for sponsoring and organising the Poole event along with the Other BSA members- North, Tushingham, Starboard, Fanatic as well as Thommen and Boards Mag!
Round 4 is next and we have a slight break to re charge the batteries before rolling onto the sleepy and picture post card village of Aberdovey in Mid Wales! 45 knots one year and a Caribbean style holiday the next. aberdovey never fails to deliver and is a great destination for windsurfers and families alike. Pryde Group UK will be handing over the batten in style by raffling a brand new neil Pryde Sail to all Amateur and Master Blaster entrants along with other amazing product prizes! and for the pro fleet there is a cash bonanza to compete for!
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