Frostbite – Stage 4 – The Finale (Hayling Island 22nd April 2011)

Hayling Island Frostbite 4 - leading the 12'6 class

What a stunning end to the amazing Frostbite series.

Hayling Island Frostbite 4 - Stunning morning
Hayling Island Frostbite 4 – Stunning morning

Steve West – Race Director, as usual delivered a couple of days of action packed racing around the creeks of Hayling Island.

Friday saw 2 main timed races with a beach start.

Race 1 – 2 miles

Race 2 – 3.5 miles

Hayling Island Frostbite 4 - Stunning morning - Even the dog came out for a paddle :)
Hayling Island Frostbite 4 – Stunning morning – Even the dog came out for a paddle 🙂

Race 1 got underway just after lunch.  Stunning conditions, so sunny, bit of light wind.  The mass start was carnage.  I was in totally the wrong position & had to paddle the long route round the pack to gain a great position by the first turn right up behind Mike Ellicott who was in 2nd position in the unlimited class!  I was a little shocked at how well i’d got off the line & leading the 12’6 class by a fair margin.

Hayling Island Frostbite 4 - leading the 12'6 class
Hayling Island Frostbite 4 – leading the 12’6 class

After the turn we headed back slightly into the wind & Mike had pulled well away leaving me open to the elements on my own.  Within quarter of a mile from the finish Mark Slater currently second place & John Hibbard 3rd in Unlimited class had caught me up & were along side at the final turn to the beach.

All three of us smashed it as hard as possible to the finish line.  I made a fatal mistake of jumping off a little early, the water was too deep to run & Mark beat me to the line by 3 seconds!  Gutted to have lost 1st place but pretty chuffed with the overall result.

Hayling Island Frostbite 4 - Battling to the finish line!
Hayling Island Frostbite 4 – Battling to the finish line!

By Race 2 the wind had really picked up!  i had a better position for the mass start for the second course, but with such strong wind behind us we all flew across the bay in a really tight pack, catching some awesome little glides along the way made it a right laugh, the most fun of any race to date!  As we turned into the far creek the wind dropped & the pack drew out to position.  I tucked in with Mark at the front of the 12’6 class right behind the top 3 unlimited riders.

Positions remained the same until the very end when Ryan James struggled with balance & weed & dropped back leaving me Mark & John battling to the finish again.

Hayling Island Frostbite 4
Hayling Island Frostbite 4

My results

Race 1 – 2nd Place

Race 2 – 2nd Place

Series Results after 9 races & 4 events:

2nd Place 12’6 🙂