We were really lucky to have been able to jump onto the back of the national Windsurfing Festival at Hayling Island, probably the biggest windsurf event in the UK.
As usual (When things are around the Hayling area) our race director was the legendary Steve West. I knew he’d have some tough races planned for us & he didn’t disappoint!
Saturday started with the main event. A complicated circuit about 3-4 miles with upwind, downwind & cross wind sections. Conditions were far from perfect for SUP but the windsurfers were laughing! It was strong SW winds, the sea was choppy. The challenge was clear!
I got a good start and was paddling neck & neck with Mark Slater & Shaun Taylor (the usual suspects) we all took slightly different lines around the course & as we turned back at the half way point Mark had a slight lead & I was just behind. A slight slip & I fell, quickly back to my feet but Shaun had slipped past. Straight away the same happened to Shaun & I took the place back. then came the slog… we battled all the way back into the wind & side chop, both heads down grinding away. Slater just ahead. As we reached the next bouy we had to do a slight dog leg into shore. I saw an opportunity & while shaun too k the straight line, I hung wide & turned late to catch swell into the bouy. The plan worked a treat & I managed to get a good lead over shaun, but was still a little behind Mark. Smashing back out into the wind to the final turn I made some ground but not enough. the final leg back downwind was awesome, I caught a runner about half of the way but mark got a couple too & mamaged to keep the lead. It was close & a great last event in the series. I managed to get 2nd overall in the series of 5 stages. Totally stoked.
Distance – 2nd Place
Series Overall Position – 2nd Place
The evening hosted a fun knockout sprints in the dark & team relays. It was a brilliant end to the day, great fun with great people.
Then came the Saturday night party… we’ll leave that story for another day 😉