24 November 2012
Sail Rocket thunders past 60 knots in grand style, 67.74 knots max, and 65.37 knots 500 average !!!!
Paul Larsen says it best :
"Sooooo Happy! Just so, so happy. We did something amazing today. The numbers.... christ... I don't know where to start on this one. What a ride... what a boat. Just uploading the data now. The 65 + knot average was for 18 seconds... the trouble is that it only takes 15. 5 seconds at this speed. The container is rattling in the wind and everyone is just buzzing, swearing and shaking their heads. So happy that Malcolm was here to share this. That was a great battle with speed-spot today. She wasn't giving it up easy. This boat is tough. Things have changed. BPV must have felt that distant 'boom' and all of a sudden felt a little old. Yeah something special just happened."
21 November 2012
Antoine set a new windsurfing record of 52.05 knots !
Most sailors have improved their previous best speeds and 6 sailors are now over 50 knots.
19 November 2012
Sail Rocket beat Hydroptere's Nautical Mile (1852m) record with a stunning 55.5 knots at Walvis Bay yesterday (18 Nov).
They have improved both the outright 500m and NM records by the largest margin in history.
The forecast shows strong wind there this Saturday, hopefully it's not too strong so they can smash the 60 knot average.
17 November 2012
Day 6 of racing in Luderitz turned out to be a treat with the wind reaching 40 knots.
5 Riders went over 50 knots, and Antoine Albeau set a new Windsurfing World Record of 51.69 knots !
What's more is there is almost non-stop wind forecast for at least another week, so who knows how fast they will go by then.
16 November 2012
Still to be confirmed, but the record books have well and truly been rewritten today by SR2 (Sail Rocket), and congratulations are in order.
They did a 59.23 knot average and 62.53 peak (to be ratified) which raised the outright record considerably.
I'm sure they will break the 60 knot average and then some on the next windy day. This takes it well out of reach for all except and handful of contenders.
It's clear that a dedicated speed kite and some careful thought into the design of our equipment is needed if we are going to challenge at the new level, wherever it might be in a few weeks from now.
I salute Paul and the SR2 team for what they have achieved, this is just be the spark needed to take speed sailing to the next level.
I think the only way we can compete beyond 60 knots is to make our rig more efficient and get it to perform better on tighter wind angles, else we'll just need more and more wind which kicks up more chop.
13 November 2012
It was bound to happen and today was the day, 2 Windsurfers smashed the 50 knot barrier in Luderitz.
Luderitz Speed Challenge states, "Anders Bringdal broke 1st the 50 knots with 50.41 knots and then 50.46 knots! Antoine beat him after with 50.59 knots".
Well done guys, you have rewritten the record books in a big way. Cédric Bordes must be chomping at the bit to join them, and I'm sure he will, very soon.
It is also my youngest son's Birthday today (Peter), so a very special day indeed.
12 November 2012
Paul Larsen skippered the SR2 (Sail Rocket 2) to record speeds today with a 61 peak and 54 knot average.
This is huge news and proves that there is plenty more to come.
They have been tinkering with SR2 for a while to try find the right balance; and it looks like they found the winning formula.
6 November 2012
As our window of opportunity closes to hold the Sterkies event this year, the first day of racing is about to unfold in Luderitz.
The wind should reach around 30 knots today, and improve further tomorrow. I cannot wait to see what speeds the top speed sailors reach in the new canal.
24 September 2012
I'm glad I didn't go full steam ahead with the speed event, as the right conditions did not materialise.
We got to the dam at dusk on Friday, and there was a strong West wind blowing (ideal for speed); but the rain started pelting down as night fell, and it blew and stormed throughout the night.
Saturday dawned sunny with a fresh NW blowing; but the sky soon turned gray and the odd rain squall made it unpleasant at times.
The wind blew a fair lick at times (up to 38 knots), but it remained NW as I feared making too choppy for speed.
Sunday blew much stronger than forecast (10 ave, 15 peak) and turned out to be a stunning day; warm and sunny with a fresh wind for most of the day.
Monday was a calm sunny day.
There is a lot of rain about very early in the season; so I reckon it will take a minor miracle to get another blow decent enough this year to warrant holding the event.
But let's see what October holds.
20 September 2012
It looks like a rainy and windy Saturday on the cards.
The rain is bound to make the wind erratic at times, but it should blow solidly at some stage during the day, and if the rain stays away it might even nuke.
I'm going regardless and will be prepared in case she delivers above expectation, as it did a few weeks ago.
We are lucky that a decent blow like this has landed over a long weekend; don't pass it up as the wind inland will be on the decline soon.
19 September 2012
The forecast is not ideal, as there might be rain on Saturday and the wind too North for speed.
But then it's Sterkies we are talking about and anything can happen; so get there and we will hold the event if the right conditions present themselves.
The pre-frontal winds will start from tomorrow, and there's a good chance it will blow until Sunday morning.
THURSDAY : Warm and sunny with moderate wind
FRIDAY : Fine and warm becoming partly cloudy; wind freshening later in the day
SATURDAY : Cloudy and cooler with chance of rain, but Windy ! Should start from the North and swing more West by 2pm
SUNDAY : Chilly start and 50/50 wind wise. It might nuke West early on depending on the passage of the front.
17 September 2012
The forecast has improved over the past 24 hours and we might hold the event after all.
What concerns me though is that there is a chance of rain on Saturday which is bad news for wind, and the direction might be too North for speed (but good for big-air).
The pre-frontal wind starts on Thursday, so if you are lucky enough to get there early, you will be rewarded with 3 straight days of wind.
16 September 2012
Cold front on the way, but it might hit a day too soon for the long weekend and lacks in strength; it would be very convenient if it did work out.
Plan B; there's another front lurking the following weekend which might be stronger.
A lot can change; so I'll keep close watch on these and hope that one of them works out.
11 September 2012
Ouch, the medium and long range prospects for wind have both dropped out; it seems as though I put the evil eye on the wind.
The long weekend is still 10 days away, so hopefully it swings back in our favour by then.
Since our chances of strong wind worsen with each passing week; I'll have to jump at the next opportunity (if any) irrespective of the day of the week.
There's been very little wind this winter (similar to the past 2 years), there was one strong blow on 11 August (when I was away), and couple of decent blows on 8 June and 1 September. It's been a difficult to hold the speed event since 2010; hopefully this pattern changes soon.
8 September 2012
The forecast for this weekend has dropped, and we've had a very cold snap and torrential rain at times over the past 2 days.
The wind for next weekend also looks bleak at this stage, but the forecast for the long weekend looks promising.
I'll keep tabs on it and let you know if it holds.
4 September 2012
The wind this coming weekend looks too light to hold the speed event, and the boat show is on and several competitors will be there.
There might be more wind the following weekend, that will make it 5 straight weekends with wind !!!
Our target is now one of the following 2 weekends, namely 15-16 Sept or the long weekend thereafter.
3 September 2012
The forecast for this coming weekend is too light to hold the speed and big-air event, so take it easy and relax for now.
There is bound to be at least one more decent blow before the Summer doldrums arrive.
30 August 2012
There is still no big blow on the cards, and with each passing week the odds of this diminish.
But on the flip-side, there has been wind for 2 weekends in a row, and next weekend looks like more of the same.
The long range forecast still looks positive for decent wind 7-10 days from now, so be ready.
I'll post updates during the week if it still looks positive.
22 August 2012
I'm back and there seems to be wind on a regular basis these days. There is only moderate wind at present, but I see some good prospects approaching from the West.
We'll hold the event as soon as the next strong front hits; the long range forecast shows this might be just after the first week of September.
Hopefully that happens, as our chances for wind diminish with each passing week.
At least the air temps have risen considerably; the water temps will improve too, but at a must slower rate due to the depth of Sterkies.
7 August 2012
The wind looks excellent this coming weekend, but unfortunately I'm away and so is Ocean2Air (Mauritius), so we'll have to have the event later in the month; but at least it will be warmer then.
It snowed in several places throughout South Africa today, and Sterkies measured a balmy 0 degrees C.
Regardless of temperature, if I were there these would be green light conditions for sure !
How's this for a nuking forecast for this coming Saturday :
Gert Fouche says it blew so strong in the afternoon that everyone was just watching in awe.
24 July 2012
Winter is almost over and there have only been a few moderate wind days which is disappointing to say the least.
Each year seems to get worse than the last.
The water temp will be really cold until mid-late August, so take it easy until then.
I'll sound the alarm if a decent front is lurking from mid-August onward.
29 June 2012
There is some wind lurking next week, there's a peak on Wednesday and again on Friday.
Given the chilly temperatures at this time of the year, I reckon we rather wait until mid-August to get the show on road.
If you're a die hard, then you might be able to get in some practice before then.
There still hasn't been a big blow this Winter, just a couple of moderate to fresh days so far.
It's bound to happen at least once during Winter or early Spring; and I'll let you know when it does.
22 June 2012
We're still in a holding pattern for now.
There is a strong breeze in Joburg for change, "46 km/h / 12.9 m/s from the North" quoting Wunderground at ORT at 10h40.
There is a lot of cloud about today, and rain is imminent. That's the main reason we're not going ahead this weekend, as cloud and rain are wind inhibitors at Sterkies (besides storms).
21 June 2012
I will rather pass up the wind this weekend, as it doesn't look strong enough, and some rain is forecast which never bodes well for wind.
Watch out for next week though, there might be stronger wind then.
18 June 2012
There's some wind at Sterkies this weekend, but it looks a bit light to warrant holding the event at present.
I'll let you know if this changes.
8 June 2012
The wind blew early while I was fixing the weather station, but I wasn't in a hurry as I thought it would peak later. As it turns out, it rained and the wind backed off around midday which is unusual.
It was still a nice outing and a wonderful feeling to be racing across the crystal clear waters once again.
In hind sight it was fortuitous that I postponed the event, as it wasn't the epic day I'd hoped for; it peaked around 33 knots in the morning.
Here's early warning; the forecast for 23/24 June looks decent at present.
7 June 2012
By golly the wind is going to rip at Sterkies tomorrow; it's already howling and will find another gear tomorrow.
Clear the decks at work, as you might need to take a day off mid-week soon.
6 June 2012
Evening Edition :
I've spoken to a number of people, and the majority cannot make it.
There's a mix of reasons, including being overseas, injured, insufficient warning and work.
But the real show stopper is that the Durban guys won't make it, as they've just finished another event.
Since it won't be a proper event without them, I have no choice but to POSTPONE.
It's a real pity as it's going to howl, and conditions will be ideal for speed and the big-air contest.
But the KZN guys have promised to make the next roll call, and several others will also be able attend then.
I will try to give you as much early warning as possible before the next big blow, but bear in mind that long range forecasts are only rough estimates.
I'll let you know up to 10 days ahead when I see a powerful front approaching, and give you updates if it's still tracking.
The long forecast shows that the next chance of decent wind is around 21 June.
If this doesn't materialise, then we're probably looking at early July.
Morning Edition :
Need I say more :
Just to reiterate, this will be both a SPEED and BIG-AIR event combined.
Decision on whether to postpone or not will be made this evening.
5 June 2012
The forecast for this Friday looks excellent and I'm considering going ahead with the Sterkies event.
I know this is short notice and during the week, but I'm worried that the next decent wind hits in July, which will be very cold.
Let me know if you can make it so I can get an estimate of riders.
You can Mail me here : basil at ffpro dot co dot za
31 May 2012
The next Sterkies event is almost upon us, so be ready.
The seasons have definitely shifted over the past few years, and the Winter winds seem to arrive later each year.
The South Atlantic High pressure system (West of Cape Town) is still too dominant and preventing the fronts from reaching inland, but this will change soon.
We'll once again combine a Speed and Big-Air event based on the success of last year's event.
We are still having moderate temperatures inland, and this coupled with the depth of Sterkies means the water shouldn't be too cold yet.
I will replace the power supply on the weather station while there so we can keep abreast with the weather patterns from a distance.