Weymouth Speedweek 2015

It is time to put Weymouth Speedweek anno 2015 to the archives. First of all, I am impressed by the team of organizers that keep on working and improving this event year by year. The self service GPS check-in, the real time data logger, always 3 "marshall" boats on the course, results every night or morning etc etc. World class!

Also the place, Portland is something very special. The Portland rock, the view from the Heights, the quarries, Portland Bill, the Chesil beach and the WPNSA-facility cannot be beaten by any other venue. And the english weather, the last day 26 C in the afternoon in mid October!

The social activities every evening including the Weymouth Pub´s are also very unique experiences in more than one way...
If you are in Weymouth you should check some back-yards, and watch up for pigeons...

(c) Photo: Pete Davis
The sailing itself in the Portland harbour is a challenge. The wind is often gusty, the water is choppy, the course is long in that way that we need to sail almost 2 km to do a run. When you look at the speeds that we often achieving, 32-34 knots, it may look slow, but I can tell that they are often more tricky and harder than a 45 knots canal run. But it is the same for everyone, and the over 80 participators all do their best to deliver. Also the format, that the course is open 7 hours a day make this week very special. I always ends up with different kits along the very long beach. A lot of walking and carrying every race-evening.

The icing on the cake this year was to meet Paul Larsen, his team and experience the legendary top speed 68 knots Sailrocket 2 IRL. Great to meet and hear the stories and the theory behind, maybe the fastest sailing craft I ever will see in my entire life.

I hope to come back soon again, hats of for Kevin, Patrick, Jim, Keith and Simon that finished ahead of me this year. But next time one or more of you will end up behind me (again) ;-)

Back in Weymouth again

It feels great to back on the holy ground of speed again. Since the interest from my mates in Sweden to join me was cool, I decided to fly instead of bringing my car and trailer. The downside is that I had to prioritize what gear to bring. Big or small boards, number of sails, wetsuits etc. Right now it is full summer here and I am a bit concerned about that I only have a 5/3 wetsuit and that will not work well when it is 25 C and sunny... And about the boards, it look like will have pretty much wind later in mid week. I brought my medium kit, perfect for 15-25 knots of wind. Let see how that turns out, anyway this is a great event, and a very spectacular place to sail at. Everyone should attend Weymouth once in a lifetime!

Back in Business

This blog have had some hundred of thousands views the past years, but for a period it have been on hold. What happened after Luderitz was that I travelled a lot with my family, USA, Asia and Europe and then bought a new house.

But the house was 20 years old and needed a major restoration, but also an upgrade to fit my needs. It is located at the best flat-water spot on the west coast of Sweden. From my new garden I have done +38 knots runs this year. I like to do construction myself but I also have spent months coordinating building people with different skills. The project is far from ready, but good enough to spend more focus on speedwindsurfing again. And I must admit, ’oh speed surfer-God I have missed you’.

The house-project have been a mentally disaster, but the trip to Karpathos this summer and the time with all speedy friends from all parts of Europe where fantastic.
Even if the wind was not turbo-charged this year, I still got a super boost.

The past month I have enjoyed more time on water, and the construction of the surf-storage is almost ready, except of an outside shower.

And last weekend the Swedish Speed championship took place on the other side of the bay. Light 15-22 knots wind, but still a good fight with Markus Emanuelsson, and it ended up well. Second time Swedish Champ! That gives me even more positive speed-karma and I am looking forward for Weymouth Speedweek next week. And one more thing, I have a new contract with Loft Sails and Unifiber for 2016 that states some Social media presence so why not start blogging again! 

Greetings from a High Speed Daddy

We soon is closing this year, and to all of you who pop into my site, Forever Speed and a Fast New Year. I made a little video to make the winter go a little faster here in Sweden.
If you have kids, you might also choose this song as the soundtrack of your life!

High Speed Daddy.

Luderitz reflections

Loft Speedblade 5.6 2014 - a very beautiful creation!
The trip to Namibia was a true experience for sure. The mind-set was to go down there and participate and get home alive and not with too many damages. I was prepared for a few, but not to be a cripple when returning home. No 50 knot musts! I had prepared myself as well as I could and in equipment ( e.g. I brought 15 masts) I only missed an SDM-mast for the smallest sail, (which I did not use anyway). In general we had a great time. The international speed windsurfing scene is a very friendly community and has an open and positive mind-set. One exception, Björn D, who lived up to his reputation “The terminator “, I can say a lot about him, but it is enough to tell you that the first day he trashed my new 5.6 speed sail on the trailer with an assy-boom head and did not give me any excuse or show any regret. (You can see the duct tape in the picture above).

With all other participators we had many great moments around the canal, at the trailer back to the start, at the Nest Hotel breakfasts, in Diaz Coffee shop and at the dinners at various places. We, the Swedes did also a series of Web-TV (will be subtitled soon) and a few episodes with Patrick and Antoine.

About the sailing. I did only had one really powered up day. That day I felt a bit like a rookie and it was more about getting into the feeling of making the way through the canal, rather than trimming the equipment and catching the speeds. This was my first day ever with a smaller board (less than 44cm) in combo with a sail less than 6m2. (I am really only used to 8,6 and + 60 cm boards).
Getting rid of the ghosts and fear about crashes etc. The runs went better and better during the day. Started with 42 knots, 42,5, 42, 43,5 44 and 45,5 knots over 500m. Peak 47,7 knots or 88 km/h. 5 knots faster than I ever have sailed. It was super gusty and I had bad luck with the gusts, except of once, but I did not dare to sheet in that moment... I guess that was my chance to break 50. But I thought this was only the start for the next 3 weeks...

I listened to some advice from Anders Bringdal, to lower the boom quite a bit; it resulted in some better speeds but ended up in a HUGE catapult in the middle of the course in 45 knots.

The sailing challenge in Luderitz is to get on the board quickly in gusty low winds, be quick into the harness and straps and do the corner with good acceleration. I never managed to do that all well in the same run…

And the hardest part then was to find a stance and some wind down the 150-160 degrees course. Most runs I felt very underpowered with my 5,6 in about 30-35 knots wind. To stop was easy, since I am used to the Karpathos reef. I wished we had some more days with 35-45 knots wind to get used to the trim and stance.
I had brought 5 boards, 15 fins, 7 sails, 15 masts, but ended up only using 2 sail, 2 boards, 2 masts and 2 fins…

We all survived this year, and arrived home alive!
What I did not like was the level of the water in the canal, about 50 cm too low, the sailable width  was in some parts less than 2 m and very shallow.  To have a wall that is 2-3 m high on the leeward side did not feel good either, if a fin broke we would been mashed or nailed into the wall. And the almost empty so-called ambulance was something from a surplus sale from the mid eighties. I expected a modern, fully equipped ambulance with a team of paramedics…
When Sophie crashed it became obvious that the wall and the rescue-team was the weakest part. When she crashed we all did our best and I do hope she will recover very soon and will be back in business.

To wrap it all up. A true experience. We cannot do anything about he winds. I am satisfied with my runs during the given conditions. I might return back another year, if the event team could guarantee a full canal, no high walls and a trained rescue crew. And I also think it would be wise if maximum 15 riders participate the same time. To avoid waiting lines for 30-40 minutes. I belive if this event will come back, they have to make the setup different.
Cheers - Luderitz 2013 mission completed.

I would like to thank some people a bit extra that made this trip special; Patrick Diethelm who helped me with the SDM-masts and boom-adaptation and Anders Bringdal for your mental support and my traveling partner Daniel Borgelind. Jeroen and Brad who drove the trailer when the official timing was down.

I also am very thankful to all partners that supported me with ultra high quality equipment and services; Hertz, Tenson, Loft Sails, Carbon Art, Mistral, X-Booms, Gasoil-, Hurricane- and Black Project fins.

Luderitz from here

Now I am on site, so to say. There are many new impressions off course. Since we arrived when it not is so much wind, a lot of social activities happens instead. It has been great to meet all the guys and some girls again.

I post some pics and comments on my Facebook page if you would like to keep up, look at the bottom of this blog page.

Luderitz Booms

Jan Maixner with my handmade superlight X-booms with Streamline heads.
When it comes to simple things as booms. Especially short racing booms, anything will do, right? Well thats not what I think. I have many different makes, and well AL360 is alright. But not any boom in the world can be compared with an X-Boom. A kilo lighter, 200% stiffer, oval grip and the best; cork grip! And I can choose boom-head.
This year I have used X-Booms for the big sails like 8.6, 9.2 and 9.6, but now I also buying for the small sails. They are not inexpensive, but I get what I pay for. And they will probably last for very many years.

Luderitz boards 2013

Carbon Art SP4X
The last 2-3 months the designers, shapers and custom builders of windsurfing boards have been occupied. Small narrow blanks; 39-43 cm wide. Narrow but also a bit thinner than usual. Sandwich and high quality carbon...  Light. A lot of speculations about rocker lines, v-shapes, aerodynamic deck, assy set-ups etc etc.

When I got the question today - "Do you have any special made board for Luderitz in production" I answered "doesnt everybody has that?".

There are so much speculations about what to build. For me this is a big adventure and the proven constructions is my cup of tea. Off course also with some improvements. So I will bring a handful of boards with me. Stay tuned for more!

Reflections from Karpathos Speed 2013

Stopping and also checking the speed line

Time to conclude this years Karpathos speed event. It is the 5th year and my 11th week on the island. Karpathos proved once again to a very reliable place when you want offshore wind during fixed dates. I is not many places in the world with 7-9 Bft every day from the same angle and with no rolling sea etc. Also the service that we have with airport pick up, storage and rescue is unique.

This year we where less Swedes that participated, but instead more Dutch and Ukrainian sailors joined the event. We really had a great time together. If you want to know more about the event and how it turned out, you can read here Karpathosspeed.com

Some reflections about my own sailing

I have got a lot more used to the spot than the years before. This year my pulse almost never rose at all. And I did not find the place gusty on the upwind at all. It was extremely easy to sail every day. About 800km during 14 days in a row, with speeds around 38-42 knots everyday.

This year both Daniel and myself used our sessions to practice and trim for Luderitz. The difference compared to other years is that we used smaller boards, sails and assy fins. And I also did practice to stop from 39-40 knots on 25 metres many times.

The boards that I brought this year where Carbon Art SP44, SP48, SL55 and SP60. I do not want to write bad about any fin-brands, but on the good side I must say that I am surprised how well the Gasoil Assy fin worked both upwind and downwind on the SP44. I tried a lot to trim the new SP48 but struggled with the fins. Daniel had better flow with this board than I. Maybe a better fin and also the board size suited his weight better than for me. Hard to say, but I will try to find more carbon fins in sizes 26-28 with medium lift.

I am also surprised how well the SP60 worked as both slalom and speed board with 7.0 sail on flatter water in lighter winds. It went upwind better than a formula and I peaked the top speed at 39 knots in moderate wind. On the sail side we, all the Loft riders, preferred RDM on all sizes. I used mainly Racing Blade 6,3 2013, but also 7,0 and some runs with 5,6. The first two sails needed a lot of downhaul, and the 5,6 the opposite. This year I use less spacers and it seems to work well. The feeling in this year’s smaller rig are great.

SP44 and Loft 6,3 high wind trimmed
Maybe the whole combo has got a lot better year by year. Because neither Daniel nor myself had any problems with catapults or any serious spinouts. Balance is the word! I feel I am writing a lot of positive bullshit above, pushing my sponsors etc. Sorry if you feel that, what can I say more than that Daniel and Markus E where also very pleased with their sails from NP and Simmer!

Next year I will NOT bring the 7,8 rig and a lot of G10 fins will also be left home.
I made a little video from this year that explains why we keep on visiting the Island of Karpathos. It is the reliable offshore wind, but also the fantastic town Pigadia, the food and all the nice people we meet. The Greeks but also all others that are visiting the island every year.

from Karpathos with love from Anders BQ on Vimeo.