by Kate Holmes
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was at the forefront of top UK windsurf course racing this past weekend. As the venue for the first event of the UK Windsurfing Association’s 2011 Cup Series there was plenty of anticipation for high wind speeds essential to ultimate board sailing conditions which have been sparse this spring on British waters.
Tight racing in Portland Harbour during te UKWA Cup Series - Event 1 © AllieFat Photography 11
Portland Harbour on the doorstep of the 2012 sailing and windsurfing venue was the perfect platform to complete the massive 12 race series across 4 different race fleets. With the wind delivering gusts of 30 knots, nearly 100 competitors enjoyed maximum time on the water at the start of this 2011 season.
Racing took place across the full range of windsurfing disciplines including the Olympic RS:X class, youth based Techno fleet as well as the Raceboard and Formula fleets. Three discards were granted per fleet which aided those with rogue high scoring races to stay up in the pole positions overall.
Final results saw David Hackford take first place in the Raceboard fleet of 20 board sailors. In the Techno Fleet – under 17 class - Keiran Martin flew home to win a massive 11 points clear of second placed Adam Purcell. Rich Jones was also a clear winner of the Formula Fleet with consistent performance at the front of the fleet. In the highly competitive RS:X Fleet top calibre windsurfing produced Sam Sills as the victor with 13 points and first female went to Jade Rogers in a very credible ninth position within the top ten standings overall.
UKWA Cup Series racing was held close to the Academy building for spectators © AllieFat Photography 11
John Tweed, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, said: ‘The waters of Weymouth and Portland set the stage for the windsurfing events of the 2012 Olympiad. It is especially important to make sure both in the lead up to and after the Games that the waters here are available for all windsurfers across different classes and abilities to enjoy during course racing, slalom and speed racing events. There were perfect conditions for the board sailors here during the event and there was some great competitive racing.’
Final results here
Windsurfers get big air at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy © AllieFat Photography 11