BSA Tenby Slalom – Round 1

Duncan Slater

Photos: Katy Pullinger and Nik Baker
Scott Harrison, K14 writes:
The easter weekend was truly a classic. Freezing easterlies on Saturday saw longboards and SUPs dominating the masterblasters as there wasnt just quite enough wind to plane.
Sunday saw better temperatures, decent wind, and blazing sunshine. With the beach packed with daytrippers Chris Lewis from NeilPryde ran a fantastic commentary ensuring they all went away pretty clued up about windsurfing. The amatuers and masterblasters had loads of great races. The T-15 kids battled with the shorebreak all day long with Ben Marshall eventually beating all the other juniors and taking 1st place at a special prize giving on Sunday afternoon. For the adult masterblasters it wasn’t over yet and for the amateur and pro slalom it was still winding up in preparation for Monday’s forecast wind.
Magic Monday arrived with pro fleet slalom sailors taking everything from 5.8-8.0 sails and recreational sailors 5.0-6.0m. The pro fleet wrapped up four complete rounds of downwind slalom, culminating in a fantastic beachstart race with buoys almost out to Caldey, four gybes and a finish in by the beach. The amateurs as usual got loads in and the masterblasters another 3 races in brilliant planing conditions under bright sunshine.
When all was said and done the results looked like this:
1st Masterblaster – Dave Kent – Cardiff
1st Junior Masterblaster – Ben Marshall – Cardiff
1st Amateur – Nick Martin – Penarth (near Cardiff)
1st Woman – Marie Buchanan – Royston Vasey
1st Pro – Guy Cribb – Bournemouth
Hats off to all the winners – amazing to see such a strong local representation in both the amateur and masterblaster fleets. Maybe next time i can find time to practise more and improve on my 9th place in the pro’s (Cribby’s gonna take some beating though).
Big thanks to all at Surflink Tenby (especially Mike), Starboard / Tushingham, Rat Rigs.com, the BSA race crew and volunteers , and everyone that turned up to make it the best ever national event for newcomers and also the most competitive Pro fleet in the UK for at least a decade.

Pro fleet winner, Guy Cribb writes:

“That was balls to the wall racing, with zero room for errors. Monday was insane mega broad reaches, wildly overpowered, beyond control, absolutely flooring it. SOOOOOOOO exciting, loved every minute. For me the last race was the most fun. Having won the first four races outright (although one was binned and re run) I’d already won the event overall so the last race was just about fun. Mat Pearch and I were basically neck and neck fighting our way around. We’d both started well and left the fleet for dust down the first uber broad reach, both of us must of been doing 35 knots plus off the wind and exiting my first gybe in the lead, I stuffed the board into the back of a wave and stalled, so Matt got through. Next gybe I’m hot on his heels and just manage to take him on the inside, regaining the lead. Exiting the last gybe once again I stuff it in the chop (might of been the cramps I was suffering from now that I’ve turned 40) so just came off the plane, Matt comes through on the inside but also comes off the plane, we’re neck and neck pumping back up to speed to the final reach to the finish and he just gets going ahead of me, taking the win. So so so close, that is what windsurfing racing is all about, just awesome!
“Massive thanks to the race crew; they spent the weekend struggling with sinking boats, broken engines, massive currents, shifting winds, freezing winds, sea sickness and on top of all that, a constant flow of political finger pointing on how they could improve the racing to suit different goals or individuals needs. Ultimately, they did a stirling job. Around eight volunteers made our weekend tremendous, whilst they were at sea in rescue boats in the cold fighting with the elements and with the racers for a crazy thirteen hours straight. What a fantastic job, hats off to Paul Sibley our new race director for setting an awesome course on Monday and to every one else who gave so much to make the first BSA event such a success. Wishing everyone a great year of racing- wish I could join you for more but I have too many INtuition clinics to run and two little lads to raise, so hasta la vista. Guy”
After five rounds of slalom racing, Guy won three, got a 2nd and a 3rd to win overall ahead of Mat Pearch with two wins, a 2nd and a 5th, and Ant Baker with a 2nd, two 3rds, a huge wipe out and a 5th. All of the top three were on the new North Warps which Guy said “Were a dream to use – so much better than last year’s as I literally rigged them right straight away just following the instructions on the sail. They were so smooth I could concentrate on the racing and never worry about the tuning or control.”
The top three also used the new North Shock (suspension extension) which was really effective in the choppy water, seriously smoothing what would of been a very rough ride.
And all three used a selection of the 2010 Fanatic Falcons, proving their speed, gybing and control rarely out of the top three positions.


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