No wind today at Tiree

Bob Shilleto gives us the low down on the Youth Super X

With the SuperX course set out along the length of Gott Bay, facing the event HQ, the Youths and Juniors were gagging for an opportunity to get out there. Spectacular, if controversial, action from the Pros in the morning heightened the tension and by the time Duncan Coombs had briefed them on the course they were fully fired up.

Three rounds were run, with all nine Youths and Juniors in each, offering plenty of scope for pile-ups and carnage at the sausages and gybe mark. The sausages are seriously large obstacles, which would represent a significant chop-hop challenge to the majority of windsurfers, let alone in a charged-up competition atmosphere.

With winds varying from 14 to 18 knots, sail selection was critical: too much power and control is a problem but too little power makes the sausages very hard to clear. Most selected sails around 5.5-6m but even diminutive 14-year-old Nick \’Micro Naish\’ Seddon was using a 5.3. A quad-bike gate start unleashed the action and Richard Potter got off to a quick start, closely pursued by the rest of the fleet. There were some huge pile-ups at the sausages and equally spectacular crashes at the duck-gybe mark as the wind picked up. Chris Murray, asked what he remembered about the rounds, said “I cleared one sausage, glanced back and there was George in the water behind the mark, staring up at Graham who was flying clear over him and his kit.” Equally impressive, from the spectators\’ viewpoint, the sight of Richard Potter\’s kit cart-wheeling, unmanned, some fifteen feet into the air after he failed to make one of the jumps.

Manouvering for position on the start of race two saw the most bizarre incident when Graham Woods stepped back just as Richard Jones stepped forward, putting the top of his mast through Graham\’s sail, destroying the second panel. In a gesture that summed up the spirit of the event, Chris Murray shouted at Graham to use his spare Goya rig that was lying close by on the beach. The race started without Graham and although he caught up fast he was out of the frame for that round.

The final results after three rounds were, in the youths, Richard Potter first, followed by Peter Bird and Chris Murray; and in the juniors, George Shillito of Team AirBorn, followed by team-mate Graham Woods and Richard Jones. However, the adrenaline-rush seemed more important than the result and the competitors were left clamouring for more rounds, and more action.


Photo Credit: Bob Shilleto


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