The first Tri Services Wave Championships took place at Rhosneigr Beach, with 32 sailors attending from the Army, Royal Navy and Air Force. Conditions were perfect to allow all the competitors a chance to get on the water. Jon Metcalfe was there to report for us:
"Looking at the long range forecast the week before it wasn’t looking particularly good but by mid week a North Westerly air flow was starting to build and stabilise over North Wales, everyday I kept checking the weather and it was looking better and better each day, averaging force 4 – 5 most days with mid week building to force 6, winds were from the West, North West which would give us an onshore to cross on shore direction and average air temp 6 – 8 degrees, so it was going to be breezy and Baltic!!
All the sailors gathered at the Funsport Shop on Monday morning for a general briefing and weather check. The plan for the week was to run some advanced coaching clinics Monday and Tuesday on jumping / looping / wave selection etc and run through the competition format and then run the wave event over the best two days of the week which was looking like Wednesday and Thursday, the competition was based around an Open fleet and Novice fleet, sailors were drawn into heats of 4 and 5 where the heat winners would advance to semi finals and the losers would get another chance in a repocharge heats.
The heat duration time was 10 minutes with a 5 minute transition time between each heat and scored on 3 best jumps and 1 wave as the conditions gave for better jumping conditions. Being a Tri Service event the competition was fierce both within the open fleet and novice fleet with sailors landing big forward loops going for push loops, back loops, jump variations, backside and front side wave riding.
On Wednesday we completed one full round of both open and novice fleets which gave us a contest result.Steve Jones (Army) took the honours in the Open fleet, with a steady display of solid jumping and both forward and back rotations with some nice backside riding Steve Roberts (Royal Navy) second and Craig Hamilton (RAF) third, it was very close, only one point separating first and second place.
In the Novice fleet Richard Cessford took first place, Rupert Fisher second place both from the (Royal Navy) with Ed Birtwistle (Army) a close third.
We planned to run an expression session on the Thursday scoring twenty minute heats with appointing first place to the overall stand out sailor, but the wind didn’t arrive until around 1500 hours so the general consensus was to award the prizes based on Wednesdays sailing. Steve Roberts (Royal Navy) was awarded the prize in the open fleet with a fine display of front loops, shuvits / goiter attempts and freestyle trickery and Rupert “Fish" Fisher (Royal Navy) was awarded best novice sailor going for back loops, and jump variations and generally going for it!!
Traditionally a night out was planned after prize giving on Thursday night, so we all went to the local curry house, luckily no taxis were available to take some of the crew to the bright lights of Bangor town so we all avoided hangovers, just as well as Friday morning greeted us with more wind and waves so another good session was had before the drive home in the afternoon.
To finish I would like to thank our sponsors of the event.
Williams Windsurfing & Tiki wetsuits who supplied the contest rash vests.
Animal Clothing who supplied prizes
Naish UK who supplied prizes
Seasprite who supplied prizes
Funsport who sorted out the screen printing for the rash vests, let us take over half the high street with numerous vans and use there grass rigging up area also helped to judge the event.
So a very successful event and we were blessed with great conditions all week, the event will be in the calander for next year, so if you are in the Armed Forces and into your wave sailing get in touch, look forward to seeing you next year.
Article written by.
Jon Metcalfe ASA Windsurfing Manager