Jacques’ West Kirby Record

51.5 knots top speed at West Kirby by Jacques van der Hout !

The “Flying Dutchman” reports:

It was very clear that a big storm with wind direction west would hit the UK and the Netherlands on 3 January 2018. Most important is to select the right spot to get the best possible angle for top speeds. In the Netherlands with 270 degrees west there are no real fast options. If the wind was only 20 degrees more WSW (250 degrees or less) the best option should be Ouddorp Haven, very close to my home. But with 270 or 280 degrees wind direction the best option was for sure West Kirby.

A big high tide was expected around 11:40 AM, so it was not possible to go out between 10:15 AM and 13:15 PM as the water would go over the brick wall. So, I was aiming for a session from 7:45 AM (daylight) until 10:15 AM at West Kirby – with another option to sail after 13:15 PM, depending on the conditions.
It was a gamble but I decided to make this trip to West Kirby as I anyway had days off until 8 January.

When I arrived, nobody was there. But as soon as my gear was rigged and ready to go the others arrived.

My choice for the day was the JP Speed 45, Evo9 5.2 and my Z fins Assy 21 cm fin.

The first run felt like a 42 knots run but when I checked my GPS I had a max. of 48 knots and 10 seconds run of 46.5 knots. This was a big surprise as it felt so smooth and easy. So, game on…

I did 8 runs in a row with an increasing wind, peaked 51.5 knots and took the new spot record. I sailed the old spot record on 3 January 2012 (YouTube video). After these 8 runs I went back to the car to eat something and to post my speed results from the screen on fb.

Also, I added some weight in my jacket – as it turned out, this was not a good decision because it was still super windy and I had to be on the water as my last run before the break was the run with 51.5 knots top speed!

When returning to the water and trying to improve my slowest runs, I couldn’t manage to improve and did runs of 45-46 knots all the time. Average 5x 10 seconds from my screen was 47.67 knots, but when uploading the results on www.gps-speedsurfing.com my average was only 46.83 knots — my own mistake as I always wear my GT-31 devices at the front of my vest instead of on my arms. So, when hitting the extreme chop in a slingshot the GPS starts to shake too much and loose connection.

So, basically I miss 2 or 3 fast seconds to get my real 10 seconds runs. Good lesson for next time, when the wind is strong and speeds extreme, I have to wear my GPS on my arms (more stable in the chop) again and I also will add a GW-60 watch on my wrist.

I returned home with the highest 2 sec top speed (50.83 knots) and highest average (46.83 knots) ever sailed on a wind equipment in the UK.
I also have improved my spot record at West Kirby and still own the spot record of Southend on Sea.

Hope we get more if this in 2018!

Thanks to Matthew York for the photos.