2009 UKWA Inland National Championships, at Derwent Reservoir

Last weekend the UKWA was again given a warm welcome by Derwent Sailing Club as the 2009 series moved on to Derwent Reservoir. If there was a vote for the warmest welcome then this event would certainly be very close to the top of the list.

Derwent Reservoir must also be one of the most beautiful location on the UKWA tour set in a valley surrounded by rolling hills and forests which ironically seem to have a positive effect on the wind, which generally builds as it funnels down the valley. The Camping field  & car park was a mass of motor homes, caravans and tents as the UK’s top course racers looked forward to continuing the action in the UKWA Inland Series whilst enjoying the summer sunshine.

69 sailors turned out to race last weekend 4th & 5th July for Round Three of UKWA Inland National Championships, at Derwent Reservoir. Saturday greeted competitors with clear sky’s and sunshine. Saturday was predicted by all the various forecasts to be the best day for racing so Race officer Tessa Ingram and her crews took to the water early and a course was soon set.

This was always going to be a challenging and difficult weekend for the race officer and her dedicated team. Light breezes with big shifts, made conditions difficult. Wisely Tessa set a windward, leeward course with a well-positioned bottom gate, which added interest and provided an element of decision making to the racing.


2009 PWA Costa Teguise 

Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic/North Sails) will walk away with the overall Lanzarote title, despite an unflinching performance by Kiri Thode (Starboard/Gaastra) who won today’s elimination.

Meanwhile, the dazzling Sarah Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) continues to dominate the women’s crown after a late surge by Junko Nagoshi (Tabou/Simmer Style/Dakine).

The men’s final went down to the wire in Lanzarote today, as Kiri Thode proved himself as the most dangerous challenger in Estredo’s freestyle kingdom. Thode was epic in his displays as he sailed two flawless heats against the defending Champion, finally clinching a victory and securing second place overall in the ultimate heat of the day.

Injury plagued the early rounds of the men’s double, with Levi Lenz (Naish/Naish), Tomasz Wieczorek (Starboard/North Sails) and Mattia Pedrani (Starboard/Simmer Style/Dakine) all cruising through the early stages against fallen comrades, casualties of yesterday’s treacherous conditions. The easing winds gave the lighter-wind specialists a chance to grapple their way back, a chance that Andraz Zan (RRD/Loft), Philip Soltysiak (Starboard/Dakine) and Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2/MauiSails) pounced upon with immediate effect.

Van Broeckhoven, in particular, was outstanding today, tactfully carving his way through the rounds with clinical displays of brilliance. Disposing of Taty Frans (Starboard/MauiSails) and Phillip Soltysiak, the new freestyle sensation looked incredible, nailing a repertoire of the most complex moves ever seen. Ultimately, Estredo was the thorn in the Belgian’s side, in a heat that saw Van Broeckhoven depart earlier than he deserved.


2009 PWA Costa Teguise 

Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic/North Sails) has smashed his way back to the top spot, fighting his through the rounds to twice-beat his Fanatic/North Sails teammate Marcillo Browne (Fanatic/North Sails). Showing nerves of steel with a battery of tricks to match, Estredo punished his nemesis in two grueling finals.  In the women’s battle, World-Champion Sarah Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) never wavered despite a gallant effort from Daida Ruano Moreno (North Sails) in Pozo-esque conditions.

The battle ground was hardened with nuclear conditions that caused havoc amongst the sailors. Thread-bare flags ripped from their posts, while cyclonic gusts trampled through the judges tower, scarring the steel structure, and forcing a break in competition.

The hellish gales were not enough to stop stand-out sailor Taty Frans (Starboard/MauiSails) using the time to hone his high-wind skills. The lion-hearted Bonairian put on a fantastic aerial display as he boosted vast backloops high above the turbulent seas.

Frans’ fearless mind-set punished some of the biggest names in the world, as he took this dominant attitude forward, and charged through heats. Ian Mouro Lemos (JP/NeilPryde), Antxon Otaegui (JP/NeilPryde/MFC), Anthony Ruenes (Tabou) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun Sails) were cast aside without second thought in arguably the most competitive and arduous heats of the day. Taty showed a ruthless spirit as he even put brother Tonky Frans (F2/Gaastra) to the sword despite Tonky pulling out massive forward loops. Taty finally met his maker when he came across Estredo who had been watching in earnest.