The Inverloch Speed Invitational is the only semi-serious competition that the Inverloch Windsurfing Club host’s throughout the season, and this year with my ‘wind guarantee’ coming to fruition we should really remove the word semi. The competition on the water was ferocious.
The Inverloch Speed Invitational is a 2 day speed windsurfing competition, with competitors registering their 5x10sec ave to constitute their result for the day – this eliminates the lucky gust scenario. Their final event result is the average of their Saturday & Sunday result. Only speeds recorded within the allocated times and on the waters of Anderson Inlet will count towards the participants result.
The Combatants & Competition
As Saturday dawned we awoke to light Westerly winds. The forecast bode well for an increase in strength from the W-NW before a late SW change. Eager competitors were hoping the change would arrive before the cut off for Saturday’s results. After briefing things started to get serious, fins, and sails were chosen meticulously for the gusty conditions and it was evident very early that correct choice of gear for the conditions at hand would be pivotal to overall standings & results at the end of the day.
Yours truly got the best of the early conditions but by mid arvo, more raiders (Ado & Spotty) from the Pit Crew turned up and as the wind increased in strength and moved SW my lead was quickly diminished.
14 registered competitors battled it out on the first day and by days end it was obvious the format was perfect for close competition. In Division A some quick running repairs to Daffy’s board were required to keep him in the mix after having a close encounter with a submerged tree over at Point Smythe, overnight in Div A only 0.5kts separated 2nd – 5th.
In Division B Mick ‘Drift’ Green lived up to his nick name. Whilst every other competitor went with shortboard’s in the hope of catching 10 sec gusts, Mick tried to emulate 2011 champion John Rohrsheim by sailing to the area with the fastest flowing tidal current in the hope of running with the current to get an edge on the rest of the field.
Unfortunately for Mick he ended up just drifting around the inlet and out of contention. Division C was highly contested and the loan female entrant Wendy Jepsen battled it out against the gents – and held her own as well! Our come & Try division had 5 sailors all of whom took to GPS sailing with gusto.
After a small bit of mismanagement by the event organiser forgetting to book dinner, we ended up at Casa Del Jeppo for a great night. Spotty once again uttering his famous, “you won’t go 50 eating salad!” as we all attacked a serious amount of pizza and mulled over some of the serious issues in life – the desal plant, wind turbines, innovative ways that Pete could complete his postie round etc.
Sunday dawned and we headed to the IWC’s newly sanctioned ‘official’ café The Red Elk. Great service and a great breaky and more serious conversation: “what really constitutes a macchiato??”. Shortly after, we headed back to the beach to eagerly await the predicted 25kt+ SW change.
Gusty W winds greeted us and after the briefest of briefings we got started on day 2. A heap of new competitors turned up for Sunday due to the forecast, leading to 19 registered competition sailors and another 10 or so just out for a sail.
Regular IWC skulduggery started with a few people ducking off down to Area 45 to check it out, only to come back and say it was no good. Kato & Daffy took that word as gospel and went to sail there… Daffy posted the day’s highest peak in the ‘no good’ conditions at Area 45 with a peak over 37!! Also in Div A Spotty & Ado headed out to one of the newly formed inlet entrance channels while yours truly was facilitating registrations!! In Div B, Dazza headed out in the gusty conditions on his big gear only to return shortly after with stories of waaaay too much lift from his 44 fin to the point that his ankles were in danger! In Div C Naz was looking comfortable on his 99ltr freeride board that was hugging the chop, the strong winds almost blew Wendy off the water as she struggled to hold down a 4.7. In the come & try’s Brian bought out the old trusty wooden board and looked right at home in the conditions. The forecasted SW didn’t come, but… Huey did put on a mighty show with easily 25kts+ W that really kicked in in the arvo, unfortunately it coincided with high tide which made far from ideal speed conditions.
Another fantastic event had been run and won. Thanks to everyone for coming and supporting the event, and thanks to all our sponsors – RPS, The Zu, SHQ, The Red Elk & GippSport that meant that once again no one went home empty handed. Special mention must go to Spotty for donating a portion of his winnings to the unplaced competitors in the Come & Try division, this reimburesed their event entry – Spotty you’re a legend!!
We look forward to seeing you all back at Invy over the summer at our other events, and at the 2013 incarnation of the Inverloch Speed Invitational.