The line up was strong at this year’s event with Finian Maynard, Dave White, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Antoine Albeau battling it out with Australia’s Chris Lockwood.
It was blowing hard the week before the event, but a heat wave in Greece saw temperatures soaring to more than 40°C, preventing the Meltimi from blowing. Final results for the event were Jose Bahadour 1st, Finian Maynard 2nd and Antoine Albeau 3rd.
“The conditions were extremely gusty, especially before the start gate. In most rounds, only a few good gusts came through, so the results were changing significantly between and within rounds.”
With a biggest sail of 6.6m, and recovering from influenza contracted in the days before the event, Chris Lockwood finished in 9th place overall after three rounds, using a Carbon Art SP50 board.
The first round was won by Cyril Moussilmani, who found a good gust, followed by Jose Bahadour then the ever consistent Antoine Albeau. After a downhaul failure, then outhaul failure, followed by a broken boom, Lockwood was lucky to stay in the gold fleet with 11th place, only 0.02 knots separated him from Pascal Toselli and Bjorn Dunkerbeck.
In the second round, the wind was a little more consistent, and there were a few more gusts to go around. Patrik Diethelm took the honours, followed by Finian Maynard and then Dunkerbeck. Lockwood finished in 6th place behind Albeau, with Bahadour in 4th.
The 3rd and final round of the contest was marked with controversy when the race was stopped after only 25 minutes due to fading wind. The organizers finalized the result and published it on the notice board after criteria for a valid round was met, by Diethelm reaching 5 runs over 33kts.. Lockwood was placed 2nd behind Maynard with Dunkerbeck in 3rd. There were several complaints from competitors who felt they did not have a fair race due to the shortened time, having minimal time to change equipment. The event organizers themselves protested to the ISAF representative and the results were withdrawn.
The remainder of round three was completed in gusty conditions the following day. A few competitors found good gusts and moved up several places, while others did not get gusts and moved down. The new results moved Bahadour to 1st, followed by Dunkerbeck and Maynard.
Dave MacInnes used Morten Knutsen’s SP60 to move back into the gold fleet for the final round, and finished with a respectable 9th. Morten was hospitalized, and out of action after catching a virus earlier in the week.
After the event, there was enough wind to demonstrate the CA boards and get some feedback from other experienced speed sailors. All commented on how smooth the boards rode in chop, and how balanced they were, without sacrifice to top-end speed performance.
Although conditions were not perfect the event was a success as Chris Lockwood describes below.
“I went into the event feeling pretty ordinary after four days of fever, mostly sleeping. I was glad to have put the SP50 and 6.6m in the bags as they were all I used in the end.
Karpathos has great potential as a short-course speed event but unfortunately the wind was uncharacteristic for this time of the year. In the end I felt the trip was really worthwhile. The speed sailing crew are really laid back and friendly so there was a great atmosphere at the event.
It was good to have an opportunity to see what was going on with the other boards on the market, and I came away feeling more confident than ever that my boards are on the money. It’s really nice to be totally confident in your equipment! I was happy to finish in the top 10 again, and am really looking forward to the Namibia speed week.”
Catch up with Chris Lockwood again at the Walvis Bay Speed week in Namibia 2-12 September 2007.