Speed Thrills !KA Wind & Surf Speed Challenge - Burrum Heads
Nestled half way between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay along Queensland's Fraser Coast lays the sleepy fishing town of Burrum Heads. Home to some of the best windsurfing in QLD and home to the annual KA Sail Caloundra Wind and Surf Speed challenge which saw competitors from around Australia fight it out for the title 'fastest windsurfer' and vie for a slice of the $4000 prize pool.
The Burrum comp has built a reputation over the years as being an event where competitors arrive early and stay late, to enjoy the excellent windsurfing along the 4.5km of flat water and join in the post session parties after the sun retreats.
This year the event was also underlined when cyclone Hamish buzzed the Fraser Coast producing winds and conditions good enough to see Michel Van Der Plit set an Australian NM record along the course.
Briefing: 12 noon
Low tide: 3pm
Forecast: 20-25 knots SE
Day 1 got off at a very relaxed pace. With an afternoon low tide forecast time was allocated for competitors to tune their gear, attend briefing and begin to load additional quivers onto the support barge. The barge was new for this year's event and proved to be an excellent stage to administer the event while providing amenity and support to all competitors and spectators.
By 1pm the bank was beginning to expose, competitors were starting their runs out to the course and winds on course were building hitting 15-20 knots. The flags were raised and day 1 got off to a flying start.
Competition was high on the course. A port tack run was identified and one after another competitors began blasting down the 4.5 km's of flat water along the spectacular Burrum Bank. Throughout the day we received consistent 20+ knot winds seeing speeds peaking around 49 knots. For sailors new to the Burrum comp the personal bests were falling run after run. This year's Radar class also saw speeds of 36 Mph being reached. (Nearly 4 Mph faster than last year). The ladies division was also being closely fought out on the water with only 1 knot separating the top girls.
As the day progressed the warm water and clear blue sky's produced the best times of the event to date and managed to see gusts reaching just under 25 knots at times.
By 4pm and with nearly 3 hrs solid sailing achieved the guys on the barge fired up the bbq and food was prepared. The smell of sausages began wafting down the course to entice the hungry. The look on the face of the competitors as they blasted past the barge at over 30 knots and smelt the bbq and the speed at which they turned into the bank on realizing what that meant was a memory to cherish.
The bbq also saw the winds ease along the course and signaled then end to day 1 of competition. Some good speeds had been achieved along the bank and there was an air of excitement as everyone compared notes and began the post event sail back to Burrum Sands for data retrieval and comparison. New to this year's event was the use of the KA72 Speedreader software to track competitor's gps tracks and data. The lists were compiled and parties begun, running long into the night and leaving a few sailors a little worse for wear the next day.
Briefing: 12 noon
Low tide: 4pm
Forecast: 20-30 knots
Day 2 kicked off with a buzz. The forecast was for stronger winds and the speed to beat from the previous day was 37.568 knots 5x10 sec. With briefing over and the barge loaded we all headed out to the bank to begin day 2 of competition. Once at the bank we were greeted with 25-30 knot squalls and low visibility. Watching the competitors come flying out of the cloud heading up to the top of the course was an amazing sight. We quickly raised the flags and sheltered out of the rain to watch the day unfold.
As luck would have it, the early strong winds were short lived. The wind was swinging to the south and backing off. We set a starboard course and looked to the horizon in hope the wind returned as the next squalls approached. As with last year's final day this was not to be the case and we received light 10-15 knot winds for the rest of the day. Day 2 then culminated with the afternoon bbq and impromptu party as those still keen to get in some runs swapped gear and played around on the course. Even on a light wind day Burrum is still capable of producing speeds in the low 30's making it a great place to sail.
With the final day of competition complete, Burrum Sands became the venue for the official presentation and end of event party. 34 competitors, their friends and family made this year's awards a memorable event with 70+ people attending the ceremony, dinner and sharing a drink while talking through the fun times both on and off the water.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 KA Sail Caloundra Wind and Surf Speed Challenge.
|Open division gps - 5x10 sec (overall champ)|
|1st||Michel van der Plit||37.568 kn||prizes - Sunshine Coast Sailboards Select casper speed fin, KA Lanyard|
|2nd||Brad Anderson||36.509 kn|
|3rd||Glynn Merrit||35.183 kn|
|2 sec peak|
|1st||Michel van der Plit||38.892 kn||prizes - seabreeze sms voucher, KA hat, KA lanyard|
|2nd||Brad Anderson||37.976 kn|
|3rd||John Critchely||37.549 kn|
|1st||Brad Anderson||33.842 kn||prizes - seabreeze sms voucher, KA hat, lanyard|
|2nd||Michel van der Plit||33.761 kn|
|3rd||Bob Vaillant||32.775 kn|
|1st||Brian Hooper||22.087 kn||prizes - KA wave boom, KA hat Lanyard|
|2nd||Phill Nott||21.954 kn|
|3rd||Glynn Merrit||21.568 kn|
|Women's Division GPS (5x10 sec)|
|1st||Kellie Tusler||29.631 kn||prizes - mfc wave fin, KA hat|
|2nd||Ann Lewis||29.451 kn|
|3rd||Joanne Stirling||26.861 kn|
The women's division also saw Joanne record a 28.270 knot peak and Ann record a 30.995 2 sec peak and a 27.242 kn NM along with Kellie recording a 30.961 kn 2 sec and a 25.539 NM
|1st||Jason Carey||36 Mph||prizes- Caloundra Wind and surf boom bag, KA hat|
|2nd||Chris Carter||32 Mph|
The major prize lucky draws for this year were also held at the presentation ceremony. Congratulations go to Lindsay Gadsby for winning the KA Sail 5.8m 'Kult' and to Geoff Fringe for winning the NXS speed/slalom board. Congrats also to Adrian Barwell and Jason Carey for winning the Seabreeze.com sms vouchers.
Big thanks also to this year's sponsors.
AMAC - KA Sail - for the KA wave boom, KA 'Kult' sail, hats and lanyards
Pete - Caloundra wind and surf - for the boom bag, NXS board
Laurie - Seabreeze.com - for the sms vouchers
Dieter - Sunshine Coast Sailboards - for the Select 'Casper' speed fin
Dylan - KA72 speed reader - for the software and IT
Alberto - MFC fins - for the '2K' wave fin
Also, thanks to everyone that helped out especially Geoff and Peter, Burrum Sands and Ray's Auto and Marine.
Many thanks also to everyone that competed, joined in, and made the event a memorable time. We will all meet again next year