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The Prodigy goes to Weymouth speed week.
Posted: 07 October 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Weymouth speed week is upon us in the UK so with some good speed results this year coupled with the Prodigy performance and some welcomed support from Richard T Ocean Rodeo UK and Ocean Rodeo HQ I though I would keep a blog/ update on the run up and during Weymouth speed week for any interested parties.
The Prodigy was the choice for school use but has turned out to be the best kite I have ever used myself and is for some reason giving some excellent results for my passion for speed. OR themselves are surprised with the results with the Prodigy being designed for free-ride and ease of use but I can put it down to the ability for the Prodigy to soak up gusts and most of my speed riding is in 25+ knots of wind and as we know in the UK when it’s windy it’s also very gusty on top of it. The Prodigy can take a lot of wind beyond that of the same size from other makes of kite, it does not sacrifice on the low end performance but when I was sent a 9.5m in Nov 2012 I decided to use nothing but that kite for every session to see where its low and high end were. At 72kg I could ride a twintip with the 9.5m in 12 knots but the surprise came at the top end during a session in winds averaging 30 knots but gusting to 40, the 9.5 Prodigy was running on slack back lines but not flapping stupidly out of control like most kites at their top end and this is what makes it more than a free-ride kite for me.
Back to Weymouth speed week. I have had the loan of a 14m Prodigy for a couple of weeks to test with my light wind prototype board because if other years at speed week are anything to go by there will only be 2 days of decent wind out of 7 so light wind efficiency is paramount, this year there is a prize for the best wind to speed efficiency of the week. During a session on the 6th October using the 14m and light wind board I achieved 32.2 Knots top speed from an average 14 knot wind. It has taken a lot of messing about with fin size and combinations, foot strap position and nose weights on the board but it now seems to be somewhere near. It did only achieve 1.5-2 knots more than on a standard custom speed board but at last years speed world championships in France being 1.5 knots slower than the current British champion put me 14 places behind him so every fraction of a knot really counts.
Speed riding is a niche part of our sport but for more info if you are interested you could find out what it’s all about on the Weymouth speed week web site and see video footage on my you tube channel (NWKS). Check back for any progress reports every couple of days and every night next week. Speed week starts 12th October for 7 days. For pictures I’m limited on here but you can check my north west kitesurfing facebook page, not sure if you can see it unless you request to join.

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Posted: 08 October 2013 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Wow - good luck, I’ll try to remember to keep watching. :D

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Posted: 09 October 2013 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Camper packed Cameras at the ready Let hope for wind and a bit of sun

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Posted: 09 October 2013 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Good news Richard, I still have a van full of work gear until Thursday night. We will be starting our 300+ mile journey after lunch on Friday. Saturdays forecast is good for wind “if it stays” not sure about the direction for chop in the harbour though. I have printed off the maritime chart for Portland harbour so will look tonight to figure out wind directions in relation to the course. Best for kites on the predominant direction which is usually offshore in the harbour.

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Posted: 11 October 2013 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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All packed, setting off soon on the 350 mile trip, wind is good for Saturday in Portland harbour but in a direction that will create a big chop and give the windsurfers an advantage over the kites.
Daily updates and pictures on face book “north west kitesurfing” Can’t post decent pictures on here.

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Posted: 11 October 2013 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Another hour and I am on my way

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Posted: 12 October 2013 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Saturday news from Weymouth. very choppy in the harbour today and was considering not bothering heading out to the course as there looks like 4 days forecast with better winds for the kites that would mean a shore course being run for us. Today they placed the 500m long course about 800m away from our set up area meaning a massive hike up-wind before even reaching the start gates. My first trip out to the course took about 30 minutes and my legs were burning even before doing a counting run. There were 2 other kites on the course running on course and slalom boards. The windsurfers were running smooth on their wider boards but my light wind board just didn’t like the choppy mess and on my 2nd run a large motor yacht crossed the course and left a 2’ wake which I managed to catch some great air off and the outcome was a spill halfway down the speed course.
After a downwind run back to the shore and a bit of a chat with Richard from Ocean Rodeo I decided to try the Mako 150 and after just one tack decided to head back out to the course as it seemed to glide over the chop much better than the light wind board. After another hike I managed to do 2 more runs and added another 2 knots to my 500m speed which took it over 21 knots “unofficially” we have to wait till morning for official results but I was running a second GPS of my own so I can see the results each night. This was using the 14m Prodigy and the wind was variable between 10 and 14 knots. With the wind switch and increase tomorrow it means I can run on the proper speed boards and on flat water so better news will follow. Hopefully Richard will post a link to some photos, I can’t log in to my flickr account.
RESULTS HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED…..........15TH OVERALL TODAY

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Posted: 13 October 2013 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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What Gary didn’t say was everyone else was on 17m kites and the biggest we had was a 14m Prodigy . To come close to powered race boards on big kites when you are using a standard twintip ( Mako 150 wide ) and a smaller kite is a cracking result .

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Posted: 13 October 2013 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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sunrise - 13 October 2013 08:23 AM

What Gary didn’t say was everyone else was on 17m kites and the biggest we had was a 14m Prodigy . To come close to powered race boards on big kites when you are using a standard twintip ( Mako 150 wide ) and a smaller kite is a cracking result .

If one made a Mako speed board for choppy British conditions what would it look like an extended version of the Mako Classic with a bit less rocker?

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Posted: 13 October 2013 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Just need more wind

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Posted: 14 October 2013 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Kirk, you need an answer from the R&D guys at HQ.
Monday report from Weymouth.
Better wind strength and direction today at Weymouth speed week. Still slightly coming over Weymouth so a few holes in the wind on the way down the 500m. Good results for me as I managed to move into 7th place overall and 3rd place in the kite class. Spent most of the day on the 14m Prodigy and Mike pacey speed board but this morning without enough wind to launch a kite I took Richards 19m Flysurfer and the Ocean Rodeo Mako 150 to see if I could clinch the prize for fastest speed to wind ratio. I don’t find out until morning but the present winner has a 1.8 speed to wind ratio and I reckon this morning was max 12 knots wind strength and I had a 500m run @ just over 22 knots so may just beat the current best held by a sailboard. Tomorrow is looking max 6 knots and cyclonic and Wed is ballistic so tomorrow will be a rest and prepare day. Thanks to Richard and Jenny for the support and pictures which may appear tomorrow.

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Posted: 14 October 2013 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Fantastic. Good luck on Wednesday then.

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Posted: 16 October 2013 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Posted: 16 October 2013 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Strange day today. Windiest day of the week so far but it started on a SSE which was blowing straight over Portland and the sailing academy. The course was being set ready for the forecast wind switch to SW then W by 1pm. The course opened at 11am and ran on Port tack but within an hour it became too square for even the windsurfers to hold course. After a refused request to reverse the course most kites came off the water as it was becoming extremely difficult to run in the chop 200m off the shore. Once the windsurfers started to protest and requested the course be reversed it happened “of course”. This was good for the kites but then it meant guys with asymmetric boards had to quickly change fins etc. With all the wind changes today I set up the 9.5m and 7m Prodigy this morning choosing to use the 9.5m, then swapped to the 12m for a while then with a wind decrease inflated the 14m when the wind was in transition. During a quick lunch the wind increased again and took the 12m back out for the rest of the afternoon. All the kites seemed pretty matched today and as you will see I managed a take out a few windsurfers on the way down the 500m so hoping for some decent results when released later.

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Posted: 18 October 2013 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Report for yesterday is delayed because the team had software/hardware issues meaning the results have just been released this morning but well done for putting the time in and sorting it. It looks like I not only have fastest kite of the day for yesterday but after scanning down all the runs by all the competitors I may also have fastest overall for yesterday “TBC”, it however doesn’t alter the overall standing for the week and I stand in 12th place overall with 30.573 knots over 500m and the winner stands at 33.242 knots over 500m.
I decided to stick with the 12 Prodigy yesterday on the course which was a Starboard tack that slowly became very square throughout the day and by lunchtime the kites were running into the chop mid course. It looks like my best run was before the shift.
Two of the other lads who have dominated the kites were on 17m and 16m kites and for a time I wondered if I should move onto the 14m Prodigy but by my judgement they didn’t look quite as fast over the course, so for the first time I made the right choice this week. Today looks like one of the stronger wind days of the week but the course will be set in the middle of the harbour due to the wind direction meaning chop from start to finish. This year my ultimate goal was a win but now I will have to fight in todays bad conditions just to get back into the top 10 and by body is pretty tired after 5 days of racing. So to wrap up it is obvious the Prodigy can compare to kites much bigger than it meter for meter. Although I am 2-3 stone lighter than the others we are talking a 12m Prodigy against a 17m North Dyno and a 16m RRD Obsession.

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Posted: 18 October 2013 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Great news this morning after the time keeper finished the results at 5.30 AM. I not only managed fastest kite yesterday but was also fastest overall. This turned out to be the only day all week a kite took overall fastest speed. Todays wind dictated that a course had to be set 1.5km into the harbour to get out of wind shadow. This was hard work on a speed board due to the 2’ plus choppy conditions and the wind not picking up until approaching the start gates. It was taking the kites about 20 minutes to hack out and up-wind to the start. The course resembled my home beach of Earnse Bay on an windy onshore day. I took out the 9.5m Prodigy as I find this to be the size with the widest wind range and it was due to increase as the day passed. Amazingly I managed to get down the course about 6 -8 times without a spill before thigh burn set in and I had to do a 2km downwinder from the finish line back to the shore for a fuel stop and break. After seeing average 10 second runs on the GPS of 26-28 knots I decided to take the 12m Prodigy out for a couple more runs, Richard Thompson had turned up again to assist for a couple of hours and catch up before we start the 350 mile trip back home tomorrow. After another 20 minutes hike out to the start line I started my first run on the 12m and half way down the course it was feeling faster already, it’s a shame that approximately 75m from the finish line I took a spill and took 15 minutes to retrieve my board, “I think I caught the safety boat crew having a nap in a corner somewhere” as they were nowhere to be seen. I did have enough left to try one more run and didn’t fall but fell short of my earlier runs by 3 knots so decided to call it a day. At Prize giving tonight I was presented with the crystal tankard again for fastest kite of the day so I go home with 2 out of 6 days, this didn’t however help my overall standings and final results still have to be published to find my overall standings for the week but being the oldest kitesurfer and taking fastest of the day twice and overall fastest once will do for me, 5 days on the water saw off the youngest kitesurfer who didn’t compete today but James at 37 and me at 50 competed to the bitter end. So it’s time to go home, build some new boards and start training for next year.

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