As the trees shook and rain came down over Friday night I was expecting some crazy, or at least wet conditions to still be there in the morning of the 2nd Round of the PKA Series.
The car park area filled up slowly, registration going on, buggys being built and loaded with gear. Pilots walked their buggys to the other side of the fence and started to set up along the pits, the wind was onshore to begin with, but as it filled up, more and more kites were getting throw around in the air with the wind swinging round and blowing more southerly. The sky was cloudy and bought some moderate winds which saw pilots out on kites between 4.5m’s and 8m’s. Pilots briefing at 10.30 as usual and the course had 3 points and a start line.
As you crossed the start line heading south you passed by the pits tacking and gybing as quickly and efficently as possible, beating upwind as close as your kite and buggy would let you, the first mark was a shore to see one which then started you on a pretty short crosswind leg towards the next mark that you had to go around, and then back north along the beach almost straight with the wind which tested the pilots skill downwind as the PKA have done a lot recently, some couldn’t quite get it right and the kites dropped out of the sky. A quick gybe around the bottom mark and then a wet crosswind leg (giving good photographs!) to pass over the line, tack and head back upwind again. 3 National races and 2 Club races were run on the Saturday before the tide came in and the rain started, which meant that the water gullys which were passable before, now had to be taken off the course because going through 2ft deep water which makes your buggy float is not good when your sitting down inches off the ground…
Sunday was slightly warmer and had stronger winds, although like the Supercup round held at Ainsdale recently, it was offshore and so, very gusty. These gusts caught a number of experienced pilots out during the race and then just after when pilots were getting out of their buggys to land the kite a particularly strong gust hit and two more pilots were hoisted uncerimoniously onto the hard beach, one getting up and walking away, however the other had to be taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone, so get well soon Andy. After that incident the racing was postponed pending any change in conditions, and then cancelled due to the unpredictable winds. A quick prize giving in the rain finished the weekend off.
A thanks has to go out to all the organisers and people who helped score the races over the weekend, and to the first aiders and helpers who tended to Andy.