For the fourth time in five years Herne Bay SC was pleased to welcome the UK Windsurfing Assocation back to Herne Bay for their National Cup Championship Round 6.
Forty nine windsurfers from aged 13 to 60+ as well as their supporters, family dogs, large amounts of kit, six ribs and the race team started arriving on Friday. Unfortunately Thursday's surge tide had deposited significant amounts of the beach on the promenade and this made parking up of the camper vans interesting, some even had to be dug out of the shingle on the prom before they got to the King's Hall. Hopefully it was all worth the effort because they woke up to this on the Saturday morning:
Saturday had enough wind to get all four fleets out on the water in the morning enjoying the sun, though the foilers had to walk out past the pole before being finding enough depth to get on their boards and had to wait in the afternoon for the wind to pick up. All seemed to enjoy their day on the water and there was a great atmosphere in the clubhouse in the evening when everyone tucked into the BBQ.
Sunday was completely different. A storm went through briefly about the time the race team went afloat and while the wet stopped (until packing up time) the wind consistently averaged 16 knots with gusts of about 25 knots, peaking just before the competitors came in for lunch at 29 knots at the nearby Herne Bay pier. All fleets went out though given the conditions it was not suprising that some of the smaller/younger competitors didn't last too long. Here are some of the competitors coming in for lunch on Sunday:
Sunday's conditions were described by the UKWA as epic. Nonetheless, the race team managed 8 races for techno, RS:X and race boards and 7 races for the foils throughout the weekend, therefore deciding the final positions for the National Championship series.
All competitors came ashore smiling on Sunday afternoon, though several seemed to need the lollipop won for returning their tally bands. Although the competitors were ashore and tucking into hot food about on time, the race team still needed to return to shore and pack up their equipment. Here are the last two ribs 10m off the roundel outside the club, heading to the harbour.
The rain and 33 knot gusts returned as the UKWA crew packed up their stuff and headed home.
The UKWA thanks HBSC's members for looking after them so well. The UKWA are a great crowd and we always enjoy offering them the use of our clubhouse and providing hospitality.
The end of the day:
We didn't find any gold at the end of the rainbow, but had a fun weekend and the profit from our efforts will go towards improving club facilities. Thank you to all members who volunteered their time to support the weekend, and we look forward to welcoming the UKWA back in October 2020.