With a slow start to the season finishing 4th and 3rd in rounds 1 & 2 we came to my home beach at Hoylake on the Wirral, UK.
For this round I was joined by my teammate 2014 Irish and Scottish Champion Pete Stinson.
Saturday we saw the beach still wet from the previous tide so the race master set a course far out on the dry part of the sand bank.
With the wind blowing 20mph plus the kite choice for the day was the 9m Chrono. The first race was started and by the second mark Pete was in second whilst I led the race. After 3 laps we finished with myself in first and Pete second position with a large gap to third place.
The next two races saw similar with myself winning all three races with Pete coming in second, apart from one race where a kite was dropped on Pete’s head at the last corner (RIP that kite, it was shredded with the speed Pete was moving at.....) this putting him back a few places, even with this, it gave the OZONE Chrono 9m the 1,2 over night.
Sunday saw Brilliant sunshine and onshore winds but lighter than the previous day. The Kites of choice today would see the 12m & 15m Chrono in action, with the wind marginal between the 12 and the 15m, Racing today was a much closer affair with the top four places changing frequently! Pete lead the first 2 laps battling with second place constantly only to over shoot a corning for an upwind leg, opening the door for the rest to come through, after an intense 3rd lap i had edged to the front again with myself winning the first race with Pete’s mistake putting him to 4th.
The second race saw me finishing 3rd but due to jumping the start I was deducted a lap (ooops it was only 1 second J)
Race 3 I finished 2nd and was leading on the final lap of the final race until a navigational error forced me to have to tack twice dropping back into 3rd position.
Overall for the weekend was a First place to me and Pete finishing a hard fought solid 4th with Barry Cook also flying the Chrono finishing in 7th, not bad for someone who is only started back racing this year!
A few words from Pete.
It’s always great to get down to Hoylake, its kite buggy heaven with a dry sand bank of 5miles square of usable sands when the tides are out, so if the wind blows it’s always a great weekend of racing. The level of racing in the PKA steps up from what I’m used to with the top 5 in the PKA constantly in the top 20 at European and World Championships.
The Saturday was epic fun racing on the 9m Chrono which left a vapour trail on the beach, we only go 3 races in due to some rain but what fun those 3 races where!!!
The Sunday saw lighter winds and bigger kites, the top 4 seemed to be stuck together all day with constant battling at the front. This defiantly pushed our race craft to the max, with some tuned race kites getting pushed hard to keep up with the Chronos.
Super happy to have supported Tommy on this weekend where his local knowledge and time on the beach with the Chrono paid off big time! This puts Tommy Right up there in the series where he’s now contending the PKA title! Massive congrats to Tommy on his wins, I ended up 4th after some mistakes, however still please with this, with this level of competition. On to the next race weekend we go with lots of racing coming up and the R1 on its way.
Photo credits: Stuart Turton & Col Armstrong