While most normal people were tucked up in their beds at 3am on Thursday the 8th of December, the Windsurfing storm chasing duo of Noelle Doran and Oisin Van Gelderen were packing their vans to chase down the howling gales at Dungarvan Speed Strip. Low tide was for 10am and the wind was due to swing westerly so an early start was essential for Oisin and Noelle to get the best possible conditions for a record attempt. Oisin was rigged and ready for action at 5.45am - the sun hadn’t even risen.
With perfect wind and water conditions the day started well with Oisin reaching speeds of 44 knots. Noelle started her day sailing with a 4.2m sail which for a 58kg, 5ft 4” lady in winds of up to 35knots is a pretty impressive achievement in itself. With Oisin’s support and encouragement she actually moved up a sail size to a 4.7m sail. Screeching down the flat water section in Dungarvan and using a 4.7m sail, Noelle broke her personal best record and indeed the Irish Ladies Speed Record reaching 38.17knots.
Noelle remarked “This is a dream come through for me, at only 58 kilos and standing at a height of just under 5’4″ (163cm), I would not be the build of your typical speed sailor. But this was not going to stand in my way. When I set my mind on something and competition is mentioned, I am put on full alert and ready for action at all times”.
Oisin was on a 5.5m sail and hungry for more wind. Spotting a gust coming through he grabbed his gear and clocked his new personal best and new Irish Speed Peak Record of 47.89knots.
Noelle’s times logged onto gps-speedsurfing.com put her in 1st in the World for 2011 (500m).
For more information and videos see Oisin's blog here
and Noelle's blog here