When i first heard that this Charity event was going to take place i wanted to make sure we did something over here in Ireland and be part of it but in the lead up to the event i had a bad wipe out 4 weeks before the event. I ended up in hospital getting it X Ray ed and thankfully no broken bones but was given strict instructions not to sail for 4-6 weeks. I was gutted by the news but still planned to sail for part of the day and try and raise as much money as possible in the weeks leading up to it.
One of my friends Steve Flannagan agreed to take part a few weeks before the event and in the days leading up to the event it was looking like it was going to be windless. I personally wanted it to be a nice force 2-3 as it would be my first time on the water after my injury. On Saturday, the day before the event the realisation dawned on myself and Steve when the sun went down after 9pm and knowing the sun would rise at 5am that it was going to be a long day.
After a few hours sleep we both arrived at Malahide Estuary and Steve started to get his kit together and i got my Camera out to take pictures of Steve launching. It wasn't too windy at the start (around 5-8 knots) and as the sun rose it was a great site as there wasn't that many clouds and it looked like it was going to be a nice sunny day.
For the next few hours Steve sailed around the Estuary and came in at 9am for a quick break and to put on some neoprene gloves as his hands were numb and my neoprene rigging jacket to keep warm as it was deceptively cold on the water and then went back out. I got my old F2 Lightning out of the Garage for the day and rigged my 7.5 as i figured that this would be the best combination to spend as much time on the water and hit the water myself.
By now the wind had filled into a solid force 4-5 and then after a couple of hours on the Longboard i was getting tired so went back in at 12 for a break and went round with the collection bucket asking people to donate that were there on the beach. After a bite to eat i headed back out but when i beach started my UJ broke and as i didn't have a spare for the longboard so i had to bring it in and took out my light wind slalom board instead and went back out for an hour. Steve came in for a well earned rest around 2pm by which he had been on the water for 8 hours. I myself went back out for another couple of hours and that was me finished for the day but Steve sailed on till 9pm when he came off the water after sailing for 16 hours, an amazing achievement. a group of us had stayed at the venue to congratulate him, help him off the water and hand him a well deserved beer.
It was just myself and Steve that took part and although we wish more people did take part the day was still successful in raising awareness for Cancer Research and letting people know about this great charity. Myself and Steve managed to raise over 1000 euros between sponsorship and collection on the beach. Big thanks to everyone who supported us and donated money and also to all the Windsurfers and Kitesurfers in England and Europe that took part as well to raise money for this worthwhile cause.
Photos from the day are available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/alastairnichol/SunriseSunset2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCOqUvbSjibiA-gE# including this picture from Google Earth of Steve's GPS track from the day.
Well done again Steve an Amazing Achievement.
Malahide Estuary, County Dublin, Ireland