Perth- Western Australia is holding the Lighthouse 2 Leighton an open ocean 19km race next week starting from Rottnest island to the mainland (beam/broad reach course). There the top guys are using a modified surf board conventional shape, obviously longer and flatter with high performance race style fin set up for flat out straight line speed. Record for this race stands at 24 mins - this is over 1.5 meter swell with wind chop and 20-25 knts wind.
In January 11th 2014 open ocean racing 1.5 hours north of Perth is the Lancelin Ocean Classic, this is about the same 19-20 km race course but runs off the coast then around markers in slalom style down the coast (drag racing style) and finish down the coast in Lancelin "in front of the bar
". Again race record is around 25 mins. Guys usually run the same board in both these races.
I am currently getting one of Western Australia's top board sharpers to build me a custom board for this style of racing as it is gaining interest in this part of the world, and is getting very popular.- just takes a lot of arrangement to set up as a safety point of view. We have big sharks to contend with as well.
I will post pics of my new weapon once it's built. This type of board is a must if you want to be in contention for a good place it seems. Fitness and skill obviously is highest priority as well.
As for course racing well we only have about 3-4 makes to choose from at the moment. Same with fin set up "that's probably a good thing to keep an even playing field".
See you on the water