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National Windsurfing Championships 2018
Iona receiving her trophy from Guy Cribb having come first in her fleet (4.5m)

Bernie does Brandon Bay with Peter Hart

Host Host: Bernie
Date Date: 15/05/10
Venue Venue: Brandon Bay
Rating OMWC Rating: 4 star rating

Last updated: 24/05/10 19:47 By: Andrew
Views: 1817

Diary for Bernie at Brandon Bay on 15/05/10

A good day in Mauritius 2007
Rating:4 star rating
Board:135 litres

Day 1 of Peter Hart wavesailing course ? Dingle

Helen and I, plus another 9 hearty, or to be more precise, Harty, wave sailors spent last week at Brandon Bay on the Dingle Peninsula in Southern Ireland for a Peter Hart Wave Sailing course.

We took the overnight ferry from Swansea to Cork on Friday night, and met the rest of the group including Peter Hart. Then we drove 75 miles to Dingle and the Jamie Knox centre, and taken to our houses that we had rented from Jamie for the week. Each house is beautiful inside, with all mod cons, spacious, tastefully decorated, and gorgeous views out of all windows. 6 of us were in one house and 6 in the other.

Brandon Bay is a 14-mile long stretch of sand, with mountains as a backdrop, and the whole bay is a horseshoe shape, so you can choose any part of it to sail from and ensure perfect cross-on or cross-off conditions. We spent the afternoon at Scraggane (which is the nearest part of the Bay to our accommodation) in some mild chop just for a warm up, most of us on 7m sails or thereabouts and I was on a 135l board.

Peter spent most of the time videoing us, ready for a feedback session that night.

Dinner was at Spillanes bar, including Guinness in reserved quantities, didn?t want to overdo it on the first night!

Diary for Bernie at Brandon Bay on 16/05/10

A good day in Mauritius 2007
Rating:2 star rating
Board:0 litres

2nd day of the Peter Hart Wave Sailing course and the promised wind didn't materialise but it was a glorious day nevertheless, so after some on-land tuition on the Peter Hart simulator (knackered old board and sail on the lawn, but with some hilarious Peter Hart style tuition), we headed off to Kilcummin for my first ever surfing tuition and practice.

Kilcummin is just another part of the same Brandon Bay beach, and accessed, like all the other locations, down a narrow country lane that just goes all the way onto the Beach. At most of the locations in the Bay you can actually park on the beach, just gotta watch the tides though!

Spent the afternoon there, and then headed back to Spillanes to watch England win the 20/20 cricket and indulge in more food, Guinness and Irish hospitality.

Diary for Bernie at Brandon Bay on 17/05/10

A good day in Mauritius 2007
Rating:5 star rating
Board:95 litres

Day 3 of Peter Hart's Wave Sailing course

With a blow forecast for the afternoon, we spent the morning watching Peter's videos of wave sailing and doing some stuff on the simulator, then drove to Stradbally. This is another part of Brandon Bay and chosen today because if gave perfect cross-shore conditions, with about a 3 to 4 foot break. So with a 6.5m up and with the rest of the group, we had our first proper day of wave-sailing, with Peter videoing us and giving feedback.

Finishing at gone 7.30pm we de-rigged like mad and made a beeline for Spillanes for more Guinness and scoff. We met up with the wave-sailors doing the Brandon Bay heat of the regional BWA event, and I had the great pleasure in meeting Dave White and nattering to him about his speed sailing achievements. John Skye and Ben Proffitt were there too.

Diary for Bernie at Brandon Bay on 18/05/10

A good day in Mauritius 2007
Rating:5 star rating
Board:95 litres

Day 4 of the Peter Hart wave sailing course and with a Force 6 on the forecast, today promised to be the best day so far, and as far as the wind was concerned, it lived up to the potential, but the waves were a bit lacking.

We spent a few hours at Dumps, but the wind direction was not as good as could be, so headed to Stradbally where it was cross off, and had a fantastic 3 hours is some very lumpy water, but still the waves , while still about 3ft, were not in plentiful supply. I was on a 5.5m and it was the best windsurfing for years, especially being able to chase Harty around the Bay and learn a lot of useful tips. Jumping was my focus today and I scored the highest jump of the group, so was quite chuffed as we headed off to, yup, you guessed it, Spillanes for more food and Guinness.

Diary for Bernie at Brandon Bay on 19/05/10

A good day in Mauritius 2007
Rating:2 star rating
Board:95 litres

Day 5 of the Peter Hart wave sailing course and after the usual video feedback session with Peter, and some simulator work, and with a force 4 blowing, we all slightly under-rigged, and spent the afternoon at Stradbally. The waves were about chest high and I spent my time trying to ride them high and long to maximise time on the wave.

Another frantic de-rigging and mad dash to Spillanes before the food order deadline of 9pm, found us all scoffing in near silence, on the basis that we were all too knackered to talk and eat at the same time, so necessity prevailed over niceity.

We had an amusing domestic situation earlier in the day when Dave White turned up at our house for a natter, and firstly asked to use the loo. Being too shy to ask for an autograph, I thought it would be a wonderful opportune alternative to let the Great Whitey leave his mark in our en-suite loo, but I hadn?t told Helen, and she was currently sitting on the aforesaid throne. The door was not locked and Helen and Whitey exchanged embarrassing mutual apologies as he pushed the door open to be greeted by her sitting on the loo and trying to push the door shut. I had to make the biggest apology, but we all had a snigger about the situation. After that I doubt if Whitey will ever forget my face....oh, and for that matter, Helen?s ******.

Added by beth on 24/05/10

sounds like an excellent learning experience - especially about locking the loo door. I'm quite envious not having uk waves this entire spring. - what did you think about Ireland. I loved it.

Added by Bernie on 24/05/10

Hi Beth

Ireland was gorgeous and we were only able to sample some of its charm and hospitality, so we will definitely go back there for more. Brandon Bay is fabulous because it is so big that you can choose whatever size and shape of wave you like, within reason of course.

But Peter Hart's tuition and humour were by far the best thing about the course. There doesn't appear to be anything or anyone that he does not know in the world of windsurfing, and he is funny and charming as well. Well worth going on another of his courses, and he didn't pay me to say that. But he does like his booze though, so can be quite dangerous in the bar!

Hope you have a good time in Lanzarote!