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National Windsurfing Championships 2018
16/11/18
Iona receiving her trophy from Guy Cribb having come first in her fleet (4.5m)

Yannis

Weymouth on 26/08/18

Rating:4 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:4.2

Sunday:
A few people went out on 5m in the morning before the forecasted afternoon mayhem. Given the general weather misery (and recovering from a rib injury), I was in no mood of changing sails and waited for a bit until the rain turned completely horizontal. The 4.2m proved to be the right choice, although when the 40 knot gusts hit it all went a bit mental. The chop was immense especially towards the sailing centre. My old 95lt Fanatic was a bit too bouncy, but managed to keep it tamed. A few people attempted jumps and various tricks, but most ended up crashing - made me feel a bit better for chickening out. After a long while, my ribs decided they've had enough so called it a day. Soon after the chop disappeared completely and the sailing crowd tripled within 30 mins. WTF!?!?! Local knowledge is gold!

Kids spent the day in the van. Spent the night at the Top Field, Eweleaze Farm campsite. 51 for one night. Stay clear!!!

La Torche, France on 02/08/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:5.6

Back on the Plage du Ster.

Finally, the wind picked up. But I could have easily been on Hayling beach: overcast, cold, messy waves with not a ramp in sight, gusty. The long walk from the Yelloh campsite demanded that I got the sail right the first time around and, lo and behold, I did! That 5.6m fitted like a glove for the most part.

Hadn't sailed on wavy conditions for a year, so it took a while to get warmed up. Even managed a few jumps, but need to work on softer landings. Finished when my hands got all blistery. Gotta wear gloves tomorrow.

Sailing club was closed today due to the weather, but hopefully will be sailing with the kids tomorrow in milder conditions. 16 knots tomorrow and then that's it for the holidays.

Poole on 20/08/16

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:4.7

Whole family went down to Poole along with some non-windsurfing friends. Spent Friday night on Hayling but I didn't plan things properly and missed out on an early Saturday morning sail (people were out from 7am). Headed to Poole expecting wind in the teens as forecasted, but found gails in the deep twenties and beyond once we got there. Kids were first to hit the water on a 1.5m but the session was short due to the strong current pushing them against the barges. I went out on a 4.7m and despite the outlandish gusts it was not that bad for a while. There were hardly any holes, a refreshing experience after Fuerte's constant extreme ups and downs. Club presence was rather thin with only Andrew around. But in the evening we found David C and his sons at the campsite so the kids were busy playing until late. Our friend's VW's awning provided a handy shelter from the rain when the time came to cook and eat.

Hayling Island on 06/02/16

Rating:2 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:4.2

First sail of the year
First sail in February in a decade
First use of new Gopro camera
4.2 proved to be a smidgen too big for the conditions.Was overpowered most of the time and generally didn't get comfortable. Some nice clean waves by the sandbar. Need to chase the wind more often and get better in such conditions.

Hayling Island on 05/12/15

Rating:2 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:4.7

Similar experience to Jonathan's. My 4.7 helped a bit to keep me going but the lulls were as gruelling. For the second half of my session I headed out to the sandbar and had a play in the waves but by then the wind picked up significantly and I was thrown around all over the place. Finished the day with a nap in the van before I drove back to London. Van, I salute you!

On the upside, this was my first winter sail for at least 10 years! Hope to be able to keep it up.

Great to see Jonathan for about 4 seconds!

Cornwall on 26/08/15

Rating:4 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:6.0

Third day on Daymer. Much nicer today. Sun was out, the sea was actually blue and a strong breeze raised my hopes for a better sail. And better it was! Almost non-stop planing with only a few dead spots. The wind was on shore so I slowly sailed up-wind and ended up on the beach between Daymer and Rock which is amazing. The water and the sand were so clear it could have been Greece! The chop was relentless and very messy which affected my gybes, but in the end I got used to it.

Cornwall on 25/08/15

Rating:1 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:6.0

Second day on Daymer. I was late in the water so I not sure what happened earlier, but the conditions I found where very confused. The wind went from full on gusts to zero repeatedly making continuous planing almost impossible . The chop was all over the place pushing and pulling my non-planing board to all directions. I spent an hour cursing and then I had to call it a day in order to calm my frayed nerves.

Poole on 26/07/15

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:4.7

Left the camp site early in the morning and headed for the ferry. We stopped at Bramblebush to check the conditions but wind was off shore so we took the ferry and headed for the harbour. Although people were planing in the horizon. low tide was approaching so I decided against going out to avoid the long walk to sailable waters. We decided to visit the Sandbanks cafe for a snack before heading out and that's when the plans changed.

Whilst munching on a piece of banana cake I noticed people sailing on the Sandbanks side so I went out to check the conditions. I hadn't sailed in anything higher than 1m waves for years (if ever) so I had to pause and carefully consider my options. I spoke to a couple of guys rigging 4.2m and 4.5m and decided to have a go. Rigged my 4.7m and went out. Unfortunately by then both waves and wind had picked up even more, so my session focused more on staying in one piece instead of whatever wave sailing I could muster. I had to call it a day when it became impossible to sail the gusts and when I realised that most of the jumps I managed were of the catapult kind! It was a great experience though and I will start chasing the waves a lot more!

Hayling Island on 03/05/15

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:6.0

Weekend started at Mercers Lake with the kids doing the first half of their RYA Youth Stage 1 windsurfing course. Second half was meant to be on Sunday, but it was so windy (and cold) we moved it to end of May. And windy it was! We swiftly drove to Hayling on Sunday where the sun shone, the tide was low and a lovely 20+ knots was caressing the golden sand. The kit was perfect for the occasion, albeit I decided to wear my summer wetsuit, something I deeply regretted as soon as I failed my first gybe. It was very busy at first, but after a while only the hardcore were still in the water (and I was there as well). Was going to sail till dusk, but when I started turning purple I decided to call it a day. We spent the night on the beach (thank you van!) but on Monday there was no hint of wind. Today it looks like an amazing day to be in the water, but sadly I am looking at it from the window of my office.

Whitstable on 10/08/14

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres
Sail:6.0

Did I just windsurf hurricane Bertha?!?! Unlikely, but the kids will be impressed.

You know the drill... you get on the beach, assess the situation, you hear the words 5.5m a couple of times and think 'I'm on the heavy side, so I will stick a 6m on'. How wrong was I?!? It was a 5m weather so I got a thorough battering, hoping it would drop like the forecast said (well, it did drop, 15 mins after I finished). At some point I threw my arms up in the air and begged the almighty, NO MORE GUSTS!

Despite my vertiginous speed and annoying, super-closely-timed chop, I did manage to do 2/3 of my gybes. Woohoo!



 
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