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


Vulcan attempt # 1
My first proper vulcan attempt...

Diary summary statistics

By Board
By Sail
By Board/sail
VenuesSail sizeTotal
Morocco    21 2  2 1    2  1    11
Weymouth      1            111   4
Poole        1   1            2
Christchurch    111 2   11      1    8
Lepe & Calshot        3   31     22    11
Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay11 62515610   138   2 86    83
Hayling Island  5112103221   333   7 52    104
The Witterings and Bracklesham     3 1    2            6
Dahab        31 3 2  1 23 2  118
Lanzarote     238 104 9 11 2       40
Isle of Wight       2    2      2     6
Pagham            1            1
Waterville, Ireland       2    2            4
Isle of Wight       2                 2
Brandon Bay   1 4 7    8          1 21
South Devon (Bigbury)      1      1        1  3

Each cell shows number of sessions, click on a cell for more details.

Brandon Bay on 04/10/18

Rating:4 star rating
Board:95 litres

Iffy forecast today however the wind rather unexpectedly appeared and we wobbled out. Firstly on my Skate, and that was a real battle to get through the white water. It took 3 attempts to get out the back and then when I did I managed to catapult on flat water and split the nose of my board.. not a good start..
However I switched to my tri wave which was easier to get through the white water (narrower nose) although it was still a challenge - it felt like you either had to wait for a break in the sets of a gust of wind, but waiting for both was being too greedy!
However once out the back, there were great waves to be caught. My selection was poor on a couple of occasions however on the right wave there were plenty of turns to be had. Wind switched off at lunchtime, so good job we got out early!

Brandon Bay on 02/10/18

Rating:3 star rating
Board:110 litres

Wind a bit lighter today and didn?t bring much swell with it so spent the morning foiling at Scragganes on a slightly more wieldy 6.7m sail this time. Learned a valuable lesson: if you fly into the beach you are in a world of trouble as the only way you slow down is to ?land? which of course needs an extra 50cm of depth - doh!
In the afternoon I thought i?d enjoy the sunset on my freestyle set up. Interesting that despite the foils generally having 7m + sails I could enjoy my 5.9m at the same time - and sail back to the beach with my 17cm fin! A good day rounded off by some swift Guinness in the Green Room.

Brandon Bay on 01/10/18

Gowlanes beach scene
Gowlanes beach
Rating:4 star rating
Board:95 litres

Surfed in the morning and then headed to Gowlane. Westerly wind was cross-off and getting out was a real challenge. I reckon I had 2-3 attempts for every successful one. But once out you were rewarded with fantastic rides back in. Down the line, perfect wind angle, clean but slightly choppy faces. I certainly did more turns on a wave than I have before. In the end I had to pull off as my arms lost their strength.

Brandon Bay on 30/09/18

Rating:4 star rating
Board:110 litres

So today we sailed the legendary break of Mossies, twice. Once in the morning until rocks started to appear and then late evening when the tide came back in. Apparently it wasn?t a big day, but the waves were logo to mast high, and the break is probably 500m from the beach so not a great place to break kit. Winds were light but the wave was mega clean and once on it you got plenty of speed. The morning was somewhat chilly in the northerly wind so in the afternoon I resorted to my winter suit - a first for September for me... However the beauty of sailing this spot is that we could launch from the back garden of our house and then change out of our wetsuits in the shower - not since the old OMWC megabashes at the Avonmouth Hotel have I done that!

Added by johng on 01/10/18

Loving the diary, J! Keep it up... most inspiring!!

Last time I showered off a wetsuit was Tiree 2005...

Brandon Bay on 29/09/18

Rating:4 star rating
Board:140 litres

So that didn't turn out quite how I was expecting. First go at foiling with tuition and kit curtesy of Guy Cribb. Wind very light at Scraggane and no one else was really getting going so my expectations were pretty low especially as being a beginner I was advised to take nothing more than a 7m
I borrowed someone else's kit and as I headed out I discovered the sail was a 8.6m which was hard work for a first go, however I got flight time on my first run and indeed on subsequent runs although I have to say I tired pretty quickly out of the harness and holding the biggest sail I have ever used.
In summary - probably not the ideal set-up but it was certainly effective. However I have a lot to learn..

Hayling Island on 16/09/18

Rating:2 star rating
Board:110 litres

Nice to see Andrew and Clare (and Heather from the distance) but there the excitement ended. The wind never picked up (other than for a period of approximately 7 minutes 37 seconds - where at least I got planning consistently and a few little jumps). Still the sun shone, and my new wetsuit fitted.. so mustn't grumble

Hayling Island on 26/08/18

Rating:4 star rating
Board:84 litres

It may have been August Bank Holiday but it felt distinctly autumnal today and didn?t stop raining for the entire 4+ hour session however I didn?t hear many people complaining - plenty of swell and on a 4.7m kept everyone smiling. On the beach it felt like you needed much less than a 4.7m however we launched when the tide was still quite high and the wind was dead onshore so power was needed to get out. The wind actually dropped as we launched and remained quite gusty however the relatively clean swell made up for this. My tri fin Quatro definitely has better acceleration between the waves than my old quad and the steep waves were great for back loop attempts although inevitably they all ended in a big crash...

Hayling Island on 19/08/18

Rating:4 star rating
Board:110 litres

Was hoping for more wind but mustn?t grumble. Nicely powered for the first two hours then after lunch the wind dropped off. Had another on-off 2 hours and then rather frustratingly the wind picked up the second that I derigged. Pretty flat so mostly a freestyle session. Still trying to get more consistent with upwind 360s in chop; some progress made...

Lanzarote on 09/08/18

Costa Teguise low tide from beach 
Costa Teguise
Rating:4 star rating
Board:110 litres

Boo Hoo, last day in Costa Teguise.
Wind a little gusty but 5.3m did the job. That said, I should have taken a Freewave rather than Skate. Some big curling waves made for big jumps and landing on a big board was a little scary - it got me thinking back to Robbie Naish in RIP landing 40 ft jumps on his slalom board. Unfortunately I didn't have the same technique to soften the landings so had to suffer the bumps. Likewise I had to back out of a few waves as it was clear that the Skate wasn't the right tool for the job and would have dug its nose at the bottom of the wave - I didn't fancy having to own up to yet more nose damage..
Great session though

Lanzarote on 08/08/18

Costa Teguise from beach at low tide
Rating:4 star rating
Board:110 litres

Another great day in the sun. Wind a bit lighter so took the 5.6 Hero. More waves today although frustratingly the best ones for jumping were in the wind shadow so it was very difficult to built up speed to them although on a big freestyle board I did land a couple of jumps with a clatter.
Frustrating progress with loops - I suspect the answer is higher and harder. Although ironically my biggest wipeout, with resultant damage to the front of the board, was going too steep down a waveface, digging in and being hauled over the front.. I was then given helpful loop advice by someone who then admitted to perforating his ear drum looping yesterday.. so maybe I should take that with a pinch of salt..

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