|Lepe & Calshot||3||3||2||8|
|Lee on Solent, Hillhead & Stokes Bay||1||8||4||1||27||24||6||2||73|
|Isle of Wight||1||3||4|
|The Witterings and Bracklesham||1||1|
|South Devon (Bigbury)||1||1||1||3|
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Having missed last weekend, was dead keen to get out today. With a 10.30 high tide I delayed a little to ensure I got a reasonable launch. Nice and windy and beautiful waves greeted me on my arrival (check out the pic).
I am waiting on a new waveboard to arrive so this was to be my last sail on my 74 litre which was a slightly bittersweet feeling as it has served me well.
Launched, got on the plane, got to the outside sand bar and then the wind dropped to pretty much zilch. Suddenly my last sail on my 74 was more bitter than sweet - and it was hard work getting back to shore. Waited a while for it to pick up again, but it never did. Was tempted to take out my freestyle board with a much bigger sail but didn't even seem enough wind for that and by now the waves were receding.
All in all, rather a disappointment
PS if anyone is looking for a new small waveboard let me know. 74 litres gives loads of control for the really wild days - really well planted and beautiful to gybe. Not so good when the wind drops though..
Went down to Hayling on 'Tornado Sunday'. Hoped to sail off the front but I had to be home by 3pm and although the shorebreak wasn't massive, the wind was dead onshore so clearly getting out was going to be a bit of a challenge - hence everyone else had packed up and decamped to Esso Beach which is where I reluctantly headed as I am not a huge fan. I grabbed the last space in the road leading to the car park and before long windsurfers were parked the other side of the main road and beyond the garage - I've never seen it so busy.
The wind was very up and down however my freestyle board and 5.9m proved ideal and indeed completely changed my opinion of Esso Beach as it proved to be freestyle heaven. I have to say my efforts weren't rewarded by many successful moves however I cannot blame the conditions - miles of flat water and plenty of space, and very picturesque too...
Last day in Ireland. After departing Waterville have not had much wind or swell - although did manage a surf at Inch Beach. Most of the group (including Guy) had early flights/ferries so just 4 of us left to make the most of Gowlane. Very small swell but there was wind - quickly changed my 5.9 for a 5.3. Quite gusty but the mini-waves had a good angle to the SW wind so you could get s few turns on them. Then it was time to hit the road for the 4 hr drive to the ferry
So all in all, we didn't have the best conditions that Ireland can offer, but we had a great couple of days at Waterville which became a real road trip - so now sitting on the ferry very happy with my week in Ireland and with plenty of tips to improve my waveriding.
After a morning on the reef break followed by a leisurely lunch we went around the corner to the beach break at Inchy Strand. Now fully powered up on a 4.7 and instead of a coseting reef break we had a breach break with the deepest impact zone I have ever seen. My session was pulled down a few pegs by some silly mistakes... In ascending order of consequence...
1 going for big air in the white water, stalling on landing and then getting trashed by the incoming wave x2
2 misjudging a set and then getting stuck in the world's longest impact zone in the middle of a set
3 carrying on sailing with no strength left in my arms to get in/out through the waves
4 letting go of my kit whilst getting hit by white water on the outside edge of the impact zone and then having the longest swim of my life back to shore whilst watching my kit getting washed up onto the beach (fortunately no breakage).
.. So an eventful day, now back at hotel for second night - with all clothes, toiletries etc back at base camp in Brandon Bay - definitely a road trip to remember!
Added by johng on 03/10/13
Ah, the old "arms too tired" error... you were lucky. I ended up getting rescued by the RNLI chaps at Westward Ho one time when my kit escaped, having been unable to waterstart and having had it knocked out of my hands after hanging around for what felt like a week.
And what's wrong with a freestyle fin? Better to be on the wave on any kit than tarting about on the beach.
Added by rogerta on 03/10/13
Oh happy memories Jonathan - ha ha ha - got take a beating every now and again!!
Bit windier today and after the ribbing I had endured using a dedicated freestyle fin, went with a wave fin and 5.3 on my Skate. Out at the reef break at Waterville again - which really does pamper you with in terms of no real impact zone.
After some additional coaching started traversing the wave both upwind and downwind - supposedly to get closer to the critical section, definitely felt good to be a bit more in charge of where I was on the wave. All a bit hard on the arms though...
Today definitely goes down as one of the more memorable in my windsurfing career. Woke up to no wind or waves in Brandon Bay so drove 2 hours to the only windy / wavey part of Ireland - Waterville. Waves on the reef break a mere speck on the horizon, eventually slogged out there and had a great time on mellow, down-the-line waves albeit on my freestyle board. The freestyle fin gave a few nervous moments in the bottom turn but caught plenty of waves. Made it in as it turned dark and as this looks the only place to have waves tomorrow we have negotiated a hotel - only problem, this was never the plan. It feels quite unseemly to check into a hotel with no belongings other than a pongy wetsuit. After dinner we shared the communal toothpaste amongst newly-acquired toothbrushes. As I say, a memorable day....
Drove across to Dingle in the hope of better conditions. After picnic in the rain tried Ventry Harbour where the only threat to life and limb were jellyfish. Only one casualty of these. Planing was something that happened only occasionally although forward loop practise on the beach was entertaining for all concerned. Afterwards sampled some of the pubs of Dingle before the long and windy road back to base camp at Brandon bay.
Another day at scriggan in intermittent rain, flat water and light wind. Not so great for hardcore wave riding but good for tacking and early planing. Got planing a few times and despite the not-so-impressive conditions it was actually quite good fun. All rounded off in the Green Room followed by Spillanes.
After a 14 hour drive from Basingstoke to Brandon Bay we were greeted with no swell and no wind. Apparently SE is the only wind direction BB doesn't work in!
Still as we are with Cribby it was of course light wind tacking practise at Scraggans to earn our pint of Guinness in the Green Room. Half way through the ever present light Irish drizzle turned to full on monsoon rain, but at least we were in our wetsuits by then and it was a good way of blowing off the cobwebs after the drive...
Got down to Hayling after swimming with the kids so it had filled in a bit and luckily (for me) Andrew was derigging his 5.5 and talking about 4.7 or 4.2. The wind was definitely a bit up and down - to the extent that I got my freewave board out and then before getting it wet decided that I would be better on my waveboard - so went for the small 74 litre board but partnered with my 4.7 rather than 4.2.
This turned out to be a great decision. It was a bit up and down, and more chop than decent swell but my kit choice was spot on. Even the stinging rain at one point didn't put a dampener on things (excuse the pun).
A great day for jumping and hopefully a good warm up for my trip to Ireland in 2 weeks' time. Although I have to say - that first time I have put my winter suit back on this early in the season for a long time...