Monday, 13 January 2014

I wished for a windy Christmas...

I couldn't really believe my luck! I flew south from Scotland on the 20th of December, the conditions had been looking pretty sweet in Cornwall for a couple of weeks, surely the wind would disappear as soon as I arrived?

Actually, no, the wind disappeared the day after I flew back to Scotland haha!

It was really nice to be back home with my family and everything, not just windsurfing but also enjoying the outdoors near my house and playing a lot of music with my parents and siblings (it seems I am the official accompanist, so lots of sight reading for me!).

My sponsors had very kindly agreed to lend me a set of wave kit whilst I was in Cornwall - then I didn't have to drive my kit down or try and get it on the train.

So the day after I got back, I packed my wetsuit into my Overboard dry bag, drove west, and I headed out at The Bluff in cross off, float and ride. Maybe I got there a bit late for the tide, the wave wasn't massive but pretty close outy. 5 minutes later I took a wave on the head whilst trying to water start, and snapped the mast and broke the 4.7, oops! At least my car keys stayed dry in my Overboard case!

Luckily (thank you for ever!) I got a new mast, and was able to sail in 4.2 weather every session! The 4.2 Rock is a pretty grunty sail with a quite wide downhaul and outhaul range so it was fine, especially with the magic Starboard Kode wave 77, which planes in nothing, stays controlled even when I can barely hang onto the sail, goes fast upwind, and for wave riding is, well... slashy and slidey! Actually it took some getting used to because I'm used to a bit of an old(ish) single fin, and the Kode slides the top turn really easily, I just had to adjust my bottom and top turning styles (if you could call my turns a "style", I'm a bit of a shoddy waverider).

Anyway, I had some really nice sessions at Wonwell/Mothecombe in Devon. Just up the coast from Bigbury, it is a perfect storm spot in a S-SWly, being in a shallow esturary, at high tide, the waves break gently and you can go further out for bigger ones.

Also Marazion for Starboard tack cross on, fun, but actually harder than I expected to line up a nice ramp. I sailed for too long on that session and missed the tide for The Bluff, which looked like it had been really good when I got there. I still managed to get some waves at the rivermouth though so that was fun.

And Daymer! I love Daymer bay! I forgot how good it was. I had two sessions there, the first was perfect, a bit gusty, but most of the time full power 4.2, head high set waves, cross/cross on port tack, sunshine, with loads of other people out. I watched the King brothers stomping backloop after backloop, and tried some myself, rotated either too much or too little, but hey, I guess I've got to start somewhere, and actually, I'm feeling a lot more confident with my jumping now that I actually just go for it. My port tack forwards feel pretty dodgy though, think I need to bring the rig more across me, the movement feels more automatic on starboard for some reason.

Not forgetting the Raceboard! Most of the time it was a bit too windy, and when it wasn't there was nothing! I had two sessions at Torpoint: one in 0-2 knots and one in 3-9 knots, and one session at Siblyback in 5-16 knots. Raceboarding is fun, and I can still just about sail with a 9.5 sail and 377cmx67cmx260 litre board, so that is encouraging for the Race season 3 months away!

Keep an eye out for my tuning video for the Tushingham XR Race racing sail very soon.
Also, I've changed my website around a bit. Click on the "Website Home" button at the top of this page, go on, you know you want to!

Pictures by Sue Walker

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