Wednesday, 22 April 2015


It's been a busy couple of months for me. But mainly a studying kind of busy rather than a windsurfing kind of busy. With the end of my degree on the horizon, I've had to sacrifice some on the water time, but that doesn't mean I've not been windsurfing!

I almost forgot! I never wrote anything about the last SWA event I went to!
It was Pondlife in Nottingham = all the fun for everyone! We had decent medium wind on Saturday which was perfect for all the beginners and inters to brush up their skills, and for me to enjoy some fun blasting on the 7.8 Bolt. I can't even remember what the sail feels like, that's probably a good thing, it just let me forget about it and have fun!
Cruisin' on the Bolt 7.8 twin cam freeriding machine.
With the wind building (although still pretty gusty), there was some fun slalom racing to be had. And I won, yay! :)

Cameron Coghill gatecrashed the racing on his RSX! Photo by David Eberlin.
With just enough time and wind for a bit of freestyle on 5.2 and 86 Kode to end the day :).
Freeeeshtyle! Photo by David Eberlin
Sunday started mega windy and sunny. But in classic SWA style, it was early afternoon before the freestyle competition got underway, by which time, everyone was somewhat underpowered on their small sails rigged from earlier. It was hard, super gusty, and in a very confined space. Alex Mitchell deservedly took the win with a clean e-slider and kono, and amazingly, I took 2nd, with a forward, an almost-spock, and a vulcan.
Forwarding the 86 Kode and 4.2 Rock to 2nd place in the freestyle comp.
Then a few fun wave day trips: super fun logo high 4.7 Gwithian with all the (x)swa crew. Also a fun session in South wales, ending in a sore ankle after being a bit too optimistic on the size of wave required for a table-top. Full power Bigbury, the best I've had it, cross shore, up to head high.
I'm somewhere in the middle of that sunny Bigbury scene. Photo by Chris Mortimer.
Scored a rare easterly day at Pendower. Soooooo good, 3.7, decent waves, crashed backloops, a couple of long-ish wave rides, a crashed arial, and a good crowd of windsurfers out.
Loop at Pendower. There were bigger waves than that, honest!
It's just my mum couldn't hold the camera straight for long it was so windy ;)
Photo by Emma Dales
And then racing. Yes, racing. I trained a few times this winter, but to be honest, not as much as I should have done. I'm also feeling much less fit than last year, because I have been studying and only exercise has really been occasional wave sessions. The first event was the Round Hayling Island Race. I've always wanted to take part in the legendary event, but this was the first time I got round to it. With contradictory forecasts, fog, and of course all that tide, it was pretty interesting! I took off with a knackering non-planing downwinder to the bridge, leading ahead of Rob Kent. Then I got a bit of a wake up as Rob slowly reeled me in upwind. He and Alan Jackson overtook me by the ferry point, and whilst I got past Alan pretty quickly, Rob disappeared off into the distance as I struggled to keep my speed upwind along the seafront into a short chop in about 3-5 knots. Anyway, I got 2nd, which isn't bad, it's just I've either got slower, or Rob got faster upwind compared to last year!
Round Hayling Island.
So there we are.

This weekend is the SWA/BUCS Nationals. Which is the last SWA event of the year, wind looks ok, although a teeny bit more would be nice. I'll be competing in racing (slalom), and freestyle, and I have a chance to finish on the podium for both of those, and probably the overall prize as well. We'll see how that goes. Then weekend after that is UKWA National Championship series event 1: the first course racing event of the year. Really looking forward to getting back into it. It's also pretty important, because it is the only preparation event I have before the worlds in Poland, which happen the week after my exams in June. I'm not going to be nearly as prepared as I was two years ago, but I'll just have to stay focussed and remember how to set my kit up!

Keep an eye out for my report from SWA nationals.

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