Sunday, 10 January 2016

Autumn 2015 and onwards to 2016

Been a long while since I posted anything on here! Been updating my facebook page and kind of forgot about my blog a bit.
Not done much competition wise since the final event of the UKWA national championship, but still been windsurfing!

Back in October, I had a go at a BSA slalom competition for the first time in a few years. It was pretty fun to blast around on the isonic 110 and X-15 8.3. My speed and gybes were good, but my starts were a bit embarrassing! In the heat, I set my watch late, but managed to pull back to 5th and qualify for the final, where I didn't get my distance/time estimation quite right, so started late, crashed at the first mark, and finished 10th. Oh well, maybe I'll practice a bit if I do any next year.

Myself and Tushingham general manager Paul Simmons. Photo by Andy Stallman
October in general was really crap for wind. I entered the BWA wave competition at Gwithian, but there was no wind.

First weekend of November was the annual Aussie Kiss SWA event, which was great fun as always. I towed a trailer full of kit for University of Bristol Windsurfing club, but opted to head wavesailing at Widemouth Bay near Bude rather than windsurf at the lake, although I did deliver an intermediate clinic which was nice. This event is amazing and quite unique for just the shear number of keen beginners and intermediates on the water at once! Saturday was rather onshore, big, messy, and hard work, but Sunday was lovely down the line conditions, the best wavesail I had for ages. Unfortunately it ended in smashing the nose of my lovely Starboard Kode 77 :(. See my video here:
Waveriding at Widemouth Bay, North Cornwall. Photo by Matt Duffin
Group windsurf dancing in my intermediate clinic! Photo by Jan Zaucha
Did some coaching with Ali Yates for the South and West Wales Windsurfing squad. What a great fun and keen group of kids! So cool to see the youth windsurfing scene developing so quickly, I'm sure it'll catch up with the English squads pretty soon. Looking forward to some more coaching with those guys in 2016 :).

Then late November and December were mental windy! Got some mad 3.7 jumping and waveriding in south wales. Unfortunately back on my old board whilst my Kode was in for repairs!

December didn't start too well, as my roof rack broke on the way to the first SWA wave event of the winter with my friends from Bristol uni. Not only did this mean we couldn't make it to the competition, but it also completely destroyed our wave boards.

Went home to Cornwall for Christmas, borrowing a board now since I broke mine and my Kode wasn't ready. I was soo keen to hit the water after working towards a project deadline at uni, and visiting my girlfriends family in Leicestershire. Unfortunately, the first day I went out at Gwithian, the wind was lighter than forecast, and the waves pretty sizeable, and I destroyed my 4.7 and 5.2! Pretty gutting, luck definitely not going my way! Got out for a fun session at Marazion on 4.2 though, head high cross shore jumping and riding. Met up with Sam Sills, and sailed pretty big Polzeath, which was fun if challenging. Until I snapped my 370 mast that is! On new years eve, I managed to score some really nice conditions at the Bluff, rigging my 3.7 on the unbroken half of my 370 and top of my 400: looked ridiculous and the sail felt horrible, but got me on the water at least!
The Bluff, going off!

Incredibly, I was nominated for the 2015 UKWA windsurfer of the year! The other nominies were: Adam Sims (really top pro freestyler), Robbie Swift (british wavesailing legend, consistently in the top 10 of the world tour for years), Ross Williams (4th in PWA slalom 2015, 2015 British wave champion, and one of the best pro allrounders in the world), and Kevin Greenslade (5x british speed champion, and top UK slalom racer). Thanks to everyone who voted for me! I couldn't really believe I was nominated with all those incredible atheletes, in the end Kevin won it, so congratulations to him.

Now I'm back in Cardiff, got a few exams to get out of the way. Massive ennoyance, I hate exams more than I ever have done, and really can't be asked with them, but plan is that they are the last of my life so here we go. Still managed to find time for some amazing conditions in South Wales though. Check out my video here: and the amazing photos by Marc Rowley below. I look forward to more great windsurfing in 2016, hopefully I'll be more lucky with kit breakage!

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