Tuesday, 21 June 2016

2 Separate Lives...

A month ago I returned from a weekend British Wavesailing Competition in Rhosneigr (which I won!) and a week training in Pozo, Gran Canaria and I am back to my day job as a mechanical engineer working on Warships. Before I left I was in the life of full time work, fully focused on my job and enjoying it, whilst still trying to fit in Crossfit training, surfing or windsurfing after work (forecast dependent). The Rhosneigr competition and a week training in Pozo with Markus Rydberg from Sweden, took me right back to the emotional state I was in during my Sabbatical when I competed on the World Tour and it re-kindled my passion again to train, compete, and spend time with all the guys on the World Tour, a super driven, fun set of friends. I find it weird how different my split life has become. In Pozo I sail for 2 sessions a day and train on the non windy days, watching windsurfing videos and talking constantly about how to improve and watching others train. Then I come home and wake up at 6am everyday to work as an engineer and find this a completely fulfilling career in which I enjoy going to work and don't even have time at work to think of windsurfing! (Until the end of a windy working day at least!) I am however a water baby and get frustrated when there is a period of no wind or swell in the UK, so have bought fins and taken up sea swimming until the visibility is better for free diving. I also have a new long board for the Summer swells!

Some pictures from Rhosneigr thanks to Si Crowther. A flukey forecast paid off for a windy sail on 4.2 Saturday morning, but the wind quickly dropped to 5.0 and 75l weather, wobbling for the heats and trying to pick off small waves. Still a great fun competition and we managed to visit Snowdon on the Sunday!

I have entered PWA Gran Canaria and am really looking forward to going out again for some training and the competition on Monday. My week's training in May didn't have classic Pozo conditions until the last day, so with no wind in Chile either I had banked on a little more practise! That last day in Pozo did remind me again how windy it gets and the need for a 3m sail, the place is incredible! I have my 63l Simmer custom which was working a treat...I would love to spend a season in Pozo improving my sailing, but unfortunately I will have to live with the training I have had, and will go out to enjoy the sailing, the conditions and seeing all the competitors again!

Here is a picture of my longboard made by Badger Surfboards, Newquay. I have only managed to use it once so far before the swell completely disappeared but hope to get out again on it shortly. Just look at that tail!!

Lastly, a few training pics from Crossfit Plymouth-keeping me fit and strong whilst there is no wind in the UK!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Chile, the most amazing surfing

So I have just got back from a 2 week trip to Chile for surfing and windsurfing, but due to El Nino affecting the pressure systems in Chile, we didn't have much wind at all, in fact only the last two days. Instead though, we had the best surfing I have ever had and by focusing on it for two weeks meant not only did my shoulders finally relent to the thousands of paddle strokes, but I actually improved a lot and loved it! The last time I went to Chile, I was far too excited to get in for a surf straight away and managed to go over the falls and knee myself in the face, giving me an almighty black eye (see post HERE). This actually knocked all my confidence for late barrelling take-offs for quite a while, so I was glad to be back to my usual confidence level for this trip. After checking all the spots we found our favorite, and although the paddle out looks easy, due to the swell angle and humbolt current moving all the water up the beach, it took up to half an hour to paddle out sometimes. The waves were glassy and started at head high at the beginning of the trip, up to head and a half to double by near the end. It was amazing paddling back up to the point with 'noodle' arms watching barrelling perfect wave by wave go past with a Chilean or one of us in each! Here are some pictures:

Firstly, thank you to C-Skins for providing me with great quality, warm and comfortable suits. This is the C-Skins Angel 5-4mm.

Practising late take-offs, made this one!

Picnic for lunch everyday on the beach, sandy sandwiches-mmmmm! And look at those LEFTS!!

The Rose Tarantula, found a few times on the dirt tracks to the beach.

Dirt tracks, everything ends up dusty!

In the evenings we either chilled at our house overlooking the break, and relaxed in the hot tub...

Or had a sundowner at the local restaurants...

We has a couple of day trips too, finding a hydroelectric dam and vinyards underneath the Andes, such spectacular landscapes!

It was such an amazing trip yet again, and I am stoked to continue improving my surfing as well as my windsurfing!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Stormy Winter so far...

November and December 2015 has been the best Winter I can remember in the last few years, with constant storm fronts coming through and South /West winds keeping temperatures pretty mild. I sailed or surfed every weekend, had night freestyle sessions after work and taken some leave for good forecasts, effectively buying daylight hours! Just before Christmas we had a great swell on the North Coast, with mast high float and ride, (unfortunately no photos!) then a Chrsitmas Eve session at Marazion, with side shore starboard tack. Here are some photos from sessions recently, Kimmeridge Bay with Cross-on starboard tack, 30-50 knots (a little too windy and gusty for me to try and learn much!) and Daymer Bay, also pretty windy on a 3.7! Lastly Marazion, some great starboard tack jumping! Photos courtesy of my Dad, brother in law and friend Rachel-thanks!
Looking like a nice swell this weekend at Gwithian, and daylight hours are getting better again for after work sessions!