Tuesday, 21 October 2014

2nd Place Tiree Wave Classic - What a week!

Well I have just returned from a week in Tiree, in which we had all seasons! When we arrived, the middle of a low was sat right over us giving calm conditions, sunshine (mostly) and no waves. This was not what we wanted, but we made the most of it and actually had a great few days exploring the island, seeing the lighthouse exhibition, spotting seals, paddling with porpoises, coasteering, teaching windsurfing, trying my very best to slackline and also go running!

Here are some pictures of our slackline adventures. Needless to say, Sara was the expert, full respect to her walking that high line!

The competition itself had great conditions, and the ladies had 8 rounds run! The first day was much like the PWA conditions had been, cross on port tack with small waves. I was on 4.7 but it was up and down and I struggled to get good jumps (2 waves, 2 jumps to count), and struggled to pick a good wave. Justyna smashed it though landing a backloop and some forwards so she was leading after the first day! The next day was more my style of conditions with bigger waves at Balephuil. I really enjoyed myself, getting some nice rides and hits and landing my forwards. I won 2 of the heats and came second in the third. Both Justyna and Sara were great competition and it was a good competition throughout, with Sara also scoring some great wave rides! So overall I was second, I'll post a podium picture when I have one! Here are some action shots courtesy of Dave White.

Day 1:

Day 2:

There was also a day 3 of competition at the Maze, but us ladies chose to free-sail rather than have more heats after our 8! I had a fun little surf in the morning and a late evening session with only Sara and I!
After most people had left on the Saturday morning ferry, Stef and I sailed the Maze again, but it was gusty and rippy with very tricky waves to read, and a very long walk home! Still pretty fun though, and our friend Rachel Knott become camera woman for the day after we had taught her on the loch-thank you!
Saturday night was stormy! Our sailing was at 1300 on Sunday, so we squeezed in a session at Crossapol, a rare starboard tack day, sideshore and well powered on 4.2. I had a great session, so much fun! My little custom was perfect!
While we were on Tiree, we taught our friend Rachel Knott to windsurf. In 3 sessions, the last in a force 6, she got planing and beach starting, and has well and truely got the windsurfing bug! Thanks to Black Diamond for lending the board and Bubble for lending the inflatable SUP!
Here are some scenic shots taken on Tiree!
Last but not least, here is a shot taken in Sylt one day when we had tiny little surf to play with! Thanks to Julian Robinet for the water shot!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Back from Europe...with a trip to Scotland!

Sylt was a very cool event to go to, but unfortunately the conditions didn't make a wave event possible. After waiting all week for wind, there was wind on the horizon on the second last day. We were up at 6am to make the most of the day, but as it was SE direction (cross off), there wasn't enough waves to run the wave competition. The freestyle guys had a whole double elimination though, sailing for hours about a kilometre off shore to get the clean wind! I am really looking forward to being able to afford a freestyle board to go out when the wind is light and practise! The week was enjoyable though, lots of catching up with friends, feeling famous when people ask you for autographs and pictures, and also some fun SUP competitions! (Pics from John Carter and Matthias Mueller)
I entered the SUP race with dream slalom and SUP team Antoine Albeau, Cedric Bordes and Julien Quentel. The first day went well, out and back around the buoy, advancing to the top 6 teams to compete in the final the following day. It was hard work! The next day I was determined to do better, but with my limited SUP ability I fell on trying to get over the waves (you had to stand), and I lost hold of the board, so with no leash had to swim all the way back in to start paddling out again! This happened twice and on the second time the rip took me down the beach... I lost too much time so forfeited my team's chance on winning-I felt terrible. Anyway, it would be cool to do it again after I have more practise on SUPing without a leash! Being the first heat I hadn't learnt that holding the board was of the upmost importance!! The next day a windSUP race was run but I unfotunately missed the registration so couldn't compete. I loved these little fitness team challenges!
Here is a picture of the podium, being the last event for freestyle, the annual winners were crowned too: Gollito Estredo and Sarah Quita Offringa- congratulations to them!
On Thursday I am off to Tiree in Scotland (the outermost of the inner hebrides!) for the annual BWA wave competition. It is a 12 hour drive plus 4 hour ferry, taking me to this beautiful island with beaches to catch swell and wind in all directions! Hopefully we will get some good windsurfing and surfing there!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Klitmoller and Sylt PWA!

Since Sweden, we arrived in Klitmoller for the week to watch the PWA men's competition and sail at infamous Klitmoller and Hanstholm! I received a very exciting delivery, my new custom 63l from Simmer! I am really grateful to shaper Ola Helenius for shaping me the 'compacti-fly' quad 63, it looks amazing!
Klitmoller was a really cool place, with landscape quite like Cornwall (long sandy beaches and grassy flat land), and nice Danish houses with a few cafe's and two surf shops. The beach is more rock reef at Klitmoller and sandier at Hanstholm, both picking up wind swell pretty easily due to the shallow North sea. Unfortunately we didn't have too much wind while we were in Denmark, and the competition for the men only just managed to squeeze in a single elimination on the last day, sailing until dark. I have a few sessions on 5.0 and 75l out here, onshore starboard and port tack and cross off at Klitmoller one time too. The only windy day was the day straight after the competition in which Stef and I sailed Klitmoller looking a bit like a small storm chase, cold, stormy, messy and onshore! There were some meaty logo high waves dumping too which actually made it more scary than a mast high down the line session as it was unpredictable and grey! I tried my new custom which felt awesome to sail along, smooth and controlled, but can't say I have had a real wave riding session to test it yet! In the afternoon I sailed bunkers which was more side shore and the spot I should have sailed all along! Very fun but the wind died almost immediately... Here are some pictures Justyna took:
I also have some pictures of van life, I love the flexibility our van gives us and how cosy it is when its dark and raining outside! Luckily we have managed to grab showers at Ben and Justyna's place so we weren't too smelly! Some of these are Hanstholm and some at Bunkers. The one with the large gun is when we visted the bunker museum at Hantsholm, it was really interesting and quite incredible the size of the gun there, it could fire 50km with a 38cm shell, about 2-3 minutes airtime!
Now we are in Sylt which looks like an incredibly organised event! There are thousands of people, loads of sponsor tents, parties for the crowd every night and with freestyle, slalom and wave disciplines, really interesting to watch too. A few wave heats and slalom have been run but there hasn't been too much wind. The wave heats were in light dead onshore wind, really challenging conditions! We are hoping for the low pressure dancing around us to settle so we can have wind later this week! These pictures are from John Carter from the PWA.