Tuesday, 23 August 2016

PWA Pozo and Tenerife

Better late than never! Life has been hectic with all the travelling and catching up with work, whilst still remaining fit, doing DIY and chasing forecasts! I wouldn't have it any other way...

So after the minimal windsurf training in Chile and Pozo in May, I was pleased to go out for a week before the competition to get used to the strong winds in Pozo. We had a great week of wind and smallish waves, comfortably powered down to 3.4. At the start of the event though unfortunately the waves disappeared whilst the wind came. The forecast at the end of the week looked promising so whilst the fleet waited in anticipation, the forecast slowly reduced in swell as it came nearer. It was a hurricane force ten for the competition by the end of the week, but unfortunately with pretty small waves. Clinging onto a 3m sail that I am glad Ben Proffit's family sent over to me before the event, I managed a clean forward and table top in my heat against multiple World Champ and awesome windsurf ambassador Sarah Quita-Offringa. I couldn't match her style and moves and unsurprisingly went out in the single elimination. Unfortunately due to the lack of swell there was no chance for a double elimination, leaving me joint 9th place with half the fleet. Congratulations to Daida, Sarah and Iballa for coming First, Second and Third respectively! I am always inspired and motivated to improve sailing with a group of girls (and guys) who are driven and are pushing their limits, coming home with new goals. Here are some pictures from Pozo, with thanks to Fish Bowl Diaries, John Carter PWA, Mikael Linder and Kuma Movies:

After Pozo I had to return to work in the UK, and there was absolutely no wind! I swam, crossfit and surfed in-between to be ready for the next event in Tenerife, flying out only a day before due to leave restrictions. I was so happy that the whole week in Tenerife had wind and waves, which for a place so fickle was pretty lucky! I was drawn against Alexa Escherich first then met Iballa in the single elimination, to whom I went out. In the double I met Caro Weber and was really pleased to put together my best heat, winning to meet Amanda. We were both really under-powered at the end of the day and I didn't sail my best, unfortunately going out. I was so happy to go through two heats though leaving me in 9th place overall for the event, and currently 10th in the World until the next few events which I won't be able to attend. The week in Tenerife was awesome though, giving me a chance to improve my jumping and riding. Here are some pics, thanks to John Carter PWA and Stef.

Finally, a few pictures of home with a small, fun longboard Summer swell and van camping with friends.

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!