Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Brazil Video!

After 2 months of putting footage together bit by bit the final video is here! As always with footage you never quite get exactly what you want as we aren't lucky enough to have a dedicated camera man with us and we always want to sail instead of stand on a beach! But this is what I have made with the little footage we collected and I hope you enjoy it. I had a few problems rendering in the right format so apologies for any bad quality and although rendered in HD, Mpora seems not to be able to play in HD, not sure why?! Anyway here it is:

More Windsurfing Videos

Friday, 17 December 2010

I'm home! Wow what a journey too... We left Ibiraquera at 11 in the morning, way too early for our evening flight but that was the only time we could get a lift. TAM airlines were amazing, they put us on an earlier flight to Sao Paulo so we could wait there instead of Florianopolis as there is not much there, and kept hold of our four 32-34kg kit bags and a suitcase. The best thing: they all went for free! We had a 6 hour wait in Sao Paulo in which chocolate French Crepes kept us happy, then the long 12 hour flight home. We were delayed an hour as they had to search for a guy's suitcase that hadn't got on the plane-a little worrying!
So, what did I think of Ibiraquera? Well, firstly, it is an amazing, beautiful place that so few people know about! I couldn't believe that the average number of windsurfers on the water was about 5 and the kilometres of sand had no one on save but a few families at the weekend! This was the same as the surfing there; we had many sessions of just a few of us scoring all the waves, with maybe double the people at the weekend. Of course this all changes after Christmas, the Brazilian Summer, but that isn't when the best conditions are.
So the conditions: we didn't have as much wind as we had hoped or was written on websites, but as with many places the locals said it has changed recently, and this year was also a cold year. However, the wind we got coincided well with the swell, giving us maybe 6-7 amazing big mast high days. Unfortunately for us these were mostly at the beginning of the trip when I was still learning port tack riding. October was definitely the best month. We also had all conditions varying from waist to mast high, cross off to cross on, port and starboard tack. I haven’t heard of a place where the wind switches 180 degrees and you can get a port and starboard tack session in the same day!
We had equal amounts of surfing and windsurfing, which I am happy about as they complement each other and it definitely helped my wave sailing. We could have surfed more at the beginning had we known the rips, and the days we neither windsurfed or surfed we could haved SUPed, kitesurfed or done slalom had we the kit. Basically there is an opportunity to get out everyday at Ibiraquera if you have the right equipment (hiring from Clube Kauli Seadi helps here!).
I will leave you with these pictures of a boom mount Go Pro of me doing a (rather wet) forward. They made me laugh as you see my facial expression progress, and until that footage I didn't realise I closed my eyes-must work on that!

A windsurf video is coming in the next few days, but for now here is our whale trip video that we made back in October but couldn't upload due to poor internet! We knew we couldn't miss an opportunity to do a video to Mr Scruff's 'Shanty Town'! Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Lots of pictures! and another logo-mast high day!

Heading out for a surf:

Backside shot from markus swimming with the GoPro:

Sunset surf:

Another mast high day in our last week!

Wave sequence:

Aerial sequence:

So it has been a pretty good week! We had some more really glassy surfing, nice head high earlier in the week to play with then bigger before the big swell hit for windsurfing. We were praying for another mast high day before we left and we got it! Some waves were over mast and we saw Christian get the wipeout of his life when one closed out on top of him out back! The wind wasn't ideal, really light in the morning 5-10 knots, making getting out all the more challenging, but the waves were really smooth. The afternoon brought 5-20 knots so it was easier to catch the waves you wanted, but you had to dodge a lot of kiters! I was working on hitting the lip really vertical on my waves causing a lot of wipeouts and swimming, but was super stoked to get my first big aerial (unfortunately not landed), on a logo high wave!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Lots of surfing and some freestyle!

Glassy surfing:

Stormy, rainy weather while running down the beach for drinks at a friends!

Sailing on the flat water lagoon:

Two vulcan shots:

A funny crash:

The view from Markus and Emma's place, (renting from Yann), of the lagoon, beautiful!

Stef's results night for his MSc, which he very greatfully passed well!

Stef with big a cute Romano, Christian's dog:

Any excuse for a caipirinha!

It has been a while since I last posted so thought I would include some lifestyle pictures from the last ten days. We had a week of really good surfing with sets over double-overhead and the glassiest waves I have seen. The Go Pro footage was showing a mirror image of our boards on the surface of the water it was so clear and still! We surfed every day getting up early and having some double sessions, and my surfing has improved a lot. Surfing is harder to take pictures of though as no-one wants to sit and wait for everyone to catch waves, hence the lifestyle pictures this post!

We then had a day of freestyle which I really enjoyed! We were on the lagoon by a grassy area so the water was super flat and only a little over knee deep with a really soft sand bottom so there was no danger of damaging our boards. I landed my first vulcans on a wave board (having done some on a freestyle board), so I was pretty happy as it slides so much less and you have to be really quick.

Yesterday we had a head high port tack day which was great to practise my riding. Kauli is now back and sailing here and its amazing to see him rip in such small waves! We are looking forward to another big day forecast in a week, please let the forecast stay!!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Starboard cross off and surfing

Since my last post we have had a couple of port tack float and ride sessions and one evening session which was literally about 6 knots! It certainly teaches you about using the wave! We also had a really good starboard cross off riding day. Most of the starboard days have been jumping so this was the first cross off day. We sailed down at Praia do Luz by the Island, which meant wobbling out through the channel (with waves and swell bouncing everywhere!), then making it out just past the sets but unfotunately in the wind shadow of the island. So it was tricky to say the least and the waves were head to logo, some bigger. Wobbing almost dead downwind is certainly a skill! Anyway the waves were worth it, really smooth and great to ride. Unfortunately due to the almost a km walk downwind with our kit, mine and Stefs arms gave out pretty quickly and we couldn't sail as long as we had hoped. The photos below are stills from the video so not great quality sorry!

This morning we had a dawn raid surfing, which was well worth it as the waves were head to double overhead and really glassy. We also came across macroplankton, quite large blobs of see through goo which you could feel through your fingers when you paddled, very off-putting! Stef also saw a penguin! The photo below shows the waves after we just finished surfing.

The next weeks forecast doesn't look great for wind, but good for surfing. With only 3 and a half weeks left we are praying for some big port tack days!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

More port tack and a starboard day...

Forward clip from the Go Pro:

Jump still from the video camera:

Why not have the beach all to yourself?!

Me after a top turn:

A photo I took of Stef top turning:

After our epic day on the 29th we had a couple of days chilling out followed by some surf days. We had clean head high surfing for 3 sessions before another port tack day. It was about waist high, nice float and ride, and due to the small size, it meant I could practise my riding and catch way more waves than the big day, where you had to take care not to get smashed! So a good practise day in preparation for another big day. The afternoon session got super windy and choppy waves, so we decided to have a go at freestyle in the lagoon. Unfortunately by the time we walked round there the wind dropped a little so we weren’t really powered!

Next day: port tack again 4.7 weather with waist high waves. Got some loops which was cool! The weather here is pretty weird and it went from 4.7 weather port tack to 4.7 weather starboard within about ten minutes! We rigged again for another session of starboard tack which was short lived as a big thunderstorm came over!

The past 3 days have been pretty good too. Port tack 4.7 weather again, waist high. I almost landed quite a few vulcans on my wave board which was great, until I twisted my bad foot again, (its still pretty weak), so I gave up on those for now. We had another day of float and ride port tack, then yesterday which was super windy starboard tack with head to logo waves coming in. Only trouble was although it was almost powered 3.4 weather, there was quite a rip downwind so I went 4.2, not always powered due to the rip but when I was, I got some good jumping in and backside riding.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Finally a good day surfing and another mast high day!

Two days ago we finally had really good surfing conditions for me. The waves were a lot smaller than normal (about head high instead of mast!) and it was really sunny with no wind. As it was Tom’s last day we swam to the island playing with the Go Pro, and from there realised it would be perfect for a surf! Me and Stef went, with only about 5 people on the water. It was good but the sets were quite far apart. In the evening Christian came round and we went for another surf, this time the waves were bigger, really glassy and there were only four of us! We surfed until nearly sunset and I got the longest wave I have ever caught! Finally I am enjoying surfing here! A great day was finished with another Churrasco (BBQ) with our friends.
Yesterday was another mast high, epic day here. We had to use the channel by the island to sail out as the wind was fluky and lots of timing was needed! I admit I was pretty scared to go out this time as the waves were pretty heavy and barrelling, not like the other big day. I didn’t want to break anything. But, I managed, it is all about timing and I was absolutely fine, getting some great waves! It was pretty tiring as you can ride the waves for a long time then you have to walk upwind. Through the session it got windier and the waves got choppier and my big board was too much, I should have been on 67 litre! My arms gave up in the end so we called it a day.
Here are some pictures we took in the afternoon of the others sailing after our session. It was windier and the waves were choppier and messier so I think we chose the right time to sail!

Yann Rifflet scoring two aerials:


Yann Rifflet:

Monday, 25 October 2010

Best day yet and I break my boom!

22nd October, as hoped, was amazing! Logo to mast high, cross offshore, 4.7 weather. We were woken up by an excited Tom and rigged up taking all the camera equipment to the beach. There are only really 5-6 windsurfers in Ibiraquera and half of them were out already. It’s amazing to have so much space to yourself! The morning session was big, we had lots of wave rides and a lot of timing was needed to get out without being closed out and having a big swim! After a few hours we were all pretty tired and hungry so went in for lunch and to re-charge the cameras. The afternoon session was slightly smaller and windier. A few more windsurfers had driven down from Florianopolis making the total number about 15. Still no shortage of waves to be had!
I was enjoying the session loads when I had just gybed on the outside and heard my boom crack. It had bent near the boom clamp and was half split. I managed to sail back in and just as I jumped off it split into two pieces! I guess I was really lucky it didn’t happen on a set wave or while going out because it could have split my sail! So I was pretty annoyed, it happened out of the blue and we didn’t bring a spare boom. Getting hold of a 135cm boom for my 3.4 is also pretty hard in the UK let alone out here, where the nearest place is Florianopolis 2-3 hours away! Annoyed to be missing the best day yet, kindly Lars from Kauli’s centre has lent me a boom, so I carried on sailing until I just couldn’t use my arms anymore! What a day! Tom broke his UJ and had a big walk upwind and another guy broke his mast. Other than that everyone was so happy and tired and the day finished off with an amazing meal in the local restaurant. Happy days….
The 23rd we had a surf and found out where to paddle out by the island making it a lot easier! Still lots of paddling though so not the best place for me to progress, at the moment its more paddling than wave riding! Yesterday we took a walk to the sand dunes at the end of the beach and found some amazing drop offs to soft sand which you can launch off! Go Pro came in handy there, some cool footage!