Monday, 10 February 2014

Helicopters and 1st Place Margaret River Event!

Wow, what a good weekend, and a lot of news! I have been meaning to put a blog up for a while but lacked internet and laptop battery! So here it is, a mega post. I'll start with the most exciting bit, I came first in the Margaret River wave event, had a heli shoot and a ride in a helicopter!

The Margaret River event was great, well organised, and had good conditions. I sailed the day before and had a really good session, getting to know the wave much better than last time. For my heat in the morning, the conditions were pretty difficult. The ladies were first up and the wind hadn't really filled in, so it was a 10 minute wobble and ride heat to try and get two waves and one jump. There wasn't really enough time to wait for set waves and sail back up due to the wind, so the heat was a little disappointing. I still had some waves though and secured first place in the ladies. I then had the chance to sail in the Open men's, by which point the wind had come in nicely and I got a couple of set waves, getting the best wave score of the heat, but failing to get a jump so I didn't go through.

Col Leonhardt from Windsurf Australia had arranged for a few of us to have a heli shoot, which was amazing! I've never done anything like that before, so we dashed to boat ramps and I had about 15 minutes to get my best waves while the heli flew overhead. I was grinning like a loon!! I then dashed back in, packed up all my sandy gear and drove straight to the airfield to meet the heli and go for a ride. It was an open sided 4 seat small heli, nice and exciting! I think I had a calm ride compared to Stef in the back getting buffeted by the wind! It was a great experience having studied helicopters in my degree and never been in one.

Here are a few photos Stef took from the beach and from the helicopter:
Before Margaret River, we had a great few days at Corros, nice and windy and wavey! My backloop attempts are getting better, but I haven't landed one yet. My forwards are good and table tops (or donkey kicks) improving slowly... Corros is a fantastic training spot for jumping and if I had more time there I am sure I would improve hugely. There were a couple of hot days before we left (about 40 degrees), which means the wind doesn't fill in properly, but I had two sessions at Sunsets, a cross-off riding reef, with photos from one from Col at Windsurf Australia below (the better quality ones!)-thanks!
Here are a couple of pictures of Coronation (one from Col again). On the way down to Margaret River for the competition, we stopped in Perth to get Stef's stitches out-yay! In a couple of days he can swim! Ha ha!
On the way through Perth we went to the zoo! Through Yanchep park, the zoo and a campsite near Geraldton I have now seen lots of kangaroos.
The koalas were soooo cute:
And the rest of the animals interesting to see and read about, especially the laughing kookaburra which we hear pretty often camping! Elephants are actually pretty intelligent and the zoo keepers keep them active and teach them tricks.
We are now driving about 8 hours to Esperance via Albany and Denmark, fingers crossed the conditions look good!