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Monday, 17 February 2020
Maui's done
I had far too good a time in Maui, didn't want to leave (although I'm quite looking forward to getting stuck into some fin stuff and some decent winter surf)

The low point of the hols was probably my AWT contest. I sucked for my ten minutes of glory. I got off to a bad start when my watch died infront of my eyes, then the ocean went flat and windless for my 'between sets' heat. I sailed out the back looking for a wave which didn't come and the 10 minutes felt more like 3, I couldn't believe it when the red flag went up. I'm no Kelly Slater. The most annoying thing is that I entered the contest to get some time at an empty Ho'okipa and catch some decent waves...  
Then waiting around for the double which never happened. Standard contest for me...

Took me a while to get into Ho'okipa -I only really started to 'get it' in the last few days. I'm used to sailing almost alone so Ho'okipa which often had 50 people out took a bit of getting used to as did 'sharing' waves. It also seems to be the worlds most complex wave -I thought I'd be practicing 360s and goita's for two weeks, instead it was all I could do to hit the lip on time and sail away. Pretty depressing when you then see Brawzinho busting a perfect air Taka or Levi tweaking out a huge air on every wave, makes yo feel pretty kooky until you realise there's 30 odd guys out there who sail the place EVERY day. The level is crazy good -Levi, Polakow, Kauli, Bouj, Stone, Prior, Angulo, Victor, Ezzy, Pritchard, Teboul, Juban, Goya and a whole bunch of other absolute rippers who haven't made the world headlines yet but surely will...  Morgan Noireaux and Bernd Roediger to name a couple and still in the juniors.

Strangely it seemed a lot better and more fun on an East wind swell than it did with a big groundswell, which was what we had towards the end of the trip.

Check out my FLICKR page for some of the action.

Maui so far

Soo good!

View from the house.


Had a couple of smallish busy days at Ho'okipa, then a couple of flat windy days sightseeing. Then yesterday the first decent swell hit..  it was very chunky on the sets (none in my pics) and the level was rediculous..







And one of me I've pinched from Jimmie Hepp who took 1800 shots! if you're not following him on Facebook, you should..


The AWT event starts on Thursday and looks like it will have live streaming

Forecast isn't looking epic, but i guess you never know.

What a week..
Thanks to Mark Bailey for this image.

I'm bored of this news already and I've not even put it on the blog yet.. but we had an epic day at West Kirby and I managed to get 50knots on the display. My 2 sec peak was 48.3knots, the fastest of the day, but my 5 times 10 second average only put me in 3rd behind Jacques van der Hout and Hans Kreisel who went much better when the course was square and less windy. When it went broad and mental I think it's safe to say Faz and I were on it, but just too choppy to get a decent 10second run. It was a case of enjoy the amazing 5 second slingshot in, then try and stay upright until you could slow down through the death chop. FULL RESULTS

That's windy!

60knot gusts and I finally got to use my 5m SCR. (4.5 still in the bag..)

Not many have seen that yet. 57.5mph for the non sailors.

5m simmer. 40Moo custom. 20 k4fin. 76kg rider with 12kg weight.

I've uploaded a whole load of pics on FLICKR
There's millions on Facebook and some video's if you can find them.

Barely recovered I spent the weekend up in the North East for one of the best forecasts ever -9ft at 12seconds, which is extremely rare in the North Sea. I made a huge blunder on Saturday and didn't head far enough North, largely as the low tide was very early and I'd miss it anyway, the difference in wave quality by all accounts was massive. I ended up at cayton which was rubbish (more like 5sec period) and watched a contest (which made me realise surfing is no more glamorous at times), whilst nearer Scotland had apparently enjoyed barrels galore.

Sunday was a different matter. The swell had had a chance to travel down the coast and sort itself out and finally showed something of the size expected on Saturday (6-8ft double overhead). I rigged a 4.7 which turned out about right and very nearly had the best day ever if only it wasn't for the 20 odd surfers on the best peak. I had to go sail another possibly heavier but short peak and share it with two bodyboarders (who were cool about it). To be honest I didn't sail too well, should have dropped the kids at the pool, and getting the timing right to backdoor and hit a heaving mast high bomb for an air wasn't easy, I didn't manage it!. The wind was very offshore, so it was all about the turns. The other peak was just long walls and surfers getting barrelled off their nuts despite the howling wind, would have been much easier to time.. It got busier everywhere so I decided to jack it in and not outstay my welcome, and after one of the boogies accidently dropped in on me and I got a pasting when the wave steam rollered me.
Truly an epic start to the day though. I'd have loved to jump in for a surf but had to go fetch Trudie from the hotel before check out.

Went and sailed a considerably smaller high tide beach break in the afternoon, barely powered on the 5.3, but that too was a load of fun. As ever no pics from this part of the world.

Totally zonked now.

Oh, I've gone and done something completely nuts and entered the AWT event in Maui in a couple of weeks time. I'll have a week to learn how to sail the wrong tack and get to grips with Ho'okipa -I'm cacking it..  but quite excited about it all. 3 weeks in Maui!! Yeewwwwwwwww.


Down to Cornwall for this one.

Spent Saturday surfing. First at Porthtowan which was pretty chunky but not too great a swell, then Fistral, which seemed to be doing a much better job of sorting the waves out.



Sunday and I surfed again at Fistral. Pretty epic. Tried out my new ebay special camera (see above), an Olympus Tough 6020. Bit disappointed with the results -the sun was actually out although it was early morning. I'm sure my old sw790 took better shots before it flooded. I guess I could have been closer to the action, but it's hard to sit in the right spot for good shots and not get cleaned up and I was busy paddling for everything!. Great surf until the wind started to pick up..


So off to Gwithian, which looked very limp, and half the size of Fistral (I'm pretty sure it was a west swell too?). Luckily the sun was out and lots of good sailors, so it was pretty fun.


Fin waft

Credit card air



Four pages of pics of everyone at Splashography

Have to say I'm blown away by how good my new Simmer Blacktips are. I try and avoid blatent pimping, but these are special! -super light in the hands, super flicky and loads of power. I've never planed so early, it really made the session a whole lot better for me. This had the markings of a frustrating day normally.

I'm hugely disappointed with this month so far though. After an epic July and August (by normal standards) I guess the run of wind and waves had to come to an end, but why in September?! we should be dodging mast high bombs and getting the best conditions of the year..  hope the forecasts wrong..

Gower power

That's not the Gower, but the froth inducing view as I drove down the hill to Rhosniegr last Saturday. You can't see much of the conditions, but those who know, will know...  top day it was.

This weekend I headed for the Gower...



That's not the Gower either. Might not look much in the drizzle soaked pics (Instagram app btw), but that was before the wind kicked in and the tide turned (makes a huge difference to the wave size in these parts). I think it's safe to say that head/logo high long rides down the line on 5.3's was as good as anywhere in the country.


Well that obviously is the Gower. Sunday morning I had a couple of surfs (at Langland, then at Caswell at high), then went for a look around taking in Mumbles headland, Hunts Bay, Horton and Worms Head (above). the plan was to score the Gower reefs as the conditions were perhaps optimum, NW wind and medium swell.


That's Crabart reef off the back of Worms head. Pretty big and clean, but a mission to get to.


The view back towards Horton.

I could see plenty out at Llangenith, but I really came here for some reef action. So we (Pura Vida Jim and local ripper Ian) decided to launch at Horton and head upwind from there. I managed to get about a mile upwind, but we decided in the end that Point Eynon was as good a reef as any, so mostly sailed there (5.3 again and maybe logo high). Good to have a look round, always wondered about this stretch (although I've sailed Port Eynon point before just never the hard to reach bits). Would have had some pics only the waterproof Olympus decided to flood. Maybe next time we'll do Crabart, which I think Ian last sailed in the 90's..

Big thanks to Jim and family, cheers bud :)

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