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Sunday, 25 August 2019
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More crazy July
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10ft at 10 seconds on the East coast with wind and sun in July is definitely a weird one (and remember that 5ft at 10 up here is like 10ft at 12 in cornwall). Secret spots that only light up twice a year on big Northerly storms coming to life and tempting pro surfers up from Newquay AND going home with sunburn.... WTF!


To be honest, we had such a skunking conditions wise that I'm surprised Phil and Dave are still talking to me, thinking about it, maybe their mobile reception on the way home wasn't so bad :O
In my defence, I did say 'If you want to go windsurfing for 2 days, go to Fraisethorpe. If you want to drive round for 2 days on the off chance of scoring something better, I'm going Northumberland..'

I've been up there a few times now, so I had the tag of supposedly knowing the spots, but Northumberland doesn't give up her secrets easily. There's so many reefs and beaches, that it's hard to know where to start, and they're all tide dependant and a bit fickle. To check a bay properly can take 40mins (you always need to wait for a set which could be 20minutes..), do 8 spots and there's the day gone, and you can still miss the hidden gems.
Luckily we had three teams. Phill and Dave Horrocks, Izzy and me, and George Bevan and his Dad along for some bodyboarding. We drove all the way from Newcastle (well Bangor and Leicester originally) taking it in turns to check every spot along the way, all getting the thumbs down, and ended up in Scotland (well I did anyway, with a quick check of Burnmouth and Coldingham)


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Middens


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Whitburn Reefs


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Burnmouth

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Whitburn perhaps looked the best, but that was a long way back. Phill and Dave had felt Boulmer to be the best, so that's where we headed. We really were over all the driving and just wanted to get in the water. Fortunately this looked pretty epic...


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Windy 5.0 weather, logo high waves, a point break and sunshine!
and a horrendous 10knot drift....


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We didn't make it out. If we had, we'd have been 2 miles down the coast anyway. B*gger.


We figured the final plan of attack was to get out the wind in a sheltered bay and go surfing, so we headed round to Alnmouth. It was a fun evening, overhead peelers, light offshore, surfed and SUP'd 'til dark. I now have a new found respect for SUP. I tried it on the pond and found it stupidly easy and boring, but on the sea in a swell on a small board.. rediculously difficult. I'll stick to surfing thanks!

B&B and a curry and that was it for Saturday.

Sunday

We were due for the swell to peak at a proper 10ft and to coincide with the best wind in the morning, we were tempted to bail and head back for Fraisethorpe (where Timo had driven to from Poole leaving at 2am!! waking us up at 8am to tell us the eyeball..) But we decided to stick it out and take our chances (the wind was due to drop by 1pm anyway and it was already pretty light when we woke)

We decided our best chance for a sail without driving was at Beadn*ll Bay, and it looked pretty epic. 5.0 or 5.3 was the dilema, we went 5.3 and still neither of us got going as the wind rapidly disappeared. George meanwhile was out at a shallow reef scoring empty waves on his bodyboard. I gave up on the sailing and went in to join him, followed by Phill on his SUP (which was pretty crazy as the wave was jacking up and breaking onto a rock shelf and about 2ft deep).


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Goerge scores whilst Phill and I wobble out back.

Things started to shape up as it got shallower and hollower, the waves got longer and bigger. We had Dave set up with the camera on the point and that's when both the batteries ran out. I caught my wave of the day and thought we were scoring an absolute epic to ourselves. 10 minutes later (about the time it takes to chuck a wetsuit on and wax your board) and we're joined by 3 locals and 2 Pro's (Johnny Fry*r and Oli Ad*ms) to suddenly make this the busiest day in Northumberland ever. I'm a total BELL for not charging the batteries, or getting out the GoPro 'cos the action was sick with barrels and airs from two of Britains best surfers (JF was champ 2 yrs back). The dropping swell and tide meant it didn't last forever, so we were on the search again.

Nothing really looked that great. The swell was rapidly disappearing as it often does on the East coast and it seemed like we were now getting bit of a seabreeze due to the scorching sunshine -not windsurf wind but enough of an onshore to blow the surf out everywhere..


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But I'm sure glad we had a good snoop round.

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rubbish pic from iphone.

And this one too.

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So not such a bad weekend afterall. As always the drive round and hiking was worth it, and although we didn't score any windsurfing this time, we now know for next time. Just as I'd almost written off Northumberland for never delivering and being too temperamental, we're thrown a bone or two.


Autumn for a day.
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I struggled to believe it would happen on a day in July. But Sunday morning I left Leicester at 7am heading for West Kirby (which was showing about 5mph on xcweather!) in the hope of some fast times on the speed kit. The weather guru's said it was going to blow 35knots plus in the ideal WNW direction and two of the top Dutch guys (Martin van Meurs and Serge Beumer) were heading over with obvious confidence in the forecast.

The big worry for me was that I'd be sat in the cafe all day waiting whilst cornwall was going off, so it was a huge relief to arrive at Kirby 2hrs later and find that the wind was already filling in enough for some runs down the wall.

It turned into a fairly epic day! Off the scale for July, and more like a cold wet blustery day from November. It pretty much blew all day and peaked between 6 and 8pm at 35knots with 43knot gusts on the Hilbre Island weather station

I have to admit I didn't have the best day 'gps' wise only managing a 44.9knot max and a 43.2 average on the kit I'd previously done 48 on (which is pretty much the only kit I use for speed -5.5 Simmer, 40 wide Moo and 20 k4fin).
Even though it seemed pretty windy and I was happy enough, I guess I just wasn't powered up enough in reality (I know it's crazy!). The fast days are when you're waiting for a lull so your kit stays on the water long enough for you to get on it and then you're blasted down the wall. I should use some bigger kit I guess, but I always live in hope of catching the magic nuking gust and don't really like the faffing of several set-ups. I'm coming to the conclusion though that the 40 needle is best left for the record days and a 45 wide would be quicker 90% of the time (especially when it's very broad and the board/fin aren't producing much lift), and not far off the rest.

Some of the guys went preeetty blooming quick! There's sometimes a bit of sand bagging goes on, but the ear to ear grins were giving the game away. The full results are now up here confirming that...

GP3S RESULTS

Big well done to Ian Richards who's been banging on the door for a while and is the keenest speeder out there, he could well be topping the British results now. The Dutch guys were also flying with some amazing speeds on a day which didn't seem like it should produce 47knot maxes! It could certainly have been a lot windier and smoother...

I sailed almost 10hrs and was last off the water. Feet are stinging today with hundreds of little cuts and I've the full body ache. Top day, Mk3 K4 Freestyle fins are super nice (I think these will be the ones) and the speed kits fully tweaked for the 50 year storm.


SURF'SUP
Ooops, sorry, that should be surf's up!

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Haven't been blogging much as not much epic been happening. I've had a couple of sails, pretty tame; the first in South West Wales at a spot the locals would rather I didn't shout about too much, and a quick trip to the South coast and Southbourne/Branksome with Rich from Nobles. And a couple of mid week power hours at the pond, which is always great when it decides to blow Westerly.

The last couple of weekends have seen some epic surfing though. Bude last weekend, I surfed Widemouth mostly, but I'm getting to know the area better and have found a couple of gems (no not the obvious ones!). Then Newquay the weekend just gone, totally epic sunshine and waves for 2 days (see above and below)....


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This was Perran mind, and the best thing was this beach art! love it. But not good there's so much rubbish kicking about..

Spent most of the weekend at the favourite spot where the level was pretty high!...


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Alan Stokes....


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Top weekend, camped at Crantock. Hopefully more of this to come this summer, and of course fingers crossed for some wind as it doesn't look like I'm going away anywhere for a while :(


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Looks like the NE also had some really good swell on Sat/Sun, annoying that I couldn't be up there too.


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The obvious one..


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The search...


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The find...  (rubbish pic, but I recognised the wave from an epic pic!)


Check out the POZO PWA event at http://www.pwaworldtour.com/ which is just about to kick off and DOES have a live ticker. Gutted that there doesn't seem to be any streaming though?..

Check out windsurfer-international for a good free read of the new July issue.

Check out http://www.mrpricepro.com/ for some top class Pro surfing action.

And finally don't forget it's the Nobles Rutland Demo this Sunday and you're chance to try all the latest kit, see you there!


Classic Rossy!!!
Rhosniegre has been pretty good all week I think, I've managed to catch two of the better days -Saturday and Wednesday. (with a freestyle/speed day at Kirby Sunday too). I managed to tweak my angle doing a un-pushed loop so took a break from the fun of trying to kill myself, to take some pics. Check out the action from Ben Proffitt on his total Simmer set-up and the brothers Horrocks (team Jp/Gaastra)...

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I think maybe we could have a Wavejam soon. Seems like the winds returned and maybe I've found a sponsor ;) just need to get the ball rolling again and an epic weekend forecast..


Fisty pics
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©Mike Nicholson

Here's the shots  from Fistral the other weekend when the ZapCats were racing. Thanks to Mike Nicholson (07724814085) for taking them and letting me use them here.


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©Mike Nicholson

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©Mike Nicholson

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©Mike Nicholson

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©Mike Nicholson

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©Mike Nicholson

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©Mike Nicholson

Fistral is perhaps the home of surfing in the UK and usually pretty busy with surfers. I think if you're going to windsurf there you need to pic a windy day and find an empty peak to avoid conflict (and if you break masts at Gwithian then don't even think about it.)
I've never had any problems with the lifeguards or surfers but will always find my own space even if it means sailing the Cribber. On this day I was sailing rocky/gusty little Fistral to avoid the ZapCats at North Fistral and the surfers at South. Luckily there's a rip at the corner to drag you out if needed (see last pic) -something I've learnt from surfing here a lot it whips you out even if you're down without spitting you on the rocks even though it feels incredably sketchy being there.
Best at Low tide with a S wind and only better than Gwithian if the swells SW and small there.


How's this for a surf wagon? I'm not jealous of my sister at all...  available for hire in the summer when they're not off snowboarding in it.

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