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Sunday, 25 August 2019
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BWA PURA VIDA CORNWALL CLASSIC

First off, whilst I've got everyone's attention and before you skip thru and just look at the pics..  it was the surfer in the van next door that got his windows waxed. I've had zero problems and I'm always very very considerate and if I'm not on the peak first I'll find another one.

FRIDAY:

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A weekend that I was really looking forward to, turned out to be bit of a disaster for me..

The BWA (British wavesailing Assoc) were holding the last round of the British Championships and the forecast looked perfect -if not to say epic! Mast high 'down the line' is right up my street and pretty rare for a competition so I was really keen.

Unfortunatley I had to work Thursday so missed the 'logo high' warm up and the official signing on at 7.30pm. Also having deserted my wife for the last 3 weekends I needed to stay home and drive down Friday morning. I texted the head judge to let him know I was coming and wanted to be in the draw.
Woke at 4am Friday, jumped straight in the van and put my foot down. Phoned the head organisor at 7:45 to make sure they knew I was coming.

Arrived at about 8.45am to see the view at the top! They were runnng the comp from Upton Towans so ran up there with my kit only to find they were just starting the first heat and I wasn't in the comp. Totally gutted and slightly at a loss to understand why at the time. It turns out that as I was unseeded they would have had to put me in that first heat which I would have (just) missed. Of course, had I have known this I would have got up earlier!

Still it wasn't all bad. The competition area at Upton was providing very gusty, very offshore logo high waves..  and to the right was Gwithian..  mast and a third and empty!!

Check out the pics from Thursday's warm up and Fridays sailing at GUAVAJELLY. Matthew tells me he's saved the best pics for the magazines (and/or his new calendar). Check out the first pic in the '2010 10 30' Gallery, you can just see the tip of my mast...

I had a great sail in the morning picking off some monsters and at one point headed off down towards Godrevy to find some bigger ones when the big ones started to feel normal sized! Couldn't really be in anything but a good mood after that.


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Later in the day the conditions turned lighter, less wavey and more onshore. They tried to get through the double elimination but didn't manage to complete it. So Phil Horrocks took the victory ahead of Andy King and Timo Mullen and Chris Murray in 4th.
I took out my new GoPro HD which I've been lusting after for ages to give it a test and made this little video...


VIMEO   MPORA   YOUTUBE!


A video from Ed Buchanon HERE too.

I thought I'd have another day of wind on Saturday to get some more footage...


SATURDAY:


The forecast for Saturday was for it to start out light and wavey, then pick up to 40mph! So I decided to go for a surf up the coast and come back to Gwithian when the wind had kicked in. When I came back to Gwithian I'd missed the best of it, the wind had gone completely and it was drizzling. So ended up having another a good surf. Bit of a let down windsurfing wise and should really have headed South earlier to get the max hit of wind.


SUNDAY:

A very light wind -offshore on the South coast and a South Westerly swell, meant the South coast reefs and beaches would be firing. Definitely a top day for surfing..

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Bit of a gloomy day for pics but the waves were pumping..


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Got a few shots before my memory card ran out. (I've just recieved a much bigger one in the post today :)

I was having so much fun I stayed out all day. Unfortunately on my last wave, I pulled in backside but didn't make it out, got sucked over the falls and bounced off a rock on my back (it was full low tide).
Getting washed over the reef in big surf winded with a broken rib is right up there with the least pleasent experiences of my life..  only bettered perhaps by trying to get out my wetsuit! Yowser!!

Huge thanks to Steve Kings house mates Gareth and Jonny for picking me up and putting me up when I couldn't drive home.

I'm on the mend, but I'm not allowed out for at least three weeks, which looks like it's going to be pretty bad timing..  que the biggest storm to hit Kirby in years..

Seems a lot of people didn't have much luck at the weekend! Steve King and house mate Jonny Samuel both surfered bad knocks to the head surfing, Jamie Hancock trashed his 4.4, his leg and his van engine and even the ever smiling newly crowned British champ Ben Proffitt didn't have things quite go his way (with the sailing and his van)


On the bright side it'll give me a chance to put some time in on the K4FINS stuff (which are being used by more and more top uk sailors through choice) and maybe be camera gimp on the next big day.. aaaarrgghhhhhhssss.


Slalom stuff and sticks
I've been fully lazy with the camera again and have no pics of the weekends slalom, so to make up for it I got the camera out this morning and unloaded the contents of my van. Whoopy doo!

The slalom went ok anyway, it was fully windy downwind slalom on Saturday. I finished in 6th, with a 4th in the last race -not bad for a wave head and with a strong fleet of British champs and PWA racers. Full results HERE and report HERE.

I risked clearing off early on Sunday and managed to get a couple of hours surfing in at Croyde and picked up a(nother) new surfboard!

That's it now for the slalom. It's been a great first season for the BSA. Out of the 8 rounds, 7 had a good result with decent wind! I had to miss a couple of them though because the forecast was too good!
Full results are HERE. I finished up 8th for the season but could have done with 1 more discard (to end up 5th). I am first of the tea drinkers though! (Masters champion -alriiight)

Huge thanks to Farrel at Mistral/Simmer and the guys at Dave Noble Windsurfing for sorting me out with the latest kit, it's been a dream to use. Had a great year; loved the locations, the social and the windy races, highly recommend it.

Here's the main reason for today's blog anyway.. with the slalom now finished my gears for sale. Get in touch with Nobles if you're interested.

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There's two boards -Mistral 95 and 123
And three sails - Simmer SCR 8.6, 7.8, 7.0
Masts/extensions to match, 2 booms and 1 fin (I actually had 2 fins but the bolts won't come out one of them and it was a bendy old Northshore circa '99 anyway..  couldn't resist one excuse!)

All in really excellent condition.


Sinking to new depths now and showing off my surfboards. I can't help it, I love 'em.


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£24 Maurice Cole 6'9 gun, 6'5*18.5 Clayton step up, Oshea Epoxy 6'1 GoPro board, 6'2*18.6 Firewire Fireflex (the last one I just got my hands on), 6'2*18.75 Adams small wave (ex comp dings if you look at it but goes like a drunk on a rollerskate), 6'0*20 Firewire Dominator (knee high junk). Love em, need them all! Pretty much has me covered for everything, although I'd love to add a shorter dominator or a fish for the shoulder high days..


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And finally I just got my hands on one of these! Info at x-treme video
I've been lusting after one for ages. Check out what this bad boy can do on the Facebook Fanpage -I've got a lot to live up to!

Expect to see lots of footage from this weekends BWA event in cornwall (forecast looking SUWAAHEEEEET!) and hopefully a more interesting blog entry!



Redcar
Thanks to Ade at Boardseeker for these pics of the end of our session at Redcar. It was way bigger in the morning!


Ben Proffitt

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Steve Thorp

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Seriously all time!
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Those of you who know me or read this blog regularly will know I'm not really one for talking it up. If I think it was mush burgers and gusty, too much rip or knee high I'll say so, usually with pics. Although of course I always love being on the water however it is..

When it's amazing I love to shout about it too!
I've had my eye on a spot for the last couple of years, occasionally surfing it and dreaming of the wind/waves/tide coming together for a chance to windsurf it. It's known as a 'sensitive spot' in surfing terms, it's not really a secret although it was taken out the storm rider guide a few years back.

As it happens everything came together and I went there to windsurf it (or surf it, if it was too busy). Driving in I was greeted by the above welcoming sign! But went ahead, rigged up and scored my best days wave riding for 3 years -mast high on the sets, down the line, long grinding waves on one of the best reefs in the country -some super memorable rides.

I don't really see the point in secret spots for windsurfing (there just aren't that many of us and only a handful that don't mind being washed over reefs), but for surfing it makes a lot more sense and it's for the surfers that I'm keeping stum and didn't take any pics.

Even though it was 5.3 weather, there were 10 surfers out. Luckily I had the biggest peak to myself while they scored the barrelling less windy one closer in. I sailed down for a look but kept well out the way.

I'm guessing the SURFER PARKED NEXT DOOR wasn't so courteous! I always thought this was bit of a myth, had to chuckle when I saw it..

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NOT MY VAN BOARDSEEKER!! (my van is a rusty old thing and not green..)


La Franqui all time..
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Facebook is a dangerous thing!

Not only can we now check the forecast for the weekend with the wonders of t'inernet, we can also get egged into massive road trips at the last minute when top sailors from abroad post up their intentions to score mega conditions -especially after 2 bottles of red wind on a Friday night hey Lance!
And basically that's how we ended up driving to the South of France on Saturday morning...

Up at 6am, Channel tunnel for 12, 100mph for 10hrs (had our picture taken 4 times.. oh dear) and arrive at La Franqui  for last orders, bed without food as everywhere was shut and up at 7am to score a full days speed sailing..

Now this La Franqui place is becoming quite a phenomenon in speedsailing. The Dutch guys have been hammering it and have scored 25 days of well over 40knots this year. Including Jacques van der Hout's 46knot+ average day which has put him second in this years ranking (second only to speed legend Chris Lockwood at the legendary Sandy Point).
It's a 5mile long straight strip of sand with an uninterrupted howling offshore wind, you can sail within a few feet of the beach... or at least that's what the brochure said.. it's next door to Leucate.

Throw in the forecast of 39Knots Sunday (without the local effect), and more on Monday and we just had to go. Could be the day to break the big 5 0.. I might actually get to use my 5.0.. or even my 4.6..  maybe get a decent Nautical mile.. if you don't go you'll never know..

Frantic phone calls were made, much begging to other halves and piggy banks were raided. Out of 5 or more possibles, it was Lance Newbury and myself that overcame adversity, sweet talked our good ladies and picked up the gauntlet. The rest were gutted! and stuck in Weymouth looking for 30knots if they were lucky, very lucky..

So what happened and why aren't we shouting about our epic weekend and smashed PB's.?
Well take another look at the pic at the top, all is not quite as it seems, under that lovely pueta sea it's rather shallow, dry in places! La Franqui was all time, the all time skunking!


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A couple of weeks back La Franqui had a massive onshore storm which unbeknown to everyone (including the Dutch guys Jacques, Hans Kreisel and Ben van der Steen who had also driven 10hrs) had completely desimated the speed course. We arrived at the beach on Sunday morning wondering where the hell everyone sailed, but we were in exactly the right spot.


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Luckily the Dutch guys turned up and we had a good couple of hours sailing in the sun. nice! Except that Lance's back had been playing up, and 24hrs sat in a van, followed by hanging on to a 5.5 fully overpowered perhaps wasn't such a good idea..  10 minutes in and it was game over for Lance.

Thanks to Lance for the following pics...!


Ben van der Steen


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Jacques van der Hout


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Me..


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As it happens, we got bit of a schooling by the Dutch guys! They're a lovely bunch, very friendly and very fast!
Ben and Jacques won the day, barely seperable with 43.5 averages and 46.5 peaks, very impressive considering the zig zag course through the shallow sand bars! It was actually far scarier than it looks, as when you headed into the beach for a run you couldn't actually make out the sandbars very easily..  a twig marked the spot!

I couldn't understand why I was so far off the pace. I expected my peaks to be higher as in places it was fully windy and mirror flat (if only for a few feet), but I never really felt quick, like I just wasn't getting up to speed and then the gusts were going thru me. In hind sight and looking at the pics, less down haul and a wider board would certainly have helped with much needed acceleration -the needle really didn't like the kinks and I had to back off to get it to turn. Full respect to Ben and Jacques though, 46+ knots through a 2m gap is pretty damn impressive, most of us hit the sand and got spat over the front at least once..

So the decision was made to try and get home for Monday morning, and that's exactly what we did. I made it to work for 9am after 14hrs driving and no sleep, full mission! Thankfully Lance was great company, it wasn't a total disaster and hopefully when La Franqui is back to it's former glory we'll happily head back down for another go.

Full results are HERE (although there were actually loads of French/German speedies there)
Tracks are HERE
Facebook pics by Hans HERE

In other news...

*Voting closes for the UKWA windsurfer of the year tomorrow. Well chuffed to be nominated and even more chuffed by the description!

*No pics from last weekend, but I had a good one. It was a light Easterly wind. I sailed here got a bit greedy and got a right good pasting. I was kind of looking for it and the first hour was sweet until the tide turned things a bit sketch. Trying to launch off reef into head high waves with no wind was tricky to say the least. Pin balling through the rocks and gullies was fun -glad I'm in a double lined suit! Remarkably I still haven't broken a mast or boom since I moved onto Simmer/technolimit around 5yrs ago? I'm still Steve McQueen ..!

*The ASP Quiksilver Portugal event has just started.

*This weekend is the BSA slalom final round and piss up, and the forecast is looking good!
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