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Sunday, 22 September 2019
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Crastor
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The bank holiday weekend was bit of a disaster for me!

On Saturday morning after a busy week at work and a few late nights I dragged myself out of bed and headed down to Worthing for the BSA slalom. Trouble was I didn't get out of bed quite early enough and had to sit through 3 seperate traffic jams (two were caravan crashes..) and didn't arrive 'til lunchtime. There was no wind either.

The rest of the family were down too for my sister's hen do in Brighton and so whilst they did their thing, the other halves that had tagged along (to provide the usual transport and accomodation) went for a few beers too. Nice day for it with the sun shining and lots going on.

I checked the forecast for Sunday and decided it looked a whole lot better ooop north (super windy and a good 10ft) and didn't know if I'd get a late entry to the slalom anyway which I figured would be light wind stuff..

So dragged myself out of bed early again Sunday morning and drove to Fraisethorpe, then changed my mind and drove on to Newcastle!

First stop was Hartley reef (see pic at top). Been on my list of  'to do' for a while and I'm sure it goes off on it's day, but it was just a blown out mess. The wind too Northerly now and the waves much smaller than expected.

A report from Boulmer said it was bigger up there, so off I trundled again. After a few beach checks time was getting on, so decided Crastor would be my final stop. It looked ok, fully windy, but still a bit small and the reef looked a bit sketchy to say the least not to mention the launch or lack of it.


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View upwind to Embleton.


It looks ok in the pics I guess, but sections of it were definitely pretty shallow even though it was high tide and it was peeling 20ft at a time in places. I figured I could sail up close and check it out before going for it but was feeling a bit apprehensive with it being howling 3.7 weather and with no one else around. Then a chap from the RNLI came past who said he'd highly recommend I don't go out and that no one ever surfed here, there was no where safe to come in for miles and that maybe I should try the sheltered bay at Newton..

Once I was out it was a lot bigger than it looked. About logo high on the sets and breaking pretty ferociously on the first bit of reef, sucking the water mirror smooth infront of it (pretty cool considering it was 3.7 weather and generally very lumpy and confused) and boiling up. I was fully stacked on my 4m. It was super hard to ride though as it would suck up instantly then back off before hitting another shallow bit and wasn't really lining up with the it being so windy. It was really hard to guage the depth too, not a very flat reef I reckon. I ended up chasing a lot of close outs then turning on a fat shoulder.. maybe on a clean swell it goes off though?! (in parts atleast..)

Here's a few pics anyway with the new GoPro mount...



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Liking the new mount!

Quick slo-mo vid

Sailed until it was getting dark, then drove back down to Fraisethorpe arriving at midnight ready for the Monday morning forecast of 20mph dropping off after lunch.

It looked absolutely mint. Went out on the 4m but was underpowered, then went out on the 5m and was underpowered again.

It was looking windy but the drift here saps all your power in the wavey bit. Figured if I rigged the 5.6 the wind would go completely anyway so persevered with the 5m. As it happened it stayed fairly windy for most of the day. Should have rigged the 5.6..
It was disappointing for me, I had a bad day thinking I was on for much better, but I guess you can't complain for August with shoulder high, sun and windy'ish. For the 5% of the time when a gust and a wave coincided it was great.

Rich Jones was out ripping all day on his 5.4 and freestyle wave as it was the only kit he had with him but probably the perfect combo. He'd also been down to the slalom and told me it had been really windy with lots of racing on Sunday..  arse.










Fin testing and SUP fireworks
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Ben and Dave

Friday at Rhosniegr

It was a classic Rossi day! logo high out the back, 4m weather and the two local Pro's Phil and Ben training at home....


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Phil

Ben Backie..

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Phil one handed sequence...  nice.

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I was on bit of a testing mission -seeing how the new Mini Tuttle K4FINS performed in various boards... (they'll be available in a few weeks time)

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Managed to sail 5 different boards with different fin set-ups (including the originals). A great day to get a feel for what the fins and configs actually do with 6hrs of full power 4m weather. My hands were ruined by 4pm when the wind finally eased. Top day!

Saturday/Sunday

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Went down to Cornwall. Checked Gwithian for a windsurf but looked proper limp (and I was aching and blistered), so took the dog for a walk up around Watergate bay. Someone was out sailing.? looked pretty good.


Had a decent surf on Sunday (head high and glassy but got lazy with the camera. Steve King turned up, then Dan Linton), much better than forecast and put the Firewire Dominator to the test. Love it. Only have it set up as a quad at the moment, it flies (and turns), I'm well impressed. Have some 'Robber' Merrick Fcs Twinzers on the way for the small days. May have finally found 'the one' for small wave joy.

Monday

It was our first wedding anniversary. We had 2 nights pimping it up for free in the Imperial Hotel Torquay where we were married last year.

Had a top evening out on the SUP* exploring the bay, watching the sun go down, having a picnic with champers, then watching the regatta week firework display from the best vantage point possible..
(sorry there's so many pics)



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That last pic is not cropped! We were right underneath them and had a couple bounce off the side of the SUP* when they landed. Almost made it back to dry land without incident, but were collared by the harbour police for not having a light on 100yards from home.


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Finished off with the fair. Brill.


Finally...  after watching Bens amazing Cape Town video, I was inspired to knock this up ready for the next bit of wind..

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Should be good for the next WaveJam if the wind ever sorts itself out. (yes, we are intending to still run them if we ever get another decent low pressure system hit the British Isles on a weekend..)



*Sit Up Paddleboat. By the way, NOBLES are now running real SUP sessions.

Creetown

GOOGLE
John Smalleys kit for sale
Ok, this is all I have left of John's kit...



Naish Stealth 4.6 canal job!
£100

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Naish Stealth 4.6
£100

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All this kit is in great condition with very little use.

stevethorp(@)hotmail(dot)com





43Knots and sunny

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The RAY, Southend

On the one hand a great days windsurfing, on the other hand a bit frustrating.
-Great because we were doing well over 40knots in July with our summer suits on, powered up at times on 6m's.
-Frustrating because it could have easily been so much better!

We all arrived for an early start as the Ray (the speedstrip) was going to be sailable from 7am until lunch time when the tide would cover it up. I rigged the 6.2 and Moo with 20 Moo fin. Out on the water it wasn't as windy as expected as the cloud and rain hadn't cleared through. For the first hour or two we were doing around 39knots -the water was flat but it just wasn't windy enough. We were using the West course as the SW wind meant the East course was too square (previous  fastest times are East course).

The wind gradually started to build but as it did so the chop became much worse with the tide having turned. Ian Richards and myself managed to get in a 43.5 knot peak before the water covered the Ray. Lance Newbury managed to break 40 and there were plenty of other PB's. I somehow managed to do a 26.7Knot Alpha (includes a gybe and getting back to where you started) on my 40 wide needle with a weight jacket on, might have to try and up that next time! (the world record is 29.2)

It was a good day for tuning up too -did some fin testing and played around with the sail settings, the 6.2 is feeling really fast for a 'big' sail.

Big news was Whitey's return after over a 2 yr break and poor Darren breaking his foot in the first ten minutes of sailing after driving down from York and sleeping in his car (hope you're mended soon mate)

Now for the frustrating part! We couldn't sail from 1 untl 7 and this was when the sun came out and the wind nuked! Everyone cleared off home but I stayed hoping the forecast for the wind to drop at 6pm was wrong (and I find it impossible to drive away from a windy sunny beach!) Come 6 o clock and it was still windy so rigged up rubbing my hands together. Managed to walk half way out to the Ray, and that's when the wind switched off. The forecasters were fairly spot on for a change.. bum.

So just the mediocre morning counted.
SPORTSTRACKLIVE
GPS-SPEEDSURFING


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Ian Richards


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Lance Newbury


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Whitey about to show off!


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Biggest bummer for me though, is being knocked off the top spot of the 2010 ranking and into second place by the Dutch guys who had a great day at the Brace. Those boys have been pushing hard for a while and getting close quite a few times. Hopefully we'll get a good autumn and a chance to have another crack at the top spot before the years out.


Check out the latest issue of WINDSURFER INTERNATIONAL if you haven't already!


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