18 Sep 2012

Sun and Surf

I’ve been a busy boy…. the surf has been good here in the southwest and I have been milking it for everything its got.

With a huge low up near Scotland we got some brilliant swell on the north coast of cornwall all weekend, plus some great sunshine to make it even more perfect.  A tough of wind made the water a bit bumpy, but the Starboard 7’7 x 27 Pro SUP has been brilliant. Loads of interest in such a small board from the surfers in the water all weekend….the revolution is coming – watch out!

Saturday consisted of two good sessions in bumpy overhead watergate  a good test of my balance!  We then headed to Crantock for a beach BBQ and funky night shots in the dunes, before getting in early there on Sunday – my first time there, and it was great fun.  Long waist to shoulder lefts all day long.  Awesomeness!

“Last week I also got into SUP fishing from the back of a Red Paddle Co 10’6 – I got pretty lucky and the 4th bite was a beautiful  Sea Bass – Yummy.

Got a few weeks of Freestyle comps lined up now.  Its been a shame there has been no wind to practise in, but i’ll give it my best shot and most of all have a good time!”

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20 Aug 2012

ROAD TRIPPING DIARIES – WEEK 3

“Blown off the water for another week and a long drive home (coffee fuelled)….”

I’m writing this midway across the English channel, between Roscoff and Plymouth as the Amorique sails us home. It’s a bit lumpy on the ocean outside, and I’m looking forward to checking out the UK beaches when we get into port….hopefully an afternoon sail.

The last week has been brilliant! We arrived in Tarifa and on the advise of K4 fins Spanish rider Emilio, we headed straight for Sancti Petri, 55 miles north of Tarifa. The super strong Levante was blowing all the way up near Cadiz and would be unsailable in Tarifa, so we headed off for an adventure at this new spot. On arriving, Emilo pointed out that he was just about to head out on a 4.2 and although it may sound crazy, when you sail out, head into the windless harbour, through the masses of moored boats and take an uphaul rather than sailing in the normal spot in front of the windsurfing centre. Promising us that we would see the spot eventually we nervously rigged and bobbed out to be greeted with an amazing low tide freestyle spot, with clean wind. Emilo’s recommendation was perfect and I was well powered on the 4.2 Edge. It’s always so refreshing to sail a new spot and I will defiantly head back to Sancti Petri in the future.


Levante would be a touch lighter for the following days, so we headed south straight for Tarifa, for the traditional La Tabla Pizza in town. The pizza’s are huge, and only 5 Euros. You get a pair of scissors to cut it up with. Perfect after a long days sailing and travelling.
The next days comprised of sailing pretty full power at Bolonia just near Tarifa. Full power on the 3.7 Prototype Edge and 91 Flare in this brilliant bump and jump location was a great change after sailing flat water for 8 solid days. As always the locals were ripping, pulling off Cheese rolls that would make Jan Sleigh proud as well as some impressive back loops off tightly bunched chop! For me I was 110% in learn over powered Shaka mode and hit them hard, in the process crashing plenty of ‘Shaka push loops’ ( when you don’t get over the rig and depower the sail enough mid rotation and get blown into a uncontrollable pushloop to be slapped hard on you back on the water). After 2 solid days of trying, a bright red back I finally succeeded and landed some very high shakas in 30+ knots. Happy days!


Windsurfing in Tarifa is very very alive – everywhere you look there is a reminder that the place is driven literally by wind and the Spanish are always so cool to hang out with at the beach. I guess sunshine and 30 knots makes it all a bit easier…


After 3 pretty intense days of levante, the guru was forecasting the wind to switch back to Nortada, the Portuguese wind, so we would head back to Sagres, to go full power to perfect new moves for 3 days before having to start the marathon 20 hour drive home. After some more coffee fuelled driving we arrived in Sagres early the following morning just in time for a SUP around the island on my RED AIR inflatable before the wind kicked in! For the last few days we had good 4.7 wind, which was a perfect way to end the trip!


The drive home, again was fuelled with coffee, baguette, brie and Chorizo and was made very pleasant by a stop in a huge French supermarket for the compulsory wine stash. We arrived mid afternoon to Brittany and headed to some nearby beaches for a little explore. Brittany has some absolute jems, crystal clear water and beautiful white sandy beaches. All I can think of at the end of this trip all is coming back to explore this region more as soon as possible. offering fantastic SUP coastal and river exploration as well as SUP surfing and even top windsurfing.


Until next time, road tripping is finished….I can just see the UK appearing on the horizon and it looks like the coast is getting battered by a solid Southerly. The next adventure awaits!

Authors note: The European road trip didn’t even get to finish before we were on the water again. 30 knots southerly gale and high tide means nothing else but a Wonwell session – it doesn’t happen that often in August so how could we return. We didn’t even go home – ferry port to yet another beach and had a great sail (despite my savage driving hangover) while catching up with loads of friends! I think we brought the wind home ☺

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11 Aug 2012

ROAD TRIPPING DIARIES – Week 2

“No rest for the windseekers”

On the last update we were starting our wind chase, driving to the north of Portugal. We’re still chasing the wind and are now on the road to Tarifa after a full power week of flat water and wind in Martinhal sailing on 4.2s and 4.7s. It looking like we are now going to be treated to 3 days of Levente, but if truth be told we are both looking forward to a rest day! Good news is that Levante generally brings about 40 knot winds, so its going to be a perfect testing ground for the 3.7 Edge Prototype.

After the last update we arrived in Vianna Do Costelo for two days of really fun sailing at Moledo, which in a small swell produces great cross on jumping. Both days I was on the 4.7 Edge and it was great getting to try out both the 69 and 77 quads. By the end of day two the waves got pretty small so it was the perfect opportunity to get the freestlye board out, which resulted in landing a ponch (A flat water barrel roll where you rotate over the sail). Monday looked like a no wind day giving us the time to head down to the Algarve where the forecast was showing a full week of wind in Martinhal, Sagres an awesome flat freestyle spot. On arriving in Sagres at sunset were cracked open some beer, it was cool to randomly bump into some German friends who we met on previous trips windsurfing around Europe and Africa. The German efficiency was ruthless and we headed straight for the bar for cocktails.

We spent seven days sailing in Sagres, which has all become a blur of full power windsurfing, coffee drinking, checking up on the RSX Olympic updates, eating pasta and sleeping but its been manic and best of all I nailed my first burner (A switch stanch sail ducked ponch) Woooo!!! Most days there has been a huge amount of wind, this has been a good opportunity to test out the prototype 3.7 edge which has proved to be hugely successful. We have been getting loads of video and photos during the week but the high light has been using the K4 harness mount for the go pro, which is an awesome product and has been a great training tool for learning new moves. The edges are working really well and a big bunch of French freestyler’s want to know where they can buy them in France!!!!!!! Tushy HQ??

If sailing all day wasn’t enough when the wind kept howling into the evening and the moon lit up the water I decided it would be rude not to give a night sail ago. 4.7s rigged and camera and flashes set up we sailed into mid night. This was an awesome experience and great to have the place to yourself.  

For now we are back on the road heading to Europe’s most southern point in search of a bit more wind. Fuelled by Portuguese Expresso we should be on the water for more action tomorrow!

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