Tuesday, 23 December 2008

extreme holidays bust!

Sunset at Rocky Point, no wind dusk surf

I flew back to England just over a week ago, after a short time stuck on the rock suddenly jobless and jeepless! Bad timing for many who’ve suffered redundancy with a uk company going into administration, it’s a little quiet there too on the job front, so from expecting to be there at least one whole year now the current thing is make new plans…With any luck I’ll land a job somewhere in the world, watch this space! It was quite bizzare, weekly checking the alarming headlines on the papers at the airport and eventually the downturn hit us too.

above- sunset at Rocky Point, no wind dusk surf.
below- Caleta de Fuste

Caleta de Fuste

We were still busy as ever with numbers of guests kiting, surfing and windsurfing still at a normal level and on a positive note all the schools on the island still have plenty of custom. It is a great place to go all through the year! Also it’s not too over- touristy, with plenty to do and explore. From limited information I’ve got it just seems the like rising costs in every part of the holiday was hurting us over recent months–although fuel is cheap on Fuerte with the amount the jeeps use it makes a big difference. To carry on would have needed a bigger increase in sales than we could hope for and cater for with spaces and kit. The rapidly falling pound against the Euro finished the company off during November. The whole thing wasn’t official til recently and there are still people going out having a great time with a few for whom Fuerte is home –contact Richie- and also out to Davos, Switzerland for snow with the guys there -contact Donnie. For anyone booked the Extreme website has a number to contact. I would encourage anyone keen -booked or not -to still head on out and have a wicked holiday whatever your sport with great guys!
0041 797661658 -Donnie and 0034 630104778 -Richie

Chris checking out the West Coast viewPunta

Photos: chris, apart from above of him - checking out the West Coast view. The drive to Cofete is worth a trip!
Punta below.

Big shout out to all the crew! Hopefully things will work out good in the end for everyone. Many memorable sessions in the water and at the bar!
My mate Chris came out for a week of kiting and boozing which was around this time We got a couple of good flag beach sessions and couple elsewhere. He tends to go all out when he gets back from offshore, deciding it would be great fun to buy four bottles of whisky one after the next plus mixer for the team at the last bbq. The partying went off the scale for everyone. Thanks to those that helped us out!
We had a few days of some good size swell and bits of strong wind here and there to play with.
During the windless days each surf was special as for many it would be the last together for a while!


My timing was good for driving out to France with the family for Christmas in the snow! Hadnt been for a while so extra special to go. Brrrrr!
Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

surf missions

photos : Laura

ant and alex decided hugo had been taking too many waves and it was time for a mass drop in!

from right to left

hugo, alex, me, ant

team extreme party wave sequence!<

>Alex ripping>

The lineup was a lot more hectic than it looks! We were there soon after dawn and had a few good waves each - i had my longest and most perfect wave ever! felt like playing playstation! - but within half an hour it was packed with locals and the game soon became how to not get dropped in on and to actually get a wave! Didnt get much...
This is a well known wave off fuerte, used to be ok but is just too rammed now when its good.

I managed to land on a rock on my ass not making my takeoff a little too deep and lost a fin at the end of a good wave staying on too long and taking another minor rinse!
Best morning surf in ages...
...And late in the day shared majanicho in easterly wind on 5.0 goya wave3d with slightly bigger waves, with only 2 others, squeezing as much daylight out of it before it seemed too dodgy with the fair amount of current! Best transfer day at work of the season!
Nick moffatt signing out.

yachting madeira to gran canaria, a big week off from fuerte windsurfing!

Well...i have a bit of catching up to do on here...
Packing some things late in the evening back in Corralejo, after a long hard day at the office-taking my group windsurfing down to sotavento!-and fixing the trailer lighting, i was actually feeling a bit nervous due to the big wind and swell forecast for the atlantic/canaries, and my mates laying down the banter on how my crossing might be!
After a scenic drive up and down the twisty roads surrounded by green mountainsides I found Ewan busy onboard his boat in the sunny harbour on Madeira. What a stunning place i'll have to go back! There were now 8 of us on the yacht for this leg, tight squeeze! I can’t believe the 4 of them are crossing the Atlantic in it, not big, and built for speed not comfort. After some briefing we attempted to set off and were hit by a steady 33knts and lurched into action accelerating on a beam reach. Adam, also a new recruit pretty swiftly found himself seasick! sort of funny but not for him! Ewan got 10-11knts only on the jib/headsail A few of us did have a bit of a 'what the hell are we doing/about to do here- feeling..! Back to the bar... i was on holiday after all!

The next day we were to set off again aiming for less punishing conditions on the yacht and its crew. Windguru was still forecasting 5m and 25knts out to sea...
We made it out in gentle breeze and it wasn’t until Madeira looked pretty small that we really found some proper wind and the swell size and period increased gradually but consistently the further south we got. I learnt some basic crewing as we went on and tried to keep attached to the boat helping get a sail up and down while we surfed down 4m waves, Ewan skippering. The sun set and we were into the watch patterns that
had been drawn up, which was 3hrs on 6 off for most. It all went pretty smoothly though i don’t think i got much sleep!

>above>taking in the view on deck, Duncan at helm

The next day we had larger swell with changeable wind strength and direction. We got the spinnaker up and i took a helming lesson! The yacht is pretty high tech with large repeaters showing boat speed, wind speed, apparent wind angle, bearing and other info. We were heading as downwind as possible but keeping the wind on the right side of sail is pretty crucial! It felt pretty weird to feel the boat get planing down a swell line - a fair bit bigger than my Goya 81 custom! - and to respond at the wheel to keep the spinnaker full during speed and direction changes, quite a lot like windsurfing actually! and not let it back which would flatten the boat! I got 10.6 knts in the 20knt breeze, happy with that!
Later we sailed just on full main as we had more like 25knts wind and the boys got 13.8 knts ...a new top speed for their boat, pretty quick!

It was quite cool on night watch though my Gul technical clothing kept me warm and dry enough! We had clear skies and shared stories to keep awake and alert, fun using a remote control while huddled on deck out of the wind to adjust the autopilot compass bearing, keeping a safe apparent wind angle but still trying to go as deep downwind as possible. On another watch later that night eventually getting some sleep i woke up to a loud crash, some shouting and a huge judder that shook the whole boat! I really thought the boom had just fallen off! From a steady 20knts we'd been caught up by a surprise 30knt wind that powered us up on the full main and crash jibed the sail -where it flies from fully out on one side to powering up the other as the sheet (ropes) and blocks stop it again. We had another couple in the gusty wind...luckily the boat stood up to it!

We made it to sunrise and in sight of gran canaria...the wind and swell eased as the storm system was passing and we cruised into a cloudy las Palmas. 280 miles in 48hrs was pretty good considering many periods of light winds as well as strong, and we were all pretty chuffed!

With all the northerly swell around we lucked in with overhead-high clean surf at Playa las Canteras. Was so fun to just go for it at a beach break for a few days. I got plenty of closeout barrels! Great practice for quick take offs, pulling in, and taking a beating! A few locals out were pulling some sick turns and aerial stunts...

Keep up-to-date with the crew on http://thelongsailunder.com/

including photos, video, planned journey, current position and a blog

currently mid atlantic, probably searching out bigger waves! Good luck guys!
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