Wednesday, 20 May 2009

UKWA round 2 Rhosneigr goes ballistic!


A day of carnage on the water trying to get comfortable on a lit 3.7. It was nuts to basically have the whole bay to yourself during your 10 minute heat, in saturday's nuking wind and waves! I drew Oisin and put together 2 good waverides that beat both his scores but was easily beaten on jumps with his 3 different landed ones vs my one stalled forward. Practise practise... Back and push loops got much better on monday in solid 4.7 wind, later getting blown off the water. Well worth the extra night stay given i could, conking out in nearby B&B after enjoying sunday's little waves that were breaking way out...yep on an SUP...Jem loved it. So did I!
Everything ached driving home... More great craic at another british event with a fantastic turn out for wave, racing and spectating. We really lucked in with the weather and the top boys put on the show to match!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

UKWA ‘09, Round 1, Ireland!

What an event… I’m still buzzing from it days later, I really did need a trip away! I’m sure anyone reading this has read about the event via the several boardseeker news clips;

The top boys threw some big moves down in good conditions…Jamie Hancock won, followed by John Skye, Ben Proffitt, Andy King, Phil Horrocks and Rob Jones

How it went for me:

A 13th place (=13th with one other if i've got it correct) out of 26 pros with everyone there wasnt bad for me, and it took a good performance to get that! I went straight out in the single elimination still just finding my feet again in the tricky conditions with mega-overpowering gusts. With another hour on the water getting dialled in, I got comfortable with my new board -the 85One- only the third day riding it.
The single final was action-packed in the logo high side-side off 4.1-4.7 weather. P1-4: Jamie, John, Andy, Ben.
The call came soon after that we’d be starting the double elimination…
I sailed well to win my first round heat, not doing anything that radical but just putting together good turns and hits on two set waves with no mistakes. I made sure I’d re-tuned my sail perfectly to the current wind, feeling ideally powered up. The One allows you to make speed on the wave and float out and upwind easily. I was glad I’d got the mental part of my game sussed this time; no dramatics or kit trashings like last year at Garry William!
I got a debrief from A. King and gleamed some top tips. Just working on the basics and doing those well is paramount and I got more speed, the best waves I could find and made more of them, missing the top12 fight by one place coming 3rd in my 2nd round heat.

The action the following day gave an intense top 6 battle in high winds and mast high+ conditions, creating quite a spectacle.
There was a great team vibe through the event for us at Zerogravity; Goya/Quatro. Everyone pushed each other on sharing good craic on and off the water.

After the contest (and a couple of big nights!) a few of us surfed Garry William point, I say a few, the session turned out to be packed! It was nice to get a couple of good waves from the peak, and to take a couple of beatings over the falls and escape unscathed! Garry William, me 1 all!
The surf sessions with the boys in Fuerte had stood me in good stead…would love to surf it when it’s really pumping…

March/April roundup... getting the stoke back!

So there was a move back to Oxfordshire; freezing Scottish waves; finding the stoke again and training; real training, in a boat!

N Scotalnd trip!
Thurso was called by Thorpy, with Potter and a 3rd seat still unfilled in his van I was drafted in very last minute for the long weekend mission.See more shots and read the story on his site:
2 shots of thorpy here, one ripping; the other, well, doing detailed reconnaisance of the reef!

To my relief I got a few good shots of the boys. We got some decent conditions and we all want to go back for more!As well as some proper windsurf reef-break action in nuking ;) winds, for me the highlight was surfing Thurso on a clean barrelling day.

Struggling to find work I reluctantly left Cornwall to move back ‘home’ to Abingdon, Oxfordshire. I did two swimming instructor/coaching courses and got part time pool lifeguard work, have been volunteering with a swim team and mentally preparing for September’s PGCE start(!) with some science lesson observations. Dealing with the frustration of not windsurfing or coaching somewhere consistent I put my efforts back into pure training for the meantime, in the knowledge that this would all pay off when the time came!
An old school mate suggested I get involved with City of Oxford rowing club where they’ve been preparing for the summer racing season, just in time for their Easter training camp at home on the Isis. Around 150km later, much of which was side by side 2km raced pieces at 80-90% again and again, I was feeling new levels of soreness but had got through it, tougher and faster, and more disciplined to stretching! But a second week on with a strained rotator cuff and minor deltoid tear; not part of the plan! An old injury from Egypt had come back to haunt me…
One of our coaches is our in-house physio and after some treatment made sure I did the correct rest and rehab training.
The next two weeks were frustrating not being in a boat, though at least I still wasn’t missing any UK windsurfing. I found new ways to train while resting the shoulder, running and cycling of course, but also some great circuits, and legs only pool sessions with fins, exhaling slowly underwater pushed the lungs!
Getting ready for the first 09 UKWA event in Ireland though I hadn’t been able to windsurf as much as others at least I knew-given the shoulder would heal in time?-I’d be fighting fit again.
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