Professional Freestyle windsurfer

Saturday, 25 September 2010

PWA Sylt world cup!

Things are getting under way here in Sylt, Germany, where I will be competing in the last freestyle tour stop of the 2010 PWA World Tour season.

My sails are rigged and ready to go and my new Spartan wetsuits are waiting to keep me warm when I enter the North Sea for my first heat against a good friend of mine from Canada, Philip Soltysiak. The only thing missing is some wind...

At the moment I am ranked 24th overall, this includes a 33rd from Podersdorf, 17th from Lanzarote and 11th from Fuerteventura. This is our 4th event of the season, which means we get 1 discard. My goal is to finish in the top 16 this event to be able to discard my 33rd. Where this would put me overall for the season really depends on how my competitors finish....Deja vu

You can watch live video from the contest at the PWA World Tour website.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The amazing windy week in England!

So after the event had finished in Poole I had seen the forecast was looking good for the south coast and was getting excited but to be honest definitely not as excited as I should of been. Having spent hardly anytime in England over the last few years especially when its been windy I now feel that I never really gave it a fair chance to show me its true potential. Now with Sylt approaching and the forecast still looking good in England for the first time I'm actually going to feel like I'm missing out!
Right so Monday morning I was still feeling pretty tired after a weekend spent pumping around on my 5.7 so I didn't want to travel to far so luckily enough my girlfriends house is only a 2 minute walk from the beach. It was high tide and it looked windy so I rigged by 5.1 and my 4.8 for her and within about half an hour I swapped down on to the 4.8! It was pretty choppy but this was good as I was keen to get some practice in ready for the messy conditions in Sylt. Most of the pictures in this post are from the session at Aldwick (near Pagham) Thanks to Gary Mercer for the shots.With Tuesday still looking good I thought it was about time I went and sailed at Nik and Ant Bakers home spot Shoreham aka Shorekipa after hearing so much about it over the years. We got there for low tide and Adam Simms was already out on the water fully powered on 4.5 I looked at Ant and commented on how sick it looked out there but he wasnt impressed with the size of the waves!! Didnt bother me too much and on my first few runs I was almost convinced I was back in Jericocoara if it wasnt for the grey skies and lack of Italians ripping up the white water It could of been. As the tide started to push it did get a bit more full on and there was some steep waves starting to appear. Wave sailing is something that Ive never really had a chance to do that much so it was good to have a go a bit of waveriding and I even made a few takas on my 90l freestyle board!! I eventually swapped for a waveboard and couldnt beleive how much time I'd wasted trying to ride on the freestyle board, unfortunately it wasnt quite forgiving enough for my dodgy takas! After completely knackering myself out it was of to Brighton for a bit of shopping! ( limp wrist was completely intentional!!!! ) After the wave session at shoreham I was keen to carry on training for Sylt and with the forecast not looking so promising I couldnt beleive my luck to wake up to yet another windy day. For low tide we headed to West Wittering to make the most out of the lagoon aka "the trench". I had never sailed Wittering in a SW before and it was unbelievable! some of the flatest water I've ever seen and it made everything too easy I think. After sailing for about two hours the lagoon was filling up so I went for a little play in the waves but soon remembered that I needed to save some energy for the afternoon session I had lined up. My girlfriend and I had been out for dinner the night before with Club Vass colleagues Ellie and Chris Muzza Murray and arranged to go somewhere with them for high tide. Unfortunately Muzza is Injured but he led us too the Esso garage spot on Hayling Island. Whils consuming a massive lunch we all packed in the van to watch the tide rise enough to reveal some more ridiculously flat water. Check out some of pictures as the sun started to drop with Portsmouth in the background!
After the session at the Esso garage I was gratefull to have a few days of before getting one more session in at my home spot West Mersea, Essex. It was pretty light but good sail with my Dad and Uncle!! About to start the drive to Sylt leaving in 5 hours so best get some sleep!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Poole Windfest report and pictures!

So last weekend was the British national championships down in Poole Harbour at the Animal windfest. This was to be the first windy windfest in three years which would mean finally we would get some new UK rankings. We were all a bit anxious after checking the forecast as it was looking like the wind had moved to the friday but the official start of the competition wasnt until the Saturday. This meant that Timo Mullen decided to run an event in the harbour as most of us were already there and at least we would have a result if there was no wind for the rest of the weekend.However suprisingly enough Saturday morning we woke up to a bit of wind, unfortunately by the time the judges had prepared themselves it had died. Luckilly as the day went on and warmed up a bit we got a bit of a sea breeze. It was very light 5.7 weather but enough to get the comp going. There were 4 man 4 minute heats with the best two moves counting and the winner going automatically into the final. I managed to miss out on this oppurtunity to get straight there by getting knocked out by Sam Neal who sailed a solid heat. The pressure was on for me as I knew it would be my only chance to get a result, so I upped my game for my next heat and passed through to get into the 4 man final. It was me up against Bubble, Sam Neal and Adam Simms, it could of been anyones day with the conditions being so light and flukey but Bubble managed to come out on top again with me in 2nd Adam Simms in 3rd and Sam in 4th. I was happy with the result but one day hope to get the first place to take the British title. After an epic superhero party on the saturday night I was almost glad to see the forecast was right and there was no hope for wind on the final day. We did however run a tow in competition using the Red Bull jet skis. It was a lot harder than it looked and I was pretty happy to land a big flaka and no handed flaka to take the win. I am now currently hanging around on the soutcoast at my girlfriends house for most of the week and the forecast looks epic!!!

Monday, 6 September 2010

SIck session back in the UK!

So arrived home last night and knew the forecast was going off so have been excited all week in Vass. Got collected last night from Gatwick in the new VW Transporter T5 which my Dad has just brought for all our windsurfing needs!
Planned to get up really early as I wanted to get two sessions in. First of all Collected my best mates Jay and Dan who both havent done much windsurfing in the last year and head to West Mersea beach where we used to sail together a lot. Rigged my 5.1 Simmer Blacktip and was fully powered up, the conditions were awesome with some really nice shaka ramps on the way out and when the tide dropped a super flat spot appeared behind one of the sandbars. Was glad to get out in the UK before the British freestyle championships next weekend in Poole as it took the edge of the nerves a bit and helped me remeber how to judge the brown chop!!!
I sailed at Mersea in the new Spartan 3/3 wetsuit with fluid lined seems and it was unbeleivable! Definitely the most flexible suit I've ever worn and was still so warm I could almost get away with using it all winter. I was just really impressed with everything about the suit down to the amazing finish on the neoprene and the super flexible seems that look amazing aswel. After the Mersea session it was off to Alton Water, one of the places I learnt to windsurf when I was growing up. I had arranged to meet proffessional windsurfing photographer Simon Crowther as he lives nearby to document the occasion. Unfortunately the wind had dropped abit by the time we arrived but I rigged my 5.7 to go out and test the conditions to see if it was worth shooting and I got planing in every gust! So Si and Jay set up Si's new lighting equipment that is rigged through remote control straight to the camera. It was hard work pumping onto the plane so close into the shore but after two hours of it and lots of arm cramp we were realy happy with one of the shots especiall considering the conditions! Hope to see it in the one of the mags soon..
Big thanks to the guys at Alton Water as they were all super helpfull!

Forecast looks like it might even be windy for Windfest so keeping my fingers crossed for next weekend!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010