When September Comes...

It's been a long time. I actually feel that I have not yet had a chance to sit and put pen to paper so to speak through the last month. A lot has happened to reflect on and as I sit and write this not only is there rain outside, but hopefully a pumping low pressure to give us all something to think about.

Tim on borred gear, where is that bass you owe me?

Beach Huts
I spent a lot of the summer down the beach huts. We had a lot of fishing and Bass to catch. Tim Cox is definitely the one with the knack and the secrets here. I can't reveal, but I found my little patch and reeled a few in. What is most promising about the summer are the amount of windsurfers out in Christchurch Harbour. Most days there seemed to be enough of a breeze for the majority of folk to get out planing. I think as wavesailors we actually forget that the type of wind we look forward to and most enjoy is the type of wind that most windsurfers are struggling with and is too much for them.

Casey and Fin styling it, future rippers!

The 11 - 20knot area is actually quite a common wind in the summer. The kids who weigh next to nothing love it. What is really promising is how many teenagers there are out on the water. It's as if windsurfing skipped a generation, but now there is a good gang of kids out there, boys and girls and they are up for it. At 38 I feel so old sailing amongst them, but the enjoyment amongst all is still the same. For some reason they all want me to teach them, I feel next year it might be the other way round. One was asking me how do do shaka's and flaka's. Wrong person to ask I told them. This did however make me want to try them again, by the end of summer I was sort of getting them, but then realised just why I try not to do freestyle. All the tendonitis from over windsurfing flared up once again!

The summer ended with the National Watersports Festival. It was light wind forecast so this year I made my intentions clear. No point entering, just join in the party, hang out on the beach and soak up the Atmosphere. Coxy and myself made the usual trip in my van prepped with a cool box, heineken and not a lot else. The great thing about the NWF is catching up with all the faces. Especially when having retired from the scene quite a bit. What is interesting is to see how little change there is in some fractions, sure the kit has changed and there is a bit of a merry go around with who is dealing what. There is a bit of a feeling of same old. But these guys have so much passion for the spot and are driving it as hard, if not harder than ever.

What made me feel really old were meeting my old zone squad again, particularly Sam Conroy, Claudia Carney and Sam Lathem. I remember this guys at 11, 12, and 13. Getting them out in all sorts of conditions, teaching them how to plane, get round a course quickly and generally race I suppose. Sam and Claudia have not gone on international duty several times and are doing pretty well, certainly wouldnt want to meet them on a race course these days, but at the bar, well that is a different matter.

It was also a priviledge to hange round and have a good laugh in general with Pippa Wilson and Bryony Shaw. Two lovely people who remain so down to earth despite the amazing feets they have acomplished, being pretty much the best in their chosen sports. Often the people at the top are actually the least arrogant.

Wasted, one day before Philly and myself go back to our teaching alter egos!

Team 15 Zone Squad...?

partners in crime

The following day was the Bournemouth air show, in itself pretty spectacular. Starboard not missing a trick with the paddle boards on demo and plenty of people taking them out.

Back to School, Cornwall and Paddle Boarding. 

The last few weeks I suppose have been tainted with the challenges of going back to school and the passing of my Nan. A very emotional time for me, I think rescued by a weekend in Cornwall with the familly where I was able to get some good paddle boarding in and then last Tuesday evening, when returning from picking Casey up from nursery there was this nice small peeling wave come in and a feint offshore breeze. Cue a rally round and a 7.30 glassy paddle board in an incredible sunset it is. Tim Cox, Simon Cox, Charlie Hall and myself out till the sea was black having a great time.

Casey and Oliver experience Polzeath for the first time!

One of the last surf trips for the surf bus. It's up for sail, I need more seats...

Which brings us to today, a low pressure and a lot of expectation on Sunday. Lets hope it happens.