Archive Blog Part One
May 27th Two sessions, both grossly over
powered......my own fault in that I left the 4.7 rigged from the morning
and thought maybe the wind might drop for the afternoon session as I
only had a small window to get out in.......needless to say by the time I
was able to launch from down here and sail up to the Cafe I was the one
on the biggest sail for a change with most of the "heavy weights" on
4.5's ! Quite a turn out up at the Cafe, almost too busy........
Earlier on in the day was almost blown off the water, called it a day
after 90 mins or so, wind was full on with some big gusts in the heavy
squalls, though the eye stinging rain never seemed to let up. Waves also
were like the wind, all over the place, very close together and no real
formation, out the back came through like the wind in sudden huge
bursts! Was on a flatenned off 4.7 & 74 Twinser, survival sailing.
May 22nd Again Shoreham early afternoon, 5.2 & 74 Twinser but little swell wise to play on, so came in and changed up to 5.8 & 105FSW and did some one on one blasting etc, going out the back prior to sailing upwind past Lancing then a nice downwinder back.
May 21st Shoreham for a low tide session (5.2 & 74 Twinser) whilst most were out on far bigger kit, no sign of the infamous Shoreham rip. Nice sunny afternoon, though not a lot in the way of swell. Came back here for another session, but was just as flat, shouldn't complain though!
May 19th Ended up having a great little session. Jem Hall came over with his XFire 112 tooled up with a 7.0 Freeride and together we had quite a blast going way out the back, then on upwind to Ferring. Apart from the pure speed that board stonks upwind, and did not seem too bothered about the chop. Also with Jem the XFire seemed to loop pretty well! Waves were ok and Jem commented that up here has some of the best stunt ramps for looping. I was way over powered on the 7.5 and 105FSW, changed down to 5.8 & 77FSW then stuck the 5.8 on the 105 to "try" and match Jem!
May 18th Three sessions, first earlier on in the morning with the tide on the drop, then one with the Mrs, low to mid tide, then back in for some "work" and a final session late afternoon. I was on the same kit left rigged (4.7 & Twinser 74) all day, more than can be said for the past weekend. Good little playground, decent waves and super smooth flat stretches between them and wind far more steady.
May 17th Even though I packed up around 13:00 after the morning's session couldn't sit back watching it, so decided to go for some cruising in the S'ly. So headed off to Shoreham 5.8 & 105 FSW, made it in one very broad off the wind reach in just under 15 minutes, didn't hang around and headed back, made it in one tack up to Lancing and then the wind/rain filled in and veered SSW'ly so had quite a tough sail to get back with gusts in the mid 30's. Earlier on couple of hours (5.2 74 Twinser) good conditions, flat smooth water in between the waves made for a great playground.
May 16th Today was very gusty, just after we launched circa noon, a squall came through gusting 39mph just as my dear lady was out at sea for her first session of the year, after that went through she probably had the best of it on a 4.7, which I then ended up using later on. Jai was wobbling around on a 4.0, then he took the 4.7 on Elaine's 77FSW as I then went back to a 5.2 (Twinser 74)and then back to the 4.7. Think we were all sailing each others kit at some point in the day attempting to make the most of the conditions. Some very nice ramps, and no rip on the inside as the tide came up making for a pleasant session, and one that the Mrs enjoyed which is always a good thing!
May 15th Good little session in the early afternoon sunshine with the tide on the push. Reasonable waves up at the Cafe, enough for one surfer to get some ok rides. Then as the tide came up became lumpy and then clouded over so called it a day (5.2 & 74 Twinser).
May 11th Road trip down to Portland, as I had a mate getting back into windsurfing. 5.2 on the 77FSW then later changing up to 5.8 & 105 FSW, great fun blasting in the shallow flat water. Though must admit to being envious driving past and seeing the conditions at Weymouth / Overcombe.
May 9th Saturday had a good powered up session from around 15:20 with the wind speed averaging 14-16mph - well pleased with how the the 7.5 Freeride works with the 105FSWave. I stick a big slalom fin in it and have straps on the outside changing it from a large wave board that I can use on the reef in Dom Rep to a blasting machine. Sailed up to Ferring where there were quite a few out on big sails and big slalom type boards and the FSW more than matched them. And has to be said, only one kiter out, Mike, who I think was not that powered up by the looks of things, (walking back up wind), though could be wrong.
May 8th Two sessions, early morning had around half an hour before that "rain"came through, I was out up at the Cafe and it's always surreal when you get that heavy rain / hail as it flattens off the chop and all you're left with is the underlying swell. As that went through wind dropped a little, but still ok on the 4.7 & Twinser 74. Then the afternoon, the earlier morning's sess made me apprecaiate how good the afternoon was. Solid wind, sunshine and a little swell to play on, classic!
May 6th Good little powered up session down at Shoreham on Wednesday, hardly a cloud in the sky, 5.2 & 74 Twinser as tide was way out up this way. Eventually very low cloud came in, almost sea mist but at around 1,000 ft very weird, sort of went from Summer to autumn in ten minutes so called it a day.
May 5th Initially was not too sure about going out after work as it was grey and did seem that the wind was easing, but rigged and ended up having a great, if over powered session on the 77FSW, then as the waves came up changed to the 74 Twinser all be it on a 5.2 which should have been a 4.7, no complaints though and far better than yesterday and quite sunny as well!
May 4th As for Monday found it difficult to get motivated, body was tired after the previous couple of days exertions and not helped by the wind chill of 8 degrees, so went out 4.7 & 74 Twinser, but only lasted around 45 minutes.
May 3rd Ran the Three Forts Half Marathon in aid of RNLI Shoreham which is all on track to open next year talking to the coxswain, and he again expressed his thanks for the money "we" all raised last year. Knocked the run out in under 1:50:00 so not too bad considering I have not been running much due to injury and being away.
May 2nd Ok not as windy as Friday, but there seemed to be far fewer on the water today.......early on I sailed upwind to LA, some 25 miles to get there, then 10 getting back, saw a few kiters off on a down winder from LA but even once back at Worthing there did not seem to be as many kites out as Friday. Think in the end I clocked up around 45 miles. Once back here, changed down and had a good blast on the 5.8 & 105FSW, whilst Jai was out on hos 4.7 and my 77FSW and then my Twinser 74. Track log here.
May 1stEventually the wind Gods delivered a cracking afternoon. I was out early in the afternoon on the 3rd Generation Freeride 7.5 on the 105FSW, even before the first kites were out. By the time I packed must have been 30 kites plus, but few windsurfers. The sail has an awsome wind range, in the end went from that to my 5.2.
April 29th I did go out for a "play" with my new sail on the 105FSW yesterday just as the wind dropped, and the initial prognosis is very encouraging.......I was heard to be spouting that indeed could be my all time favourite sail, more detail to follow, hopefully!
April 27thAt long last a decent powered up session Monday morning for a few hours from 10:30. Over powered in the end on a 4.7 / Twinser 74 combo, was not possible to come in and change down as would not have got back out again from here at WeatherCam HQ, up at the Cafe launch was not a problem. Decent waves for a while, then dropped off as tide came up but still good down this way as the profile of the beach here is quite a bit different to the Cafe.
March 25th Sat morning out for around 3 hours from 08:30, 5.2 & Twinser 74, and then 5.2 & 77FSW as I could not get upwind to the Cafe, even on the FSW it was hard work against the current. Not much in the way of swell, and wind has a few holes in it, but after the recent famine was good to get out, though those who waited for the afternoon were skunked only to see the wind die...........
March / April Back from our "little" stay in the mountains...........the blog has now has a final update and a conclusion as it were.........Daily Mountain Blog
03 March Well powered up on 5.2 & Twinser74, which felt so much better having got rid of some excess winter kgs.
1st March Steyning Stinger Half Marathon cross country over the Downs with a couple of very big hills - PB was 1-37-15 back in 2005 - today 1-38-10, damn! Can't really complain, that's 7-25 pace, think that put me in the top 15 and pretty sure 2nd Vet over 50. Motion based track log and profiles, speed / HR etc etc.
Snow - Monday Feb 2nd took the boards up on the Downs, first stop Cissbury and then up to Chanctonbury, had a few decent runs but fences always appeared just as you were getting some resaonable lines in. Some pictures here.
January 22nd - 25th Scored some great conditions on a little trip to Alpe D'Huez few pictures here.
January 18th Another very average session that could have been so much better if the wind was more constant, rigged 4.7, two runs wind dropped, back in and 5.2 few more runs, wind picks back up to 4.7 weather, tweak sail, then drops again, back in to change board in desperation, but little effect, so called it a day............again the kites seem to be having the better of the conditions, though did hear Smiffy on his new Twinser 90 fell in love at Lancing! Think kiters made the most of the weekend, for windsurfing kit choice and timing was a major factor, both of which I got wrong........Sunday AM was out on the Twinser 74 & 5.2 but found it very gusty, few powered up runs, but then it dropped. Called it a day as I was getting too cold (paranoid of no wind again) not helped by this morning's 10 mile run, later on as the swell built and wind filled in others were scoring good sessions.
January 11th Better session today in the afternoon (5.2 & Twinser) , only three windsurfers and three kites out, all of us playing around in front of each other. Classic SSW'ly conditions, flat speed strips on the inside and fun waves to play on further out, not too cold, but eventually it was the wind (gusting 37mph) and rain that drove me back in, and the thought of nice hot shower in my wetsuit!
January 11th First session of the new year, and having waited all week for the wind in the end was a bit of a let down, waited for the wind to build and had all of an hour on big kit (5.8 & 105FSW), launching around 13:40, then towards the end of the session sailed up to the Cafe where the wind then dropped resulting in a slog back home.
Little video I took a few weeks back has gone down well (film here), the music is the Killers, Mr Brightside, Jacques Lucont, Thin White Duke remix from the Sawdust Album.
December 13thSaturday had a very quick session, think it was all of 45 minutes, was not the cold but the tide that ended the session. As wind was SSE'ly made it very tough getting out even from the Cafe towards the end as you had to go out on port tack which made it hard to get past the spit. Was well powered up on a 4.0. The Twinser 74 lapped it up, perfect board!
December 12th Friday sneaked out for a quick session in the afternoon with the tide on the drop. Not too cold until you fell in, then you knew it!
December 4th Today was not good, launched just as the wind was dropping, but I sort of ignored that thinking it was me sailing like a pratt still pissed from last night. (50th) Cut a long story short, ended up stuck out at sea thinking my number was up, with possible signs of hyperthermia. Managed to let the sail out before my fingers went and ended up coming half a mile down. Not so much a christening of the new 74 Twinser, more a baptism of fire!
November 11th Superb session up at the Cafe, though did take me numerous attempts, pummelling's to get out with only one other out. Huge wind shadow on the inside and fair sized high tide shore dump as wind was almost WNW'ly. In the end launched West of the spit as the tide dropped back a wee bit. Once out great DTL rides, numbers of turns well into double figures on each wave, more people turned up and good to report that all knew what they were doing with regard to wave etiquette. Also LA and Hove were also firing and great sessions had.
Nov 10th Was just going out at Shoreham having rigged a 3.3 in torrential rain, when my daughter rang saying there'd been a power cut...... so with the wind dropping from the earlier 50mph winds felt guilty going leaving her in the house with no power etc, and after half an hour or so called it a day, hoping for cross shore W'ly F6 with some decent waves tomorrow!
Nov 8/9th Nov Sunday, those that sailed the morning were blown off the water for a while around 11:40 when it was gusting mid 30's. I called it a day as I'd been out since after 9:00. Saturday, ended up going out later on, so missed the rain, not a bad session and even had some decent sunshine, was on 77FSW & 4.7 then later on 4.0, but that's another story :)
October 26th Sunday morning decided to go out from the Cafe, and seemed everyone else had a similar idea, very busy. Some good waves, and way out the back some big faces to play on. Wind switched off catching a few out, and one guy long way out, so borrowed a kayak from a mate and another guy paddled out to him. Later in saw a RNLI inshore going past, so wonder if anyone else was caught out Lancing?
October 25th Sailed down at Shoreham today (5.2 & 77FSW), never seen so many kites out at Lancing, must have been 50 odd. I drove down as a mate was sailing down, so sailed upwind past Brooklands to meet him then back off the wind to Shoreham. Quite a few people out there, conditions probably were better as the tide came up some more around 17:00.
October 23rd Shot off down to Shoreham on the 77FSW & 47 in a SSW'ly, had a good session down there in some fair sized waves before sailing back as the wind veered SW'ly. 10 tacks later made it back to the Cafe where it was flat in comparison to Shoreham, then as the tide came in so the waves began to shape up. Knackered after three hours non stop though!
October 20th Good session in the morning with the tide on the push, better than yesterday, even without the sun, wind stronger & more constant with a better swell running, and no rain!
October 19th Couple of sessions, after a 6 mile run on the Downs, back to the 77FSW & 4.7 in superb sunshine, wind was quite gusty and a 5.2 might have been the better option, but was ok, then sailed late afternoon until the street lights came on (actually big black cloud came over).
October 15th Reasonable bump n'jump (5.2 & 74 Twinser) session in the morning, good swell out the back to play on, then as the wind dropped slogged back from the Cafe, and at one point didn't think I was going to make it back, but luckily caught a wave which carried me more or less all the way back in to the yacht club. So a little walk, and then the wind came back, only to drop mid afternoon, as predicted.
October 7th Tuesday did a bit of Coastal blasting. Sailed from here (Twinser 74 & 4.7) straight down to LA, then back and on to Shoreham, coming back had a little "play" in the waves at Lancing then back up here. Wind was full of holes and no where near as enjoyable as Sunday. Up at the Cafe seemed quite a few were turning up to launch from there. But later on as Nik Baker and a few others showed up the wind dropped even more.
October 4th & 5th Quite some weekend, took advantage of Johnny Hutch being unable to sail, so I "borrowed" his 74 Twinser, and I'm afraid to say, "believe the hype", these boards are awesome! As most will know we had just about everything over the weekend. Yesterday was classic Worthing S'ly conditions, big wide open stretches in between fair sized waves and almost silky smooth out the back. And the Twinser 74 proved that it's not a bad speed machine either as well as lapping up the onshore playground waves. Then Sunday sailed it in marginal 4.7 weather, and even had a 5 minute slog up to the chins on it when the wind dropped. After an hour or so of sailing down this way I then sailed up wind to the Cafe, and it stonked up wind the same as my 77 FSW. The Cafe was busy, but the biggest problem was that I was way over powered on the 4.7 as most were on 4.0 - 4.2's. Jai came to the rescue, by driving back down and getting my 4.0 rig, how about that for service!? The "Twinser" is sooooo user friendly, sail it hard cutting back and you feel as if you're invincible, such a great buzz, I was cynical but now I'm sold!
October 1st After a windless September, October got off to a good start with two sessions on the 1st, with the morning producing one of the better sessions. I launched when others thought it to be too gusty & offshore, once they saw that was not the case and that the wave riding was some of the best ever to be had up this way, so they too launched down this way. You could start going down the line on the swell further out, then as it turned into more of a wave, pure joy! I came in riding one wave too close in and came ashore just as Johnny Hutch came in holding his head with blood pouring from it, his new twinser surprised him on a cut back and the boom smacked him in the face. So back in and cleaned him up, steri strips to the rescue as he went off to A&E for stitches. Picture here!The afternoon was a disapointment after the morning with the swell disapearing, major let down, and reports from Bracks suggest it was no better, just a huge chop fest. Came across this very sweet video of Aaron Hadlow up at the Cafe in August, great production by Alex.
Still some good photos surfacing from the Fat Face event, this one's a cracker. Some of the toughest racing conditions ever witnessed in the UK , on a par with the infamous PWA event at Brighton many years ago. Two races were held in an ever increasing shore dump that claimed countless victims and kit, pure carnage as you don't exactly have the luxury of waiting for the waves to flatten off, many simply did not get off the beach! FatFace Video now uploaded here, and a little taster video clip here, and race report / blogs and photos here & here. Has been an awsome summer with so many sessions that all are not summarised on here.
Have completed the Cabarete trip blog, with some more detail and pictures, superb as ever; thanks to Jens and the team at Vela; click here.
August 25th Been a good holiday weekend, managed to use all my sails. Shame about the grey overcast conditions on Monday, but wind seeemed to build by mid afternoon gusting mid 30's. Started off on a 4.7 and by the end of the session as Mrs WC call it a day, took her sail and was well powered up on the 4.0 as some of you (holding on to 5.0's) reading this know :)
August 24th Nice session this afternoon, started off overcast, sky cleared, wind filled in and yet another day on the water, not much in the wave department, but further out to sea good rolling swell. Been a good couple of days to suss out new sails & boards (Jai on 09 FSW's). Cycling back from the pub good to see people chilling out on the Greensward with BBQ's after a good afternoon session.
August 23rd Wind filled in nicely today, and in unbroken sunshine a pleasant afternoon was had. Very little in the way of shoredump even down this end at high tide. Went out on the new (08) 5.2 for the first time and was impressed with the power, then later on came in and changed down to a 4.7, and was still well powered up on that.
August 20th Sneaked a mid tide session in around 16:30 well powered up on my new 08 4.7, conditions bland but was a good couple of hours to get to know the sail and what it can do with a few tweaks as the wind was up initially then dropped.
August 19thTuesday did go off, drove up to the Cafe as I suspected some sail changing might be in order and I did not want to have to brave the shore dump back here. Started off (10:40) on a 4.2, then changed down to a 3.5, around high tide had a break, chips & fat coke sitting outside the Cafe (a first) watching Lewis & others putting on a big show. Wind dropped a bit and changed back up to a 4.2, eventually came off the water around 16:00 quite knackered, great day, superb conditions.
August 18thTwo sessions today, morning in the sunshine well powered up on a 5.2, then Worthing outing to Shoreham with around 5 Cafe locals to do the tide on the drop, 4.7. Have been other sessions in the last few days, but getting difficult to remember as there's been so many!
August 13th "Big Wednesday"was manic, launched in the morning and the wind just kept increasing, far windier than the day before with massive waves & swell running out the back. Managed to sail the mile upwind to the Cafe, much to the surprise of those that were up there. Sailed there for a while, and then a manic off the wind broad reach back home as the wind was clocking 50mph. Then did a second session at Shoreham at low tide, still maxed on a 3.5, though around 17:00 wind started to ease back finally. Team Seasprite sailed LA with the tide on the push, some of the best conditions "ever", sailing past dusk under the glare of the street lights!
August 12th Couple of sessions, started off on a 4.2 but had to come in and change down to a 3.5. Then late afternoon, 3.5 weather again. Good session spoilt by dislocating little toe, had to come in at the Cafe and put it back, then sail back home!
August 10 Three sessions, launched at 07:00, came off around 10:00. Then out again around 13:00 back in circa 15:30. Afternoon kip, then couldn't resist one more around 17:30, which was by far the best of the day, still maxed on the 4.2, sailed up to the Cafe, about 6 surfers out, really nice waves, little or no chop on the inside and only three "Poles" out, came ashore at 19:05!
August 9th Saturday earlier on was very quiet on the water up this way, think everyone was down at Shoreham / Lancing. Nigh on four hours with wind up and down as the rain pulsed through. Was on 4.7, hanging on by the end! Pooch, my Jack Russell has been getting to grips with stronger winds and waves as you can see here, she's been heard mumbling something about wanting to dangle off some string!
August 7th The warm air and sunny conditions made up for the marginal wind, though at times well powered up. Loads of string weed around which rules out big straight fins which would have helped with the big kit (105FSW & 6.6). About 10 or so kites out also making the most of the conditions.
August 4th Two sessions, first mad bump n'jump up at the Cafe with the tide on the push, with Poles and Kites mixing it, highly amusing, though don't think everyone appreciates it :) , maxed on a 5.2 when I should have been on a 4.2 - then second later on in the day, 4.7 with tide on the drop, swell had dropped back from earlier.
August 2nd / 3rd Been good since Friday. Yesterday two sessions either side of the Grand Prix, morning well powered up on 4.7, then the afternoon was "Team Seasprite" sailing from here on a little less wind . Saturday, for those that were patient was worth waiting for, only problem was the tide. As the wind filled in around 16:00 I was just getting back from London, so went out from here but it was obvious that I'd left it too late with the tide rushing out, so came back in and sweet talked Mrs WC. I then sailed off down to Shoreham, going well out the back riding the swell, then had a good session at Shoreham until 18:00 when Mrs WC came down and picked me up!
August 1st Good session, maxed on 4.7 & 77FSW, even though some "git" had the cheek (bigger sail) to go past me :). Very warm air temp, had to come in and change from wetsuit into boardies & vest! This week's been great out on the Easy Rider teaching in the sunshine, even the the dog can now gybe (see video). Tuesday saw the wind filling in (16:45) and had a good hour or so well powered up on the 6.6 & 105FSW just in boardies and vest. Was a good weekend for beginner windsurfers, had a pleasant day down at West Wittering with the wind gradually picking up. It's an excellent setup down there for beginners / intermediates, and lessons learnt were carried through into Sunday here - now have a windsurfing Jack Russel!
July 25th Friday had a good hour plus around the magic 15:00 when wind was constant, just in boardies & vest, thought about having to come in & change sail (6.6 & 105FSW), then wind seemed to drop back as we approach high tide. Tuesday was out on the "Beast" , first on a 6.6 then changed up to a 8.0, at first it was good, but wind dropped to sub 14mph.
July 20th Post Grand Prix, went "Retro", and sailed upwind on the "Beast" to Worthing Water Sports demo at Goring Gap, on the way back thought the wind had dropped, but found some and at times had an exhilerating ride home, just in the two back straps!
July 19th Today crammed a fair amount in. Good bump n'jump session in the morning, 4.7 & 77FSW, launched early down this way as we have more water than up at the Cafe. Nice swell running out the back, sailed up to the Cafe then came back just as the wind started to switch, with many just arriving to go out! Then up on the Downs for a 9 mile run (do have another marathon coming up in October), then back for a second session in the gusty WNW'ly, around 14:55 well powered up 4.7 & 77FSW, then some cloud came over and the wind dropped, then it went SW'ly and slowly came back up gusting 30mph!
July 18th Friday, little powered up session at Shoreham from 16:00 to 17:30 77FSW & 5.2, nothing too much to write home about, apart from one very sweet tack.
July 15th Tuesday in the end was ok, in a summer groove riding sort of way. Went down to Shoreham around 16:00 just as the sky cleared and had a pleasant couple of hours of summer blasting in warm sunshine on the 5.8 & 105FSW. Good turn out for the "loopathon" but conditions did not deliver, so A&E at Southlands were stood down!
July 14th Monday was quite an interesting day wind wise, very close to being a "classic", but I think the ever increasing pressure was the fly in the ointment. Eventually the wind did drop off, not at 19:30 but at 20:30, so sorry about being an hour out! Managed a quick session circa 17:00 well powered on a 5.2 & 77FSW, but towards the end wind was dropping.
Four weeks of wind From the time we left for Cabarete (June 23rd) it's been blowing more or less non stop, with just the occassional day of no real wind. Friday (July 11th) finally made it out on to the water for a good bump n'jump session, 4.7 & 77FSW, though others were on larger kit. Still miss the clear blue waters of Dom Rep though.
June 22nd Was very busy up at the Cafe today, waves were not much to get excited about, but way out the back, about a mile or so the rolling swell was very big and made for some great riding. Think will be busy again this afternoon. I'm passing on a second session as have to let the kit dry ready to pack as we're off to Cabarete tomorrow.
June 19th Thursday was superb, best yet for a long while, decent swell as well. Well powered up on 4.2, Mrs over powered on a 3.5. Interesting to note that the tide was still well up here at Cam central whilst at the Cafe it was well on the way out.
June 17th Today wind was quite gusty at times, think we had the best of it early in the afternoon with the tide on the drop. By 17:00 wind was gradually dropping, not so good for those rushing to get out after work. Was well powered up on a 4.7 & 77FSW, sailed up to the Cafe where quite a few were out. Summer "Groove Riding" again in choppy water, no swell as such even out the back.
June 16th Tuesday, wind did come through making for a good late afternoon, afterwork session. Driving past Lancing there were nigh on 20 kites out that I could see. Shoreham delivered classic "Summer Grooving" conditions.
June 14th RESCUE Today the wind did fill in just as we started our run on the Downs, as predicted. Went out from here around 16:00 well powered up on a 5.2 & 77FSW. Wife also went out too for her first session of the year (fair weather sailor). No need to sail up to the Cafe as there was a fair number of sailors down here due to the Cafe carparking area full of grockles. Packed in around 17:30, and retired to the upstairs conservatory for some armchair windsurfing with a few people still out. Around 18:15 I became concerned that I had not seen one guy for a while, but thought he was out the back with our view obscured by a coach. 18:30 I started looking with the binoculars, and saw that he was in some sort of trouble. So Jai helped me rig quickly, I sailed out to suss what was wrong while Jai walked down wind to where I would come back to advise what was happening. By then Jai was joined by Ollie who lives on the sea front and had spotted the guy whilst he was up at the yacht club. His mast foot had broken, and he had cramp, so as it was late, and the wind could well drop with me out as well, we called the Coastguard, I sailed back out to him telling him what was happening, and he was on his waterproof phone to his wife. RNLI Inshore rib appeared and took him and his rig (which they at first wanted to ditch) back inshore, which took a while. By the time the RNLI were close in we'd walked back up, and I was stunned to see that Mat (from Lewes), was in the early stages of hyperthermia, and along with the cramp was in a real bad way. The RNLI has already radioed in for an ambulance and Mat was taken off to hospital to be checked out. He eventually turned up by tai dressed still in his gown a few hours later. But this should really show how quickly you can get cold out there at the moment, he was in full wetsuit, long arms etc, so something to think about!
June 9th Arrived back home eraly evening, and decided to go "Retro" again and had a very pleasant hour in the evening sunshine, made me think why so many took up the sport years ago when it was like this, but then we all became wind snobs and long boarding was no longer cool!
June 7th Spent most of the afternoon windsurfing, that is armchair windsurfing up in the conservatory, pontificating over whether to go out or not. There was a handful of kites out and a couple of poles, but the wind was coming and going with the cloud, and after getting skunked the previous day we were wanting more solid conditions. Then about 16:45 the cloud cleared and the wind filled in, so rigged big and had a full on session of over powered blasting, with legs quite tired after this morning's little 10miler on the Downs, but most pleasant and rounded off nicely watching Lewis H get pole position!
June 6th Sea Breeze kept teasing, and eventually I went out on the Summer kit, 6.6 & 105 FSW, managed a few runs before the cloud rolled over and killed the wind!
June 4th Superb sea breeze day, wall to wall sunshine and wind gusting 20mph SW'ly all afternoon. Though I passed on going out, keeping my energy for the Worthing 10km which paid off with a respectable 40:47, not bad for an old fart!
June 1st Sunday went "Retro" again taking out the "Original Windsurfer" in the light breeze sailing along with the various boats out from the Yacht Club, in fact a couple of people just had to have a "go" and enjoyed the experience. Might even now see Jonathan Hutchcroft back out on his Mistral One Design!
May 28th Launched around 15:00 and was well powered on a 4.7 & 77FSW (just for a change), sailed up to the Cafe, rain at times was heavy; had to come in and down / out haul sail as the wind came up some more. Only a handful of "Poles" out and likewise for Kites, don't know where every one was. Waves were good for playing on, and quite respecatable for wind driven swell. Nice to be back out on starboard tack!
May 25th Today turned out to be most pleasant in the afternoon. I went "retro" and took ye olde "Windsurfer" out in shorts and vest and sailed along up and down from the Cafe a couple of times, when the wind was gusting 12mph, without a harness was getting almost hard work!
May 24th From reading various reports would seem that many people headed over to St Marys / Littlestone and had some good TOW. After running up on the Downs in the morning and seeing how bad the traffic was I passed on travelling and sailed from here, not the best conditions, totally stacked one moment then floundering around the next, but was enjoyable in a sort of masochostic way!
May 17th Saturday picked up yet another original Windsurfer Regatta, hopefully they will eventually become collectors items, this one was in really good conditions, looked so good just had to go out on the water, and ended up having a very pleasant "old school" session, more of the same this afternoon.
May 13th This morning had offshore winds gusting 30mph. I saw a couple of elderly (only in Worthing) kayakers going out mid to low tide, and thought was not the best move in the screaming off shore winds, and sure enough once they were out the winds carried them out to sea, fortunately they sussed the error of their ways and just about managed to get back in. I did ring the beach patrol to advise them that maybe they should hike up the offshore flags but they did not think it was blowing that much down their end, of course nothing to do with the four to five story buildings in front of the beach office, later on they too acknowledged just how windy it actually was, and flags were indeed hoisted!
Back from the Artic May 8th -11th Having left a snow covered dock in the morning to having a BBQ on the beach still at 22:30 in t-shirts & shorts!
Whilst you were basking in the heat, we hardly saw the sun, fair amount of rain, which was snow above 300m, conditions could have been worst, and as ever was a very special trip. Some pictures here.
Legs recovered by the time we made our first ascent and had no real problems after the marathon, again a huge thanks to all those who donated.
Over £2,500 raised for the RNLI Huge thanks to everyone who has donated, nigh on 250 people, really stoked, and had it confirmed from the RNLI that all funds raised will indeed be assigned to the Shoreham Harbour Appeal.
The run itself ended up being one of the toughest runs I've done. I was going well for the first half, (1:56) but by mile 20 I was cramping badly. Had to really be careful not to push it as I could have gone into spasm and possibly had to retire, and with the money raised could not even think about that! GPS / Heart Rate / Speed log here.
It was the heat that did me in; wearing full length black tights was not the smartest move. Once back home really messed up by having a hot bath, more spasms, vertigo, collapsing & Mrs WC called an ambulance I was that bad, but recovered enough for it not to be needed, but I was in a very bad way.
April 30th Great session today, waves were very respectable along with solid wind that progressively picked up throughout the afternoon. Was well powered up on 4.2 & 77FSW. When I launched circa 14:30 it was Spring almost Summer like, but quickly moved back into Autumn & finally Winter as the cloud came back, all very bizarre.
April 29th Hardly worth a blog entry, but managed a quick session in the marginal SSE'ly, though at least it was dry. Almost perverse enjoying the evil tack on days like today.
April 28th Today did seem that the cloud was holding the wind back, but managed to get out around 14:30 on a 5.2 & 77FSW, sailed up to the Cafe. Came back down when I thought the wind was dropping, but then went out again, as from around 16:30 it seemed to fill in more and lasted well into the evening, so must have been more "actual" wind than forecast.
April 24th "Caftastic" What an afternoon, a big present for all the kind donations. I waited till 15:00 as I thought it would kick in even more, and in the end I was well powerd up on a 4.2. There were so many out, poles & kites, there must be a fair few teachers amongst us as so many seemed to have the day off! Waves up at the Cafe were quite good bearing in mind there was hardly any underlying swell. Looked like some major showers inland, and some cloud spilled over the coastline causing the wind to drop, but eventually sky cleared and it kicked back in again, a classic "Worthing Effect".
April 17th Today went on a bit of a "Surfari", travelling up to the North Kent Coast to Whitstable in the hope of finding some decent conditions. Launched at the far end of Tankerton, quite nostalgic as I spent many a weekend there when I was a kid. The point was kicking up a little wave but even though the wind was constant it was a bit lame. After an hour packed in and headed cross country to St Mary's Bay. And that made the drive worthwhile, think it has to be the best location in a E/NE'ly, great waves (maxed on 4.7), easy parking & rigging and wind was constant, so much better than Pagham / Selsey and even Pevensey, which I looked at on the way back. Just a shame it's such a long drive.
April 12th Saturday, did a morning session at Shoreham, well powered up on a 5.2 in beautiful uninterrupted sunshine, waves were not brilliant but barefoot and without the Worthing low tides rocks to worry about. As I drove past Lancing they're must have been nigh on 50 kites out! The afternoon was a little bit more frustrating, I waited for the tide to come up some more launching on a 4.7 just as a band of cloud came over, had about 10 minutes before the wind switched off. Came back in and waited, and rigged a 5.2, had another little session before a second lump of cloud did a repeat of before, again we waited it out and the sun came back out and the wind filled in, only trouble was nearing high tide and it was just one big chop fest, so called it a day as it was getting almost uncomfortable.
April 11th Today general consensus was that conditions were helped by a sea breeze that's been present all week. I was maxed on a 4.2 mid afternoon, and for a superb day it was not that busy up at the Cafe. As the tide built more came over from Shoreham and the waves shaped up really well helped by the strong winds, with even some DTL to be had on the odd occasion as wind went WSW.
April 1st Two sessions today, one down at West Beach LA (5.8 105FSW), I was the only "Pole" out along with Lewis, Jake & Ollie. Had not launched from there for many a year and was most pleasant, first bare foot sail of the year. Session was interupted by being advised by the Coastguard that evidently there's a 100m exclusion zone around the river entrance, so I suppose that rules out the local surfers ever using that break again, so thanks go to the local retailer for telling the Foreshore Office that we were out there! Second session went down to Shoreham, as I had to be over that way. Managed to forget the one sail I should have used (5.2) so went 4.7 on the 105FSW and had a reasonable excursion, but wind did drop later. Managed to get back home here and realise I'd left the board on the beach.....these things happen as you get older!
March 30th first sea breeze of the year? Today I was sea breeze fantasising, in that conditions looked promising, as the various mechanics were coming together, warmer temps, clear skies, clouds inland etc etc. We eventually had an hour or so with a slight increase in wind speed (17mph gusts), then it dropped back, so was it the first sea breeze of the year? I had to go out windsurfing as one of my daughters needed to take some photos of a board in surf etc, (don't ask why she didn't do it on Saturday), so took the big old long race board. The swell was quite good, (10 surfers out a the Cafe) gybed round out at sea, but left the centre board half down, wave came up, I tried surfing it, centre board caught, I went arse over tip and side of board came round and smacked me in the nose. Loads of blood, not quite stitches but steri strips holding the cut together, don't think nose is broken, but a couple of black'ish eyes. How damn ironic, sail in mega seas and winds and then get taken out in a light breeze!
March 28th/29th Saturday morning wind was hovering around 20mph, so big board (105FSW) & 5.2, but was rather bland but shouldn't complain. Counted over 20 kites on the water and was more like the M25 with everyone blasting along in the shallows but quite amusing threading your way through and everyone was cool. As for Friday's session, I was out from 11:00 till around 14:30, and it was foul most of the time. Maxed out on a 4.2 in eye stinging rain, eventually it did clear up and had a good hour, then with the wind progressively dropping had a wobble to sail off the wind back home, and then the wind picked up again making for a great run in on the waves. Those that waited till late afternoon had the best of the day, with cross shore DTL conditions.
March 21st Ventured (too late) over to West Wittering and was greeted with a major "chop fest", missing the half decent waves of earlier, then should have waited an hour or so and sailed from Bracks, least we got out!
March 20th Today did some "Urban" sailing, went over to Hove, not my favourite beach & location, especially in the rain as I'm paranoid about the state of the water there with the drains. But waves & wind were good, and tide hardly goes out. Rigged too big (5.2) and was stacked, should have been on a 4.2 as the wind filled in. My main problem was the cold, think made worse by having done a tough run earlier in the day. By the time I left about 10 -12 out having a good session.
March 12th Today was greedy again with two sessions. LA was so good in the morning that I went back there in the afternoon. maxed out 4.2 weather. The morning was superb, 3.5 again, cracking waves with some great DTL riding. As the tide came up launching for some was a wee bit precarious, me included as I end up getting pummelled into the beach, but all kit was ok. Afternoon saw more people (the Hove Posse who had come over) getting through the innocuous impact zone and making the most of the above average conditions. Worth noting that is was a memorable session(s) whilst back here you would probably not have bothered going out! Few pictures here.
March 11th Today turned out to be the second day in a row on a 3.5 in superb conditions. Started off on a 4.7, and changed progressively down via 4.2 to 3.5. Good turn out again from near and afar making the most of some very good waves, by South Coast standards.
March 10th Big Monday Two sessions on "Big Monday" and the first was very gusty, which made it even more challenging. When the wind did come through you were grossly over powered, and out the back waves were huge, I was taken out by one and was not a pleasant 20 seconds or so. Only about 4 or 5 of us, (pictures here) Steve W looping in the insane conditions. Eventually packed it in when I was mullered in the deceptively "small" :) shorebreak attempting to launch still some 90 mins off high tide. Second session and by the time I arrived (15:30) at the Cafe, tide was well down and waves had backed right off, however the wind was by much stronger and I, along with the "Hove Posse" were maxed out on 3.5's. Another challenging session, (more pictures here) think Tuesday might be more manageable!
The Great Timber Scandal of 2008 the latest news on the timber, they are now going to chip it and use it as fuel for power stations, what a farce! More detail here. Photos of the "slick" off the beach on that Saturday, along with photos after the timber had washed ashore, together with the latest BBC News & clips from two BBC South features (updated 21st Jan), click here.
March 8/9thWind came through from 14:00 onwards (Sunday), and we were well powered up in bright, but chilly sunny weather, only a couple of other "Poles" out and a handful of kites. Saturday was very busy along this stretch of the Coast with many kiters out from Goring and numerous windsurfers out from the Cafe and Goring Gap. Had a quick session, sailing up to the Cafe, was on the 4.7 but could have been 4.2 at times. None too inspiring made worse by a certain dismal rugby match!
Feb 5th Tuesday did deliver some cracking conditions, and up at the Cafe there were more people out that over the recent windy weekends. Was well over powered on the 4.7 and took the wife's Wave One Small out for a change. Though has to be said, waves are better down here in front of the Cam once it's dropped back off the stones at the Cafe, as the tide is still well up.
Feb 3rd Just a short session, lasted about an hour in the 3 degrees wind chill. Hands were actually not too bad as I "borrowed" Jai's Atan gloves. Wind had quite a few holes in it, but was fairly well powered up on a 4.2 & 77FSW. Quite a few out braving the cold, and also quite a few on the beach deciding that it was not such a good idea!
Jan 31st "Big Thursday", we waited for the wind to ease down (from 50mph), and just as we decided in the end to go out, it dropped like a stone. Still ventured out with the 4.7 & 77FSW and was well powered up (with the recent weight loss), sailed up to the Cafe and found the best wave riding to be out at sea, some very big faces made for some great rides. Very good session.
Jan 25thI went out for a late session (15:00) Friday, in what I thought was marginal conditions, and was well over powered on a 5.8 & 105FSW, could have been on a 4.7 & 77FSW.
Monday sailed at LA, this time getting the timing right for the tide, well powered on the usual 4.7 & 77FSW, coaxed a couple of others to come down as well. Steve S commented later that he was pulling off some the best bottom turns ever, which sort of confirms that a resonable session was had by all! But what was weird was that you sailed out in what was in effect a SW'ly, then you could cream upwind in what was more like a SSW'ly then come back in have great DTL in what was like a W'ly
Jan 20th A few people sailed from the Cafe and had no problems with the timber, though after being strongly advised by a Coastguard I sailed LA in the morning (4.7 & 77FSW). Waves were reasonable, though probably should have been out earlier, and saw no wood out at sea. There was very little on the beach in front of the Iron Cafe though further up there was more lying around but no where near the amounts up this way. And on speaking to Danny at Surfladdle, Shoreham beach is a no go as there is so much in the water down there.
Jan 19th Nice little session this morning, reasonable fun sized waves, maxed on a 4.7 & 77FSW, good riding to be had, thgough should have got out a wee bit earlier.
Jan 18th Yesterday launched from Lancing, 4.7 & 77FSW, wind was initially a bit up and down, though filled in just as I made it down to Shoreham. Waves were not that brilliant at either venue, but very mild.
Sunday Trip Report As many know the day started off with not too much wind. Mate and I had planned to sail to Pagham and back at 09:30, had all the logistics sorted, even another mate who could give us a lift back if needed......but we were missing a key ingredient the wind!
Still launched at 09:30 (4.7 & 77FSW) but not nearly enough, though I did get going. Stayed around up here, with Jes eventually changing up from 4.5 & 78 FSW to 5.0 & 105FSW. Wind filled in and we sailed off, deciding that Pagham was not too sensible as the tide was well on the way in, so we'd just do LA. So no real surprise when we then went past LA and carried on to Pagham! Did it in around 50 mins, and on telling that to one guy, he said "well done and that we were lucky to get in the car park", not realising we'd sailed up and not driven! Pagham was packed out with 50 -70 sails on the water. The sail back was really tough with the ever increasing wind and massive swell, in fact was too much for Je