Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Cat Expierence!


2300 (local time)

What an awesome day I had today. Every Friday at Club Vass and Wildwind (the sailing school) it is race day. Which means for Club Vass, it’s a bit of a laugh muck around session in light winds, which generally ends up with you bareing an ass to win. But over at Wildwind, its more of a serious affair.

Wildwind is almost exactly the same as Club Vass, but instead of windsurf kit, they have heaps of boats ranging from Hobie Tigers to Laser Radials, so they have a load of different boats.

Anyway, today I wanted to test my racing skills against all the guests and Wildwind guys, so me and one of the other flying fish guys called Tom, jumped into a Laser 4000, which is a skiff a bit like a 29er. So we both got into it and set off to the race in the morning, because we were the only boat out there, and we were racing against Hobie 16’s. Our aim was to beat them, so I got an awesome start with speed and clear air and boosted past all of them. The morning was light winds, so it wasn’t very exciting racing. But the afternoon was going to be interesting as it normally gets windy.

So we rocked up for the afternoon race, and my old crew was a now show, because he had an insect bite on his arm he wanted to get looked at. So I was crewless, so now my aim was to either find a crew for the Laser 4000 or find someone that needed a skipper for the Hobie 16.

Luckily I found someone that needed a skipper for a Hobie 16 so I was happy to sail it. Firstly I had to convince everyone that I had sailed a Hobie before… (which I haven’t) but I told everyone that I had. “No Worries” was the call of the day.

Anyway, the race started pretty slowly, with light winds, but it just steadily built throughout the day. By the 3 race, we were both out on trapieze and absolutely flying around the course, it was an awesome experience.

I was talking to my crew whilst boosting around no longer in the race, ‘I can so see us pitch polling this boat and ending up in the drink’ and as I pretty much said this, the leeward hull buried and sent him out on trap around the front, and I ended up sprawled, spread eagle on the sail.

I have never righted a Cat, but I remember that when I saw people do it they had ropes to hang on to whilst standing on the hulls. Once we righted it, it did a Russian roll and went over again, so the same process was done again. This time when we righted it, the boat was pointed dead down wind, I was hanging onto the front of the trap, whilst still underwater, getting dragged under the boat, I lost my grip, and then grabbed onto the back of the boat getting body dragged behind the boat. This was one of the funniest things ever, because I was trying to tell my crew to grab the tiller, but it had flipped behind the boat and was impossible to get. Anyway, I lost my grip and saw the boat just sail away, with both of us just in laughter.

Anyway, we got back to the beach absolutely exhausted, but still laughing.

At the presentation where the winners are announced, we came 3rd on handicap against the Tigers. Beating the 2 other Hobie 16’s, and this is including that I didn’t sail the first 3 race In the morning. So I think I sailed a good regatta.

I cant wait, till next Friday, where I can either jump into a Laser full rig, or a 49er or a Hobie Tiger, and show all the boys how its done.


Ps: Sorry about the lack of posts, I’ve been as sick as a dog, with a stomach bug and not wanting to do anything, all we need to do now is pray for some wind.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vassiliki Windsurf 23/5


1953 (local time)

Sailed from 1500 to 1815

Winds: 15-25 SUPER GUSTY!

Water: Fresh… bit cooler today. Really confused seas, different chop coming from different directions

Kit: Tabou Freestyle 100ltr (early) Tabou Freestyle 90ltr (rest of day) Tried the new modified chode fin today, it did ok, needs a bit more taken off it. Gastra Manic 4.7. Fantastic sail! Really light in your hands, handles gusts well.

The Day

Today started off terrible, wasn’t really in the zone to go windsurfing, but I am committed to nailing this Vulcan. My firsts attempts were on the Tabou 100ltr board, and weren’t very successful. After a bit of a break, I came in had a bit of a break, and changed board to a 90ltr. I was getting closer and closer every time. Today, I had the most successful attempts ever, I have realized that I need to really slingshot my way over and around the board by using my back hand, and keeping my back leg bent, and staying over the board.

So, after having a few good chats with the top guys like Oli, Colin and Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers, I did another session.

I was getting the all dialed in, I tried my second last one, I popped, really concentrated on releasing my back hand, the board spun and I was sliding backwards, I knew I had to get my hands organized for the rig flip. I had the rig, I was in an awkward position, but I had everything sorted, I sheeted on, but was too early, and I just got pulled in. I reckon I pretty much landed it! YOU BEAUTY!

Anyway, cant wait for tomorrow to get them properly nailed! Its only a matter of time.

Take care, brush your hair!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Vassiliki Windsurf 19/5


2139 (local time)

Sailed from 1530 to 1815

Winds: 14-19 early 17-21 later

Water: Fresh… bit cooler today. Nice chop!

Kit: Starboard F 98 liter early 88 late 5.7 Gaastra Manic early, 5.3 Ice

The Starboard planes early, does everything it needs to, but that’s it. It isn’t a lively board, but rides through chop comfortably. Not a board to rave home about, but gets the job done. I found the 88 liter board a lot more fun. Felt shorter, easier to pop and turn. Gybes nicely, but doesn’t like the rails being pushed hard. One of the things that really bothered me, was the foot strap position. They felt really far apart, and the front foot straps were in a awkward position to really lock the board down to get over chop.

Started off early with the 5.7 Manic! Really nice sail, not too powerful, when overpowered still handles quite well. Even though rigged poorly (not enough downhaul) still sails well, and twists off nicely. It got a bit too windy so I went down to a 5.3 North Ice. I wasn’t expecting this sail to blow me away, because they are all rigged on SDM’s and apparently they are meant to be rigged on RDM’s. The Ice is their down the line wave sail, and even though I was overpowered through the gusts, still felt fine, not really giving me a hard time. Felt very similar to the Neil Pryde Combats.

I’m still looking forward to using a 4.7 Manic on a RDM! This day will come.

Today the guys lent me a small, chunky and chode of a fin, to try some freestyle. When I first tried it, it was on the 88 F , when I jumped on it, it straight away felt as if I were going sideways, the smaller fins defiantly don’t track as well as the bigger fins. I did my first gybe and it held through it. When I came in to try some freestyle, that’s when you can really understand how helpful these fins really are. When you pop them, and make the board turn under your feet, the fin doesn’t catch, I think they are a bit more forgiving.

The Day

Again, today my main aim was to get some Vulcans happening, and today I was getting closer, I even started sliding backwards/sideways for a bit. It was an awesome feeling.

When I sailed over to the Roller Disco aka Shit Farm, Steve-o was getting some footage taken of him, so I though I would pop over to see what was going on. I tried a couple of Vulcans, where one of them was taken on video camera, so it will be interesting to see how they look.

I was told by Colin, that I need to behave like a spring. So when I come inboard to start the trick, I need to take a wide grip on the boom, and then sheet on and release my back hand as I pop the board, and my front hand should be pulling up.

I then saw Steve-o in the bar and asked him what I need to work on. He said that I wasn’t turning my board nearly far enough. And I was landing only going about 90 degrees into the turn. To fix this, I need to pop hard and spring up, and twist my body as hard as I can backward to get the board going the other way.

So that’s pretty much all I have to say for today. I can’t wait to get out tomorrow! I think I will have them soon enough!!! I’m not giving up until I have this trick sorted!

Until then!

Peace out! And pray for the wind gods!

Cheers Steve

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vassiliki Windsurf 18/5


1923 (local time)

Sailed from 1500 to 1840

Winds: 10-25knots. Very Gusty early, filled in the afternoon. Was cross-off most of the day.

Water: Fresh… but warm.

Kit: Tabou 90ltr Freestyle, 5.2 Remedy (early) 4.7 Poison (later)

Tabou 90ltr was a really nice board to ride, the raised rails/heels make it a super comfy board to sail and gybe. Popped really well. The board felt lively underfoot with nice heel pads and foot straps.

5.2 Remedy was rigged on an SDM, felt quite heavy to throw around, felt as if it was a freeride sail. Not the best sail for freestyle.

4.7 Poison was rigged on an RDM. This said feels quite similar to a Neil Pryde Alpha. Very, VERY powerful wave sail. A lot of pull… no, f*ck loads of pull from the back hand. My arm was getting ripped off in every gust. I pulled 1-2cm of outhaul on to flatten it off; it fixed the problem slightly, but was still very back handy.

The Day

Today was awesome, first time I have been planeing in 6.5 weeks. When I first went out, it was extremely gusty, with huge bullets coming through. I started off just trying to get my rhythm back as I was dropping nearly all of my gybes. I tried several duck gybes today, with a very poor success rate; I think time will fix this problem.
Our teacher today was Steve-o super cool dude. I set some goals for myself for the month.

My goals are:

• Get my forward loops sorted
• Popping comfortable
• Getting Vulcans & Spocks happening
• Pulling off a Flakka

So, when the wind built and started becoming consistent it was time to start my goals, so I started off with a Vulcan. I went for it, popped the board but held on to the back of the boom… Poor mistake, it was like going into an catapulted forward loop, I skimmed across the water 3 times until I was whiplashed into the water! Good fun!

The whole day, I was always trying to get the vulcans happening on port tack ( I wasn’t trying on starboard) And I was getting closer and closer until I ran out of petrol and my pops weren’t powerful enough.

The day finished, I was wrecked with no more petrol! It was an awesome day! I loved it!

The Dream Awaits!


1825 (local time)

Woo Hoo! I have finally made it too Vass!

Youngie and I left Bodrum on the 14th at 1000 in the morning to catch a ferry to Kos. We then had to wait until 2005 until a ferry left from Kos to head to Athens.

So we sussed out the local travel agent, we walked in and asked, was there a ferry going to Athens today. I already knew there was one, but just wasn’t sure what other islands it stopped at. Anyway, we found out that it stopped at 3-4 different stops before it got to Athens. So we made sure she wrote it all down, and said “oh, we will be back”.

So 200metres down the street, we found another Travel Agent, we walked in and said “We want a ferry ticket to Leros”, which was the first place the ferry stopped. The reason I am doing this, is that if you buy a ticket to the first island, they don’t check your ticket again, so you can ultimately get a free trip to any destination.

So Youngie and I bought 2 tickets going to Leros for 11euro each, and if I had bought it to go to Athens, it would have been 45.50euro… How dodgy!

So we both stacked up on food and got on the ferry at 2005.

Youngie was planning on getting off at Syros to head to Mykonos! Whilst I was heading straight through to Athens.

The ferry arrived at Athens at 600 in the morning, where I jumped off, had to catch a free transport bus to the front of the port, and then had to get on the metro, to take me to central Athens. When I arrived, the first thing I did, was walk back to my old hostel, to ditch my bags and get on the net to look up the bus timetable. Right, so the bus to Lefkada leaves at 1300, so I must make sure I’m at the bus station by at least 1200. Then I had to find out, where the bus station was… I then realized that it was 4.5km away… and lets be honest, carrying a bag through streets you don’t know for 4.5km wasn’t such a good idea. So Then… I had to find a way to get to the bus station, luckily there was a bus that took me all the way there for 1euro! Fantastic, so I got all my stuff together, walked to the bus station, and then caught the bus, that took me to the bus terminal!

I bought my ticket at the bus station, and 6 hours later I had arrived at Lefkada. I then realized that Lefkada was no where near Vassiliki. So I had to catch another bus, that took me to Lefkada, this bus was only for 1hour. Which wasn’t nearly as bad as the 6 hour bus I had to catch from Athens to Lefkada.

I don’t think the bus ticket man, liked me very much, because he put me in the back middle seat! So I was sitting next to a guy that stunk, and was sitting more on my seat than his, and on my right was a big unit that kept on falling asleep on my shoulder, so every time he did I’d give him a bit of a hip and shoulder to show him whose boss! Jess and Leanne this is what you have to look forward too!!! All I can say is… Book your ticket early!

But… I have now made it to Vass. Today I hung out with all the Club Vass boys who are super cool, and we were talking about windsurfing the whole time! It was awesome!

Not much wind at the moment, but its meant to pick up and build this week! Cant wait to get out and start busting some moves!

Pictures and more blogs coming soon!

Chat later!


PS: The moves to conquer are:

· Flat Water Forward

· Vulcan

· Spock

· Flakka