Beno from Gunfire Images sent me a few shots he took on the Saturday of our last run up to Coro's. He takes his jetski for a spin and shoots. And gets really good shots. I love the colors and style of them. Thanks mate!
That Saturday was so much. As mentioned it in the last news, it was a bit of a freestyle heaven. The late session especially was really good. The wind had picked up, the ramps were steeper, and we sailed until dark, until too dark to spot the chop and ramps. The sky was on fire, reflecting on the sea, and everything went pink and all kind of colors. Amazing.
Since then we've been around Perth, enjoying home, freestyling at Woodie's and on the river, surfing a bit, and cruising around. There won't be much happening windsurfing-wise for another couple of days but there is a bit of surfing going on which is perfectly fine by me! We've just been out for a late paddle to cool off and the surf was actually good fun, unexpectedly.
Yep, there are worse ways of ending the day.
Nowhere I'd rather be.
That was a weekend filled with driving, good times camping with mates, and SICK freestyling - best I've had in a long time. Just not as much wave sailing as we were hoping for...
It's been windy lately. Pretty much every day. I have been freestyling a lot on the river here in Perth last week and the week before. Seabreeze, easterly, westerly, we've had all sorts of wind directions and conditions and it's been loads of fun.
Then the forecast for the weekend looked promising for up north. Everyone got super excited and we all drove up to Geraldton, expecting an epic weekend of wind and waves. Our excitement and expectations must have killed it though as it never really happened...
The good thing though when you wave sail AND freestyle, is that even if the wind and waves are dodgy you can always get the freestyle board out and find some fun. That's what we did. Dieter (Van Der Eyken) was up there too and we had a really sick freestyle day. Coro's is so good for freestyle, you get all kind of conditions in one spot: little steep ramps, bigger ramps, flat, choppy, it's all there. Dieter's on fire, going massive, and it's great to train with him, I learn a lot and go for all sorts of moves a lot more. I also get covered in bruises, but that's ok, pain is only temporary as they say...
There's a wicked bunch of people around at the moment. Hopefully we get more swell soon, but in the meantime I'm happy training freestyle. Day off today, no wind, then good again tomorrow.
We did the 1200km drive up again, and again we got spoilt. Some awesome days with good size sets rolling in to start with, and 2 days of fun freestyle on the way back down.
We were a good little crew up there. Traveling and windsurfing with these guys is all inspiration. They're pushing me and I always learn from them. Their riding is insane. Proper turns, smacks and airs. Heaps of fun.
I love that place, I love its people, and I love training there. So I always go back.
This time my brother came along which made it even better. We went on trips along the coast, saw amazing places, windsurfed heaps and hung out with some amazing people.
My brother caught some of the windsurfing action on camera and I just finished editing this little clip. Hope you like it. It didn't come out quite as it was supposed to, iMovie has given me headaches for the last few days with exportation bugs and I can't face any more hours in front of my screen trying to fix them.
So here it is. Enjoy.
Here's my amazing excuse for:
1. the lack of update recently and
2. the lack of action footage
I got back to Perth 3 weeks ago. It's just so good to be back and to know another amazing Australian summer's awaiting. We hit the road pretty much straight after I arrived and drove north. The forecast was promising with big swell, a bit of seabreeze and some good morning surf. And that's exactly what happened - we surfed and windsurfed all day, every day, in perfect conditions. So for the lack of footage: we just couldn't just sit and watch, too busy making the most out of it all. To be honest, we thought about it on the way up, planning to make a little video clip out of our road trip, but once there we completely forgot about it... And for the lack of update: well too busy again and no internet.
More good news is that I've got a new sponsor, ION!!! They will be supporting me with their awesome wetsuits, harnesses, clothes and all the other accessories that I'd possibly need. I just got a big box from them full of presents and went straight out for en early freestyle this morning to try my new Trinity overknee wetsuit and Relay harness. They're super comfy, warm and stretchy. Awesome.
Below is a nice article published 2 weeks ago in a Swiss newspaper, "Journal de Morges".
We've had a few sails around here too. Lano's been good a couple of times, had a bit of freestyle in Perth, been cruising around on my new sick skateboard and just enjoying life in WA.
Another season on the PWA Tour just ended. A great one that I will remember all my life. I enjoyed every moment of it, loved the new events and places we went to, I am stoked with my results, and gonna miss everyone.
I am PWA Freestyle Vice-World Champion 2011, and finished 6th in the waves. I'm really happy about how the freestyle events went - made it to every single final of all the eliminations this year. Hopefully one day I will win one too, that would be good... Sarah-Quita has been ripping like she always does though, she remains unbeaten for years now. She's such a big inspiration, just by being herself in general, and by pushing the women's freestyle level so high. I enjoyed sailing with her so much during this whole season, gonna train hard over the next few months to keep up!
I'm also super happy with my 5th place in Tenerife. I managed to do well there because the waves were good and riding was what was scoring most. Gotta go on a jumping mission this winter to do better in the other events like Pozo now.
I am now home for a few days, getting ready for heading back to Australia. There's always so much to do, I wish the year was longer so I could have a bit more time for everything! Still finding the time to see friends and family though. Precious and very much needed moments. Although it's October, it was still summer until yesterday, warm enough to go out on the lake with a bunch of mates and wakesurf until dark. Perfect.
Right, I'm off to pack my boardbags, will keep you posted from WA!
It's what that old Bedouin guy told me about that place... And I couldn't agree more.
The sea and the desert. The full moon freestyle sessions. Cruise along, look up and see shooting stars. Rays, turtles and dolphins joining in.
We've been very privileged to get these amazing days in a little lost corner of the world, and we'll definitely remember them for a very long time.
It wasn't easy to get back to "reality", but then Dahab isn't a bad place for that and the transition was smooth enough. We ended up the trip with some really good days on the water and quality time with good mates.
Miss you all already, thanks for such great moments!
Here a mix of pictures from that trip and from Dahab. Thanks little bro for all the photos!
Got the front cover of Windsurfer International Magazine!
Check out the latest issue, it's packed with stories and amazing photos: www.windsurfermag.com
And for those who feel like a bit of a holiday in a some paradise place, check out www.villasthalassa.com. There's 30% off on October's rentals. Amazing villas in an amazing place... Check out the website, you'll get the picture!
After a couple of days break, the wind is back and we've had some fun sessions out there.
Awesome to sail with everyone, training hard and learning new moves. Getting some good footage too, will put together a video clip once we're back and less busy windsurfing...
Thanks Jérôme for the pics!!!
Just got back from a little trip up the coast, far from everything. Although it's not such a secret spot anymore, it is still a very special place and I believe - hope would be a better word for it - that it will remain like this for the many years to come. Luckily it is pretty remote and going there is a mission, which is why I think it will stay unspoilt for a long time...
We slept under the stars, scored a perfect day of windsurfing, got looked after and fed amazing meals by the Bedouins.
Pics ©Jérôme Treboux.
Yep, in Dahab once again! It's just too good a place not to come back.
We've been here two days, sailed all day both days, and today looks like another good one. Perfect training.
Dahab is more than just great windsurfing though. The local people, so many good friends and the atmosphere here all make it a special place. It's going to be a great trip again that's for sure...
Waow, I just got back from 2 and a half weeks super busy but great weeks in Holland. Coaching in Amsterdam to start with, on Amstelmeer the following day, in Brouwersdam the following 2 weeks and finishing up with the Mission XL this last weekend... What a great time!
In the last post I was talking about how good the weekend in and around Amsterdam was, and how promising the forecast looked for Brouwersdam. Well it actually kept getting better and better, and we scored a whole week of wind, between 20 and 30 knots pretty much every day! I had a group of 11 super keen people to teach, on the water all day, and still managed to squeeze some free sailing in the evening, stacked on 4.2. I love that spot, there's good big chop outside, dead flat water inside the little lagoon, perfect.
The 2nd coaching event was the girls special. 10 girls joined in, again of all ages and levels, which always makes it fun and interesting. We weren't as lucky with the wind unfortunately, but still we spent a lot of time on the water every day, learning all kind of light wind freestyle moves, and we managed to go through a lot of other stuff with theory sessions, video analysis and so on. Everyone was really motivated the whole time, it was great to see.
A big thank you to Herman from www.boardguru.nl for all his help and support during the coaching events - with the organisation, the boards, sails, SUP's, ... And of course for organising the best windsurfing event of the year - the Mission XL!
There's something about this event that sets it apart from the others. It's all about fun. There's this massive race open to everyone with categories for the youngest ones out there to the masters and pros, and freestyle shows by the PWA pros. It's also lots of windsurfing brands putting their efforts together to promote windsurfing, showing their latest gear, giving it to people to test, and giving away so many great prices for the tombolas, from boards and sails to harnesses, wetsuits and so on. This year stand up paddling was also added to the windsurfing, with boards to test and fun races. And of course, it's the legendary Mission party on Saturday night...
It was a massive weekend and everyone loved it. I especially love to see all these kids out there who are into windsurfing. So good to see the new generation pushing!
I will post more pictures about the Mission XL very soon, as well as some videos... Make sure you come back and check it all out!
After a quick 3 day stay in Switzerland I was hitting the road again. This time I flew to Amsterdam, where I was running a coaching weekend with the Amsterdam Windsurf Club.
Saturday was light but we still managed to do quite a lot - light wind freestyle, theory sessions, etc. Sunday way epic - 4.2 outta control. We drove to Amstelmeer with the club's instructors. That spot is so much fun, big chop outside and a protected pool with the flattest water I have ever seen. Sick place. We had an awesome time, windsurfed all day and all of us slept well that night I think.
I had a great weekend in Amsterdam thanks to everyone there. Thanks to all for looking after me so well, showing me around and making sure I wouldn't get totally lost on my bike somewhere on the wrong side of the city! Awesome.
I am now in Brouwersdam for the next coaching events - a coaching week open to all and a girls camp. The first one just started. I have a super nice group of 11 people, from Holland, Norway, Switzerland and France, from 10 to 40 years old. The forecast for this week is really good too, looking forward to it. Then it'll be the Girls Camp, and then it's the Mission weekend again! This time in XL format... You really don't wanna miss out on that weekend, trust me, so make sure you sign up for it here and we see you there!
Surf Mag (Germany) chose a shot from the Fanatic / North 2012 photoshoot in Dahab for their August cover, pretty cool! The photo was taken by Tom Brendt.
I made it! I finished 2nd in Fuerte. Which means I am 2nd overall in Freestyle this year! So happy. And I won the super session yesterday!!!
This season went so well, I enjoyed every moment of it. We had new events -and more of them- in amazing places. I managed to put together some really good heats and sailed every single freestyle final of this season. And as usual it's been so much fun hanging around with all the guys and girls on tour! I'm pretty sad that this was the last freestyle event for us girls this year, really gonna miss everyone. Bring on 2012!
The event was really well organised. Lots of stuff happening on the beach, a good crowd watching the action, and enough wind to compete every day. We ran a single and double elimination which finished on Tuesday. I sailed against Sarah-Quita both times in the final. They weren't my best heats but she sailed amazing, landing some really sick moves. Big up to Sarah-Quita for her 4th world title and thanks for being such an inspiration and motivation! I will be working hard on new moves for next year, that's for sure.
With a whole day to go still, the PWA crew decided to run a super session on Wednesday. Quite a lot of riders signed up for it. The format was really good, perfect to entertain the crowd on the beach and to make it a fun afternoon on the water. We all had 3 gos per heat to show the best moves. A boat anchored outside was sending us in towards the beach one after the other and we had to go for a move in between 4 buoys, right there close to the beach. I think the public loved it as well as the riders. I landed a pretty fast one handed grubby cana brava and won the girls super session!!! So happy.
You can see lots of sick pictures and videos of everyone on www.pwaworldtour.com.
I have a lot of people to thank for their support. Thanks to all of them I just had my best season and best time on tour ever: my family, friends, sponsors... The list is long. Thanks to all of you for believing in me and supporting me like you do.
Someone who deserves a big mention for his great help is Dr Aly Sabri. We worked hard together during the months before the competition season. Thanks to him and his coaching I went into events as ready as I could be, both mentally and physically. I finally managed to sail heats like I wanted to and to my full potential. The training we did was so interesting and I learnt so much, much more than I thought I could in such a short time. And I can't wait to start training again! Check out his website to know more about him and his work: www.dr-sabri.de
I'm now back in Tenerife for a few days. Looks like we'll get some strong wind and waves this weekend, can't wait. The OTC crew is looking after us like kings as usual - legends.
Again thanks to everyone!
We've just had such a good event here in Tenerife! Sick waves, wind and awesome job by the organizers. We went through the whole single and double elimination in two and a half days. I love the conditions here, some of the sessions I had were so good I couldn't come in. At high tide especially, there's heaps of good waves to ride, the wind isn't too strong so they stay clean, it's just so much fun.
I went through a few heats, getting good riding scores, until I went against Karin Jaggi. She beat me, leaving me with a 5th place. I'm happy about my result, it feels good to be in the top 5. I need to learn some proper jumping now though to be able to go further. That will be my mission from now on! Karin ended up 4th, Nayra 3rd, Iballa 2nd and Daida 1st. In the guys, Kauli did 4th, Jaeger 3rd, Dany 2nd and Philip 1st. They all sailed so well, it was great to watch. Very inspiring. I'm especially happy for Jaeger - his riding is just insane and he finally could show what he can do on a wave, and for Dany - he's the local legend, sailing sick too of course, and he made this event happen, without him we wouldn't be here!
Next week I'm off to Fuerteventura for the next PWA event. It's the last freestyle competition for this season. Looking forward to it and ready to rock!
Pozo didn't go too well for me in the end. It started well, did a good first heat in "normal" wind conditions - 3.7 just fine. Then the rest of the week turned into proper Pozo style conditions - 3.0 out of control and no idea what's going on. I got through a couple of heats but finished with a 7th place... Oh well, to be honest, I'm a total chicken with the jumping in these conditions. I gotta take the positive out of it, it was a good experience to get out there and even just to sit and watch the amazing show. The jumping that was happening there was totally insane. Massive. It's worth checking the videos and photos on the pwa website just to get a little bit of an idea of what's going on in that place.
We are now in Tenerife for the next PWA wave event that will take place in El Cabezo, from the 14th to the 20th of July. I've been windsurfing around here a bit but never on that spot until 2 days ago. I just came in from a 3 hour session, enjoying it a lot there. 4.2, lots of fun waves around, some good turns, the kind of conditions I'm comfortable in. So I hope I can do better in this event! Let's see what happens, I'm just looking forward to getting out there and catching some good waves!
The event will be live, so make sure you watch all the action on www.pwaworldtour.com, it's proper inspiration!
Sorry for the lack of update since the Carribean events, I have been on the road a fair bit as well as enjoying some good windsurfing in the Canaries.
After some boardbags mission at the airport in Aruba the flight back was actually easy and this time my bags followed - lucky as I had 24 hours at home before taking off again for the next part of the summer: the Canary Islands. I flew to Tenerife to meet Simon. We stayed there for a week and got some fun waves. Really good to catch up with the guys there too. During that week we flew over to Gran Canaria for a day, for Nayra and John's wedding, which was awesome. Big congratulations to them both!!! They looked amazing and it was great to see everyone there. A couple of days later we went to Gran Canaria again, with the ferry this time. A nice wavey ride 35 knots winds...
So we're now in Pozo for the first PWA wave event of the season. The first day was pretty epic. The guys were trying to hold onto their 3.6's and I was on 3.0 overpowered. The waves were really good and the show was awesome. They ran the first 2 rounds of the guys single elimination and everyone was going massive. The following day was flat and a lot less windy. So I just went out to train a bit of freestyle. And yesterday was ok again for a little while, just enough to run the first round of the girls. I was against Sarah Bibby, an English girl who's here for her first event and sailing well. The wind wasn't too strong which I was happy about. I landed a couple of loops, got a few good rides and made it through to the next round.
We'll run the following rounds this afternoon I'm sure, the wind is pretty strong already, just waiting for the tide to be right so that the waves get better. I'm against Silvia next who sailing really well, let's see what happens, I'll just give it my best!
I'm running 2 windsurf coaching weeks in Brouwersdam, Holland, this summer, from the 8th to the 13th and the 14 to the 19th of August. The first week is open to everyone, guys and girls, and the second one is a girls special. There are a couple of spaces left in both weeks. Fancy stepping up your windsurfing with some intensive coaching and have a great time on and off the water for a week? Email me for more details or sign up directly onto www.boardguru.nl!
The freestyle PWA Aruba Grand Slam is over and I finish the 2nd girls freestyle event of this year with another 2nd place!
Both Bonaire and Aruba were such great events, it is awesome that the tour has new events like these on its calendar. A big thank you to the organizors and everyone who made them happen!
I'm flying back home tonight for a day then off to the Canary islands. We will be based in Tenerife and go to events from there. First Pozo and Tenerife for the PWA wave events, then Fuerteventura for another freestyle event. Busy summer ahead! Looking forward to it all and to going back to Tenerife!
The wind kicked in properly today and we managed to complete the first single elimination of the event here in Aruba. I started with a sick first heat, landing all the best moves I can do. I then sailed against Yoli and had an ok heat, landing a shove it spock, switch kono, and so on, and advanced into the final with Sarah-Quita again. That heat was hard work. We had so much wake coming from all direction from the boats that we had some runs where it was just impossible to throw a move. The wind had picked up loads by then too, I could have easily been on 4.2 instead of 4.7. Sarah landed a sweet kono and some other really good moves. I crashed loads, did a couple of good moves too, but not enough to beat her. So I ended up 2nd one more time!
I'd like to win an event one day of course - that's why we're all here right? - but I'm always happy if I'm in the final. And I came very close to winning a few times now... I'm improving and one day I'll get it! Big congrats to Sarah for her 1st place and her amazing sailing - you're such an inspiration! - Yoli for 3rd and Xenia for 4th, and also to Steven who finished 1st in the men's elimination, Gollito 2nd, Kiri 3rd and Tonky 4th. Let's see what tomorrow brings, it looks like we'll get some strong wind and a double elimination done.
All pics ©John Carter / PWA. Check www.pwaworldtour.com for more photos, videos and live action!
Check out the video of our final in Bonaire! It's from the live stream we had there, with Ben Proffitt, Bubble and Max commentating. Really cool to have the live stream at the events, a lot of people are watching it. I watched the whole of the Vietnam men's freestyle event when it was on last February, couldn't take my eyes off the computer! And I can't stop laughing with Ben Proffitt as a commentator. Perfect. Make sure you follow the events on www.pwaworldtour.com!
Here we are, in yet another amazing place on this planet, Aruba!
The next PWA Tour's freestyle event on the list has started. We sailed yesterday but unfortunately the wind wasn't good enough to start the competition. Today's not great so far either, but it can always improve during the afternoon so we're on stand by. The forecast looks better for the next few days and I'm sure we'll get some good action out there and run at least one elimination.
Pics ©John Carter / PWA
5 days of competing here in Bonaire, 2 single and 2 double eliminations, 4 finals with Sarah-Quita, and a 2nd place for the first event of this year's PWA tour!
I'm really happy about the way it all went. First of all this place is amazing. Perfect freestyle conditions, warm water and beautiful island. The event organization and the atmosphere on the beach were great too. And I finally managed to put together some really good heats and land the moves I can land when freesailing, instead of crashing the moves I do eyes closed when training because I can't focus and handle my nerves. So I am definitely very happy about that. It gives me a lot more confidence and fingers crossed I can keep on this track for the next events.
Yesterday was the last day of the event and we finished the second double elimination. The final with Sarah was amazing. We both had the best heats ever and landed sick moves. Shove it spocks, switch konos, 1h funnels... Sarah also did a double spock and a normal kono. We pushed ourselves as far as we could and everyone on the beach loved it. It was such a good feeling to sail a heat this good!!!
Sarah took 1st place, I'm 2nd and Yoli 3rd. All the other girls sailed really well too. There is a whole new crew of girls out there who are very young and keen to learn, it's great to see the new generation pushing!
We're all flying over to Aruba tonight for the next PWA freestyle stop which start on Sunday the 19th, until Thursday the 23rd. I have never been there and really look forward to finally seeing this famous place.
Despite an early start this morning we only managed to run another 2 heats of the second double elimination today. The wind then dropped off and took the day off.
A nice and relaxing day in Bonaire, ready now for more action tomorrow if the wind decides to kick in again.
Keep an eye on the pwa website to follow what's happening here in Bonaire! Live action, videos, photos, it's all there: www.pwaworldtour.com
Pics ©John Carter / PWA
John Carter has just uploaded his pictures on the pwa website. There are some really, really cool ones, you should definitely go and check them out on the pwa website. Action, lifestyle, it's all there and looking great.
Thought I'd post a couple of them here, as well as some by Jan Wachtemeester.
We've just finished the 3rd day and second single elimination of the PWA freestyle contest here in Bonaire and I'm still holding onto 2nd. I'm really happy with the way my heats went - sailed some awesome ones, today a couple of less awesome ones too, but still enough to make it all the way to the finals with Sarah-Quita. Sarah's sailing really well as usual and although it's been really close I didn't manage to beat her. It was so much fun sailing the finals with her, I couldn't stop smiling. We've been giving our best and put up a good fight out there.
Yoli is 3rd so far and Arianne 4th. Steven won the single elimination of today, followed by Kiri, Taty and Gollito. The guys are all doing such insane moves, it's awesome just to sit and watch them sail. Great inspiration and motivation.
The competition is not over though. Still 2 days to go and it looks like we'll get to finish at least the second elimination. If we're lucky we might even get a 3rd elimination in which would actually be cool as it would give us a discard. But who knows what's gonna happen, let's just wait and see!
I'll keep you posted.
Also wanted to say a big thanks to all of you out there who have been and are supporting me. Sponsors, family and friends. You make it all so much better and easier!
The PWA just updated their website with some photos of today. Make sure you check out www.pwaworldtour.com for all the footage, reports and of course the live action every day!
Pics @John Carter / PWA
Today's been a really good day here in Bonaire. The wind has been good all day and we started competing straight after the registration.
The action out there was insane, everyone ripping and throwing some unreal moves. One of my favourite amongst many was I think Kiri's flying grubby into ponch. On dead flat water. Incredible.
I'm very happy with the heats I sailed. I managed to put together some good ones all the way until the final against Sarah. Even that one was really close! I'm sitting on 2nd place now. That was just the first single elimination though. The wind looks like it's willing to stay for the whole time which means we will be able to run at least 2 or even 3 double elimination. So still a long way to go, but it definitely started well and I will do everything to keep it this way!
The opening ceremony was really cool. As you can see on the pictures lots of people joined in. People singing, playing music, dancing, there was also a big march down to the beach, even bikies on their Harley and all sorts of pimp bikes joined in. Even the usual opening ceremony speech was replaced by a guy rapping on stage - perfect. The atmosphere here is just great, everyone is so friendly and happy, I'm loving the island life!
There we are, enjoying some Caribbean island lifestyle in Bonaire... The wind hasn't been part of the trip yet and after 3 pretty stressful days not knowing where my boardbags had gone - they didn't follow me on the flights to here- I finally got them and started to really appreciate the place. We have been enjoying some very relaxing days - cruising around, swimming in the 30° water for hours, snorkeling and catching up with everyone. The island is beautiful and what striked me most is the kindness of the people here - everyone's happy, smiling and taking time for everything. Amazing.
The forecast is promising for the end of this week and next week, which means we should get some wind for the PWA event. The contest starts on Sunday the 12th until the 16th. I am really looking forward to competing here. This spot seems like so much fun and I'm sure we'll see some insane action happening out there. You will be able to see all the live action directly on the pwa website thanks to the live streaming, as well as photos, videos and daily reports.
I have been training hard for this season so let's see how it all goes, hopefully I can get some good results. I'm really excited about the new events we have this year on tour in both freestyle and waves, I'm sure it will be loads of fun.
Will keep you posted!
I have just spent a few amazing weeks in Dahab. After a bit of a slow start the wind kicked in properly and pretty much didn't stop until the end. We made the most out of it, heading out for early sessions every day and getting lots of quality and uncrowded time on the water. I trained hard, getting pushed by all the local rippers, and learnt a lot.
Beside all the great windsurfing, it was really good to spend time and share special moments with my friends there. The people there make what Dahab is to me, a special place where I always feel like at home and get looked after.
So much happen over those few weeks. A few of many highlights were for a start having my little brother and sister with me for a week; then the trip to a secret and very remote spot with some local friends - one of the most peaceful and amazing place I have seen (don't bother trying to find it, only Bedouin people can get there); all the early morning sessions with no one out beside a few of us and perfect windsurfing; all the amazing Egyptian and Bedouin meals, hiding behind the sail rack or sitting around the fire; the Dahab Festival was awesome too- the freestyle contest and tow in session were run really well and heaps of fun!; the North and Fanatic photo shoot, during which we got some awesome shots and definitely lots of laughs; and let's not forget the 958 cups of Egyptian tea with the crew at the Planet centre... A big thanks to everyone making all these moments happen.
It was hard to leave, but I will be back for more!
After a nice and busy month at home in Switzerland, I'm back into freestyle training mode.
As usual it's great to be back in Dahab and see everyone again.
Got straight back into it with 3 super windy days right at the start, followed by 3 days of nothing. Considering the level of soreness it isn't that bad actually! Using this quiet time to get my little sister back into windsurfing, go on snorkeling and camel expeditions, and do everything I haven't had time to do over the last weeks.
The wind is meant to pick up tomorrow again. I'm definitely ready to get out there again and work on some new moves! As usual when I come back out here all the guys have improved heaps. It's really good to be out there with them and learn from them.
Will keep you updated with photos and hopefully some video clips soon.
PS: for those who'd like to sign up for the coaching weeks in Holland this summer (see news below and flyer above for more details), be quick to do so as it's filling up really quickly!
Last year was such a success, we have to do it again in 2011!
Whether you are a windsurfer and you wish to improve your skills or you have never stepped on a board before and want to learn all about it, this is the opportunity for you to spend 5 days on the water worrying about nothing else than windsurf as much as you like, improve your skills and have a great time.
These Elevate Windsurf Camps will take place at the Zeil & Surfcentrum Brouwersdam at the Brouwersdam / Ouddorp (near Port Zelande), Holland, from the 08th to the 13th of August 2011 for the open week (mixed men / woman), and from the 14th to the 19th of August 2011 for the girls / ladies exclusive week. This means they're right before the MissionXL - we made sure you wouldn't miss out on anything!
You will get accommodation directly on the spot, with breakfast and dinner included, and everything you need to improve your windsurfing and have lots of fun on the water: 5 days of tuition, safety, and equipment for those who don't have their own (please bring your own if you do).
The courses are opened to all of you, there's no minimum level required.
The number of participants is limited to 12 persons per week so that everyone gets quality teaching every day, throughout the whole week, and has the chance to learn as much as they wish.
Using a comprehensive coaching method and thanks to many year of teaching experience, I will teach you how to windsurf using balance and technique instead of strength, and how to make it easy and fun out there. You will improve lots of aspects of your windsurfing by understanding key movements, sailing in an efficient stance, learning how to trim your equipment and lots more.
We'll never run out of things to learn, whatever your level or the wind conditions. Even light wind days are a very efficient in the learning process. So we'll be spending as much time on the water as we physically can, and when you can't hold onto your boom anymore, we'll do theory sessions and video analysis.
We'll be busy windsurfing, but it's your holiday so it's up to you how much teaching and windsurfing you can handle each day. These courses are there for you to enjoy windsurfing for what it really is: have a great time on the water and at the beach.
The weekend of the 20st and 21nd of August will be packed with action too with the MissionXL happening at the exact same place and being the best windsurf event of the summer!
So there you go, I think that's enough reasons for you to jump on your computer right now and send us an email via the contact form on www.boardguru.nl to subscribe to the 2011 Elevate Surf Camps in Holland!
For more information don't hesitate to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
The photos below were taken by Jasper van Overbeek on a sunny light wind freestyle day. Thanks a lot Jasper!
All pictures ©Jasper van Overbeek
This body drag shot was taken by Sébastien Staub in Kefalos last summer. It just got published by Windsport Magazine (US) as a double page spread.
Despite our bad luck with the conditions during our trip we managed to get some really cool shots. We worked mostly with water and under water, wide angle photos, which was heaps of fun. The water, the fish eye, the current, the gusty winds and all kind of elements make it a real challenge to get the right shot. But our efforts and Séb's suicidal tendencies to ask me to come closer every time - he loves hearing my fin whistle in his ear - definitely paid off.
Séb is a young and very talented photgrapher. I recommend you have a look at his work on his website, www.sebastienstaub.com
That place is just too good to resist to the temptation of another couple of days down there. And even more when there's not much happening on the rest of the coast.
Last week was fairly quiet - no big trip up or down the coast. It was windy in Perth, we had a couple of days with strong seabreeze and I was training freestyle on the river.
On Saturday morning I went down there early to make the most out of the strong south easterly that was blowing. E-SE winds usually die pretty quickly here but that day it lasted for a few hours. I was pretty stacked on 4.2, no crowd on the water and had a really good time.
When I got out of the water I had 3 missed calls from Si. I called back to see what was going on and was told about the new last minute plan: drive down to Esperance and catch the swell / wind which were about to hit the south coast. I de-rigged in about 32 seconds, jumped in the car and rushed back home, transferred my gear from car to van, threw a wettie in there and off we went. It's a bit of a drive but when you know what's waiting at the end of it you don't think too much. Looking at the forecast I was actually thinking it'd be too big for me to go out. The wave has some proper power to it down there and it doesn't need much swell to start throwing fat lips... Thinking about it at over mast high kind of made me anxious. But I love it so much down there I couldn't not go, I had to go and at least check it out.
It ended up being a lot smaller than expected with waves around logo high in the sets - which is easy plenty for me, especially down there. We sailed Observatory all day. Clean, offshore, sick. The next day the waves had dropped to about head high but there were still heaps of them. Observatory was really good in the morning, head high and clean. Then we moved to Fourth in the afternoon. The wind picked up like crazy - I could hardly hold onto my 3.7 - some good sets were rolling in and once again it was awesome fun.
I'm back in Perth now, had a really good freestyle again yesterday, and it looks like it's on later today too. And tomorrow... who knows!? There's always somewhere on this coast where it's going off, a place that's calling... It's just too hard to turn it down.
We made the trip up the coast again, and again it was worth it. Good waves on the first day, pretty flat the next couple of days. But it's cool because if the swell isn't big enough for some wave action Coro's will always be sick for freestyle.
As usual we windsurfed ourselves out. And my body's pretty much one big bruise. But I WILL GET BETTER! Everyone's been landing some big stuff - Simon's going higher everyday, Barnaby landed his first double attempt. It's just so good to sail with everyone, pushing each other, showing off and crashing hard.
We're in Perth now, it's been boiling hot the last couple of days with no wind. Tropical Cyclone Bianca is on its way down here, looks like it'll hit tomorrow. It'll lose a lot of its strength by the time it hits us but fingers crossed it should bring some strong winds, big swell and a good Sunday on the water.
Big thanks to Emily and Ben for the pics!
2011 has started off really well in many aspects. One of them was definitely MB Fins signing me in their team!
I'm really stoked and proud to be riding with such sick fins and be part of the MB Fins family. These guys know what they're talking about, love what they do and are constantly innovating, creating and coming up with new concepts. Anyone who knows them and/or have tried their fins would agree.
MB Fins has a complete range of fins, whether into formula, slalom, freeride, wave or freestyle, anything you need they'll have it. Just go and check out their website for an overview of their products, their team and all the info you'll need.
At the moment I've got the F-style 16cm in my Skate 90 and a set of Twinzer 15cm in my Twin 72. They're fast, have grip when I want them to, and release and slide when I decide for them to do so.
But better than words, if you haven't tried them yet, just go and get yourself one! You'll see what I mean...
Big thanks to Séb from ZenCocoon for being such a star with creating, building, designing and constantly improving my website!
Séb is a master of web and multimedia creations. Thanks to him and his professionalism my website is always running smoothly. Updating it with text, photos and videos is the easiest thing and takes just about a couple of minutes.
Go and check his website for an overview of his services or to contact him.
Luckily there's been more of the highs than lows.
2 weeks ago I was heading up to Lancelin for my favourite event: the Lancelin Ocean Classic. It's the weekend I wouldn't miss for anything. The windsurfing, the people, the atmosphere and of course the legendary party, it's all epic.
The wave contest is held at South Passage, one of my favourite break. It's such a good wave. We go and sail there a lot and when the swell is right you can get heaps of turns on one wave.
Thursday was flat and windless. On Friday a good swell hit the coast. Mast high walls were rolling in and sometimes closing out between South Passage and the next break down. It doesn't really handle such big swell very well there so the waves weren't lining up as good as they can, but it was so good to get this swell just in time for the comp!
Big thanks to James for the pics below. Well done for the 2nd place mate!
I was nervous, like I always am during contests. But I was also ready to give it my best and score some good waves. Karin Jaggi entered the wave event too so I knew it'd be a hard one but awesome to have her out there, try and learn from it and push the level.
Juniors and women were first. The wind was super light and onshore, the tide super high and the current ridiculous, making it very difficult to catch waves. I caught a couple of good ones before the heat started though, making me feeling good about it all. I like light winds and feel really comfortable when the conditions are like that, wobbling out and riding in.
When the heat started the wind dropped another couple of knots and I wasn't going anywhere on my 72 and 4.7, i needed way bigger. But more than anything else, when the green flag goes up in a comp Laure's focus goes down, her mind get lost somewhere in the ocean I reckon. Here I was, unable to place myself in the right spot and not taking my time to go all the way upwind and catch the right waves. I didn't ride one single good wave in the whole heat. Although just before the heat started I got 2 good ones in 5 minutes. Useless.
Karin got some good ones, I saw her getting good turns on a couple of bombs. She finished on a well deserved 1st place. Kirra did a really good job too and finished 2nd. And Laure... well she was 3rd.
I don't mind the actual result but I felt so massively disappointed about my performance out there and I think the reason it affected me this is the fact that I love this place and this event so much but couldn't show what I can do. It was an experience though and I guess it's all part of the learning process.
On Saturday the swell dropped a little bit, just enough to get a perfect South Passage. The seabreeze kicked in so they ran the Marathon first, which meant there was almost no one out in the waves and we had it all for ourselves. Once the Marathon was done they ran the Elite wave fleet. I went out to judge their heats on the platform out on the reef - yep that's where you wanna be when these guy are out: front row seat! We saw heaps of sick stuff out there. Proper turns, wave 3's, massive jumps, they were all doing all kind of sick stuff. Jaegger won, Luke was 2nd, Ben 3rd and Si 4th. Really happy for all of them!
Photos below ©John Carter
The rest of the weekend was really good, hanging out with everyone, the party at the Tavern and getting more waves on Sunday. Looking forward to next year already!
A big thanks to Rob and all the other people involved in the organisation of the Lancelin Classic, you guys are doing such an awesome job.
So after the emotions of the weekend I took a couple of days to put my thoughts back together and sort myself out. Mid-week it looked like Geraldton was the place to be to get some water time. Van loaded up with gear we hit the road and did 3 days of intensive windsurfing at Coro's. It's the same everytime there, we stay for a few days and windsurf till our arms drop. Once we have totally windsurfed ourselves out and we can't move anymore we drive back down.
I did a fair bit of freestyle training as the waves weren't too good and also because I had Sergeant Barnaby as a freestyle training partner - so much more fun than by myself. It was awesome, just like freestyle should be all the time! Heading out full speed and hitting these little ramps throwing switch konos and all sorts of moves. You get so much height there it's awesome. Simon did a bit of filming which helped me loads to understand what to change and improve.
Wave sailing was fun too despite the small waves. A massive thanks to Si and Ben for their coaching. It's so good to sail with them, they're pushing me loads all the time and are such good inspiration. And thanks to them I landed my first backie the other day! I had started trying them a couple of weeks ago - it's about time I know - and after listening to these guys' wise tips and processing them the best I could in my little head, I went out and landed one on my first run! Off a descent ramp too, smooth and clean. So happy! Backies are such an awesome feeling. No effort, just flying.
So yeah, life is good.
Thanks a lot to Ben Pallant from Gunfire Images for the photos below! Beno is the man if you ever need good water shots.
Off to Lancelin today for the Lancelin Ocean Classic. Can't wait!
It looks like there's a little swell arriving later today so we'll get some action for the wave comp. And Saturday looks windy for the Ledge to Lancelin famous downwind race. I'm sure it'll be an awesome event again, like always! Check out the event website for more details.
Right, gotta go and load the car up, I'll keep you posted.
First of all I wish everyone a very happy New Year and hope you all had a great Christmas!
We were still in Esperance when it started to look pretty promising for up north. We made the most of our last day in Esperance with a fun surf in the morning followed by a bit of windsurfing - just playing around in light winds and small waves. We decided to hit the road that evening so that we would make it to Geraldton in time. There's over 1100km between them, so after a short stopover in Perth we drove straight up north, stopped for a sail in Green Head on the way, and ended up in Geraldton in the evening.
We sailed heaps again, in Coro's mostly, which is always awesome fun when there's a bit of swell around. I was on 4.2 and 3.7 every day all day long.
As a welcome into the new year the swell picked up and we woke up on the first of January hearing the sets breaking at Sunset. With Sunset only working with a big swell we knew it was on!
I surfed for hours that morning, so happy. The sea breeze kicked in late morning. I rigged up my 4.2 and used all I had left in me to catch as many more waves as possible. Some of the sets were lining up really well.
I was having so much fun I just couldn't come in. But when tacking is turning into a difficult move I know I'm close to exhaustion... I was on a pretty big one when I flamed a top turn. I thought I'd saved it but no, I got smashed by the lip which threw me right on top of my gear. Pretty painful. So I decided it had to be my last wave that day before I'd hurt myself more.
By then we had windsurfed and surfed for hours and hours every day for 2 weeks straight, making the most out of each day. It's just the best feeling.
The drive back was pretty quiet. Sitting in the van, smiling and processing a pile of amazing times. Stoked.
Although you'll hear quite a few people complain about the lack of conditions in Western Australia this summer, I'm just loving it big time and getting plenty of time on the water.
We've had so many good days up and down the coast. Lancelin - head high to logo high and cross off at South Passage. Geraldton - epic few days about a month ago at Coro's. Margaret River - light wind and really good fun riding. Sick freestyle on the river in Perth. Surfing in Wedge, perfect wakeboarding in Augusta. Yeah we do drive our fair share of km's, but who cares when you keep scoring good days...
Just before Christmas a big cyclone hit the north, bringing a ridiculous amount of rain to the north west coast and flooding Carnarvon. The town got submerged by the biggest flood in 50 years. The river level reached 8 meters and very sadly local people lost pretty much everything. With the roads up there being obviously shut so driving north for Christmas wasn't gonna happen.
Then the south started to look good for a few days. We got to Esperance on Christmas Eve. The whole area is just amazing - unreal colors, sick surfing and windsurfing. We only just got there and were driving along the beaches looking for a wave when I spotted the biggest group of dolphins I ever saw. There was at least 50-60 of them, playing and surfing waves just down the cliffs. A good start of the day...We checked a couple of spots and ended up going for a surf at 4th beach. It didn't look that good to start with but as soon as we paddled out clean sets started coming in. We had an amazing surf . We went out again for the late session, the wind had turned a little onshore and the surf wasn't quite as clean, but hey, we were pretty much on our own out there, paddling in crystal clear water and catching loads of waves. Couldn't ask for more!
The following days the seabreeze kicked in. Quite a few of the other guys drove down and everyone was having a great time. We windsurfed 4th beach and 9 mile. Had another great surf. Had this amazing dinner and Pricey's - his whole family plus 15 of us all sitting at this big table inside a warm house and eating awesome food, which actually felt like a proper Chirstmas dinner.
I just love these trips with a bunch of good mates, camping, windsurfing, surfing, loving life.
Big thanks to Emily for the windsurfing action pics below! Wishing you a quick recovery, wanna see you out there soon!