Quick WA update
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!
MB Fins - New fin sponsor!
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...
Fresh Design for my Website!
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.
Highs and lows
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.
Lancelin Ocean Classic!!!
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.
Up North for New Year
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.
Down South for Christmas
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!