Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Windsurfing, blah, blah!

After my only previous daliances with surfing/windsurfing being officially "mucking about" when I was a kid, growing up near Stokes Bay, I thought it was high time that learnt to do it properly.

As of yesterday, I am now a fully "qualified" RYA Level One Windsurfer. Part one on Saturday morning was awesome, absolutely loved it immediately. Took the course at Westhampnett Lake in Chi, with a suitably cute, surfy dude, Dan as my instructor; who, appropriately, had a pair of Oakley's permanently attached to his head.

The other two people who had booked for the same day pulled out so I was left with the lake and instructor all to myself for over 3 hours - perfect conditions and one-to-one tuition for a first lesson. Whoo hoo!

The lake was pretty still, barely a breeze anywhere, but it gave me a good opportunity to practice balancing - as there wasn't much else I could do :o) However, what a thrill the odd time a breeze did pass across and you started "motoring" along, with a slight wake lapping over the front of the board. Amazing to think that you were controlling this thing! At this point, I must confess to going misty-eyed ... and my friends start to roll their eyes!

After the session I was on a absolute high; couldn't wait to share the experience with friends/family/strangers, basically anyone who's attention I could grab for a couple of seconds.

The second part was on Monday, unfortunately I had to share "my" lake with 4 others rookies. Oh well, a chance to show off my new skills, that Dan had been so proudly 'bigging up' on my behalf. The breeze across the lake was much better this time compared to Saturday; again that familiar rush of zipping across the lake and feeling the power in the sail. Breathtaking ...

Stayed dry for the first couple hours - smug grin in the direction of the rookies on hearing yet another splash ;o) - then Dan decided it was time I got a dunking. The only way to guarantee this, is getting Debbie doing some flashy, fast turns aka tacking and gybing.

Tacking, not a problem - feels a little more natural in the turn and not too flashy. Then came the gybe ... turned the sail across the front of the board, yep all good, shuffled feet right to the back of the board, yep, all good - now the flash bit; spun the sail around, so now holding the opposite side of the boom to when you started (and the board has turned, obviously!). Didn't quite get feet back into good sailing position quick enough (too busy grinning like a Cheshire cat!) before a breeze caught the sail at the wrong angle and splash!

Yep, you guessed it, another windsurfing baptism :o) On the upside, the water is very refreshing and it gives you a chance to stretch out your arms and legs ... ahem!

After a few more practices and performing an emergency self-rescue from the trees on the far side of the lake, the session was eventually over. Will definitely be going again, have already been offered a secondhand board and rig so well on the way to being a fully-fledged, and paid up, windsurfing bore ...

Some extra info:

No comments: