Saturday, March 27, 2010

Planning for a Maui Summer 2010

The good thing about our current jobs is that we get plenty of time off in the summer. I do wish that we had more time off during the year and miss the times in Wales when I had more regular breaks but we have two months this summer to get back to Maui. It is now that time when we need to start planning, moving two people, all our stuff 11,000 miles and back for two months can be a little tricky, especially when you have to negotiate a BA connection and their baggage rules (or should I call them jokes?)!

22,000 miles, 6 different airports and plenty of excess baggage charges!

To me Maui in the summer is very chilled, there are no real waves to speak of but its generally windy so I do get out on the water a fair bit and if you look hard enough and are lucky you can find the odd wave. I do miss the winter surf terribly and it is hard to leave at the end of August when the summer no wave blues turn into fresh optimism about the upcoming Autumn swells.

Relaxing South Side - Summer 2009

The last couple of summers we have both trained hard in the gym and on the road; this year will be no different, I do want to sail rather more than last year and I do want to surf more too. Some of the best days of Summer 09 were spent on the West Side with Anne and Tom, a cooler full of food with a bunch of surfboards and SUPs and I am looking forward to surfing with Tom some more. What made a huge difference last year was buying an 8'0" Mal (thanks Dave for the good price) which made picking up waves rather easier than my 6'2"! I actually have another new surfboard for the summer a Kazuma 7'6" Mal which should be good for Dumps (again thanks to Dave).

Dave riding the Kazuma on a Winter wave.

Tom introduced me to GPS speed last year and I am looking forward to seeing how fast I can go this year. One thing that I missed out on last year was the Maui Race Series and I may even give that a go! What I have learnt about the summer is that you can take one of two paths, you can either moan that there are no waves and talk about the Spring, Winter or Autumn or you can be proactive and get in and one the water daily and enjoy what there is to offer, I prefer the latter. Fingers are also crossed for another Molikai Speed Trip with Tom although this time I will not try to drink a beer on the way back - it was rather rough and I would have preferred sailing, they may do the crossing this year and that could be another challenge.

Tom somewhere near Molokai Summer 2009

So lots of action around the corner. Looks like we have our Sprecks house back for the Summer so all mapping out good. What really makes it for me is being able to spend so much time with Liz in and out of the water without the stress of work.

More to follow...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two days missed

It has been unusaully windy the last few days but missed the last two days because I couldn't get back from work in time. Fingers crossed tomorrow will deliver.

More to follow...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A good day

Feels great to get 3 sessions in today, fun to hook up with a couple of friends too and help them with their sailing.

I had more fun blasting about than I have had in a while, I was thinking Maui Race Series so really tried to work on speeding up my turns (even though I haven't got my slalom board yet) and going fast.

The wind was more consistent today that normal and more is on the way for this week.

This is the slalom area

Looks like more wind for Sunday.

More to follow...

Friday, March 19, 2010

AMWAJ Speed - I told you it was flat!

Work up at 6:30 and it was windy so threw my stuff in the back of the car and made my way to the beach, I grabbed the camera so that I could show Andy and Tom just how flat the speed course is.

It is 15knots in these photos, this is taken from the wall looking down the course. When it gets windy there is no change, it is totally flat no matter how windy it gets.

My not so speedy gear! You can sit on the wall and wait for the gusts. Just watch out for the sharp rocks.

I am actually going the wrong way up the course here to get a decent shot

I told you it was flat... bring it on! 

More to follow....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What to do on a windless weekend?

With the forecast being only 11 or 12 knots all weekend, with my lightwind gear still fragmented around in the world and my kiting buddy Carl being in South Africa for a couple of days I wonder what I should do this weekend?


Monday, March 15, 2010

Will this win the lightwind challenge?

Thanks to Andy I have lightwind machine...

Will be powered by one of these...

A winning combination....

Picking board and a sail up in a couple of weeks, game on!

More to follow...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Light wind speed challenge

Tom (my brother in law and HSM sail designer) has just challenged Andy (my brother) and myself to a light wind speed contest (Tom currently is the fastest out the of the three, by some distance.

"I challenge the Freemans to a lightwind speed challenge!

  • Board 100 liters or bigger
  • Sail 8.0 meters or bigger (wait a minute I gave away my 8.0 only have 8.8!)
  • Best 10 second speed (doppler)


I like this, I have tons of protected flat water! Just need to get my gear sorted.
This is Tom with his light wind set up, I remember that he did 29.95 knots that day, so I expect we'll have to be reaching 30+ to be challenging.
More to follow...

Spotted at Camber!

My brother sent me this link from the UK which is from Google Street View which captures photos of the roads and streets around the UK.

Camber Sands (UK) on Google Street View

He tells me that it was a good thing that they didn't pass a few seconds later! Doesn't look very windy to me.

More to follow

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The next challenge

I am looking for some triathlon events in the region, I am keen to try out the longer Olympic distance or similar e.g. a MTB one might be interesting.

This link is great,, I think that it would be great to do one in the Autumn but maybe that is too far away?

Seems like there are plenty of options!

More to follow...

Friday, March 5, 2010


Thoughts on race day

The weather was in fact terrible, windy and dusty with visibility at a few hundred meters. Two weeks ago I was thinking that it was about getting through but as I got into my training it became more and more about times. The weather changed the focus back, the swim was fine as it was sheltered inside the Logoon but the  bike would be horrid and then the run the same. I did not take a watch on the rationale that I needed to work at 90% for the entire time and was confident that I could manage my pace which would need to be asjusted on different parts of the course to counter the wind.

Carl (left), Chris (right)

The wait!

On to the race

I got down early to the site and it all seemed far too real, there were a number of good athletes there including 2 Bahraini Olympians. I had organised a large group of people from work so I set about submitting their registration forms and dealing with paperwork, we managed to get a whole bike rack so the team atmosphere started to grow and I knew that was important. An hour or so before the race I handed over the organisation to a work colleague so that I could concentrate on getting myself ready.

Finally we are swimming

As the start time approached we all headed to the (cold) water, as we waited in the water it became clear that something was up, they had not held a briefing and the organisers called us all out of the water and made us walk back to the changeover area at which time I concentrated on getting warm. Once we were back in the water it all went very quickly, Carl and I decided before the race to keep to the side and out of traffic and this worked well. It was great to be finally racing after two weeks of prep (and one false start). I knew that I would have to push it on the swim, I am slow and I needed to keep as close as I could so that I had less to do on the bike. It was a great feeling to get yanked out of the water by one of the organisers and I made up several places by sprinting to the changeover area (it was about 200 meters) down the side of the Lagoon. As I reached my gear Liz shouted out 18:30 which was well ahead of schedule so I was pleased.

Back to the changeover area in 18:30, much quiker than expected but over 4 minutes behind Carl

My changeover did not go great, I was organised I had everything I needed. I think I rushed a little and with wet hands and body I could not get my shirt on, on a normal sunny day I would have gone without but I stuffed it in the back of my shorts and hopped on my bike, it took me a little way to get it on which cost me a few seconds I am sure. Next time an all in one suit will be much better.

Enough time for a smile, it was great to see Liz at the changeover

It was great to be on the bike, I knew once the leg was over I'd almost be home. Being on home turf really did help on the day, we were biking all around the area I usually ride so I knew where the gusts would be (to some extent) I decided that I would need to attack if I was to make up lost time, the first lap was quite slow, I was still unsure how hard the wind would make it so I took it slightly easier than planned. Once the 2nd lap got under way I tried to push as hard as possible, I wanted to catch Carl on the bike am I had seen him at parts of the course but as I came towards the changeover he was already out and running, I am not sure how far I was behind but I had a few minutes to make up on the run which I knew was possible.

A much quiker changeover

The start of the run was hard, my legs did not want to move, it took 2-3 km before they started to loosen and I knew that I had to make a move, I could see Carl ahead and was making steady progress. With 1km to go I tried to push the pace a little more as the gap was now small. As we entered back into the Lagoon with a couple of hundred meters to go I realised that I could not bridge the gap and this one would go to Carl (congrats mate, this has been great fun - let's do another one together), I had left my challenge a bit too late, as I finished I felt strong, I think that I could have run faster, I should have picked up the pace with 1.5km to go.

The last few hundred meters, I was a little sad at this point because I knew that it would be over soon

The result

Carl: 1 hour 31 minutes and 20 seconds
Me: 1 hour 31 minutes and 37 seconds

I was a little sad to run under the Red Bull finish banner as I knew that it was over.

"How was it?"

To sum up

I great event, a great challenge, easier than I had thought. I look forward to doing it again and wonder if with a bit of training I could go for a full triathlon (1.5km, 40km & 10km)?

More to follow

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Race Day - is HERE!

Well 2 weeks of prep are up.

Here is the course;




The only way I describe the weather is HORID so that might influence times but trying for 1 hour 35 min. Update and photos later...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rest day

With race day fast approaching and feeling a slight twinge in my leg I decided to rest today, thats if you call leaving for work at 6:20 and getting back at 5pm before working for 3 hours straight at home a rest! Nice to catch up on some admin though too. I will probably do a light session tomorrow but that will be it until Friday. I am really looking forward to the race now, I just need to make sure I am rested and ready mentally to push myself as close to the limit as possible for as long as possible.

More to follow...

Monday, March 1, 2010

4 days to go!

I have not updated in a few days, not becuase I haven't been training, just busy I guess. I have been working to improve the bike further with new thinner road tires and new click peddles, these additons have made a great difference and my bike times have come down.

In the water I am feeling much better, I still need to work on this and really need to be able to swim freestyle the whole way but I don't think it will happen this time (yes there is a hint there that I am pretty sure this will not be the last time and I am interested in the full triathlon of 1.5, 40k and 10k).

Carl and I raced the swim and the bike yesterday, he is very fast on the swim and had a 10 minutes headstart which left me pushing it on the bike the whole way, I caught him with 10 metres of the 20k to go after a total of 1 hour 11min. We did not have perfect change overs which cost us a couple of minutes, so I expect to be starting the run after about 1hr 5 min which makes 1 hour 30 minutes possible and thats what I am working towards.

I had a good run tonight after a long day at work and completed the 5k in 22:52, while I will not do that on race day I am aiming for somewhere around or just under 25 min on race day.

I am not sure what training I should now do over the next few days, I am keen to swim tomorrow to work on technique and then an easy bike on Wednesday but I may rest instead. I am looking forward to the race now and I am really pleased with how things have gone during the training and it has been a great boost to my fitness levels.

More to follow...