Sunday, February 20, 2011

Comp Time 2011: Bring It On!

Well it has been a difficult week here in Bahrain, I am sure that many of you have seen the pictures and video on TV. Just for the record we have been able to keep well away from any troubles and have been able to enjoy lovely sunny weather and even some wind on our island. Hopefully all is resolved soon; it is such a shame to see this tiny nation in such turmoil and my heart goes out to those injured and killed during this past week of upset.
Amwaj GoPro freestyle (one form of competition I will stay well away from!)

I thought that this little break from work would be a perfect time to have a look at my competition calendar for 2011. We will be here until the 15th July before moving to the US so my time is rather limited but it looks like I will be able to fit in a few events (more will follow in 2012) to get me back into the routine.

The first couple of events on my calendar are actually a non-windsurf event but one that will test me to the max for sure and the training is great for windsurf prep. Later in the year I will catch the tail end of the Maui Race Series, I had hoped to compete in more events but I will only be able to be at the last two (in fact the one on the 16th is unlikely because we will not be in Hawaii until late on the 15th after a 36 hour journey so not sure that is possible but I will try). Once these are completed it will be time to get back up to speed for the Maui VMax series while the wind blows in August and then time to switch codes and get ready for some jump and wave action on the American Windsurf Tour stops in Hatteras and Maui. There is also the possibility of a trip to the UK for the British Wavesailing Association’s Tiree event but lets see how the funds go but not been there before so could be fun and a good opportunity to hook up with my brother!

2011 Calendar of Events
  • 1st April 2011: Amwaj Triathlon, Anwaj Islands, Bahrain
  • 29th April 2011: BRR Duathlon, Al Jazir Beach, Bahrain
  • 16th July 2011: Maui Race Series, Kanaha, Maui
  • 30th July 2011: Maui Race Series, Kanaha, Maui
  • August 2011: Maui VMax Speed Series, Maui (Dates TBC)
  • 14th – 17th September 2011: AWT Hatteras Wave Jam, Cape Hatteras, NC
  • 8th – 14th October 2011: BWA Tiree, UK (Dates TBC)
  • 27th – 29th October 2011: AWT Maui Makani Classic, Ho'okipa Maui 

The next stage I guess is to work on some logistics and get training. I must admit that I turned my back on competition in my early 20s as I never really enjoyed it as much as being at Ho’okipa, this I admit was probably (almost certainly) a mistake that I don’t mind admitting. A decade or more has passed I do feel ready to throw my hat into the ring again and get out there for some serious competitive action, this might have something to do with the better locations that now seem to be on offer. One thing that the 2010 Maui Race Series taught me was just how tough it was going to be to get back into a competitive position at this later stage in my life, I will be 34 this year but there is plenty left in this ship yet it is just going to be very tough to keep up but I am ready for a challenge.

More to follow…

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I had a fun light wind freestyle session this morning, I wanted to test out my GoPro as I hadn't used in Bahrain yet and was interested to see how it hanlded the colder water. No fogging!

With the wind rather on the light side for my 5.6m the session was short but the sun was shining so it was great to be on the water. It looks better for tomorrow so you can be sure I will be on it early. Would have been great for slalom training today. I was testintg the Black Project FreeSTYLE 19cm Proto today and I was very impressed, enough grip to get upwind in the dodgy conditions but with plenty of speed and slide on tap.

Old Skool Freestyle

Amwaj Isalnds in the GoPro lens...

More to follow...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sun, Wind, FreeSTYLE & GPS

It looks to be shaping up for a good fun weekend here in Bahrain with sun and wind. The weather has been a little odd recently with more rain than normal and rather cold (down to 14C over night and 18 in the days) but it looks like we'll be back to cruising in boardies soon enough.

Last weekend was fun with some good bump n jump, freestyle and a fun few speed runs at the wall. Unfortunately I only have my freestyle gear here at the moment so my 26 knots was rather below the potential. The tide was down a little too which meant that the flattest water is in a wind shaddow. This place is incredible though and will prodce serious speeds if I can get it all together.

This weekend I will be testing the latest Black Project FreeSTYLE 19cm which arrived on Tuesday, so more of that to follow...

I will try to get my GoPro out this weekend and upload some GPS tracks to map out where I go exploring.

More to follow...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rigmarole - still the best ever!

This is one of the most iconic bits of windsurfing video ever produced... I remember being transfixed (alongside my brother) at the Neil Pryde stand at the London Boat show, was that 1990; wow I was 12 and wore a bright yellow and pink chest harness in those days (funny seems like thats almost back in fashion!) …

There were a few other bits of video that I watched over and over again in those early years in particular one of Robby getting trashed on the rocks at Ho’okipa (I will try to find a clip) and one of Dana Dawes at Diamond Head, Oahu… Enjoy!  

More to follow...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New GoPro LCD BacPac

When I first got my GoPro last year one of my only issues was the lack of a screen which sometimes meant that alignment was hard to set up and it was impossible to check your footage without going back to the PC, not great when you want to get the perfect shot on location.

I knew back then that the GoPro HD was set up already for the promised LCD BacPac but there was no release day. Well it is here now and at less than 80 USD you can have one too! It comes with a number of backdoors so that it fits into the housing that you already have. Looks fantastic and I can't wait to try it out.

Now you have watched the video check out some product pics...

Put quite simply, the best just got better!

More to follow...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Windy Weekend For Some!

Well it seems like this weekend could be just what the wind starved UK has been waiting for!

This is the chart for Weymouth, anyone for some GPS speed action?

While not as windy, it will be rather warmer here in Bahrain and looks like we'll have some good action too.

Not so windy in Maui!

More to follow...