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April so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
Total Entries: 19447
This Months Entries: 28
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My Entries this Month: 0
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maker (14 entries)
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Member Details Session Description
Toys Used
Owner: Basher
Member






Member#: 165
Location:
Registered: 09-03-2003
Diary Entries: 18

5th April 2004
Windsurfing: Brighton
Wind Direction: WSW mostly
Wind Stength: 20-25mph+?
Surf / Sea State: soldiers in ranks
Air Temperature: not too bad
Sea Temperature: willy-shrinking
Weather: bit of rain and sun
Max Speed:
Distance Covered:

OK so some of us are on Easter Holidays already and those of you still working probably don't want to hear this.
But no sympathy from me. It was windy all day here in Brighton. You could have got out after work today. No excuses. It was light until about 8pm – and windy too.

I went out twice, although this morning's sail before high tide was very 'Craig David on the iPod', if you know what I mean. – Driving musak, masking an undemanding ride. Slightly Bo-Selecta. Slghtly off-key. I was on a 6m and overpowered at times but the boredom set in when it got high-tide-lumpy.
I packed up late morning. I went home and did some chores, feeling certain the day had yet something better to offer. The trees kept waving from outside the kitchen window but the rain came and went in unpredictable bursts. A couple of times the windy-whirley-thing here at Basher Towers would hit 30mph and I would think 'Here we go...' – but then 5 minutes later it was only reading 10-15.
Still, tide and grime wait for no man – as we say here in Brighton (where the dustmen seem always to be on strike about something trivial) – better take a proper look.
It looked a bit bleak as I trudged back to the seafront through our litter-strewn streets. Since Brighton became a city we seem to have sucked in hard faces and the new landscape beyond the trendy cafe-bars is depressingly graffiti-scarred and urban. It was cold and the rain started again. By the time I reached the Basher Beach Hut there had been just enough rain to soak me through, and just enough passing cloud to take all the wind with it.
Ah well. I went to rig the 6m again but then saw it was picking up out to sea. Hedging my bets, I rigged a 5.7 wave sail which could fit either on my floatier wave board or on my freestyle board. But of course by the time I was suited and booted I couldn't hold onto this sail on the beach.
Worse still, by then the batphone had rung several times and I had advised friends leaving work to 'rig big'. Bet they were cursing me now.
But hey, windsurfing is a selfish sport. Anyway, life can suck when you let others make your decisions. So I went for it and rigged a 5.2 wave sail and plugged it into the Evo 74.

If you were at work today then you had better stop reading here.
And those who aren't in touch with their feelings might be advised to do the same.

I lost all track of time this afternoon 'cos I don't wear a watch with my winter wetsuit. But it must have been after 3pm when I hit the water, now fully powered up on my favourite wave board.
Three o'clock would have been mid-tide and I've always said this is the best time for waves here. Most people wait for low tide in Brighton or Hove – because the launch is so much easier – but I find the inshore water rips downwind then, making planing hard work.
Anyway, the full-moon tide was ebbing away fast and launching was unusually p*ss easy. One pump and I'm planing. One jump, two jumps, three, ohh... I lost count. It was windier out the back and I reckon I could have been on a 4.7 but I cranked the gybe on a six-foot face with my hand well back down the boom. And I didn't lose an inch of speed as the wave spat me back to the shore.
After just 5 minutes I realised there was something special going on here. WSW is such a good direction in Brighton. Down the line we go. One bottom turn, two, a third, ohhh... heck I lost count again...

I have been away over the winter, sailing for two blissful and windy months in South Africa. We had great waves down in Cape Town from December to February but I'd say today's waves between the Brighton piers were better. No, really.
OK, maybe it's because I'm home again and back on my preferred tack. Maybe I've got over the colder weather here and the post-holiday come-down. But no-one could put a price on conditions like we had today in Brighton.
I was so stoked I was breathing like a dirty old man. I was so fired up I was shouting at myself like Alex Ferguson on the touchline; Come on, COME ON. YOU'RE UP TO THIS. COME ON YOU W**KER! YOU CAN DO THIS...
And I did.

Three hours? Maybe more. Every gybe, successful. Maybe fifty tacks on the inside. A hundred landed jumps? Sure, I got rinsed a couple of times too – once when a big curling wave closed out over my head, and once at the end of an attempted 360 on the wave face (Nearly pulled it off, though...). Oh, and, if I remember correctly, a couple of wipeouts like an Apollo splashdown.
Three or four hours on the water today? Suffice to say that my hands are really sore tonight. I've already looked up the chiropractor's number for the morning.

If all this sounds big-headed I had better point out that I am not a
great sailor. I'm just like some of you. Up for it.
Some people would define a good sailor by the repertoire of moves he can pull off – all those notches on the bedpost of Freestyle. Some would say true wave-head class is determined by a sailor's grace on the wave or in the air. For others maybe it's the hard facts of race results or trophies won. (And I have won a few trophies in my time...)
But for me nowadays it's far more personal. The battle, the competition – the race if you like – is between me and the waves. Riding a wave board is not pony-trekking. It's more like a cowboy trying to tame a mustang into a thoroughbred. You are on the back of something wild. Today I was quite simply more in control out there than I have ever been. This is why I am stoked. What more do we strive for? And how good does this make you feel about yourself. Tonight I'm writing this because I've not felt this alive for a long time.
Tonight I'm the horse whisperer.
And my little pony is sleeping quietly in the beach hut.
Until tomorrow.
This is why we go windsurfing.
Now, where's that beer.

See Ya

Basher

Toys Used:
Starboard Evo 74 short!
JP Freestyle 101
Tushingham Storm 6.0m
Tushingham Rock 5.2m

 

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