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There are 397 News Items in 40 pages and you are on page number 24

Sat 24 July - F6 at Hadston Board Walk - Ross Ketteridge
After such a great Friday at Hadston (see yesterday’s report) we’d have been truly blessed to get a better day on Saturday. The wind Gods obviously realised that they owed us a decent weekend breeze after so many weeks without, so they ordered a F5/F6 WSW for the afternoon. Remarkable conditions for mid-July, when you think aout it.

Here’s the roll call, and what they got up to.

Gavin, like most of us, was flying a 5.5m, comfortably powered most of the time and right on the edge during the huge sustained gusts that came later in the afternoon as the wind grew more westerly. Lesley coped admirably with her first sea outing outside Beadnell, and “relished” the new exposed conditions. I must say that, inverted commas notwithstanding, when I arrived at 1.30 it was to the sight of Lesley planing across the flat sea in a decent F5, hooked in and with both feet in the straps, so she was doing a fine job of being rubbish, such being her own self-assessment!

Ray managed to pack the right gear in his mini Skoda, the veedub van being off the road. Andy was going well on a bigger sail than most, but still nly 5.7m (I think). Even Phil ditched his usual 8m and squeezed into something much smaller, six point something I think. Paul G made a less wise choice, rigging a 7.5 T-Bird just as the F6 reached its peak. He changed down to a 6.5 and promptly broke a batten, so not the best session he’s ever had. Seb, on his new Fanatic Cross, threw himself into the elements but found uphauling a 6.5m in the strong breeze a tad tiresome - I’d rig a smaller one next time, Seb.

Brian, who was managing to get air off even the Hadston corrugations, did his usual planing carve gybe demo day but was ultimately left wanting less flat water and far more waves. John C showed that he can hold on to a largish (for him) sail too and added body drags to the collective Hadston repertoire (by the way I hope your sore nipples have healed by the time you read this, John! Did you have sand in your wetsuit?). Tim had an excellent time and showed off his rapidly climbing learning curve by pulling off successive carve gybes and blasting in great style. We pondered what sort of a sailor he will be when (or if!) we next see him, since his six month Australia windsurf fest starts very soon indeed. His next sail will be somewhere warm that’s for sure.

Terry D (haaaalelujah!!) selected, at last a truly windy day to come to the beach, and loved the Techno 125 that he borrowed from Tim, realising that it was not JP144 weather by any stretch of the imagination. Tony L got a great pre-Kos holiday training session in, being one of the first on and the last off the water and wearing a very decent grin at the end of it. Alistair turned up and found that the wind immediately dropped from F5 to virtually nothing, as it has seems to have done so much recently. Nobody was cruel enough to mention the words wind and Jonah but some may have thought it (okay, I did, I admit!), but thankfully in the next five minutes his mind turned from burning all his gear to the more immediate need of hanging onto his 5.8m sail that very quickly became way too big as the wind (and the gusts) built to their crescendo.

Adrian, like myself, and a handful of the others, was enjoying his second good sail in two days and concluded that Saturday exceeded Friday by quite a margin. Brad (another haaalelujah!) was on the water after a nine-month sabbatical, the reasons for which included the birth of a baby, the renovation of his home and the fact that the wind has been rubbish on the rare occasions he has been available to sail. He may have had the biggest smile of all at the end of what was a truly excellent afternoon session.

The sea state was, if anything, flatter than yesterday making for another good gybing practice day. The cross shore wind direction became quite off shore towards the end of the session, seeming to turn quite abruptly at one stage as I was a half mile out - a strangely disconcerting feeling, to be suddenly sailing parallel to the beach whilst well-overpowered on a 5.5m. The sun never shone all day and it was quite chilly (14-15 degrees) for July, but nobody complained, I noticed!


ps remembering 16 sailors is difficult for my small brain so please let me know if I missed anyone!

Fri 23 July - Hadston almost turquiose - Ross Ketteridge
I made a split second change of mind as I passed the A19 junction that would have taken me to westwards to Derwent Reservoir, my original destination point of choice, and carried straight on, bound for Druridge Bay. I’d been in a dilemma for the previous couple of hours. It was obvious that there was plenty of wind, but its direction, I theorised, may have been too westerly and dead offshore on our local beaches, not to mention potentially gusty. So should I sail on the sea or at the lake?

For those that live closer to Derwent ( I am equidistant between Hadston and Derwent), it was an easier decision as the lake certainly delivers good wind in that direction and ample entertainment albeit on a small scale. But what I was looking for was the spiritual refreshment that you get only from sailing on the open sea. So I carried on at past that slip road, hoping that I wouldn’t regret it.

And regret it, I certainly did not. Arriving at about quarter to two, the white-capped, sun-drenched sea was a feast for my eyes. It was probably 5.5m wind, cross shore (WSW), blowing across a flat sea. The forecasts all said it would ease off and since it appeared to be doing so, the order of the day was 6.5m for Steve C, Gavin, Adrian and myself, with Andy and Paul G opting for 7.5. Tony C used a 5.7 as did Steve C after later downsizing.

For all, it was a great session, at least for the two hours or so after the time of my launch. Sunshine, zero shore break, flat water with some interesting chop (aka the Hadston corrugations) and sustained power in my 6.3 (at times, in the first period, rather too much, but the small fin kept my trusty Flow 95 on the water most of the time). For me it was a great day for gybing practice. The water was lovely and flat on the inside and even on the outside there were ample sections of flat water to gybe in. It was, on many of the reaches to the outside, one of those days that I was just enjoying the long, long blasts towards the huge expanse of horizon so much that I didn’t want to turn around and come back to the beach. My excellent session was made complete by the fact that I managed to avoid any contact at all with the several lobster pot lines that were apparently floating around. It made a nice change for me, although Steve C was not so lucky, almost reshaping his new Goya wave board on one of its first outings as he hit lines, at high speed, several times.

We even had a reasonably short walk back with the gear as the tide had been incoming since 1.30pm. I came seeking spiritual refreshment, a freeing of my mind and a good work out. And I got all three. Marvellous.

Friday 16th July. Boardwalk. - Steve Carragher
With the lunchtime wind a steady F4 WSW Tony Champion and I met at the boardwalk and promptly rigged 6.7 and 5.8 respectively. I was first out on my new wave board and found the 78l to be only just enough on the inside but further out the clean wind produced some classic Hadston chop for some decent airtime. The Champion soon followed. Indeed, it must be let known that he not only followed, but proceeded to fly past me at an alarming rate! Perhaps due to the recent weight loss hes undergone courtesy of the NHS!

Sunday 18 July - Beadnell BBBQ - Peter Amos
Sun, Sand & Stella - and for those early birds a good hour and half of planing winds.

Ross & I arrived just after 10.00 to set up the beach BBQ encampment to find Beadnell heaving with a couple of hundred runners and cars every where. Fortunately the overflow car park where we usually park was clear and at 10.30 the runners left in a mass start from the harbour end of the beach to disappear in the distance and never to be seen again by us.

We proceeded to set up camp and erect the gazebo, however the lack of identification numbers on the poles and the increasing wind saw us abandon that plan in favour of rigging big sails and setting off on Formula boards in the company of Gavin, Tony L, Carl and Lesley.

The wind was directly cross shore so straight out and back with no risk of encountering the rocks which by then were beginning to cover up as the tide came in.

The session for me was simply the best ever. That elusive back strap became a familiar friend and I just cannot understand why I’ve been having so much trouble finding it! (a big, big thank you again to Andy for putting me right on boom height!). This resulted in many high speed planing runs including one that will live in my memory forever, screaming in fully committed in control from a long way out straight at the beach, YEEEEEHAAAA!

Everyone of the “boys” was enjoying long planing runs and Lesley was coming to grips with the harness, although she also had a planing run when she had her sail on my formula board for a run out and back.

With big smiles and appetites to match we came off the water about 2.00 and proceeded to the BBQ which kept us occupied until about 5.00 when it became clear the wind was not going to re-appear.

In the meanwhile some light wind gymnastics were performed, notably by Martin D. Ally got wet his new JP x-Cite Ride 120L but sadly it was in the post-wind period.

Also in attendance, and forgive me for any omissions, were Tony C, Jenny L, Martin H, Adrian, Ray, Ian, Terry D, Mike T, Paul & Kelli, Maxine (keeping company with Ross), Terry G, Steve B, Harvey made a brief appearance and Fiona turned up as we were packing up, work having kept her busy all day

Triple Fives on a B-Bay Blast - 14 July 2021 - Gavin Duthie
Firstly an apology, for all those who have been starved of the " Windsurfers Birth Right " these last few weeks of warm F5 wind and sunshine, and have sulkily viewed dismal windless weekends with disgust, and then seen midweek reports whooping it up, with tales of slashing, thrashing and blasting then please accept my humble apologies, and I promise will not regale you with such tales of midweek sailing fun . Suffice to say Tony was there, Adrian was there and I ofcourse and they will all bear witness. The sun shone and the wind blew and we moved over the water with amazing speed. Water was turquoise and skies blue, sun kissed our skins and we smiled. For me, the holy trinity of special numbers of F5 on a 5.5 with the added support of 100liters of plastic and foam did the trick. We retired home very happy and relaxed, safe in the knowledge that there is a God in heaven after all. Praise be.

Wed 14th July - Warley Moor Reservoir - Tim Robertson
I was kindly offered the use of a 7.5 NP rig and a Tiga 285 for the evening since it was blowing all day. Slightly overpowered but a great couple hours blasting with 2 guys from work. Had to sail without a harness for the first part - overpowered, in the straps and no harness. I'm sure my arms are longer today...

Wednesday Evening 14 July QEII - Martin Haigh
And Westerly it was, F4-5 blowing down the lake, clear blue skies, glorious sunshine, got rigged up 6.5, summer suit, ready for a well deserved session!

Assembled with Ally, Raymond, Martin D and a host of eager eyed, windstarved fix seekers (including a pair from the dark side, but less said the better!) when, as if by magic, the warden appears - "sorry, lake closed"! You could have heard a pin drop as he extolls of the possible contamination by a sewage leak and no-one is allowed onto/into the lake untill water samples are cleared! Maybe in a day or 2!
QEII provided a poor, wind shadowed, gusty, weedy, almost on the plane but not quite, retreat!

Wish I'd gone to Derwent!

Wednesday Evening 14 July Derwent - Ross Ketteridge
So I turned up at DW at 5 ish after work. Based on the forecasts I took only my 120lt and large sails. When I arrived there were even the pie-eaters sailing on 80lt boards and 4.5m sails, and white spray everywhere. Oops. On borrowed kit (4.5m sail and a 104 that felt like a barge in the chop, albeit a very fast one - thanks PB and Andy) I got thrown around in the gusty winds and had a whale of a time subject to the quick muscle-tiredness that comes from 5 weeks without a sail and lots of business travel mixed with not much exercise. Forearms were pumped and some poor quality sailing was exhibited (by yours truly) but a fix is a fix and that Derwent pond doesn' half get some wind! Boydy, PB, Andy F and PJ sailed and Steve Shaw came but had brought big kit like me. Raymond retreated to Ladyburn for similar reasons. How did the salty crew get on?

45knots and PJ on a 3.8!!!! - Tim
For our last day we were blessed with El Med at it's best - an average windspeed over the day of 33knots with a peak of 45. Needless to say it was the smallest kit they had available for both Phil and me - 3.7 and 76L (the smaller boards were all in use).
A fully maxed day with wave riding and jumps but felt a little on the survival side as we were not used to it and so tired. This coming from what we totalled at >40 hours sailing in a week - that adds about 30% to my life total!
El Medano is a place that I would recommend to anyone wanting bump and jump sailing. Even when it is not working we were on 110l and 6-7 sails and there's still big ramps. It's not a beginners place but at the same time it's not difficult provided you are competant on a short board, can waterstart, stay upwind and handle shore break like Hadston in winter without the rip. What you are blessed with is almost guaranteed winds, good hire kit and b&j; sailing. When the centre closes at 7 it's worth the walk up the north bay for a beer and a lesson from the locals. These guys are amazing and sail on a wave breaking into pretty harsh rocks with boulders to watch out for on the face of the wave. Expect to see forwards, spocks, willy skippers and backs - not that you don't occasionally see an over 90's club member trying a back on 110l and 6m at the harbour of course...

2 More days in Tenerife - Tim and Phil
I'll keep this short coz it'll sound like gloating which it is - today saw me on a 4.5 and Phil on a 5 for most of the day. 12-7 sailing. I retired half an hour early only to look back and see Phil nearly land a back loop. All in all, this place is class.

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