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There are 397 News Items in 40 pages and you are on page number 28

Sat 03 Apr - Allonby - Steve Boyd
Dr. Boyd mulled things over in his mind. How to cure the patients? Answer: strong wind jump fest at Allonby on small boards, NOT big boards.

On arriving at Allonby we were greeted by cloudy skies, a flattish sea and a gusty southerly wind to which we rigged 5.3m to 4.7m on 78L to 95L freestyle wave boards. Then we realised it was a lot windier once on the water, i came in for my 4.7m and my wave board. The wind then swung SSW and cross onshore with sunshine and blue skies and 11 degrees air temp and the receding tide revealed a small wind blown swell which allowed full power blasting over exhilarating waters to leave you with the decision of full power gybes in the swell troughs or hit the ramps at full speed - airtime was a mandatory requirement! We ended the session as our arms were about to fall off just behind the insane grin from ear to ear. A swift pint was reqd bfore departure to celebrate getting our fix!

Sun 28 Mar - Hadston, exploding heads. - Ross Ketteridge
Nobody expected to get any sailing done today. The forecast, for a change, turned out to be wrong, in our favour. It never said that it would be sunny, 12.5 degrees and blowing a F4-5 WSW for the best part of the day. But that’s precisely what happened.

Now I can’t take this stupid grin off my face as I had a stupendously excellent three and a half hours of solid blasting in what was, for me (and several others too) the best Hadston session for several months. I was fortunate to have rigged just the right kit for the conditions, 6.3m/120lt on which I planed most of the time, much of it very well powered-up. The wind was blowing cross off and the usual corrugated chop made the runs out towards the whitecap zone very entertaining indeed. The great thing about the wind today was that it was not its usual gusty self. The lulls were there, although these were restricted mainly just to the inside 100m section, but the gusts, if you can call them that, were easy to see coming, and long and sustained in nature.

It really was one of those days that reminded you why you love windsurfing so much. Not manic wave sailing in survival conditions, just good old “burn and turn” and indulging in that other old tradition, trying to go faster than Barnesy. The man himself, Matt and myself had some tremendous races back and forth together that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a professional windsurfing video. Except that the sea was grey and we’re crap windsurfers, but apart from that identical.

In a cruel twist of fate, Steve C, who had made the call to sail despite the poor forecast, injured himself in the first five minutes when he came off a gybe and hit his leg awkwardly on a submerged rock (it was a very low tide) and had to pack up straight away. Tough luck Steve, I hope it’s not too bad. Lucky enough to not do the same thing was Barnesy, Matt, Phil (incredibly holding down an 8.5m unlike everyone else who were generally on sails between 5.7 and 6.5m – no wonder you were wearing a helmet!), Tony C, Alistair, Ally Mad, Peter (who got some great planing conditions at last – Hallelujah!), Adrian, Jackie (on her first sea voyage!) and Steve B (who had an excellent last hour when the wind picked up to a good F5).

Like several of the others, I never set foot on sand for about three and a half hours. It was just too good to leave the water. I think my “one last run” lasted for about a whole hour! I’ll leave the last words to Matt, who perfectly summed up just what a fantastic day we had all had when he commented that he had had so much fun that he thought his head was going to explode. Matt, I know exactly what you mean, mate. And wipe that silly grin from your face!

Photos to be found at http://www.northumbrian-windsurfing.org.uk/gallery/2004/

ROHO Demo Weekend 17-18 April - Ross Ketteridge
It's coming up to that time of year again when Robin Hood Watersport host probably the best demo of the year.

For the last two years there's been good wind and sea condition not to mention the party on the Saturday night.

The event is supported by all the leading brands who bring all the latest boards and sails to test.

There is overnight camping on site and Saturday night we will host a beach BBQ which is normally good fun.

The demo is to be held at Fraisthorpe Beach which is just south of Bridlington on the east coast.

For any further information please phone Robin Hood Watersports 01924 444888 or email [email protected]

Wednesday 24th March 2004. Amble. A humbling exper - Steve Carragher
Not expecting a lot of wind on my day off I was pleasantly surprised to be woken by the sound of wind and rain. Ray, Matt, Paul and I arranged a midday start at Hadston but found here a gusty, offshore wind so we relocated to Amble. Much better, constant cross shore F4-5 with some really nice waves starting to form as the tide began to flood. Matt and I were first out. Matt on 6.7m and 100l and me on 5.8m 82l. The first 15 minutes or so was the best of the day, fully powered up, nice jumps on the way out, some amazing wave rides on the reef extending South West of Coquet island, and some great backside wave riding all the way to the beach. Paul and Ray soon followed but the wind had dropped a little so both struggled to get fully planing. Nether the less some impressive back side wave riding was had by all.

Changing up to 115l as the wind dropped, I also took out a waterproof camera. Matt then suggested he take it out to get some pictures. After gybing, about 250m from Coquet Island, I pumped the sail to get back on the plane. Disaster struck! The board flew off down wind at a rate of knots while I fell off the back clutching the sail. Ditching the sail I had to swim as fast as humanly possible to catch my board. Once caught, a broken UJ was diagnosed. Buggger! This UJ is the newest piece of equipment I own, purchased only about 9 months ago from our local store!! Matt, seeing my predicament was quickly on the scene and helped me to fix the extension to the broken UJ, with remarkable ease I might add, using a zip tie that he carries in his bouyancy aid. (Since showing me these a few months ago, I too carry a few zip ties in my harness pocket- get some!). Within seconds I waterstarted away and made great progress towards the beach. Sailing was relatively normal for about a minute then something gave way again and board and rig were then just held together by one zip tie. After cutting this we decided to try another self rescue method by placing my smaller, 5.8m sail inside Matt’s larger 6.7. However the rigs were too heavy and Matt was unable to sail this way. So, finally I decided it wasn’t much further and just balanced the boom on the back of the board and swam the kit in.

When I finally neared the shore, about a mile downwind, at the Northern point of Hauxley beach, I was greeted by Paul, Ray and Matt who swam out to help me with my kit in the shorebreak. Safe and sound, a little humbled, and a lot knackered. Huge thanks to Ray, Paul and Matt for their heroic efforts on Wednesday, I owe you all a good few beers. Particularly Matt who was so quickly to my rescue, and stayed with me the whole time. I think this is the key to self rescue, if someone is with you when disaster strikes, then all is not lost and you feel a whole lot calmer. In hindsight, I should have made a better job of fixing the UJ with the zip ties. I had three large ties in my harness but foolishly thought that one would hold it. Never mind, a tragedy was avoided, and I hope I am a little more respectful of our playground!

Sunday 21 March Beadnell - Peter Amos
So full of promise yet so disappointing was Beadnell today. I had to take Catherine to her Mother's in Alnwick to meet up with the family for a Mother's Day Sunday lunch, but I got a pass out to sail at Beadnell.
When I arrived rigging up was under way by Ross, Carl, Ray, John C and Brian Day. Soon to arrive and join in were Tony C and Matt. Brian day shook his head and decided it was too flat and perhaps that the wind was not looking promising. Ross was wind monkey and on 120L and 6.3 planned. Ray rigged a 7.54 and I 8.0 not being confident it was going to fill, and it didn't. By the time I had got out I'd missed the breeze that preceeded a shower and manged only 100yds of a planning run.
What a shame!! The tide was full in the weather was not cold and Beadnell was its usual beautiful but rather frustrating self. Paul and Kerry were there to spectate and Steve B turned up later with kit but wisely didn't unpack
I'm sure we'll get some great days at Beadnell this summer but not today.

Sat 20 Mar - 4 metre day at Allonby - Ross Ketteridge
Barnesy and I arrived at Allonby at 10.20am. My mileometer read exactly 100 miles from Whitley Bay. Was it worth a two-hour drive? Would I recommend anyone to do such a drive for a sail at Allonby, in future? Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Yes, yes and yes. Did I have the experience of my life? Another yes.

The ambience created by the bleak (not unlike Northumberland) coastline, the F7-8 wind, the boiling, white, crashing sea, the rain and the low, dark cloud blanket was, how can I describe it? Let me put it this way, even Barnesy was feeling a little scared!

Being unsailable at this point anyway, owing to the fact that it was high tide whereupon the shore break crashes into a very steep section of beach, in big dumping waves, we retreated, relieved, to a friendly café and consumed hot tea until Steve B arrived an hour later. We spent another half hour chatting, drinking tea, eating homemade cake and watching the rain lashing against the café windows. The cloud cover seemed to be blowing over and revealing a lovely blue sky that rapidly became a sunny sky and we convinced ourselves that despite the fact that it was really still blowing a F7 and only 8 degrees, it would be a good idea to leave the nice cosy café and throw ourselves into the sea.

To be honest when we got to the beach I had huge reservations. My wave sailing experience is very limited and I have sailed a 4m sail only once before. And here I was, staring at a very wavy sea and watching two very experienced locals, sailing very well indeed (huge jumps, great wave carving, duck gybes etc), one of which was 14 stone and sailing on a 4.2m. I'm 11 stone, by the way. Hmmm.

John C and Sam and Matt, a couple of Tyneside lads, met us at the beach. We all gingerly started rigging. Steve was the NWC wind monkey and seemed to make good progress on a 4.2m/87lt combo, jumping and carving nicely in the clean cross-onshore F6/7. On seeing my testicular fortitude being questioned by my very self, he tried to convince me that there were ample gaps in the waves to get through, that they were breaking gently and that once in the outside it was nowhere near as hectic as the close-spaced sharp waves off Hadston in a S for example. And that the spray flying everywhere shouldn’t scare me! I must say, he was right. Not only was my 4.1m/75lt rig perfect in size, but I also managed to get through the break far more easily than on some days back home. On the outside the waves were maybe head high. The perfectly formed ramps made airtime compulsory. With Barnesy as a witness I recorded my first decent jump (and landed it) that he estimated at over 4 feet! It’s official, Ketteridge gets fin out of water! To tell the truth I had a very short session but I felt hugely exhilarated that I’d got out and back a few times, in not bad style, and lived to tell the tale. The rest of them put on a great display of backside wave riding and jumping.

I must mention the sandstorm. Just after leaving the water and making the 150m walk back up the beach, the wind notched up to gale F8. I could hardly stand up and found it easiest to carry my gear by placing the board on top of the sail and just holding the whole kit and caboodle horizontally in front of me as I staggered back to the car. When I got there it seemed to get even windier but this time it was accompanied by the most painful sand blasting I have ever experienced. Barnesy was in the middle of de-rigging next to me and for about ten minutes we had to lie down on our gear to prevent it blowing away in the vicious wind and just keep our eyes closed. Luckily I had my neoprene helmet so my ears stung somewhat less than PB’s! I don’t think it can have done much to the gloss level of our cars either! It continued like this for the next half hour. I de-rigged my sail with my eyes closed! Barnesy muttered about previous Arabian Gulf dust storms filling his orifices less forcibly, and kept saying Jesus and squinting a lot.

All of us are dying to get back for the next Allonby session. The advantages seem to be a much cleaner wind, a benign shore break, decent rigging area, and proper gaps between the waves. For novice wave sailors, this is indeed a great training ground. It was extreme today, but on a 5 to 5.5m day it could be the best wave sailing venue within 2 hours of my front door. Allonby rocks. It’s a cliché, but it’s true

Tuesday and Wednesday 16/17 March at Hadston - Tony Champion
I arrived at the North end of Hadston at about 11am to find Barnsey, Steve Boyd and Adrian standing like penguins on an ice flow reluctant to risk the Leopard seals waiting for the first swimmer. Of course there were no Leopard seals but the wind was difficult to gauge and nobody likes to be the wind monkey. After further delaying tactics by all concerned Adrian and I decided on 5m and the over 90s (kgs of course) went for 5.8m all on sinkers.

It was warm, benign shore break and the wind was cross shore from the South. Bumpy enough on the outside to be interesting but not a problem. Unfortunately the wind was on and off a lot of the time and I for one was frequently underpowered on the way out but managed some reasonable blasting on the way in. Steve was dischuffed and muttering: “Now I remember why I like Allonby” and “This wasn’t worth a day off” but the rest of us were reasonably happy and we enjoyed maybe a couple of hours of fairly relaxed sailing. Andy and Ray turned up then followed by Ginge and the wind promptly dropped. I’d had enough by then and left while Ginge was swimming his wave board and 6.5m ashore By the Bondi Carrs (the rocks at the North end of the bay). I did not see him come ashore but it is rumoured that everyone else had packed up their gear and removed their wetsuits doubtless to avoid helping him swim his gear in but I believe he had the last laugh because, as so often happens, when you swim your kit ashore the wind immediately fills in again. Anyway he then enjoyed some well powered blasting while those on shore cursed.

Wednesday was less interesting although Adrian had more than enough excitement. Barnsey broke the first rule of windsurfing and turned up with a wave board and small sails and nothing else. Adrian had rigged a 6.9m when I got there so Barnsey and I decided that we would base our decision on his performance as wind monkey. Initially it was not impressive and he came in and let out a lot of downhaul before venturing out again. He then got planing but Barnsey’s biggest was 6m so he went home. I got my 6.7m out but realized that Adrian did not seem to be making much headway upwind and had drifted offshore to an undesirable degree. I therefore decided not to sail (not really a difficult decision because I was still tired and sore from the day before) and watch in case of problems. Adrian eventually landed up by the Bondicarrs and was very relieved to do so having learnt that even big waveboards do not go upwind very well with big sails. Freeride boards would not have been a problem.

QEII & Boardwalk sunday 14 March - Peter Amos
The first scheduled day of sailing in 2004 saw a big turnout at QEII including most of the Dahab veterans who happily swapped photographs. Only three people actually sailed at QEII, namely Martin & Martin and Ally, the rest adjourned to the Boardwalk.
It looked like about 10 or more would be giong out but although at least 8 rigged up the very strong winds, big shorebreak and very strong rip meant that only 6 I saw actually got out. They being Steve C, Paul B, Steve B, Ray, John and a non member Brian May who was doing some very impressive wave riding and aerials. (Brian if you read this I hope you might like to join up in which case send me an e-mail [email protected])
Personally I had my exercise chasing my hat halfway down the beach much to ther amusement of the viewing masses that included Catherine, Tim with Susie, Tony C, Lesley, Alastair, Ross, Andy, Gavin, Terry, Carl and Harvey.
As I left the sun seemed to come out and the wind dropped a little so some of the sailors might have more of a report on the actual sailing.
Just hope it's sunny and windy for Beadnell next Sunday.

Thursday 12th March 2004 - Amble - Steve Carragher
For me the day started badly. Called from my deep sleep before the sun rose. Juggled a foaling and an anxious plumber while the wind steadily whipped in snow and hail showers from the East. Barnsey brightened my day with a phone call to say he was heading to Amble. As I was loading kit onto the car the local doctor passed and pronounced me a lunatic, a correct diagnosis perhaps. Finally, I got to the beach to find Paul and Adrian fully rigged and ready to go. The sea, when you could see it through the hail showers was looking mean and menacing; waves crashing in as the tide pushed over the reef to the South of Amble. Paul and Adrian had plumped for 6.5 and 6.1 respectively and both were showing off their JP’s! After a long look out to sea I decided on a 5.8 and 82l combo.

First blood to the sea; Adrian suffered a broken fin on his brand new JP. Anyone else would have been seriously pissed off with such damage on the maiden voyage, but Adrian passed me as I headed to the shore with a smile! Paul and I then enjoyed a survival session which involved involuntary jumps off the top of waves and some voluntary too! Wave riding was mainly backside but if you got the timing right you could get some really nice, but bumpy, bottom turns in. Unfortunately, being crap, I managed to trip and get a rinsing just about every time I tried this. So, North sea 1, MBON’s 1.

Adrian returned with a new fin and gave his new board the maiden voyage it deserved. A good blast right out to Coquet island and back. Snow and hail showers continued and the wind picked up to 4.5m weather. The North sea then struck out with a cruel blow; broken mast for Adrian. Game over for him. Paul and I continued to stick it out and, I believe, started to get to grips with the ‘challenging’ conditions. The last twenty minutes or so I enjoyed some great wave rides and some nice jumps too but finally called it a day when we could barely carry kit back up the beach.

Final score? Score draw!

Sunday 8th March. Hadston Boat Ramp - Steve Carragher
Good session at the boat ramp end of Hadston. Early risers were Ray, Andy and Matt. 7m plus sails appeared to be the order of the day. Tony C appeared early afternoon and seemed to be having a good time on a 7m. Adrian & I were on the late shift and rigged 7m and 5.8m respectively. Small waves appeared as the tide came in allowing good air time and some front side wave riding.

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