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Bank Hol Mon 25 Aug - Hadston - Ross Ketteridge
This is a short report mainly because to post a longer one might be considered an act of gloating.

You see, the wind at Hadston today was just on the threshold where only a 72kg bloke on a 9m sail and a formula board would be consistently planing. Which just so happens to be the category into which I fall. How very convenient for me, but frustrating for the others, these being Barnesy, Jeff W and Tim, and the several others who turned up but didn’t sail due to lack of wind velocity (Steve S, John C, Tom, Tony C, Paul and Andy).

For the record it was blowing cross-shore at about 10-14mph in a northerly direction. The sea was lumpy with some mild shorebreak. The memorable thing to make note of was that due to the wind direction the sea was evidently sending into Druridge bay various flotsam including kelp ripped from the northerly reef and bits of rubbish including plastic bags and so on. Not very pleasant at best, and dangerous at worst since hitting such items surprisingly causes quite nasty catapults, not a gradual slowing-down that one might expect.

As we packed up, Andy’s post-5pm wind acceleration theory was proven once again, as it did, at that time, strengthen to a good F4.

He reckons it’s a reverse sea breeze effect, where the “sea breeze” in late afternoon isn’t actually a breeze at all but merely a flow of air, not in the same direction as the prevailing wind, sufficient to slow down the prevailing wind, and once this “sea breeze flow” is spent (after 5pm) the true wind flow resumes once again, being free of the opposing flow and thereby appearing to strengthen. Got that?

Sun 24 Aug - QEII Family Day - Ross Ketteridge
Today was so impressive that Gavin was prompted to promise to dig out some old photos of the “good old days” of the club when dozens of members and their families used to converge on QEII Lake, making for some great social occasions, not to mention some en masse windsurfing.

And so it was today. I’d like to thank everyone who made the time to come, including the various members of families, including my Mum! And thanks to Peter for helping to organise things. As a result of both of these things, it really was an excellent day. The sun shone and there was even a light breeze, allowing some twenty or more people to go sailing.

The main agenda, though, was less on sailing and more on having a good social day, and that is just what we enjoyed, with people popping in and out to say hello, and a good number (well over forty I think) staying for the whole day, to sit in the sun and chat.

Before the BBQs were lit we had a couple of fun events on the water. The first was the longboard rowing race with two teams of twelve going off, three to a board, rowing madly (and slowly, with legs dangling for balance) towards a buoy at the opposite side of the lake, and back, before handing the board to the next “crew”. Needless to say it was hilarious and a lot harder than it looked. The lightweight teams were at a distinct advantage. I shan’t mention any names but it was amusing to see a 250lt Fanatic Cat actually sinking at one stage! Did I mention that Terry took part?

The second event involved sailing and so the wind predictably decided to change direction completely during the first few minutes of it. The idea this time was to sail the previous course, with one sailor and one passenger, both on the board. It sounded easy but was anything but! Kevin and I made it look more difficult than our opponents, Rich and Jayne, and we all took rather longer than expected to complete the course. As a result of the slowness and the fact that it was actually potentially hazardous (Jayne and myself narrowly missed getting our limbs wedged between mast and deck a couple of times) we abandoned further legs and got stuck into the barbies and the conversations instead.

There were other events planned for later but the dinner hour ran on somewhat, for which no one was complaining.
There were so many people there that it would be silly to try to list them all, but it was great, in particular, to see many new and prospective new members, including Ginge and Sam, Alan and Julie, Tim, Eddie, Keith and others. Barnesy’s step brother Paul made superb progress on his first windsurfing attempt, sailing rather too well and ending up on the far shore before PB had had a chance to explain how to turn round and come back! I see that he wants to buy a wetsuit now so perhaps the addiction has started already.

The group photograph was delayed a few minutes when we realised that the bricks on the wall on which some of us needed to sit were rather hot, having had the BBQs sat on them for the past two hours. Ally offered up his board bag and in a most professional manner Gavin organised us into a fine looking group.

After this people started to disperse, with the last not leaving until after 6pm.

As a final positive footnote, I think we may have picked up a few new members from today, too.

Thurs 21st Aug - Beadnell - Steve Carragher
I arrived at Beadnell early in anticipation of a full on, high wind session; and I wasn’t in the slightest bit disappointed. At about 1030am when I first looked at the water state, it was a complete white out. A force 7 was blowing from the West so I hurriedly rigged a 4.7 and trusty old 65ltr board and waited for Ray to arrive. When he did arrive he thought I had gone completely mad, as there was barely enough to propel our chairman on his fridge with his spinnaker attached! However, in guinea pig mode I blasted out, Ray observed that 4.7 was indeed plenty so he rigged a similarly small sail. We had an absolute blast for the next couple of hours, ranging from totally maxed to nicely powered up. Ray was carving some perfect gybes and getting air off the steep wind blown chop. Sadly no waves. DIY dodger Tony C then arrived and proceeded to rig a 5.0, derig a 5.0, rig a 4.7, derig a 4.7 then finally settle upon a 5.8 and 125ltr Bee. Sorry Tony, not a good choice. Despite Tony’s considerable experience (sorry mate, must have a chuckle at your expense every now and then!) he did not have a good day.
Mr Barnes then arrived with the usual van full of testosterone. There was much talk of forward loop attempts but sadly Paul & I were simply not jumping high enough to make this viable. Either that or we haven’t enough balls!!!! Is that challenge enough! I hear the Hadston crew were attempting forwards the same day, so I think the race is back on! I seem to remember a crate of beer was the prize for the first in the club to achieve one?
Lesley and Martin H then arrived and bravely sailed huge boards in winds gusting F7! This was quite a feat as both were holding down bigger sails than I and I was pretty much fully powered. A lull in the afternoon allowed a short rest but as soon as Ray had decided to collect kit from the waters edge the wind kicked in again and we had another blast until about 6pm.
For me this is what windsurfing is all about. Fast, exhilarating, sometimes scary, and when you finally come off the water you are so knackered you can hardly carry your board up the beach. Roll on the Autumn!

22 Aug - Friday at Hadston - Richard Amos
Having been left without a car after the foolish actions of some woman who decided that an expensive Mercedes always gives you right of way no matter the rules of the road or the obvious consequences, I have been forced this week to stare out of the window at the howling winds. Today however Dad was going to the sailing after work so the 25/30mph winds in the morning weren't so torturous. The reality though was that we arrived at Hadston around 5pm to a dropping wind. Carl had also turned up and we rigged big sails coupled with a formula board, a techno and radar 125. The formula board and 8m allowed me a few very enjoyable blasts while Dad dawdled getting ready. By the time Carl and Dad got onto the water the wind was just enough for the occasional teasing gust to encourage a shuffle back to the footsraps and a stumble back. All the same the sea was flat as a pancake and the weather was warm enough, warm enough in fact that Carl was sailing in a t-shirt, shorts and trainers, his madness was explained however by the nasty injury on his ankle which prevented him from wearing a wetsuit.

Thursday 21st Hadston - Andy Freeman
Once again I find myself writing another sailing report, it seems to be getting a regular thing lately, and while there are others better at it than I am, here goes.

I arrived at Hadston 5pm to find Ross and Tom just about rigged with Ross on 4.7 and 75 litres and Tom on 200 and 6.5. Tom might have been up against it a bit but persevered anyway and Ross was ripping it up as I rigged 104 and 5.4.

Once out and for about an hour it was fantastic. Powered up with nice ramps to send you skyward, in fact I put in the biggest ever jump that I have landed (“almost got the fin out the water” said Ross) and quite a few others to boot. I have also to confess that in a fit of madness I attempted the “sheet in and look over the shoulder routine” only to have my feet come out of the straps before the board left the water and land in a huge splash with the sail on top of me!!!!!! Two plus points are 1) no one seen it or realised what I was up to, so bad was the attempt, and so couldn’t extract urine 2) it didn’t hurt. So I might well have another go soon.

Steve S turned up and the wind started to slowly drop although you could still get going in the gusts (where would Hadston be without gusts!) Steve showed us all how a duck gybe round your mates should go. Ending up in a superman dismount in 6 inches of water. Steve did unfortunately also show us how good the Tuttle box system is by hitting the reef and taking of a good 3 inches from his fin and not killing the board!!! Hope you can sort it out mate.

About this time it was getting really marginal esp. for Ross on the smallest sail and board. So we retired to the beach to wait for it “fill in again” which of course it did not. The only saving grace being there was no long swim home tonight.
In summary, a fantastic hour or so. I hope the boys who went to Beadnell had those winds all day, now that would be a report worth reading….

Tuesday 19th Hadston - Andy Freeman
Rather a poor evening really with the only saving grace a good half hour powered up on sinky little boards. Really ought to have rigged bigger but Paul had only brought the little stuff and I felt obliged to play along. Still that half an hour was a refreshing change from the norm.
A 45 minute swim back ended the session along with a suspected perforated ear drum (doctors in the morning for me).
Also there were Tom and 3!!! Others ……………

Lets get excited Monday 18th Aug - Paul Hewitt
having waited over 2 months for my 2004 JP Excite Ride and a day off work, I made drunken plans on Sunday not expecting either the board or the wind to arrive.
Monday lunch and a quick call to TNT and yes it has been delivered, also the forecast looks good. Off i head at 1pm to meet PB at ladyburn, to show him the way and delights to Hadston. What an afternoon, 7.4 and 135L were a fantastic combination, the board says what it does on the packet. PB on his 6.5 and 134l Madd, thoroughly enjoyed his first trip to the coast. After 21/2 hours of heart beating arm wrenching sailing we gracefully retired with massive grins.

Title: Get excited II Tues 19 August - Paul Hewitt
office bound all day and a meeting planned for 5.30 with the wind whistling around my ears, shock horror the meeting is cancelled and i get to leave work after checking XC 18-28mph W headed for Seaton point with GB, got there around 6.00 to be greeted by a fantastic sight, lots of wind in a very favourable direction. rigged my 6.4 (must be getting soft) and had a fantastic 2 hours with the JP again. Only its second outing but boy do i like it. saeaton is a fantastic place to sail ant the wind next to Coquet island was fantastic, well it felt I was that far out when reaching. More of the same please

18th August - Hadston - Andy Freeman
The wind had been blowing all afternoon and so Tony C, Ray, Paul B and myself set of to Hadston for the evening session.
Upon arriving there was a good force 4 blowing cross off but by the time Tony and I had rigged the five o’clock effect had begun. The 5 o’clock effect is, for those who don’t know, the wind dropping to untenable levels before picking back up again at about 6. The problem is by this time most people have disappeared home.
Tony I think, was considering this as I was persuading Ray and Paul to rig up.
The wind did of course fill back in and we had an hour or two of fast blasting and chop-hopping till nearly 8pm. The end of the session was signalled by Tony failing to waterstart while everyone else wallowed to the shore.
The typically awful Hadston chop was hard on the knees and spinning out was common and very annoying. From a personal point of view, raising the boom an inch seems to cure this. (it takes a little more pressure off your feet, but feels as though you are constantly close to being catapulted)
In all a rather good evening

16th/17th Aug - Grimwith Demo Weekend - Andy Freeman
Saturday was gloriously sunny and painfully windless. The location was glorious though, perched up in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and it was not at all onerous to be there.
Attending were the Lobleys, Freemans, Critchleys and Ian R. a rather poor turnout and a little disappointing to be honest.
The trip was worth making for no other reason than watching Ian trying to see how small a board he could manage whilst dressed in rash vest and boxer shorts!!!!!!
Wobbling around with the water up to his shins with “encouragement” being passed from the shore he proceeded to amuse and entertain all present and I am sure “you have been framed” would have parted with £500 for the footage. (Sorry Ian)
I had some good long chats with some of the importers and gleaned some good info on what we can expect to be spending our hard earned cash in the future.
Early evening saw all those remaining retire to a nearby campsite for barbecue and refreshments.

Sunday saw the wind arrive and also about 30 sailors all dying to sail the kit on offer. Hypersonics, large freerides and the formula kit was in demand and due to the relatively small area of water (about the same as Derwent), the gybing characteristics off all kit was tested fully.
The sailing club seem a really nice bunch, very windsurf friendly and the locals also more than happy to chew the fat with a lone Northumberland sailor. I would say it has great potential as a weekend away, not much further than Beadnell, very scenic, good climbing, walking and mountain biking too.

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