THE WELL HUNG WOOKIE - JULY 2009

NI WINDSURFING E-NEWSLETTER

 

CONTENTS

Can You Hear Those Camels Calling?

Try Day - 1 August

All the Golden Oldies

The Well Hung Wookie

The Pier 36 GPS Challenge Update

Kit for Sale

The Usual Stuff at the End

 

GREAT VALUE TRIP TO EGYPT. EPIC DOWNINGS EVENT. TRY EVENT 1st AUGUST.

 

CAN YOU HEAR THOSE CAMELS CALLING?

Thanks to Wookie's wild urges, a great windsurfing trip to Egypt has emerged. The details are simple :

El Tur

3-10 September

Airfare £400 (direct from Dublin)

Half board hotel, transfers, all kit hire, local instruction and video £261

Open to anyone, not just NSC member

And after that there's not really much left to spend money on!

 

We've already got 5 people going and 3 more thinking about it, so the trip is viable and happening. However if anyone else wants to come, it's still wide open. And you're unlikely to get this price again since built in there is a great buy 1 get 1 free on kit hire. Oceansource have really pulled the finger out on this one.

So if you fancy some near guaranteed wind, flat water and waves - and you can put up with constant abuse from us - let me know.

AND DONEGAL TOO!

And a reminder, for those of you not into camel dung, we have a Donegal wave clinic set up for 12-16th October. The exact availability of the most excellent Jim Collis to coach us is still not clear, but we are taking £100 deposits. So if you fancy a week in some of the best waves, amidst excellent Guinness and some highly suspect company, get your money into me now. Electronic transfer preferred to cheques, contact me to get details of my Swiss bank account.

 

TRY DAY - SATURDAY 1st AUGUST - GET THE WORD OUT!

You know the drill, but here it is again :

Saturday 1st August, NSC

Get any friends, relatives, maiden aunts etc to come and try windsurfing

RYA instructors, £10 gets you on the water and sailing

All kit provided

Hot food available

Kick off 10am

Anyone welcome, including of course non members

 

So what can you do? Firstly line people up to come and secondly put up a poster at work. Both Pat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and I have a simple A4 poster. Just e-mail one of us and we'll send you a copy to stick up at work or wherever.

Help us to get more people into our great sport!


ALL THE GOLDEN OLDIES

It's about time the www.mylyst.com site was updated and first of many planned changes has begun. So those of you who've enjoyed my libelous ramblings will be pleased to see that I've opened an archive of past newsletters. So far you can get mid 2007 to 2009, the rest will follow when I get time ie when it isn't so windy. It's actually rather weird to look back a few years and realise see how much (or in many cases how little) all the colourful windsurfing characters have improved.

Actually it's a bit scary to see what we've got up to and yet managed with only a few exceptions to avoid arrest, deportation or cosmetic surgery. I did say 'with a few exeptions)....

And while I'm at it, a big thank you to those of you mad enough to encourage me. It's very heartening to get positive feedback - even if it's often along the lines of why do you never slag me off!

So go to www.mylyst.com and see for yourself. I recommend not doing it on a full stomach.

And there'll be photographs too given time. You have been warned!

 

THE WELL HUNG WOOKIE

Like many of my titles, this one clearly isn't what you think - not that you could tell through all that fur. In fact there are many different uses of the phrase well hung - some of you are probably hoping I'm using the phrase in the sense of dead meat. I know quite a few of you would like to see the Fur Ball strung up and left to ripen. Well, that's sort of what happened ....

Downings has been one of the major windsurfing events in Ireland for many years. So it's rather odd that in fact this was my first year to get to it - but boy was it worth the wait! I couldn't believe it when I arrived on the perfect beach to find rows and rows of dodgy windsurfing vehicles. And rows and rows of equally dodgy windsurfers too. The entrance of over 125 at the event explained this, a clear record when they'd normally expect around 80. And it wasn't just the windsurfers, there were entire families and huge numbers of kids - mostly annoyingly good at windsurfing at an age when the rest of us were still vandalising phone boxes and playing with our Lego (actually some of us still are).

And I've got to give a huge pat on the back (not a reference to Mr Lyner's nocturnal activities, although Gary is strangely silent on this topic) to Nick Fletcher and the rest of the team. This was no amateur event, it was brilliantly run right from the safety boats, through the race organisation and of course the Saturday night bash. What other team would provide every competitor with a free beer the moment they come off the water, even before they'd derigged?

For various domestic reasons, I arrived up with a car full of teenage girls. I was expecting to have to beat the windsurfers off them, but in fact they spent most of the event lying on the beach in hoodies while reading Jeremy Clarkson aloud to each other - somehow this seemed to have the same effect as fly repellent - a useful tip the next time Pat is lurking around behind you.

The sun shone all of Saturday and most of Sunday which made the weather near perfect, unless of course you wanted to windsurf. I can't remember when I've heard so many cries of 'it'll pick up later', but in the event Nick kicked things off at 11.30 after someone told him that someone else had heard their brother say that he'd seen a flag fluttering. Around 60 sails wobbled out into the bay and prayed for wind - they were to be sorely disappointed. A few brave souls on big kit (the largest sail allowed was 10m) pumped for Ireland while the rest of us lazily slugged round a 5 gybe course. I have to say it was most sociable in that you had plenty of time to exchange conversations with others as we all gently floated along. The usual planing carnage at the gybe marks was replace with the usual wobbling carnage at the gybe marks as totally underpowered people fought to stay vertical in a big chop going one way while the tide and current went other ways. It was messy. Somebody won, but the race took so long since the main body wasn't planing that they had to call lunch. Arriving a little late, well you try and get teenage girls first out of bed and then out of McDs, I had time to frantically rig my 9.4 only to see the race start as I carried it down to the shore. Knowing anyway that my chances of winning a windsurfing race had vanished shortly after the time of my birth, I followed the fleet out and discovered that I could non-plane faster than many others and thought I did very well to come mid table having given them a 5 minute lead. But someone was to go one better shortly.

I should add that whilst the Gold Fleet got a gentle sunburn, the grommets (kids) had a series of races to run. It was great to see so many of them on the water, even if it was annoying to see how good they were. The races were sharply contested and of course very professionally organised. The thing that baffled me was how Casper (Phil McConnell) managed to get himself entered in the under 14s? Not that it mattered as they still beat him.

Lunch once again showed the preparation of the organisers as they laid on stew, soup, bread and drink for around 150 people in the middle of a beach. I began to think I could get to enjoy a racing life. But harsh reality called in the form of another race at at 3pm. This time we were all out wobbling around the start line when the Wookie with Lorraine Kelly skidded up (you don't want to see a Wookie skid mark believe me).  With Lorraine (he doesn't like being called this for some reason) rigging up for him, Wookie registered, changed and ran to the beach. But being a flaming magician he planed - mind you Lorraine's 8.5m helped on the X-fire. So he went charging through the field and finished somewhere in the top 10 while the rest of us ambled gently round the course!

Even Nick had to admit defeat at this point and the beer was handed out and we all sat around and indulged in the traditional windsurfing practice of talking bollox. NSC was well represented of course. The entire Ming dynasty was out in force, indeed Ming-Minor (Adam) actually was the overall winner of the grommet section. It was great to see Mrs Ming (Kathy) back on the water too. Indeed I mustn't call her that (actually it's Mrs Minger she really hates being called) since she generously put me and the teenage mutant turtle-necks up for the night in Ming Castle. Lorraine Kelly was there and when not acting as dresser for the Wookie had a great sail. And of course Paddy was there smiling at everyone and being helped by his own personal Polish harem. Actually they turned into his personal nurses when he managed to shut his boom clamp on his hand and turned the water red. Fortunately it wasn't his beer lifting hand.

So it was that we all sat and supped beer while watching Ming derig and transport the 10 sails he'd rigged 'just in case'. I have to say I thought the 4m sail was a tad optimistic myself. Eventually we decamped to the Harbour Bar and had a 'salty pint' - ie a pint or two while still unwashed and covered in salt. Most of the windsurfers were there, many outside enjoying the sun and it was good way to unwind after so little hard work. Saturday night there was a huge dinner organised with a great chance to meet new windsurfers and talk some more of the proverbial. Most of left around midnight. We were told the place really takes off about 12:30 but we decided to leave before we got caught in the rush of tractors.

Most people had accommodation in B+Bs or hotels, but not Wookie and Lorraine. Colin had a tent but the clever Wookie had decided to try to sleep in this van. For those of us who know him, this wasn't surprising as we know he likes to sleep beside and caress the love of his life - until recently his free style wave, but latterly his new RRD X-fire. So he'd stuck on his Blue Peter badge and bodged a hammock. One end was hooked onto the back door of the van, the other on the passenger head rest. And there was Wookie, well hung as I've said, right between them. Mind you, it would have been fun if someone had tried to open the van door and catapulted him into the van roof. Apparently he had a most peaceful night and is clearly up to do this again.

Casper was up for the races and wandered around smiling - actually as we all did, it was that sort of event. After a while we noticed Casper getting strange looks and then we realised he had a very strategically placed hole in his wet suit - in a very Andy sort of place. So while we may say that Wookie was well hung we can say with absolute certainty that Casper was not. Still, he smiled a lot.

Sunday dawned with no wind and 10 minute heavy rain showers. Here we go again we thought, but we were wrong. Nick had a briefing at 10, the wind started to pick up and the first race was called for 10:45. The serious racers had got down early and rigged their 10 sails, but I of course was more interested in breakfast. The result was that once again I joined the first race a few minutes after everyone had stared. But joy of joys, we were planing. On 9.4 and a big fast board (FV1) even I was flying and I made it to mid table by the end of the race. The water state was even more churned than the day before. Tides, current and chop were fighting - while the rapid progress of 80 boards made it worse. You had 5 gybes to do and it was of course carnage. There is a rule that once you get past the buoy and go for your gybe some plonker will crash in front of you. I think my best gybe was where I cut it a bit tight, started to lose it but my boom hit the large buoy and corrected my fall - leaving me to sail on and pretend that I'd meant it.

And no matter where you are in the race there is always someone to race against, great fun. And the start is also very crowded, imagine 80 boards all having to go between 2 buoys and the fast ones mixed up in the middle of the giving it a go brigade. I was hit hard on the elbow by someone's boom and annoyingly it didn't knock them off and I saw quite a few collisions. The serious 10 were at the front and charging along like maniacs. But the rest of us in the middle has a great time even if we didn't exactly set the records alight.

Buoyed by a rising wind, Nick really went for it with race after race in quick succession. The clever people who's parents weren't married at the time of their birth had of course smaller boards and sails waiting ready for a quick change. The terminally breakfasted like me hadn't - and there wasn't enough time to re-rig between races. And so it was that I found myself clinging on like a drunk to 9.4m when others were down to 6m. And bouncing along on 170 ltrs when 110 would have been pleasant. While it did give me speed it also nearly killed me. Inevitably I hit a big wave, took off at full tilt and did an excellent impression of a bouncing bomb while still hooked in. It's a good job the main panel on my sail was already ripped and duck-taped as I'm not sure what part of me went through it but it now has another hole as well. Ming the Merciless was also clinging onto 9.4m but in his case, no doubt due to either titanium of dr*gs, he looked like he meant it and he certainly was up there with the serious racers.

There was one race where the start went wrong. The 10 serious ones charged off but by the time the rest of us were crossing the line there was a general recall. The front runners didn't know until they came back to the second gybe mark - you should have seen the look on Ming's face when he realised it wouldn't count - he was in 4th and had passed the Wookie!

Thank God for lunch, as 1 more race on the big kit and I think I would have died. The afternoon continued in the same pattern but at least I was on a sensible 7.5m. The last race was again a shambles as the wind died leaving a lot of floaters on the water - a bit like sailing at Ballyholme really. However another inspired decision by Nick and he called a Masterblaster. Just about every board in the bay was lined up and off we went a full tilt. 3 miles right across Sheep Haven, round the Iron Man and 3 miles back again. The sun was out, the wind came back, there were waves, chop, bodies in the water - it was fantastic. You'd be bombing along beside 10 people and then suddenly one would catch some water and bang, then there were nine. The gybe round the Iron Man was a grave yard as the effects of the nearby shore on both wind and water state caught out many. Paddy, Wookie and I came back to Downings at top speed with the biggest grins on our faces - it was just one of those lovely wild blasts. Life is good when you're a windsurfer in warm wind.

It was a tremendous event. You'll notice that I haven't mentioned who won what, the reason is that it didn't matter except to a select few (very good windsurfers). What did matter was that everyone really enjoyed themselves. Kids out on the water, more female windsurfers than I knew existed, families setting up home on the beach, dune buggies, boats and even an icecream van - shades of Ballyholme indeed. The verdict from my non-windsurfing, non-telephone-vandalising teenagers was also that it was great, they said that there was a great atmosphere and everyone was so friendly.

It kind of says it all....

 

PIER 36 GPS CHALLENGE UPDATE

The scores keep coming in, but the situation remains that Ming the Merciless is in the lead on 32.6 knots with Pat on Your Back second 29.8. If you think having Pat behind you is scary, then it's even worse to think that Shipman is coming up fast behind you, no doubt with a loaded syringe in hand, on 28.2.

The other scary thing is how much money some people will spend to get a fast speed. RRD X-fires started to appear and quickly got a reputation for being seriously fast boards. I think Pat was first and now Wookie has got one. He hasn't entered the competition yet but did over 30 knots on his first run out. So expect things to hot up shortly and keep getting those scores in. 

Remember £15 to enter, no scores count until you pay, 1 witness at NSC, 2 NSC members as witness at any other venue.

 

KIT FOR SALE

 

I mentioned earlier that people were trying to buy speed with new X-fire. So we're rather suspicious that Shipman is selling one of his beloved JPs. Clearly this is to make space for a new high speed board.


Dear Alan,


I have a board for sale, which I would like to put on the club website.It is a 2004

JP Excite ride120 litre FSW.It is in excellent condition with no repairs.Asking price £350.They could contact me on my email address, which is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mobile 07766663201.

I also have some photos of it (probably pinned up on his bedroom ceiling).However, I don’t think you  normally put photos on with the item for sale.


Many thanks.

 

Tony