• Hedgehogs and BMWs
  • Slalom Racing at NSC in 2 Weeks Time
  • Correspondents wanted
  • Stuff the End



Sails at NSC



You know it of course. What's the difference between a BMW and a hedgehog? The hedgehog has the pricks on the outside..... Well, what did you expect?

And this is my way of announcing that the hedgehogs have come out of hibernation. It really has seemed like hibernation in that almost no-one has sailed in January and February. Not just was it baltic, but it was nearly always windless (and baltic) at the weekends. Even the Wednesday medical sailors have had to resort to very big sails for a bit of a blast. But it's all over now as the clocks go back soon, the temperatures have risen and the pricks are out!

This Sunday saw the first of them on the water - led by the ever smiling Pat 'Panty' Lyner. For once Pat had something to smile about, or at least he did until he started sailing. The sun was out, the temperature around 10 degrees and a photographer from the Chronicle was standing on the shore with a long lens ready to make a star of Paddy. It turns out they are doing a series on obsessions or obsessives - anyway, they've chosen Pat to write his life story (he said is ran to at least 2 paragraphs) and of course his obsession is windsurfing. So look out for great shots of him sailing well on the water - well at least they will be shots of great sailing provided Photoshop still works.


Paddy is happy


Paddy hadn't been out since the start of December, but he had been shopping. In fact there was quite a lot of new kit on display. He has a new free-ride, Richard a new i-sonic and Ming the Merciless had some all new black sails. He looks menacing at the best of times, but with his black sails he looks like a pirate - the Black Pearl perhaps? Mind you, it wouldn't surprise me to see him sailing with only 1 leg if some of his titanium broke.


Ming's black sail Do you think Ming's constipated?


Paddy sailed well, or at least he did until I took the camera out. In a brave but foolish attempt to do something spectacular for the camera he attempted to duck his 7m - with the inevitable result although he does I think still have all his teeth. C


Paddy doesn't duck End of duck

ertainly it didn't stop him talking. And talking. It fact he was talking so much he managed to lock his car keys in his car and had to get his wife to come and rescue him.

Ming's woman - work out the logo for yourself


Ming minced up in his ice-cream van and proceeded to record the first 30 knot plus speed of this year's challenge. Those sails may look menacing, but they're 4 cam race sails and Ming can ping and did.

Ming and Paddy pass


It was my first time on the water this year and I discovered that I hadn't completely forgotten how to do it. 7.5m on a 120 ltr Z-ride was perfect. I even managed to plane out of a few - although some of my carving tacks ended up rather wet.

Richard - man in tights - Bowman appeared after lunch and nearly killed the wind for the rest of us. It went rather flukey with burst of 20 knots and lulls of 10 minutes or so with very little. Still, we soldiered on, cursing Richard. Actually on 135 ltrs and 7.7m he was able to plane remarkably early and enjoyed a good sail.

It slowly got worse and indeed beach starting at the slipway became very dodgy with unreliable and swirling wind. We gave up around 3 and admired Ming's latest love toy which is a rubber hammer - to go with the other rubber stuff he uses a lot.

Ming - where's your board?


Hibernation is definitely over! Now go to the website and see the pictures - if you dare.




It's all happening on the weekend of 27/28 March. The all new slalom session comes to NSC, hopefully as the first of what will become an annual fixture.

Technically it's Round One of the 2010 Irish Slalom Series. It's sponsored by Tushingham, Starboard and Wookie Windsurfing and you can find details at  www.irishslalom.ie

Yes, the great and the good (and the Wookie) will be there. And yes, some of them are very good. But it's also a chance for the not so good ie me to get out there and have some fun. So don't be put off by the idea that you have to be an expert. Just rock up and join in. It will be huge craic.

And it's not just windsurfing either. Many of the troops will appear on Friday, the bar will open at the club on Friday so come down and try and ruin their sailing by plying them with drink. And on Saturday night we've got a great social. For one night only, that fabulous former club DJ AJ is coming out of retirement. With over 2000 vinyls (none of your modern digital nonsense), this is going to be a 60s, 70s, 80s night to remember. Look out for retro competitions, records you wished you'd forgotten and total abuse from a DJ who also windsurfs. It could be a rough night!

And if you want to come along in your 70s gear - why not, you'll at least make Ming feel at home as he's still wearing his. Bring your partner and tell her to wear the hot pants (but you can wear them if you prefer).

And remember, if you can remember it, you weren't there....



By now you should know about the new website www.windsurfcraic.co.uk That's where you'll find :


  • All the craic and news on www.windsurfcraic.co.uk
  • Each newsletter after I send it out - but often with photographs etc added
  • Details of our past windsurfing holidays - now including the full photographs. Prasonisi, Egypt and Medano are up, more later
  • Pages on some of the regular windsurfers - including (be very scared) photographs
  • A photo gallery of windsurfing locally
  • The pages to subscribe/unsubscribe to this newsletter

By the way, the old URL of www.mylyst.com still works too.

But right now I'm really looking for people to feed me stories who went out where and what happened and ideally with photographs. I can't be at every windsurfing happening so I need your help to tell me what's happened. All I need is an e-mail (there's a form on the website) and don't worry about tarting up the English or even spelling. You give me the basic facts and we'll make it look good - and for good measure we'll insert the humour and humiliating comments as required.

AND - if you'd like to feature on the windsurfers pages - just send me the stuff. I need to know a bit about you and to get a couple of your best (or worst!) photographs. Come on, depress your mates.... you are that sad, really.



You're receiving this because you registered on the site, you can stop at any time, just follow the links.

You can also register your mates, just fill in their e-mail address and the system will e-mail them and check if they're happy to receive my meanderings. Why not share the pain with them?

These newsletters are about the people who windsurf - anywhere in Ireland. But a lot of the action takes place at Newtownards Sailing Club - probably the largest windsurfing club in Ireland. For lessons, great beginner kit, to join or just to sail there as a guest and try it out, see the website.