2012 Review

My year on the water was pretty memorable in 2012. I don't remember many "big" days but it was still a great year. I've decided to mention a few of my windsurfing highlights before 2013 kicks off!

February marked the start of a new era for me and thanks to the guys at Seasprite, I started using RRD boards. It was a great move and it didn't take any effort to get used to my new X-Fire's. I was racing well throughout the year and the boards definitely boosted my confidence, allowing me to open the throttle on the slalom course - straight lining and around corners.


In March, Jo and I went out to Sal in Cape Verde for a 10 day windsurfing holiday. The winds were unusually light throughout our stay so during the last few days I decided to have a go at kitesurfing. I enjoyed it once I was able to get up and going but I haven't thought about it much since returning home, except whether it is ready for the Olympics!

We had some great BSA events during the year with perhaps the most exciting racing being at Aberdovey (June) and Christchurch (September). I was sailing pretty well at all of the events (noticeably better than 2011) but I seemed to be something of a bad-luck magnet throughout the season. Hopefully 2013 will be more straightforward!

In June, Jo and I spent a week down in Cornwall where we had several good days out on the water; surfing, SUPing and windsurfing at Gwithian (over-powered on a 4.2m as it happened). Jo picked up surfing really quickly and got some good long rides, stepping off when she reached the sand! :)

July 4th marked my 40th Birthday and I ended up with two windsurfing themed cakes... one looking like a GT-31.

In August we had two days at the Olympics; Monday watching track + field (London) and Tuesday seeing Nick secure the silver in the RS:X medal race (Weymouth). We even got on TV waving a big banner! 


I didn't do much in the way of proper speed sailing during 2012; just two sessions "up north" (West Kirby) and one session at "The Ray" (Southend).

The first WK session was an epic day in late January but I crashed early on and injured my wrist pretty badly. Struggling to hold on to the boom, I battled on in the hope of getting some decent speeds but in hindsight, I guess that was just unrealistic. It took over six months for my wrist to recover again but most importantly, I couldn't power down the course when the wind was at its best that day! Alan Jones got some great video footage which is available on Chris Bates' channel on YouTube.

My September visit was much more enjoyable and there is a very short clip of me sailing down the course on YouTube - 8 seconds worth!

Weymouth Speed Week saw a reasonable amount of wind but I made a right hash of the event. I had some great results on the light wind days but I was at work during the best day and timed my breaks to coincide with windy spells on other days. I definitely won't try to cherry-pick the days again!

My top speed achievement in 2012 was when I improved my Brogborough best by well over 3 knots. After sailing at the same spot so many times it was an incredible feeling to go so much faster. It was definitely a case of right place, right time on the lake!

Still on a high from my session at Brogborough it was time for another big holiday - Jericoacoara in Brazil. What a fantastic place... genuine paradise even if it is a little crowded on the water!

After a few days of sailing I decided to bite the bullet and start throwing myself into some forwards on the "wrong" tack. The cross-shore conditions were great for learning and by the time I came home I was going into them with more speed, jumping higher and enjoying my new move. It took a while before all of the bruises disappeared!


Jem was kind enough to lend me his GoPro shortly after I learnt to loop so I got a few in-flight photos and I created a short video for YouTube.

My final session of 2012 was a speed session down at The Ray (Southend). The window of opportunity was unusually small due to the early tide and late arrival of the wind but I went with the intention of improving my nautical mile and came away with 36.38 knots (previously 32 knots). I was a little under-powered during the run but it has moved me up the UK rankings on GPSSS.

In total, I posted 49 sessions on GPSSS in 2012. This is less than a typical year but the most memorable sessions included:

Well, that's about it for 2012. Let's see what 2013 brings!