Sunday, 2 December 2007

Windsurfing (minus wind and surf)

getting to grips with my new "rig"

Coniston on a wet December, rain, no wind, cold - this is reality

Living close to one of the windiest coasts in the UK this seems like a good hobby to pursue, although lying in bed at 8 am listening to the rain drumming on the roof I was having second thoughts. Still by 10am John was helping me put together the mysterious range of parts that make a "rig" up (see I'm learning the lingo!). Despite forgetting some vital bits it all seemed to fit, John bought some spares that made up for my early morning kit packing errors. (note to myself my hands were frozen already so must get some wetsuit gloves! ) Windsurfing was a bit of a misnomer, no wind and certainly no surfing. More like board balancing which is tricky after a gap of about 20 years. Still eventually I got out into the lake and started to get the feel of it a bit. John shouting "sail forward, feet back, sheet in" etc. John later described windsurfing at Roe Island near Barrow, where he had got up to around 40mph the day before; 5mph tidal flows, 20 knots of wind, rocks, mud, other windsurfers coming 40mph in the opposite direction, etc. I feel a long way of that!

I also thought windsurfing was a simple hobby, just you, a board and sail, out in the wind. I was mistaken, you also need a few other bits and pieces, see picture below.

John and his "rigs". Plus the most important bit of kit, a great big van to carry it all in

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