This is the story of my first English windwurfing experiences my other times being on the water being on holiday. On Saturday I went to Pagham with my hubsband (a long time windsurfer) and stopped into L.A.R. to rent some beginner kit. Lee helped me get the kit setup. I was sporting a Viper 80 and a 4.5 sail that was a bit knackered. Off I went. The first few goes were very wobbly and shaky as it had been over a year since I had been on a board but with a bit of effort, encouragement, and coaching from my husband I was soon making my way out and back with a few dry tacks. I was happy and content practicing close to the shore and so my husband went off to play. He came back and also had a huge grin on his face saying how great the conditions were. The sun was shinning the sea was a beautiful blue and I was having a blast practicing on the beginner kit. It is amazing how fast time goes on the water. A lot of the other much more advanced sailors who were there stopped to say hi to me and encourage me on my efforts. By the end of the first hour I was regularly beach starting with success and managing to return to the shore without drifting WAY downshore (ok....ok....so I had the help of the daggerboard, but trust me for those of you that beginning is a distant memory this is a victory!). Two and a bit hours later I was exhausted. So out of the sea I came and called L.A.R. so that he could come and get the kit. I then sent the rest of the day happily watching my husband blasting away reveling in the pride that I too had had a good session. Even better, my personal coach took a few pictures AND commented on how happy and proud he was on how quickly I improved over the course of the two hours.
Sunday morning I woke excited and raring to go!! The plan was head to Hayling Island check out the boot sale and then as I was chomping at the bit to get back on a board on the sea to drive back to Pagham for another go on rented kit. I was even more excited when I looked out the window to see the wind blowing the leaves of the trees around. The plan for me at the car boot sale was too look and see if there was any beginner type kit that was used, but good for me to practice on here in the UK as a beginner/improver. I knew from speaking to Lee on Sat that he had a possible board that was a bit too advanced for me but still a possible option. When we got there there was another female windsurfer who is a was also looking at the board (starboard carve 131), and I made the decision that I would be better off renting a for more goes before I try buying an board under 140l. So I told her that I wouldn't make an offer. Turns out to be a great decision as she is looking to sell a 145l board that I may end up buying from her...fingers crossed. So then looking around I found a very nice gentleman who was selling off some kit that he was just looking to shift and so I got a great bargin for me!! A 4.7 N/S that is a wave sail so it will be great for when I start learning to hook into a harness as it should be tough enough to withstand me crashing into it!! The sail was in good condition and I also managed to pick up a Neil Pryde mast from the same guy! From another windsurfer I grabbed a used boom that would fit my little hands and my new sail and I was then almost half way to owning my first rig! I was beyond excited with the gear I got and the deals as well.
|The hard work|
Loading my new kit into the car we were off to Pagham. At 12:30 meet with Lee at his shop and I got a mast extension and a mast foot rented the Viper 80 and I was off to the beach. It was with great pride and excitement that I (with my personal coaches assistance) I rigged my own kit up for the first time!! Wetsuit on and the began to realize that it was quite a bit windier than Sat AND I was on a bigger sail! Okay....Okay....it was only by .2 of a meter but to this beginner that seemed HUGE! My nerves increased and it took me a good 30 minutes of crashing and burning (totally due to nerves) before I calmed down and realized it was just the same as Sat but windier...it didn't hurt more when I crashed and using the right technique I could control the sail! Soon I was again beach starting and I even kind of did a sort of almost water start....I think....(following more lessons from my personal coach). Again (with the assistance of a daggerboard) I wasn't drifting downwind and I manged to get clean tacks a little bit quicker. Again all the guys at the beach were great! Giving me thumbs up, asking me how I was going, giving me tips, and telling me how great I was doing. After a little over two hours I was exhausted so again up on the beach for a rest. After the rest it was time to de-rig! Wow that is hard work with exhausted arms, back, legs and well everything! But what fun and I was so happy with my efforts progress and "new" kit!
I just wanted to share my first English windsurfing adventure and say thank you to the guys who sold me their used kit for a good deal, thanks to Lee from L.A.R. for the rentals and advice, thanks to the guys at Pagham who made me feel welcome and encouraged me, but most of all thanks to my personal coach.