BOARDKINGS IRELAND TRIP – PART2

Here’s the second report about our trip to Brandon Bay. Want to know what happened in the first part? You can find it right here.

Monday 22.10 – ‘Dumps
There was only a little bit of wind today. We went to Jamie Knox to exchange our surf boards and big sups for smaller sups. Jem Hall had also brought his sups which were used by the group. We spend the entire day at Dumps. The waves were about shoulder high and glassy. Set after set came rolling in. The sun was shining all day. We took hundreds of pictures (many using the camera provided by Unifiber) and really got the hang of supping. What a beautiful addition to windsurfing.
Jem had arranged diner for the two previous nights. This evening we stayed in and everyone ate at their respective homes. Some even had an early diner to go back to dumps for a late afternoon session. With waves this beautiful you sometimes just can’t get enough.
We did have one casualty. Richard got hit on his calve by the fin of his sup. Fortunately Rob Linssen was present to help him start the healing process with a massage. He also taped the calve so that it could rest. He did an excellent job as Richard was able to continue surfing and sailing throughout the week.

Tuesday 23.10 – More action at ‘Dumps’
Rein woke up this morning to find that his ear didn’t feel the way it was supposed to. A quick visit to the doctor confirmed that he had ripped his eardrum. He thought it happened when I had an unfortunate fall while riding a wave. Nothing big or exciting he just fell the wrong way in the wrong place. Rein was out for the week which was very unfortunate for him. It did encourage many in the rest of the group to have a look and buy some earplugs to protect our ears.

We had decided that we needed to head to ‘Dumps’ early as the rising tide would push the waves a little bit and make them a bit bigger. The swell was slowly coming to an end and we wanted to try and catch the bigger sets that were left. We were standing at the beach at 8:00 before sunrise and were in the water at first light. The waves were once again beautiful. A little smaller but still beautifully organised in sets. As the tide came in the waves got even bigger and better.

Jamie Knox himself came by to show what could really be done on a sup. He even did handstands and other tricks on the board. Amazing how someone can catch a wave by paddling twice. We have some time to go before we can get to his level. Jem was hard at work trying to get us to that level. He was out on the water coaching everyone and telling them would to do and when.

Jem invited all participants of his clinic back to the house to do a session using his instruction dvd. We spend time in front of the tv from 14:00 till 17:00 discussing technique and looking at examples how we could all improve. Jem was also keen to hear from us what we learned from each session. He would ask us for our feedback during every session, making sure we understood what he said and also making sure we took something out of each lesson.

We had a little excitement when the power disappeared and we were left looking at a blank tv screen. This appeared to have happened to all the houses surrounding us. In about 20 minutes the power was restored.

After this long and intensive day we all relaxed at the house. Jamie Knox brought us some additional mattresses so that we all had a separate bed. Thanks for the additional service Jamie!

As we did last night, some stayed in and had diner in the house and some went out for diner. We had the worst wind and wave predictions for tomorrow. After tomorrow the predictions were looking up. We all went to bed hoping things would be different.

Wednesday 24.10 – Coumeenole / Slea Head
The day was grey, cold, without wind and waves at Brandon Bay. Jem was kind enough to move today’s clinic to Friday giving us another clinic day with possibly more wind. Everyone made plans for the day. Part of the group packed the VW Transporter and went over to Coumeenole Beach. We were told that this was the best spot to catch the last swell. The guys came back with great stories of this beautiful spot. They really did manage to catch the last swell and there was even some offshore wind enabling them to do some windsupping. Waves were about 1,5m and even though there was some chop they had a great time.

Another group went out to look around in the area. I personally stayed home to do some bookkeeping (you have to make sure the numbers ad up for a big trip like this) and headed out in the afternoon to try some lightwind sailing. Unfortunately the wind was simply too weak to go out so we all relaxed for the remaining part of the day.

Thursday 25.10 – Wind!
Finally, a day with wind! It happened to be a strong NE wind. Which brought neither heat nor swell. Jem took his group to Scraggane Bay as we expected to have the best wind and maybe some chop there. The temperature dropped below 10 degrees Celsius, but we were stoked to finally go out and do some sailing. Jem went right back into clinic mode and started coaching the group. He also brought a lot of gear so we could try some of the wonderful RRD boards and Ezzy sails. Unifiber had also provided us with some booms including 30″ harness lines. The exact size Jem suggested we start using. We were happy to give the Unifber booms a good try. We sailed anything between 6.0 and 7.0 while Jem was filming our windsurf action in preparation of this afternoons video analyses session. It was great to be sailing again even though we did miss those beautiful waves.