Monday, November 29, 2010

Speed in the snow

Had a good morning speedsailing on Saturday at Burrow Beach.  The drive there was in interesting in a snow storm and lightning, but once that had passed over, it turned out to be not *too cold and windier than expected.
*Had to post this pic for comedy value - it wasnt cold as I was wearing a new Elite Wetsuit, weight jacket (which is nice and warm too), mitts, and two hoods.  Despite looking like a penguin, no re-heats though!

Also a nice pic as it shows Burrow on a good windy day.  It's 30 knots here and I'm on my 5.5, and the water is sooo flat !

Thursday, November 11, 2010

3.2m's in Dollymount

Here's a few shots from a very windy fun session in Dollymount beach today.
I was using my 3.2m FLY which most of the time was 'fooool powahhhhh'!! Some of the squalls going through were mental, around 40-50 knots, but mostly it was manageable on 3.2m for me.

I should have been on a 68l board, but don't have one yet, so I finned down my 74 Twinser Quad with K4 Quad fins, and control was no problemo at all. Thanks Steve!

There was a good crew out, with people on 4.0m or bigger being sent back to the beach suffering.... but still smiling.
Big THANKS to Mikey's Dad for taking the shots below!

what a week !! what a month !!

Since the trip to Magheroarty, the wind has been pretty much non-stop here in Ireland. I enjoyed enjoyed a few good sessions in Dublin, and made the trip over to Belmullet to catch a good forecast last weekend.

Met up with Andreas from Sligo, Cormac from UISCE, and Colin and Carlos came out of retirement - for possibly their best days waveriding in a long time.
Young Ryan came over with me - for his 3rd ever time wavesailing on the westcoast - and once again was blown away by how good the waves are.

We had a great day starboard tack waveriding on the reef and point at Drum on Saturday, followed by a mental day on Sunday down at Elly Beach.  4.5m... overpowered.  4.0m... overpowered.  3.6m... overpowered.  3.2m... overpowered !!  Was good to test out all the sails though !

Here's a quick video of my first out on the water on the Sunday. I like this camera angle, so I didnt bother editing any clips, just gave you the whole run as it happened.

First Run from Surfdock Watersports on Vimeo.

Yesterday then was great for speedsailing at Burrow Beach in Dublin. Only problem being the tide was low at 6.30am - so I got up at stupid o'clock and was down there rigging at 6am in the dark, to be ready for first light.
It turned out to be well worth it, with 30-35 knots blowing down the course, and the water just deep enough to get straight in at first light. Sailed on my 5.5m RS EvoII, and got a couple of runs around 42, and and the rest all over 40. Nice start to the day! There was a good crew out all keen to catch the low-tide and improve on their PBs.

Speeds are here.

Ah yes, speaking of speed... This picture below was from the Speed event in Ladie's Island speed event - which I never blogged about. Huge thanks to Steven Cassidy for taking the pics!

After the speed in Burrow, the strong NE winds meant that Dublin would have waves everywhere, so I headed up the coast to find some swell. I'm sure every Dublin wavesailor was out from somewhere between Seapoint and Balbriggan, in fact the whole coast was on flood alert because of high tides and big wind/swell warning... as the tail end of a hurricaine went through.

Rush looked like the best option for me, with port tack cross offshore. The way the wave bent on the beach meant you could ride all the way from the sandbar on the outside in to the beach, and get 10 or 12 turns.  OK, it wasn't the west coast...  but always nice to see some decent waves only 5 mins from my house !

Here's a pic of Ryan out on his 4.5 and Quatro KT.

Other hurricaine news hit the papers too that day - with the west coast Tow-in crews finally surfing a new secret spot.. located off the coast of Donegal/Sligo.
Here's a shot that was on the front cover of the Irish Times newspaper - which meant that TV and Radio went crazy over covering the tow in surfers.

Far more interesting to hear though is that Finn Mullen Windsurfed AILEENS !! and is obviously the first person EVER to do that!!  HUGE respect Finn !!! What an absolute ledgend !!
It was caught on video by Brian from Windsurfer International Magazine and Beach Telegraph, and you can also catch a quick shot of him here on the RTE news
Six One News - RTÉ News Player
No doubt Brian is keeping the footage for the next edition of Windsurfer International.  I can't wait to see that one !

Here is the current forecast for Belmullet, check out today's wind !! I was going to head over, but might be TOO windy to be any fun. Also it's still supposed to be gales in Dublin, so I guess that will have to do :)
We have the finals of the IWA Wave champs in Belmulet this weekend, so will be heading over for that.  The forecast keeps changing though - but it looks like we should get at least one days action in.  Belmullet usually never fails to deliver... so fingers crossed for more and more wind - I like my 3.2m FLY :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Some Donegal shots

Nice chunky swell in Magheroarty today! Started on 4.5 Combat, then changed down to 4.0 on 74 quad.
Good crew out, Benny G, Gerard & Brendan, Colin, Andreas, Tibo, Tom, Mikey, Timo, & Finn.

Great Day, and looks like more to come !

All the shots apart from first one are courtesy of Tom & Paula.  Check out his website:  for more pics.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Been down this road more than once...

9 metre swell and 16 sec period... Van packed and on the road again :-)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

R.I.P Big Man

With all this talk of speed in the last couple of posts, the latest news is very hard to blog. A couple of weeks ago, we all tragically lost another friend and legend in Irish Windsurfing.

John Kenny, (JK) was a big man in every sense of the word - larger than life, larger than all of us.
First Irish man to break 40 knots, and then 45knots (on a day I shared with him at Burrow).
We both pushed each-other hard on the water, to speeds we had only dreamed of.  Neither of us would have had it any other way.
Rest in Peace Big Man, you will be sorely missed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

47 knots !

Just had an awesome day on Wednesday speedsailing.  The forecast was looking really good for West Kirby in the UK, and my mate Steve Thorp was texting me saying he was on the way there. 

I just got two new RS Racing sails on Friday, and was absolutely itching to use them on my JP Speed 45 and finally find out what speeds this board is capable of, so it was a really easy decision.... Time to book a Stena-Line ferry from Dublin and head go and try out my gear !

When we got there, the wind was pretty strong - 30-40 knots, and we saw Steve Thorp and Farrell O' Shea flying down the course and clocking in and around 48 knots!

I took my time rigging my brand new 4.7m RSRacing - just to get the hang things, and also had a slight delay, while I bashed the sh*t out of a roll of lead and stuffed it into my weight jacket ! 
Martin Waldron who travelled with me had already got a few runs, and returned dazed, with his carbon boom in 2 pieces... but smiling anyway.

As it turned out, the 4.7 was perfect for me all day (I'm not the heaviest speed-sailor at 78 kgs).. but smaller can be very efficient too !  You don't have to be f*t to be fast :)  - and certainly Steve is proof of this - he's the same weight as me.
Here's a video of one of the runs from the GoPro.  I didn't keep it on for long, as it was distracting, and as you can probably see, I was concentrating pretty hard !  Going down the famous Kirby wall at 45 knots needs every bit of concentration you have :)  I did get closer to the wall on some runs..

Kirby 45 knots from Surfdock Watersports on Vimeo.

I know this run on the video peaked at just over 45knots, and I'm pretty sure I broke the Irish Speed Sailing record too!  (This is of course subject to verification) - but I know for sure my Max Speed of 47.17 knots is the fastest any Irish sailor has ever done, and my 5 x 10second average is also the highest.  Unfortunately the course was too rough to get 500m runs, which is hard in Kirby, so JK keeps his Irish 500m record.

GPS tracks are here.

After another ferry trip home, tired but happy, I could see on the computer I got 2 runs with peaks over 45 knots, and 8 runs in total peaking over 43knots, which was my previous personal best.  Job done, a new PB for me, and a great days sailing at an awesome location.  First day trying my RS Racing sails, and 47 knots instantly with a sail brand new out of the bag and no tuning... I can't wait to get this gear back to Burrow beach and go get some 500m runs ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bring on the wind

I have been waiting a while for these sails to turn up!!
This is the 5.5m, and I also got a 4.7...... in case there is a hurricane!
Suddenly speedsailing is going to get very interesting indeed :)
We have a bunch of competitions kicking off next weekend - wave - speed - wave - speed.
Going to be busy

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Surfdock / DMG IWA Wave event

It looks like the windy Autumn weather is kicking off nicely,  just in time for the first IWA Wave event on 16/17th September, and hopefully then a great run for the following Wave, Speed and Slalom events too.

It's certainly going to be a busy Autumn, and hopefully great windy fun for everyone – no matter what your style of windsurfing !  Surfdock and DMG Sailsports are delighted to be hosting the next event in the calendar -  The IWA Wave Champs, and are working hard behind the scenes to make sure you have a great event with great sailing.

Some preliminary information about the event for you:

What's it all about?: Getting out there and having some fun in the waves, pushing your skills and learning how to shred with like minded people.  There are fleets for everyone – you dont have to be a wave guru – you just need to be interested in getting out in the waves and trying it out.  You always come away inspired and ready for more action !

   September 18th-19th      or if no wind – rollover option:  October 2nd-3rd.

Venue:     In order to get good wind, and fun wavesailing conditions, we wanted to try something new this year, and we hope you will think it is worth it !   We have chosen from 3 venues,  and will decide on which one, depending on forecast a few days before the event.

Option 1. - Magheroarty Beach, Donegal.
Possibly the most beautiful beach in Ireland, Magheroarty has a great mix of waves on the beachbreak, and on the world famous reef – which is surfing and waveriding heaven (and easy to sail even in a big swell).  
This works best in SW or W wind. 

Option 2. -  Westport area – Co Mayo.
Basing an event out of Westport, gives us the option to change venue each day depending on the forecast – where we can choose from Louisbourg, Achill, Mulranny or event Belmullet.  All wind directions are covered, and Westport is a great party town too !

Option 3 – Dublin.
In strong SE, South or SW-W wind, Dublin has great wavesailing (also North and NE), with plenty of jumping and riding.  It's our backyard, and it would be great to bring a comp to Dublin for the first time.  Our fun coaching wave event was good fun – and showed us the number of wavesailors who are looking for some fun

The venue notification: will be posted by Lunchtime on Wednesday, and finally confirmed by lunchtime Thursday before the event.  This information will be posted on Surfdock Website & Facebook Page, DMG Website and Facebook Page, IWA website and windsurfireland egroups.

Registration info:  To make it easier to organise, we would really really really appreciate that you pre-register your interest in the event by sending an email to:  events@..., with your name, and mobile number.  This ensures we can get you the most accurate information about venues, and also give us an idea of numbers.

Entry requirements:  Everyone is welcome! But you must be a member of the IWA to compete in any IWA event.  Membership also provides you with personal insurance.  
Forms will be available at registration, or you can join beforehand by visiting:

We are working on putting together accomadation information, and will post this in the next couple of days.
Hope to see you out on the water !!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2011 Pryde Vid

Here's a nice vid of the 2011 Pryde sail collection!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

7 days in Fuerte makes one weak

At this time of year I always love getting over to Fuerteventura to see my good friend Steve Gibson. Steve lives in Corralejo, and we hit the North shore in search of waves and freestyle conditions - our favourite spot being Punta Blanca.. a great mix of jumping, riding, and a sweet freestyle channel on the inside for slippin and sliding.  It's just a fun jumpfest - I have been going there for 20 years.. and I love it.
Somehow we always end up pushing eachother loads, trading moves and sailing till either of us literally cannot walk!
This year was no different... I only got away for a week, but we had wind every day at Punta, apart from one day with a session at Glass Beach on the other side.

I always try and get down to Sotavento too (if the wind is not great up North) and see the PWA freestyle, but this time the wind was too good up North to leave, and I hadn't the time to get down.

Cant wait till next time back to Fuerte already.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gear for sale

It's all sold, so nothing available at this time.
You can of course check the second hand list of the Surfdock website below.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sailed at Seafood Chowder

Small but fun waves yesterday at Seafood Chowder, which is the new name for Dollymount beach in Dublin.  In the summer, there's a lot of weed and algae in close at the shoreline, so it's not the most European Blue Flag friendly place you will find :/
Still good fun though, as I met up with goof friend Jeff Cochrane, who borrowed a spare set of gear from me - and is featured in all these pictures.  There was plenty for 5.3m and 92 twinser.
It was hardly a reeling reef break on the west coast, but we both still really enjoyed it, as it is rare enough that we get to sail together apart from at events.
More wind for the weekend I hope... happy days!

Friday, July 09, 2010

west coast shots

Got a few more shots from Steve Thorp from the weekend at Magheroarty.  These are from the smaller winder day on 4.0 Combat and 68 quad.

Back on the road again on Wednesday, for a quick sprint to catch a 6.5m swell.  These shots are from the 'warm up' beach on the high tide, which turned out to be great fun, a fast beach break with a fun close out after 2 or 3 hits, full power on 5.0 Combat and 74 quad.

We then moved on from here to sail the real deal further along the coast, once the tide had backed off a bit.
This final shot is of Colin, son of Alan Harris from Surfdock, dropping into a nice one.  I got a few bombs, but the camera was not rolling for these... so they will have to stay in my memory !