I´ve finally got the chance to put "finger to key" and give you an abbreviated report on the Puravidaboardriders Easter Windsurf Clinic. Although the forecast disappeared days before they all arrived, the clinic was a huge success again with everyone´s sailing improving noticeably over the week. The wind stayed light to moderate throughout the week but we still got on the water every day except for the last one when we went for a group SUP session which was a hoot (check out Justin´s garb above!).
After the welcome BBQ on the Saturday (mucha cerveza), the week started and we did our utmost to seek out the elusive wind with a fair degree of success. We got in a couple of days at Flag where most of us managed to plane (Hobbsy played a masterstroke and, having seen the forecast, brought a big sail with him and planed every day of the holiday except for his, by now traditional hangover day). Emily planes in nothing anyway and was zipping past everyone as usual, Naomi, the keenest member of the group by a fair old margin, was also flying around on her 5.8.
The next few days were spent down south at Sotavento where the wind was much less fierce than usual, giving me the perfect opportunity to teach tacking, lightwind freestyle and also to introduce young Amber, Justin´s 14 year-old daughter, to our beloved sport- she took to it incredibly quickly, learning beach starts in her first session! Wow! By the end of her second day she was in the harness, tacking and gybing and generally putting the rest of us to shame. Well done that girl and watch out all you women pros- I hear she´s already got herself a 100 litre board (and they live in Marazion, one of the best places to be for wavesailing in the UK!).
In the lighter winds we managed to hammer home the shortboard tack, Fran, Tom and Naomi all got to grips with it and will now be happily tacking away on their shortboards. Hobbsy has it fully cracked now and was tacking my Skate like it was a Vinta Twist! Nice to see Tom (dark horse as always) and Hobbsy cruising around on the wrong side of the sail aswell- 360s will be easy now boys!
On our last afternoon down there, the wind was almost non-existent when we arrived so I taught tacks, helicopter tacks, sail ducks and lee sail tricks from my SUP before the wind picked up nicely as forecast for the last hour and all the theory of the previous couple of days was put into practice. It was great to see everyone blasting around, and see that their level of sailing had improved over the week because of the practice in the lighter winds... I have always maintained that the majority of essential shortboard manouevres (tack and gybe) and, indeed many freestyle manouevres (helicopter tack, duck tack etc.) can be easily learned in lighter winds on a bigger board and then transferred onto a smaller board saving hours of frustration and this was proven perfectly in this session as I watched them all doing things they had never been capable of before our lightwind training. Cool.
So there it is, another one come and gone. There´s talk of a summer clinic this year so keep your eyes peeled on http://www.puravidaboardriders.co.uk/ for more info. I´ll leave you with Justin´s "family holiday" video, taken on the real lightwind days (we didn´t get any video of the windier days this year- slack) where you can see Amber on her first two days I think, Chucky´s horrific horseriding posture and Justin´s SUP outfit in all its glory...