This week I had the great pleasure of a visit from one of my bestest pals in the world, Ian "Chucky" Ross. Ian had had a busy summer at home and just needed a get-away-from-it-all break, so he got in touch and booked a last-minute flight to come over and stay at Casa Gibson for three days (his previous three year ban on staying at ours for gross misconduct, issued by Caroline, had recently been lifted). Although he needed to relax, he was also very keen to get in as much sailing as possible and he hit lucky. After a calm period of almost a week, the wind kicked in on Chucky´s first day and we sailed the first two days at Punta pretty much from dusk til dawn, 8 hours at the beach, over 5 hours water time! Fantastic! The last day was looking good for Sotavento so we did the hell-drive (1h20, not that bad really) and ended up getting a bit skunked. The wind was pretty strong for our 4.5s and building when it just suddenly switched off after half an hour and never came back!
Anyway, apart from the sailing, we had an amazing few days. Anyone who has ever met Ian will know he is great company and incredibly likeable, and we had a great time sailing together, drinking beer and generally having a laugh.
Apart from relaxing and having a darned good laugh, we also managed to squeeze in quite a lot of informal tuition as there were a few things that Ian was interested in learning/improving on. Again, what a success- he was consistently landing vulcans by the end of day 1, we tweaked his starboard forward rotation so he lands smoother (and doesn´t burst his eardrum any more), and he is getting ever closer to that elusive first flaka! For sure, we would have completed the mission by learning ponches down south on the last day if it weren´t for that pesky wind (Ian has tried before with me and was almost sailing away from them when the aforementioned eardrum stopped play). After the first day at Punta, when we had ticked almost all his boxes, I got it into my head that day2 would be the perfect day for Ian to learn air chachos. I gently introduced him to the idea in a spanish tapas bar after quite a few beers, and he was very receptive (and/or very pissed). So, the next day, we arrived at Punta with a whole new plan. Chucky had holed his window the day before sliding across it after (another) flaka crash (get used to it, amigo, I crashed like that for a year before I finally cracked them!), and used the opportunity to spell out the words "DO IT" in duct tape on his window to remind himself, he said, not to be a pussy. Well, it must have worked as I saw him fly into his first ever air chacho attempt after about 20 mins on the water! Well done, I admit it was a massive crash, one of the funniest wipeouts I´ve ever seen as he ducked the sail mid-forward, missed the boom and went flying off about 8 metres downwind of his airborne kit. Brilliant! I still have that photo in my mind and hope it stays there for a good while. In the end, he tried three and the last one was perfect, just a little low; he´ll get them when he tries back home. I´ll let Chucky tell you in his own words. " So today Gibson started the punishment with flakas. After crashing into the boom and sliding across the reef a few times he mumbled something about AIR CHACHO´s. Off he went and did one. DO IT he said, so 3 runs later I am being done by it and flying through the air while my kit is flying through the air nearby! Funniest wipeout so far!! 3rd attempt was the best but not quite high enough (the wind and waves had dropped a bit!) But I managed to duck the sail and go into the rotation. I have to say though it is the scariest windsurf stunt I have ever tried...I mean why would you try to duck gybe in the air, while doing a forward?!! But I have to thank Stephen for being so good at convincing me to try it...It was emotional!!! (not in a gay way!!)" Fair enough.
I could go on for hours about the fun we had, the great sailing, the little in-jokes blahblahblah, but instead I´ll leave you with this little video which captures perfectly the seriousness with which we approached Chucky´s 100% totally professional training camp. Enjoy...