Christmas Greetings from OZ

While northern Europe is suffering from severe cold weather and snowstorms, we enjoy that the summer has arrived to Wollongong in NSW. Christmas Eve was the first day we only swam in the pool. But today at Christmas Day we had another stunning day at the Towradgi-beach. The idea of this holiday is to spend some time with the family so we all are doing boggieboarding (or bodyboarding as they say here down under). It is interesting those small differences in the language. We are calling windsurfing ´vindsurfing´ in Sweden, but down here it it is called ´sailboarding. Guess they do not consider windsurfing so much surf... Anyway, we are all improving our skills in boggieboarding, and I hope to manage a 360 before we are going home ;-)

Happy Christmas everyone that are reading this blog in Russia, Spain, USA, Greece, Germany, France, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Croatia, Ireland, England, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden!

P.S. Some houses here would make Chevy Chase full of envy.

Wollongong - Second day and a second chance

Lake Illawara from Mount Kiera lookout
Click on the image to enlarge
Loft 5,3
Yesterday we arrived to Australia (after a non premium experience with Soutern China Airlines). Today was the first full day and when we woke up the ocean was boiling. Maybe gusts up to 50 knots. Here I am in the middle of the summer with no gear... After picking up the rental car we went to a shopping mall, went up to Mt Kiera lookout, took a walk at the Botanic Garden and eventually we went out to the lighthouse at the harbour. A lovely day with the family and freinds. But half past six a took a drive to the Yacht Club at Lake Illawara. (I knew this was the best place to find some local windsurfers). About 5-6 guys where out. Most of them on smaller wave or freeride boards and all of them had wavesails around 4,2-5,5. I asked one guy straight away if I could borrow his kit only for a few runs, even pay him well, he had a Severne-sail about 6,3 and used a GPS. But he replied that it would be better if I go north of Sydney and rent some stuff there (1,5 hours drive)... He thought I would break his gear. Can´t blame him, when getting a question like that from a complete stranger.

After a while most of the guys came ashore and they all started to chat with me. One had an old 5,3  Loft O2 sail with a big hole in the foot of the sail. After a few minutes he offered me to use his stuff. Oh, I was soooo happy!!!! I was so execited that when I did 5 good runs I did not switched on my GPS properly... But he was very very kind and let me do another 6-7 runs. I felt soooooo good, even on a old freerideboard and a non cambered sail with a 30 cm hole...! The gear was not trimmed at it very best, but it worked surprisingly well. I did over 33 knots in peak, the conditions was almost exact the same at Torkelstorp where I live, so it was easy to sail over the chops. But it was also very very much weed, actually the same sort of weed that we have at home, and he had a straight fin 35-37cm fin... When I get back home I will send him some good stuff. I think he will enjoy some nice Lessacher fins !

Port st Louis - just not what I expected

I had never been in the south of France. All computer racing games I have done, I expected something else, like "Cote de Azur-Need for Speed-something". Camarque was completly different. I was more thinking about the swamp-land where Shrek lives. Maybe not November makes Port St Louis it best, but it looked like it had it best days (about 50 years ago). The breakfast consisted of a cup of coffe and a piece of bread and butter. But the lunch and evening meals was great. Very good meat, pizzas and seafood. They even had red wine for the sailors at lunch! The setup for the contest was a 500 meter run with videotiming, which means gates, one man zones, jibing marks etc. The first day we raced in gusty 30-60 knots offshore winds, only myself and a few more sailed through the gates... The locals seemed to look at the rules just as guiding. ;-) One of my frontstraps went off after my first run and I only did one more run the first day. I have to admit that I was not good prepared for this event. Then we had some sunny and calm days when we explored the canal at St Maries de la Mer with the veterans Andrea Baldini and Jan Krijn van Dijke. Holy Ground! Another day we went for a roundtrip to  Marsielle.
The last day we had to race in onshore conditions. Thats the disadvantage with videotiming, it is too much work to move the course. Dumping onshore waves up to 2,5 meters was not good at all when I only had brought speedboards to the event. This contest had a ranked of 3,5 because of the videotiming and some prizemoney. It a little sad that 2 heats made that big difference compared to all heats that where sailed in Sweden and Germany with only 1.0 rank. I hope the rules will be changed next year. Anyway, we had very warm and nice weather, good food and cheap hotel. Apart from the onshore saling, I must say that I like Shrek´s land! 

Port St Louis was also a turning point for me, I entered the event with Naish Sails and ended with Loft Sails. I am 100% sure that this will improve my performance and looking forward for the next season.

Weymouth Speed Week 2010

Team Sweden takes a rest
The contest i Portland Harbour is soooo different to any other speedevents. First of all the course is open twice a day, no matter of the wind. Everyday a Cup is the prize to chase. In the main contest, only the best 500 meter run during the whole week counts. That means that is up to you to go out everyday and sail for the Cup of the day. Or go for a photo session on the oceanside, or chasing T-shirts downtown Weymouth. Every night we gather at a local pub for a meal and some beers. And 100 competitors including the crazy guys with the boats. Wow!