Windsurfer Winter depression?

While the numbers are falling on the thermometer and the darkness is pulling a black coat over the northern hemisphere many windsurfers including myself is mentally preparing for hibernating. The depression is almost impossible to avoid. As you probably know all windsurfers are junkies. We need the adrenaline and endorphins that the planing is creating. The first month is the worst. You Google on trips to Egypt, Cape Verde etc., but do you have the time to go, is it OK at work and the family, can you afford it?

I do not say that I have the solution. But at least I have something that could stretch the time before the last windsurfing day is through this year.

Before the snow and ice comes, it is usually pretty windy. It has to do with the differences in temperature in the north (like Svalbard) and the south (like Spain).
And the last weekend November was an occasion like that. Lots of wind in France, Holland, UK, Sweden etc. I was out sailing for a few hours in the drizzling rain in 25 knots of wind and really enjoyed myself. I said to one of the guys at the beach afterwards, ”I did not even freeze at all”. When I started the car the temp was +3 Celsius. With wind-chill effect that would have been very cold.

How did I manage so well (my gear between ( ) but probably there are lot of other brands that are equal).

1.     Preparing and rigging in warm clothes and gloves
2.     Warm 6mm winter suit with integrated hood.
(Simmer Steamer 6/5/4)
3.     Polypro rash (Quiksilver)
4.     2 mm neoprene shorts (NeilPryde) (I wish I had some better polypro, but have not found any
5.     7 mm boots (Atan)
6.     Gloves with heating pads (Dakine CWM with Tiki Heatpads on top of the fingers)
7.     Camelback with +45 C energy drink (Platypus winter)
8.     When ashore I jump into an survival suit (Fladen)
9.     Warm car with diesel-heater (Volvo XC70)

The Harness - a piece of yourself

Anders B with Balance
You do not realize how important some things are until they are gone. After Weymouth Speedweek I could not find my harness. I have a lot more, so not a big issue. I just grabbed another one (Neil Pryde) and went out. It was not a good session at all. When I was going to hook in I had to jump up, hooking out was hard sometimes and also it sometimes hooked out accedently.

I have to get my old harness back. It is a Naish Balance size L. First I called the Swedish importer (that also have the only store). But they told me that they have stopped selling it. Then I Googled around the world and all shops in Europe where out of stock. I finally found one in Pismo, California… I am going to LA soon, but it is a big effort to go up to Pismo Beach. Then it struck me, I should contact my ex-sponsor (Naish). Why did not I do that in the first place! 
Anders B with Balance
With this blogpost I want to illustrate how important some different things are for every one, it doesnt matter if you are a pro or an amateur. I while ago when I met my fellow countryman Anders Bringdal and we where talking about the best harnesses, and we both agreed that Naish Balance was (at that time) the one. Even if we have left Naish, we both have used the Naish-harness afterwards when we are with other partners/sponsors/businesses. 

So my advice when you have found the right one for you (any brand), buy three!
Santa came early

PS Thanks Robby & Michi, the harness has arrived from Haiku, Maui today, I am back in business!

King of the Fjord - an important event

Since some years ago I arrange a regional speed windsurfing event not far from where I live. There are about 25 happy guys in all different ages that show up when the forecast is above 20-25 knots of wind at the weekends or a weekday when it is light enough to sail. The rules are simple; the fastest 250 metres run during the day counts. There is no course but the area is restricted to a box in about the same size as Portland Harbour, Strand Horst or a bit bigger than Sandy Point.

All riders that upload their files to and tick the event is in the race. The format is so easy for everyone, I mean one single 250 run could everyone perform. You could say that if you get a lucky gust, you could win. But after the whole season with 5-6 days it is usually a fair ranking. After every race day we raffle some prizes from a local surf store. And after the season is over we have an official prize giving with trophies when the King, Queen, Prince and Masters of the Fjord are crowned. We also have some special trophies for Best Top speed, Rookie and Samaritan of the Fjord.

But why is it an important event, you might ask? Well, I think it is important that we create a wider base of speed windsurfing events that everyone could attend. The mood is very easy going, and all riders encourage each other to perform a little more than just any sailing day.

The big Family of the Fjord
But that is not the fully truth about why the event is important. In many places all over the world where we do speed windsurfing, we have for different reasons problems with have access to the water. Some places are birdwatchers, farmers, and industries etc. that dislike what we are doing. By organising an event like this and publish the results including youngsters in the local paper, we build an awareness that we are a part of the community and that it is important that we should continue to speed.

And what about the results? Well since the event started the European Speed Champion 2012 Daniel Borgelind has won every year, but this year the Swedish Champion finished first. I encourage you to join or start a "king-event" at your local spot too.

Weymouth Speed Week concludes a fantastic year speedyear 2012

We have just arrived back home after a successful journey to England. (Boy, that boat back from Harwich to Denmark rocked and rolled...). The Speedweek was the icing on the cake for this year´s speedcontest season.  Daniel Borgelind and I have been there three times, and we love the atmosphere and spirit, but we have found it hard to perform well. The conditions could be so various, some times flat and stable, sometimes patchy wind and bumpy chops from all directions. And last year with a bleeding inner ear and a broken finger, close to hell...

But the last 6 weeks have been more than good.
- First the German Championship/European Championship Speed Tour in Orth, Germany, Daniel 1:th and myself 3:rd in demanding conditions 25-35 knots of wind.
- Then the Swedish Speed Tour Klagshamn, myself on 1:st place and Daniel 3:rd. 
- The week after, the Swedish Championship, copy-paste the results, 1:st place and Daniel 3:rd.
- Then over to England, the British event of European Championship Speed Tour, Daniel 1:st place and myself 2:nd. (We won all heats except of one!)
- And last but not least, the Weymouth Speed Week, Daniel 1:st place and myself 3:nd, all crafts, all classes overall.

And the best of all, none of us have done any neither catapults nor any damages at all this year!

Well, maybe you would like to know how did we achieve the last 6 weeks successes? 
  • Very many hours on the water together. 
  • Trimming our sails from NP and Loft on our Carbon Art SP63´s. Learning to uses bigger and bigger sails on smaller boards. 
  • Finding the right fins for the right water. 
  • Being prepared at the events. 
  • Be at the right place at the right time when the gusts hits the course. 
- It may sound easy, but it was not!

A special thanks to all people that has supported us, especially our families.
We have 70-80 days on the water plus travelling days, a fulltime job. We need to catch up now!

Swedish Champion 2012

Thanks everyone! You who read this blog, all competitors.
And Monty, Michel, James, Otmar, Daniel, LBJ, Guy, my family Joanna, Vendela & Edvard.
And also my early sponsors like Tommy Åkefors (Cobra/Quiksilver), Henrik Fahlén &  Michi (Naish).
I am totally stoked. 1990 I was 3:rd. 2007 15:th, 2008 8:th, 2009 6:th, 2010 4:th, last year at the hospital.
I really never believed that I could become champion, but this year when I relaxed and only sailed for fun, everything went well.

About the race. We did 6 heats over two days, the first 3 in lighter winds and the last 3 in more demanding conditions.
+36 knots over 250m is good in choppy water
I sailed my big speedboard in all races, 9,5m2 in the first 3 heats and 8,6m2 in the last. One lightwind heat was not valid, too few in the fleet passed the speed limit over 28 knots. Shared the lead after day one. The second day we had gusty winds 20-35 knots. In the first and second heat, which was sailed back-to-back, my board was all over the place expect on the surface. Markus Emanuelsson excelled and was a lot faster than the rest of us. In the third the water was a bit calmer and it was easier to push higher speeds with my big kit, my time to excel with more than a knot faster over 2x250m, 35,5 knots in average. Two first and two second-places and one discard put me one point ahead..!

Loft Racing Blade 8,6 m2 in 36 knots wind and speed, it worked!
(I must thank myself too, the Carbon Art SP63 is my baby and what a board! 15 or 35 knots wind doesnt matter!)

At the Top of the Podium

Last time I was at the top of the podium at a major event in Sweden was in the eighties. (I have won in the raceboard class also but that doesnt count!) Arto Kantojärvi and Patrick Troell where beside me that day. I was 21 years old and my life was like an unwritten book. The victory was so sweet, I felt like all Gods in the universe where supporting me.

And today, over 25 years later I got a major victory again. And I must admit that this win was even sweeter. I started to race speed in 2007 and I have almost spent 350 days on the speed/slalomboards since then. A lot of hours and big efforts, tuning sails, developing boards, testing hundreds of fins...

The Swedish Speedwindsurfingtour is very competititive, maybe the second hardest in the world. On the podium this time where two good friends, Markus Emanuelsson and Daniel Borgelind, I have fought since 2007 with them. Occasionally I have won a some heats, but at the best I have been overall is 4:th a few times. Some other competitors today, Tobias Hed was also competing with me in the eighties and Erik Larsson in the nineties.

But it seemed like it was mission impossible to beat all Swedes. In fact after last year with all my injuries, I have almost given up. This year I decided to only sail for fun. No unnecessary risks. Just doing my best...

The first day in Klagshamn we raced in open water 20-30 knots of wind. I tried my Carbon Art SP63 and 8,6m2 sail. The big kit was not an ultimate combo on open water... I was everywhere but on the surface. The following heats I used a small slalomboard, CA SL55, and 7,8m2. So much easier to push 34,98 knots over 10 seconds. After 3 heats I was 5:th. The second day we sailed in flatter water but less wind and the big kit was working like a Swiss clock. We sailed 2 heats and when I came from the locker room I was surprised when Jesper was congratulating me. Maybe for a third place I thought, great, finally a podium position... But the results were really close, only a few points between us at top 4 to my favor.
2:nd, 5:th, 1:st, and 2:nd were enough for a victory. So sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. 
Thanks everyone, and special thanks to James Dinnis for the boards, Monty Spindler for the sails, Otmar for the fins, Daniel Borgelind for the sparring and my family for all support!

PS Here is a story of mine from one of the first funboard-events the eighties.