"We are Sarah Sylvester and Richard Boughton, the UK importers for Jochum and Nesler, JN Kites. We sell and repair kitesurfing equipment in the UK, take part in competitions and travel the globe kitesurfing. Read all about our adventures here!"

Friday, 16 December 2011

2011 Advent Storms

It's been a big old week down here in the South Hamsters. For once, Windguru didn't under cook the forecast and we got dealt a serious week of big wave, and big wind hi jinx. It's been the longest storm we have seen down here in the last four years of Devon. The week previous we were fairly sure most of it would be to windy to kite, but it actually turned out alright.

Slapping the close out with a salty Go Pro on Tuesday 13th
 Monday was one of the best days for progression before the storm really hit. Powered 9m and the swell had arrived before the storm kicked in. There were nice rides to be had, but if we are honest, it was a little too onshore, made up for by how clean it was. We got a couple of good hours in the morning, and packed up just before the wind went crazy.

Extreme 6m weather
 Tuesday was the strongest forecast, with 35-55 knots predicted on the Guru. We went down set up, only for a mega squall to arrive which left us sheltering under the 6m in a hail storm. Quote of the week from our recently retired friend Bert was "I feel like one of those f@*king penguins off frozen planet"

Thurlestone working with no wind
 Sarah and I both got an hour or so on Tuesday on the 6m Da Vinci, in humongous swell. When it gets hairy, this is still the kite we turn to. We literally pull it off the dusty shelf in case of emergency. In the end I actually got a few decent rides, which I wasn't really expecting. The swell period was so large that there was a lot of space between waves at high tide, meaning you had plenty of time to jibe and prepare to haul your arse over the white water going out. It was actually far safer than some days we have with smaller swell, less wind and shorter period. A windsurfer managed to lose his rig and was swimming in about 300m out and half way across the bay from where his rig was. I hovered around him and watched him in which he was very grateful for indeed. The current was ridiculous with the river flowing out full of Dartmoor's brown sheep shit and tannin rainwater. I obviously earned my karma points here as straight after that I got the best five waves of the day. It was very eerie out there with the low sunlight and mist. Another squall was building behind me, so I called it quits and came out of the water extremely euphoric, and for once the Go Pro worked and I forgive it for getting salty.

Burgh Island Bigggies
Wednesday came and went with very unstable weather. We rode for 20 mins or so, but it was literally 10 to 40 knots as the squalls came and went. Not exactly conducive to fun and we got quite cold. Thursday and Friday were spent doing work and repairs, and in the morning in between the storms I went out and took some photos of a few reef / point spots that have potential to work on big swells in WNW. They were firing, but the wind wasn't quite right. 20 dgrees further north and I would have been all over it. With the onset of Manflu hanging over us like a bogey encrusted overlord, we stayed out of the water and in front of the wood burner. But we know where to head, and when, next time and the exit strategies are in place.

In fact next week looks like it's on. The winter of love continues.

There are more pictures from the weeks antics and scoping here:

December Scoping Album