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Sailing done, now time to conquer the board

After seven weeks of sailing in all kinds of weather conditions, it's now time for the Leapers to get to grips with the ultra cool sport that is Windsurfing. Here's how they got on.....

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First Aid & the many uses for tampons!

After the sheer exhaustion of DI week and the mandatory post beers assessment, I’ll put my hand up and say I wasn’t too keen to do the RYA First Aid course on the Saturday. Firstly, I was shattered and secondly, I’ve done so many First Aid courses I could probably run them. So with suitably low expectations…enter Rockley legend, Doddsy, the man behind the lovable and bouncy sprocker puppy, Mack, who has brought countless moments of fun whilst on lunchbreaks at the sailing school.  Despite being told not to, Doddsy revealed to us the multiple uses for tampons and sanitary towels for first aid purposes. Tampons for puncture wounds and nose bleeds. Sanitary towels for make-do dressings and bandages. So what could have been a tedious day was actually pretty good, and I had to use my head rather than my body for a change.

Beginner windsurfing

Speaking of change, they say a change is as good as a rest and I totally agree. Sailing is still great but having had seven weeks solid of it I was glad to be doing something else. That something else was beginners windsurfing.  Not being restricted by the dimensions of a boat and being able to stand up was a pleasure. Providing I had reasonable balance, my size could be used to my advantage in windsurfing as I could hold a larger sail and use my weight to counter-balance it.  A few of my fellow Leapers complained of back ache from hauling up the rig (sail, boom & mast) and holding it up.  To quote Pitt the Younger from Blackadder in his retort to Chancellor Metternich at the conference of Strasbourg, “Pooh to you with nobs on!” Welcome to my world guys…They say pride comes before a fall, so I'll be quiet now!

Windsurf lingo

Our instructors for this week were Lizzy and Liam, not sailing Liam but Liam 2.0 as he has become known.  We learnt a few new phrases from Liam. “Nuclear” meaning strong winds. “Falling out the front door” meaning falling forward off the windsurf board. “In the juice” meaning falling into the water. “Snoop Dogging” describing the movement of bringing your front hand across your body holding the boom of the sail and brining the rig to it’s balance point. This is done in the style of a gangster rapper as though they were steering a pimped-out ride one handed.  We did some theory on the seven common senses of windsurfing but the majority of the week was spent out on the water. We snuck in a cheeky stand up paddleboard session too when the wind was really light. A great but tiring week.

Progress:

Day one I was standing up and by day two I was happily windsurfing along. I have pretty good balance for a fat lad.  Steering up and downwind is coming along. To Liam’s amazement I managed a duck tack…I’ll be honest I’m still not sure what it is but he was impressed.

Challenges/stuff to work on:

When the wind is light much like sailing, I struggle to windsurf as it takes the sail upwind. So this will be my focus next week along with my tacks and gybing. Fingers crossed I can upgrade to a bigger sail next week so I get some real power/speed up.

Highlight of the week:

My dear chum Sam delighted in laughing at me fall over. I equally enjoyed him falling off his stand up paddleboard as it flew up in the air and landed on him. Thankfully he was OK so I was allowed to laugh. That and just blasting around on the windsurf looking gnarly were my highlights this week.

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