Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What happened in Sweden...

We left on Saturday morning from Surrey to get the Harwich-Esberg (Denmark) ferry, which was a full 20 hours long! It was actually quite relaxing as after being ripped of for our dinner on the ferry in Danish Krona, we had a cabin to sleep and watch movies all the way. Arriving in Denmark was cool, we saw seals sunbathing on the sand bars and once in Denmark, decided quickly that we didn't have any money for tolls and didn't know the Danish for cash point. We found one soon enough and after working out that we need a clock in our dashboard to park anywhere in town (which we still haven't bought actually...?) we left on our 2 hour drive to Grenaa for the ferry to Sweden. On the way we found Legoland which was free to enter after 5.30pm so we had a great trip looking round the lego villages in torrential rain!
A dark and rainy journey followed to get to Grenna and we boarded the 5 hour ferry to Varberg, sleeping on the chairs all the way. We arrived in Varberg at 6am and went to Markus and Emma's place. It was a lovely town, I liked how all the houses were different Swedish style in wood, lots were open plan and the city was clean and had lots of cafes for Fika! (coffee and cake!) That day we had a look round Varberg, had Swedish pizza (with kebab meat and cabbage side), and managed to get a late evening sail in at A bay when the wind came in as gusty 4.7 weather.
The rest of the week wasn't windy unfortunately, but Markus and Emma showed us lots of Swedish traditions, (mostly food based!) like Kaviar with egg (I didn't like this), pickled herring with potatos and egg and creme fraiche, this was yummy! Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam-yum! Better than Ikea! We also had a lot of Fika which is coffee and cake, or quite often a cinnamon Swedish bun, very tasty!!
Activity wise Stef and I experienced our first Swedish crossfit session as Markus went for a taster, it was good to get back into lifting again!
We also had free reign of the ice rink on proper ice hockey skates which were harder than the English flat bottomed blades. I had only ever skated in a rink where you skate in circles anticlockwise with a hundred other people, so skating right, spinning and going backwards was a novelty!
We also visited Varberg castle which was really interesting to imagine how they defended the city, and very picturesque!
I guess the highlight and strangest thing of the week was the Swedish Kraftskiva party, which is an annual crayfish and schnapps party! There was more crayfish than I have ever seen in my life and more than I have ever eaten too. We played a game outside throwing wooden posts to hit each others before hitting the central 'King', then went inside to eat lots of crayfish intermittent with songs sang in Swedish and English about crayfish and drinking and shouting lots of SKOL!! (Cheers!) A funny night.
Here are a few more picturesque shots of Varberg and surrounds:
I loved Sweden and would love to come back on a windier forecast! Thanks to Markus and Emma for having us!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Tenerife Videos, Custom Board and a Wetsuit!

It has been almost 3 weeks since I left Tenerife and I have been at home doing waitressing and barista jobs mainly to help afford my next trip! Our last week in Tenerife had a great forecast, but unfortunately I never had a really great session. Tenerife was really gusty so it was so hard to pick the right sail! One morning was blowing 50-60 knots and was survival sailing on 3.4 (I should have kept the 3m from Pozo!), then in the afternoon I went on 3.4 again but the wind died, after I had convinced Stef to film too! I also snapped a mast on one session so all in all a little frustrating, but still good to be on the water! Here are a few stills from the last couple of sessions:
Other than the last two sessions Stef filmed, I didn't get much dedicated filming as we all wanted to sail! I managed to get some clips from Ben and Justyna though when they were filming for the diaries, so I put together a little edit of my time in the Canaries. I hope you like it!

Sarah Bibby K349 in Pozo and Tenerife, Summer 2014 from Sarah Bibby on Vimeo.

Alfie Hart from Boards also did a great edit of all the British action in Tenerife, the men first then ladies towards the end. There will be a female only podcast coming soon too in which Justyna and I commentated, I'm looking forward to seeing that! Here is the British one for now!

Best of British a Windsurfing video by boards

In other exciting news,I have a Simmer custom coming my way! It is a 63l 'compactifly' quad, designed by Ola Helenius the Simmer shaper. It's designed to sit a bit lower in the water than the Simmer production Fly (my 69l) and have a slightly tighter turn but still be stable through chop. Ola said it has been tested with all sorts of fin setups and a traditional quad setup simply is the most all round, and my preferred ride. It's still possible to sail it as a twin for a bit more "free" ride or a quad with big front fin for more drive. I am so excited to get this board, as being 59kg, I have felt in many sessions I have just been over-boarded, so can't wait to try this! Here are some pictures of the shape versus my 69l Flywave, and the foam core:
Last but not least, C-Skins have sent me a super-duper new 5.4.3mm Wired winter suit! I tried it on in the garden (as you do), and was absolutely boiling as it has the fire core (blankety type) inner which is really warm and dries quickly. I have been impressed from before I was even sponsored by C-Skins on their suits and especially the female range, as being a smaller market, some companies skimp on the designs and quality for ladies. C-Skins have not and this is one of the warmest suits out there! So take a look at the winter range on the C-Skins site here
On Saturday, Stef and I pack our van and take a 20 hour ferry to Denmark, and another to Sweden to start our Euro road trip, exciting times!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

PWA Tenerife, 13th place!

I have been in Tenerife for about 3 weeks now, and have to say its a really fun spot when there are good conditions! Our first week didn't have much wind or waves, but two days into the contest, we had some really nice conditions, and this week (I have 4 more days) is looking epic! El Medano is a lively town, there are lots of bars and shops with a more Spanish feel rather than some tacky resorts like elsewhere in the Canaries. It is always busy too, with lots more nightlife than Pozo! Here is an aerial picture from Ricardo's drone of the event site and a morning picture from John Carter at the PWA:
There were 22 girls registered for this event, a great turnout and even 3 British chicks! The day before the event started, all the competitors marched though the town with a drumming band, waving their country's flag's, before meeting in the centre of town and being called onto the stage for the official opening. This was awesome and such a great way to start the event and let the whole town know we were there! On Monday morning we registered and stickered up all our sails. The single draw is below, I had Montse Collado in my first heat.
The forecast looked good from Wednesday to Friday, but the judges decided to run straight away (and rightfully so incase the forecast was to dissappear). The Juniors were up first, followed by the ladies. My heat against Montse was run in pretty light winds and little waves, but I still managed to get my jumps in and some wave rides, pumping into my first forward! I was pretty happy to win this heat but I then had Steffi Wahl in my second heat who was 3rd in Pozo. Here are some photos from my first heat...
So first round of ladies over, we went straight into the second round where I was up against Steffi. The wind and waves dropped in this heat and I really couldn't get going. I didn't find any good waves or a bigger forward despite seeing her land one and in the end she had the edge and some good riding put her through. Steffi climbed all the way up to 4th in the single elimination, with Amanda 3rd, Daida 2nd and Iballa 1st.
The double elimination had much better conditions with waves and feeling powered! My first heat was against Alice Arutkin who had missed the single elimination due to missing her flight. Alice is again a very experienced competitor and won on both waves and jumps, with her table top scoring more than my forward, and some nice wave rides. I confirmed as I feared before this competition that I wasn't consistent enough on my wave rides, going more for broke with bigger hits that I only sometimes land rather than a safer competition style of riding, so I definitely need to improve on that! Alice went through 4 heats in the double to finish 6th overall, well done! This meant I came 13th overall, which with Pozo leaves me 11th in the World so far, with my goal to be top ten!
The double elimination had great conditions to finish the competition, with standout sailors (for me) being Sarah Quita Offringa, who as previously un-ranked, climbed 8 heats in the double and came 3rd place, and Victor Fernandez and Thomas Traversa for their style and consistency, (coming 3rd and 2nd respectively).
After the competition a Super Session was run, giving 20 minutes to score your one best jump. Originally this wasn't for women (Men and Juniors only-don't ask me why...), but as there were a few girls wanting to participate on the beach, a heat was run. I was actually pretty scared as I prefer riding to jumping and didn't actually realise it was a jump contest when I signed up! The conditions had backed down a little and I took a 4.7, but with the current and the weed it felt terrible, very pull-ey! Anyway, us girls had a great time, and I went for several backloops, landed a table top and a forward and tried my first stalled forward, landing on my back which I was happy with! I came joint 3rd after Justyna winning with a couple of landed backloops and forwards and Amanda with some pushloop crashes.
For winning this, Justyna got to have a go at the tow in windsurf jump session at Siam Park. Only the top men got to compete but it was sick to see her getting towed into the ramp! Hopefully if there can be more sponsors for the event girl's can be included next time! Here is an edit Markus and Gustav did of the session, it's amazing!

PWA Super Session @ Siam Park, Tenerife from MacG Productions on Vimeo.

Here is also the video from Day 5 of the competition, showing the last heats of the double elimination for men and women, and the men's super session. Finally, a couple of shots from general sailing in Tenerife! I am hoping to make a video from the Canaries, but its very hard to get someone to sit on the beach and film!