As long back as I can remember, September has always been the month where you slowly see the days going darker, colder and windier! The sea changes it color a bit and reflects at you in a more moody fashion than normal.
Growing up with windsurfing in Denmark, this was always the time where you would start to get the really good days on the water. The westerly winds usually deliver and all over the country people will be on the phone with each other planning trips to here and there. It’s simply a tradition!
Although I now spend most of my time in warmer waters, I always return to Denmark around this time. This is the time where we celebrate the wind with some fun events and lots of sailing. The chilly weather doesn’t really bother you when you’re having fun!
At the the end of August I had been to a world cup in Turkey, and had a brief stop in the canaries before I packed up everything for a month of action, the month of September. First on the schedule was “waterZ” event at the west coast town of Hvide Sande. This event has now been on for a few years and has been good at combining wind and kite surfers of all levels through a long distance race and social activities. This year I rolled over there with friends from Copenhagen and a gang of youngsters all going for their maiden competition experience. We had rented a summer home between all of us and in general it was quite a cosy gang.!
As usual the weather forecast was in place and we even squeezed in a quick windsurfing session the day before the event. This spot is where I spent lots of time when I was just starting to windsurf, so I´ve got great memories from this place which come up every time I come by.
It had been a while since I last had an after surf Tuborg!
In true fall weather fashion, it was raining like crazy while we were rigging up, and by the time I went for a run to try out the conditions, I couldnt even keep my eyes open from the heavy rain… yeah it was heavy!. Luckily by the time we were about to start racing, the rain decreased to only a moderate rain.
There was something odd about the choice of course this year. We would normally do a long downwinder race with just a few turns, but this year the race crew had decided to put up a regular long course with an upwind part built in it, which we were meant to circle around for 30 minutes, and the one who had done the most rounds by that time would be the winner, and furthermore, it would be decided over a series of races. I was definitely not prepared for this, but okay, it was the name of the game.
The first race got called just after 19 minutes, the course got re-adjusted, and we went out for more rounds, but the wind had turned more, and this whole long distance race turned into a long course race, but thats just how it is sometimes. We dont control the wind, we just ride it!
I had a few good starts 🙂
I only just managed to hang on to a third place as I had literally no upwind sailing abilities with the way my equipment is set up. But at the end of the day, it was really great to get on the water and race with all the boys from home, and trash talk each other between the races. And the waterZ organisers did a very good job for the whole event overall. The party was going off, but I couldnt stay for long as more racing was coming up for the following days, which was a part of the Danish Champship tour!
The following day the wind turned to the north west corner and came in at proper hurricane strength. Something I didnt count on, when I was packing my bags. Yes, I had left my smallest equipment at home. So I dared out into the water, and what a horrific experience it was. I could barely sail in a straight line. Who would have thought that after all these years, the wind and sea still surprises you!. I tried to do one of the races, and spent the rest of the day in our holiday hut chilling out and getting warm haha.
Yeah it was windy!
On the next day, the wind was lighter, and we managed to do two rounds of slalom elimination, and I must admit it was some of the most fun slalom racing I´ve done in many years at home!. The level in Denmark is really high, so you pretty much have to go all in at all times, which just makes it a great challenge and keeps you on your toes.
There arent many national level races around the world where you get so many good guys. It really pushes you.
In the end, because I didnt race on the previous day, I was out of the podium game, but it was really a great time. I think we all drove back with a smile on the face that day. Just a proof of how good this place can treat you!
Racing with Sebastian
Third place at this years WaterZ.
That concluded just about a handful of days of full on action. It was now time to shift the focus a bit. I went home for just about a week, and then traveled up to Klitmøller, where the next PWA wave event would take place. This time behind the scenes, working with the PWA on improvements the current event management, scoring apps and future projects. I of course had all my gear with me, and managed to get some hours on the water in the rough North Sea.
A quick pit-stop at home!
Even though I spend lots of time in the ocean, I am always surprised of how different the water is at this place. And none the less, it was great preparation for the next event I would attend on the island of Sylt in Germany. I pretty much managed to get out in every sort of conditions, anything from super light wind, to proper high wind surf slalom. It really helped me get into the “ocean mode”, meaning I was comfortable with the high swells and had my equipment feeling comfortable in these conditions.
The day after I packed up all my stuff, and got on the road together with my Point-7 team buddy Maciek, and we headed south to the island of Sylt, which is not too many hours away from Klitmøller. The next world cup was five days away, so we thought we´d get a head start and get some sailing in at the spot before the competition would start.
This is normally a place, where you often hit the water for the first time, when you´re actually going out to your heat, so it was great to be able to actually sail there beforehand.
As we were approaching our destination, the weather was gradually getting worse and worse, and by the time we drove off the car train, it was a monumental downpour and generally a depressing sight!.. we quickly escaped inside and waited for better weather, which only would manifest itself later on at the local McDonalds with some free WiFi and cheeseburgers.
Car train views
The next days werent much different of a story. We would roll down to the beach thinking twice about what we were doing, but still managed to get in our wetsuits and put in some hours on the water. We were even able to do some 2016 sail testing, so overall a few good days despite the miserable weather 🙂
The weather was hard on us 🙂
Launching in the rain
High spirits regardless of all 🙂
Our team boss Andrea turned 40, so we hooked him up with some remedies for his next 40 years 🙂
Our lineup for these few days. Gonzalo, Andrea, Maciek and myself. In the end we had some good days!
The forecast for the first weekend of competition was for some wind, and it looked like we would definitely be hitting the water for some racing. Unfortunately, on the first saturday, there wasnt much wind action, and we ended up sitting on the beach, hanging out. The forecast for the following day was only a tiny bit better, so we werent sure how it would turn out. So I hit up one of the parties, and have to admit, I stayed a bit longer than I should have. One of the locals threw me off by saying there wouldnt be any wind the next day haha 🙂
I still managed to get in a good night of sleep, and woke up ready for battle. When I came down to the beach, there was no wind, but it was on the limit, so I spent the morning hanging with the guys from the Point-7 team talking stories.
All prepped and ready to go on Sylt!
Hanging with the guys before racing
Eventually some clouds rolled in, and about one knot of extra wind came in, and we were on. I grabbed the biggest equipment I had with me and headed out just to get a feel for the conditions. Before we could sail my heat, the wind dropped again, and we all headed back to the beach. I even managed to get out of the wetsuit, before it was time to head out again. This is typical Sylt. In and out all of the time 🙂
Coming back after my first heat
Racing together with Maciek
This time there was a bit more wind, and we managed to sail through some heats. I managed to get through my first heat, and came back feeling a bit rough. It was super light wind conditions, and the ocean was all over the place. This is probably the hardest stuff you can sail in.
I took pretty much any energy drink, Gatorade drink and bananas I had laying around and ate them, and headed out to the quarter finals. I had a mediocre start of this heat, but managed to get around the first turn in a good position and I kept it all the way through to the finish, and I had qualified myself for the semi-finals. By this time I was quite satisfied, and I took it quite easy in the semi-final heat. I got a terrible start, but managed to plane out of the first turn and caught up a lot, and eventually managed to squeeze myself in the last qualifying place for the finals,, the fourth place!. This was now really late afternoon, and I have to say I was quite roasted, but it was a satisfying feeling!
Racing with Bruno Martini in my heat
The start line in Sylt seen from above!
In the finals, I had a decent start, but just by the first turn, I totally mistimed my carve of the board, and pretty much sailed into the first mark. I guess I was more toasted than I thought haha. And that was it really. I came in at an 8th place. But none the less, a good day for me, which I would like to repeat again in the future!
We finished pretty much at sunset, and I was only able to drag myself up to the sailors area, get something to drink, some food and wobble home and go to sleep. Although it was only one elimination round, it took the whole day of staying outside, and going in and out of the water. It wears on you!
The finals from above!
The sun eventually came through and gave us some nice sunsets!
And now would start eight days of chilling, stressing, partying, being bored and eating curry wurst!. The little wind we had was just about all which was on the horizon, and only for the second weekend of the event, we had some wind showing, but that also disappeared, and we ended up sitting on the beach for the remainder of the event.
The Sylt event is a Super Gran-Slam, which involves wave performance for men and women, freestyle windsurfing and slalom. I think I only saw a handful of the wave sailors. At least we got out on the water for a bit, so I can only imagine how hard a week it would have been for them!
At the end of the event, I couldnt wait to go home. I packed up and left on the last day of competition already, and the next day I was already at home nursing the cold I had caught during the week.
The end of a very long week!
That also concluded my month of action and adventure in the colder seas, and it will be a while before I´ll be sailing in these conditions. Now the focus is on warmer climates, endless summer and winter adventures. Its time to look far ahead and think of the following season as well. Lots of things to consider, plan and organize.
But before all of the winter time, there is one more event left in New Caledonia. If everything works out well, I´ll be there giving it what I´ve got to climb the world rankings. So fingers crossed for a productive month and some action at the end of November in New Caledonia.
Where to even start. I´ve been off grid from my blog for such a long time. I feel like the daily social media stuff has taken over this year and taken more of my energy than it should, because I actually do enjoy writing and sharing with the world what I´ve been up to on my adventures around the world!
We just passed the month of July, and as expected, it came and went in the blink of an eye, and boy has there been things going on. The month of July is always the one I have been looking the most forward to over the years. I´m not sure why, but I think growing up in Denmark, it has always symbolised summer holidays and the arrival of summer. Nowadays I am spoilt and get to spend pretty much my full time under the sun, but there is always a special meaning in the word July for me!
Those who know me, also know that I´ve been out and about in the months leading up to July. March and April primarily went by getting to know my new equipment, and generally staying local between Lanzarote and Tarifa. It was a great exchange for me to just do short trips back and forth. And although I sometimes would miss the Maui spring time sailing, I was having a great time at both places.
Laying in the hours in Tarifa
Training with Gonzalo in Tarifa
To make a long story short. My season kicked off pretty much normally with the first world cup in Korea, followed by the Costa Brava world cup, and I finished both events at a 25th place. Nothing impressive I´d say, but there was definitely very motivating moments here and there. First of all, one of my main weaknesses, I now feel I have slowly turned into more of a strength: My light wind sailing. This is where I had always struggled over the years, and with the light winds of the racing in Costa Brava, I was able to do some damage, and that for me was a first big step to take up at something where I wasnt sure if I was able to ever get really good. So I guess working really hard actually does pay off 🙂 ..
Equipment at the ready
My 9,7 was feeling quite sweet in Costa Brava
Some nice chilled morning with the boys and some awesome breakfasts 😉
The usual Costa Brava beach party
I will say that before going to Costa Brava, I did do a sneaky trip over to Maui together with my sponsor Maui Ultra Fins to put in some hours of testing work, and to get in lots of photo and film for the season. It was a great time, and I also managed to hook up with my friends Arnon Dagan and Mateus Isaac over there for some training before heading straight to Barcelona and up to Costa Brava!. Now there is a great story with the return trip from Maui which will go down in history as Arnon and me checked in about 20 bags in at Maui airport, and we had strategically booked ourselves on to two different flights to divide the load on to different routes. As luck has it, I come up my gate, and the flight is delayed, and the gate agent had already booked me on to a different itinerary to make sure I would get to my destination,, but guess what route that was?,, yes sure enough I get put on top Arnons flight, and there is already a big delay switching my 11 bags from one plane to another!. I then meet Arnon at San Francisco airport and we have a bit of a laugh about the situation. And by the time we arrived, we had pretty much delayed all of our connection flights. I really hope no internal report gets created in the airline!
Doing product vids in the dark. I have to say it looked amazing 🙂
Still working hard on those turns!
Testing gear with Arnon
We got sent off with a shaka by the friendliest airport staff!
The road continued onwards to Denmark after Costa Brava to do some local events and see friends around the country. It was a really great time despite the fact that I had completely underestimated the Danish summer. It was a late june evening as I arrived at Copenhagen airport in my board shorts and tank top. My friend Christian picked me up, and after we packed the car he asked me if I had brought a warm wetsuit? Well I had brought a long john!!!!. Next morning we were scrambling to find some sort of a wetsuit, and I ended up showing up at a demo event the next day in a yellow rain jacked pulled across my long john and my harness wrapped around. It was a comical sight, but it worked out.
In the following weeks we managed to participate in the Nordic Championships(no wind), and a few more demo events until I was finally heading back to Lanzarote where I would team up with my friend Ross Williams to get ready for the Fuerteventura world cup later in July,,,, and yes, as you see all the sudden it was July!
Cruising the fjords of Denmark
Doing funny faces at the Nordic Championships
I was joined by another friend, and all the sudden, it was a full house, and it was full of good times and sailing. Ross and me put in some quality hours in the waters of Lanzarote, and we managed to get out in a big variety of conditions. It was really great and effective. I learned a lot from these weeks!. Finally a few days before driving across to Fuerteventura, we were joined by Arnon who flew in from Israel. We picked him up from the airport and hit the water straight after.
Having a good time with the boys in Lanzarote
Working it on the water before going racing
Parties in the caves!!
Getting sand blasted
Yeah it was a full load on my car!
When the day came to hit the road, we realised how much baggage we actually had, and we spent a full morning meticulously arranging our bags on the roof of my car, and it will definitely be the record of how much I have done on that car so far. I have done bigger loads before, but this seemed to somehow work out. With the inside of the car fully packed with people and more bags, my 88 Montero had a bit of a task at hand to get us down to the south of Fuerteventura. And it passed the test easily. Now I am never getting rid of this car. It brought us ALL the way down the beach and pretty much into the equipment tent itself. It was time to race!
Arrival Sotavento beach!
I will say, these weeks up to this event, I had been working quite hard on my equipment, and I felt like I could handle pretty much any sort of conditions, and still be comfortable on the race course. Before we started racing I sailed with a few guys and I seemed to have quite good speed. I was pretty much all smiles, but a different reality would set in over the days. There was something off with my game, and it showed it self already on the first day where I mistimed my start and also went in the drink, all of it in the same elimination.
The following rounds on the first day would be the same outcome. This was not a good start. Over the years I have gotten better at staying on top no matter what happens, and this was no exception. I was doing exceptionally bad and was not in sync with the conditions, but I must admit I was having a lot of fun racing in proper windy conditions, and blasting along that first leg in the crystal clear waters with people around you drag racing towards the first mark is an amazing experience.
Yeah its not too bad in Fuerteventura 🙂
Our 2015 Fuerteventura beach HQ
My gear was feeling quite amazing!
At the same time, we were a really great gang, mostly joking and laughing, so there was really not much getting me down. Of course you can allow yourself to be disappointed, learn from it and use it constructively for the future. I never really managed to do any proper comeback although my equipment was feeling absolutely amazing, and I knew I had the speed to be right up there, and this just shows how important it is to have your mental game in place, which I didnt have at this event. I ended up on 32nd place which is massively disappointing, but that moment has already passed and I know exactly what I need to work on, and as I have seen, if you put in the effort, things will pay off 🙂 .. Its funny how the places you expect to be doing well sometimes can become the places where you perform at your worst. I will have to think about that one for a bit haha.
On the positive side my friend Ross was in nearly all the finals and he finished off the event with a 3rd place which I know he is super happy for, and he is now 2nd overall in the yearly ranking. He is a strong force this year and its great to see him perform at his potential, and there is probably more to come.
This event was truly in the honor of our friend Peter Volwater!
Ross gets on the podium!!
Next stop is Turkey!
Since the Fuerteventura event, things have been very quite. I have been home alone and I´ve been staying very quite, and just been gathering energy to tackle the upcoming months, which also will be action packed. In a few days I will be on my way to Turkey, and next weekend we will be starting up the Alacati PWA world cup which always has been my favorite event. I cant wait to get there and get Turkish breakfast, lunch and dinner and get my Turkish going again. I´ve always had a good time there, and I dont expect this time to be any different. I have got a few specific things I would like to work on when I am there, and I hope the wind gods will treat me well to be able to get some good water time before we start the event, and we will see how things will work out at this event. One thing for sure, is that I am as excited as ever! And to top it off,, I am super stoked on my equipment. It has definitely moved me up one level, and when I get my sh.. together, it will show 🙂
Here it goes, we are now in the new year, and its slowly time to come out of hiding. I must say a bit of still time has done me good. But as we are slowly moving into the new season, its time for me to move on to a new equipment sponsor once more. This time I´ll be leaving my board sponsors Angulo Boards, and re-joining with Starboard. A brand, which I actually was riding in the very beginning when I joined the world tour. Lots of things have happened since then. I know carry a considerably bigger amount of experience which I´ve picked up over the years and the knowledge which comes with it. I know how things work, and after having ridden very different board shapes over the last many years, I know if the direction I am going is good, and I am confident that I am making the right choice.
Back in the days when I first was on Starboard
Now why do I keep changing all of the time one would ask. Well if you compare to many other riders on the world tour, I actually haven’t changed that much. Lots of things made me take the decision of leaving Angulo Boards, which is a brand I´ve worked with before, and I have a strong bond with the guys that run that brand. But a time comes when you must put bonds aside and really look at what it is you are doing. Are you really riding gear which is suited for you?
I had a really great year riding my Point-7 sails, because I was able to get them to a setting which was working great for me, and that ultimately brings you that last third of confidence when you hit the water to race against the best in the world. After these years, I can honestly say, its not always about gear being fast or not, but just as much suited to you or not. Last year, I was pretty darn competitive in some conditions, mostly windy conditions. Whereas in lighter winds, perhaps I needed a bit more drive. Having looked at the development program which the Starboards iSonic boards undergo, and having looked at other guys similar size to me which are able to push those boards to the limit in a big variety of conditions, my curiosity was tempted to say the least.
My first real solo trip abroad, racing the South Americans in Brazil on Starboard iSonics
I´m not saying that I´m going to go out there and win everything all of the sudden, but as in many other sports, you look at the parts of which you think you could improve on, and you try to either improve them or replace them. So, this year I am going to try using new boards, and see the effect that it will have on my racing. Along with a long to-do list for my winter preparations, there is a lot of things to attend to, and try to improve on, which all together should come together and give me a boost for this year.
Racing in Fuerteventura 2008 as a youngster
I definitely believe that with the gear combination I´m going to have, I am going to be able to kick some ass across the year, and hopefully be able to perform at a bit more steady level, and ultimately live out my goals!. First of all, I am looking very forward to be spending more time on the water with my new equipment, getting aquatinted with it, and learning every spot and corner of it.
We are now starting up february, but slowly, I´ll be picking up the pace, and its time to put in the serious amounts of water time needed for this years mission. I will be shifting a bit between the Canary Islands, and will be making a few trips here and there to make sure I´ve been through the whole spectrum of conditions to sail in before the season kicks us off in the beginning of May!
See you on the water
Whats been going on lately? Well, quite honestly, its been busy. I´ve been forced to spend loads of time in the gym, first of all doing weird exercises, being hooked up to devices, had ups and downs, and only saw little progress at the time. I´ll be totally honest, I am not completely patient! When I want things to happen, I want them to happen NOW!
I´ve spent loads of time in front of the computer, and on the positive side, I´ve managed to catch up on many of the things I had tried to work on over the last few years. So in that sense, it has been manageable sitting at home while the rest of my friends our out in the world racing. Oh well, I came to realize, in the end it was just a couple of races I missed out on, and even though the last event on the world tour which happened in New Caledonia looked pretty cool, I was pretty comfortable sitting at home.
Now back to the negative side, eventually, I realized I was getting in worse and worse shape, so I had to turn up the hours in the gym, and only then did things start to turn. I´ve been hammering it and done what I can so far, and even though there is still probably some way to go yet, I am on a good road!
Now to the anticipation. A short while ago, I was told that I could start hitting the water once more, but at an easy pace not pushing myself too much. I looked a bit back at last I sailed, and realized that it had been about two months!!! This is the most I´ve been off the water for more than 10 years!. It was a really scary thought. It had to end, and I had to hit the water NOW.
After spending a considerable amount of time actually getting my gear back together, I one day recently had the car all packed together and I headed down to the beach, only to realize, that in my absence, one of my battens had decided to break itself. I spent ages trying to fix it, and eventually I had to give up and drive back home in total anger, but this was not the end of it.
I repaired the batten at home, and prepared myself for the day after. Sure enough, conditions were there once more, and I rolled down the hill again, I rigged up, taped up the knee, and off I was!. As soon as I hit the water, the tape on my knee came off,, oh well. When I cruised out, it really felt like it was yesterday I was out. Nothing had changed, but then I got a gust of wind, and on my first run out going full speed, I had to just give out this cry of joy. I couldnt believe how much fun it was blasting across the water!!
Furthermore, the time that I had spent off the water had given my mind time to process all the stuff that I had been working on over the whole season, and everything just came to me: The combination of my mast, my sail, my board and my fin all working together, just all in total harmony. Really an indescribable feeling. All of the excess energy, anger and whatever negative I had kept inside of me for this period of time all just poured out in an imaginary ritual burning. And the knee?,, hmm,, I didnt really feel much pain. I was truly back. After a short while I cruised back in, and headed home in very good spirits. As anyone who surfs would agree on, nothing beats the smile on your face after a good session!
The days after I kept coming back for more, and the conditions kept giving me good times on the water. I´m feeling strong, and although I still have some things to work on, things just came back to me really naturally, and honestly in a better sense than before. I have been truly enjoying the last week or so, and I´m racking up the hours on the water once more, and as soon as I set foot on the water, the motivation just kicked in. Eventually I managed to get my buddy Russel (The wave hobbit) to come down and help me with some photos, so that I can share with the world my time on the water here on Lanzarote which has treated me very good!
Now they did tell me to start carefully, but its pretty darn hard. I swear I went as easy as I possible could!
More good times are come. I am just enjoying it more and more, and I cant wait to get properly started on training for a new season with lots of exciting times coming up!
Some decisions are hard to make which I have learned lately. This winter and all of the time up until now, I have more or less dedicated my life to windsurfing and racing 100% with all of the up and downsides which come with that.
Not long ago, a decision was taken for me, by my body, to retire from the rest of this years PWA world tour racing. As some may know, I had a pretty big wipeout when I was in Turkey competing for the Alacati PWA world cup about a month ago. A wipeout like nothing I´ve done before, in relatively light winds, on pretty much my biggest equipment, meaning it really cant have been THAT dramatic, or could it? I dont know, I didnt see it, actually Im not sure what happened.
Arrived in Turkey ready for battle
All I know is that when I came to myself, I had broken my aluminum mast extension and my board was also broken. Ohh and pretty much the whole of my body was hurting. I had somehow slapped my face really hard, I had twisted my right ankle quite hard and my left leg, well at that moment I couldnt even move it. One of the crew boats came over, and they pretty much had to drag me into the boat. I was completely useless! During the boat ride back to shore, I started to be able to move my left leg again but with quite the pain in the knee.
When I got to shore, I felt completely bashed, I was a bit disoriented and was a bit worried about my leg. The guys from the medical team came over, and mostly they were looking at all the cuts in my left leg, but they were not my worry. I felt like something was wrong inside the knee. I had it treated with spray to stop swelling, and other than that I actually started to feel okay again.
Some part of my body broke this
My biggest board broken
Now this was the very first heat of the very first race on the very first day at the competition, and I can just say that my head was definitely not ready to stop! We all know how it is, we dont want to admit that something is not like it should be, and that we should stop.
At this point of time, I think my mind had taken over the pain management and put the pain in a place where I wouldnt feel it very much. And I think I have got an explanation for that. The world cup in Turkey is one of the events I look the most forward to over the year. It is here that I often race the best, and it is here where I feel the most comfortable. Over the weeks up till the event I had built up anticipation and excitement, and in my mind, I was not ready to let it go!
So in no time, as if nothing had happened, I got my sail fixed, got a new board, and in the next elimination round, I was already racing, but I could definitely feel the effects of the crash. I had no power left. Luckily the wind didnt play ball anymore, and the racing was cancelled for the day to be continued the following day.
After packing up and working my way back to the hotel, I really started to feel what was going on. I actually barely made it back to the hotel. For each step I would take, the pain would get worse. Hmm, this could not be good. At night time, I was in crazy pain, and after a sleepless night I realized that something had to be done. First thing in the morning I tracked down the doctor at the event site who had a look at my knee and told me it was nothing serious, pheww, but why am I in this much pain then. He then had mercy on me and at an ambulance parked nearby I got two injections to help for the pain and swelling. I also had it taped up really hard and put together a home made compression which actually helped a lot. The wind was late in its arrival so I was just sat at the beach with my leg up wondering if I should race or not.
And I guess eventually the painkillers kicked in, and brought me out of the momentary miserable state, because I no longer thought about that knee and whatever consequences were to come out of this crash. I retired my big board, as there was no way I would have power enough to really push it and turn it around the corners. So I went with my medium board. People thought I was nuts to race with set-up, but on that day, it felt like all the excessiveness was taken out of my gear and I actually raced quite good making it through to semi finals securing myself a top16 position for that day.
Somehow managing to pull it off around the race course
My spare time activity in Turkey
To me its really funny to see what necessity can bring out of situations. I normally never would have raced my medium sized equipment in the light wind conditions of Alacati. While others were on their biggest board and sail, I was on my 115L board and my 8,6m2 sail. It made me realize how big of a range I had with this gear, something that I wish I could have realized earlier on in the year. I think also it made me realize my efficiency on the board. My time spent preparing over the winter had definitely made a difference. My technique had improved, and I knew every characteristic of every single bit of my equipment. Something that insecurities maybe have clouded over this season.
Furthermore, I knew there was no way I could fight for an event result by now. There was no way I could fight at the first mark rounding with that knee of mine. Because even though I was on very strong pain killers, there was still something missing, my edge in the turns, I simply didnt have it anymore.
To shorten the rest of the story in Turkey, I still had a great time and enjoyed sailing there as always, and enjoyed my time there. I kept on racing, and had great moments despite my missing power. It was really only when I sat down in the airplane seat that I once more started feeling like something was not right. The pain was back, and I now knew that I probably needed to rest up.
Heading out for my last heat in Turkey, all taped up
A great Danish crew supported me throughout the week,, thanks guys!
I made it back to Lanzarote and fully rested for quite some time, but I really didnt feel any improvements in the knee. So I went to the doctors once more and had an MRI scanning scheduled. By the time I had the scanning done, it was almost time to leave again and head off for the next world cup in Sylt. So I would have to wait a while getting the results. I have to admit, that I was quite close to not making the trip as I didnt feel ready at all, and I still had pain. But everything was planned, and I had lots of other business to attend to in my time in Denmark and then in Sylt. So I made the trip up north once more and finally made it to Sylt.
I was determined I could do this, and I had everything prepared on the first day of racing which brought really rough conditions with big swell and chop, the kind of conditions I usually welcome. When I first launched heading out to sail my heat, I didnt feel too many problems, and I thought hey, maybe its not so bad after all. But after the green flag went up and I locked in my 8,6 and started going full speed, it wouldnt take much time before I started feeling a burning sensation in my knee, and just generally feeling quite unpleasant. So already at the first mark, I jumped in the water, and had a moment to myself thinking about what I was actually doing. I then decided it was about time to head back to shore and start to be a bit careful. These conditions were not the right thing for me to sail in at that moment of time.
I headed back and threw my gear in a pile, and went inside looking at my friends racing, and not the least my great friend Arnon Dagan winning the final of the day, which was awesome and motivating! At that moment, I had sort of already pulled the plug on racing for the rest of the event, and had come to peace with it in my mind, but I had meetings planned and work to do during the week, so I decided to stay, and perhaps it would be nicely flat one day and I could race again. But that was not going to be the case. We ended up having a full week with no more racing, which I guess was fine by me, there wasnt much I was missing out on. Instead I got to do lots of work, meet up with sponsors and look at what I needed to do onwards. In fact a quite productive and fun week in the end,
My buddy Arnon takes the win at the Sylt World Cup
The day after we finished up on Sylt, I was already back in Lanzarote, and had to wait about a week to go see the doctor, which then eventually gave me the final rundown of what was up with my knee. A maximum level of sprain, but no other damage to any other parts.. Yayy I thought, but then came the but, I was to keep it still, do physio and recovery sessions over a period of 3-4 weeks with NO windsurfing. This would mean no racing for me in the following PWA event in La Torche, and pretty much no preperation time for the last event of the year in New Caledonia. The decision was then more or less taken for me. There is no need to go to events at half speed and not feeling on top or prepared!
This now means that I will not be joining the rest of the PWA fleet for the rest of the year, which of course is a bit hard for me. Windsurfing and racing is a big part of my life, and I have worked with it for years now, so having to take a break from it is not easy. On the other hand, maybe this was the time for me to take a break, regroup and come back stronger. And to come back strong is what I intend to do! In about a month I will be able to windsurf again, and I cannot describe how much I miss it right now. I will be hungry and I will have renewed energy, and I will have had the time to get myself organized for the 2015 season. I have had very supportive sponsors which I am über happy to continue working with them for the future. But for now, I will be focusing on getting my body back to a level where I can compete at 100% again, and I am sure all else will follow it. This is not me signing out of windsurfing, but only racing the next few months.
See you on the water soon
Lately, I have been trying to put together some blog posts, and by the end of them, I have found them very boring. It must have been at least 2-3 times where I´ve actually finished writing about a competition or an experience, but ended up taking it off again. So I thought I´d let some pictures do the work for me instead. Pictures are great, we are all very used to them by now, they tell us so many things, and if caught in the right moment of time, they can tell a whole story. So I´ve gathered up some photos from the last few months I thought would be fun to share with everyone.
As always, summertime means loads of activity for me. This is the time where most of the competitions on the world tour are compressed, so it always ends up being a time that first of all goes by faster than you would think, and being full of so many experiences which all blend into one action packed entity of SUMMER!. I´ve been around yes. This summer I´ve spent most of my time in the Canary islands, south of spain, Denmark, Turkmenistan, Turkey , Poland and Germany. Perhaps I´ve left a place out. As I mentioned, it was a busy summer with some amazing racing moments. Although I had some bad luck here and there, I have been so happy with my equipment, and the preparation I did over the winter has lifted my level considerably which is such an uplifting experience. I still have tons of stuff to work on to be more complete, but I know now that on the right days, I can kick some ass!. I am still loving windsurfing as much as 10 years ago! I will let these pictures below show a bit about where I´ve been and what I´ve been up to over the last months.
Getting ready for racing in Fuerteventura
Without a doubt my favorite place in the world for racing, Fuerteventura
Arrival in Fuerteventura and getting a container set up for racing
Amazing apartment views in Fuerteventura
All set up and ready to race!
My equipment area is popular! People come to chill
Little ferry rides
Canary style sunsets
Making of a little music video with my buddy Arnon 🙂
On the organizational side at this years indoor world cup in Warzaw, Poland
Back on the ferry and across to Fuerteventura to fly back to cold Europe
Rough windsurfing conditions in Sylt but still always smiles
One of the most difficult shorebreaks in the world, Sylt
Playing with the new 2015 Point-7 prototypes
Downtime fun and training in Tarifa
Yeah why not 🙂
Hitting the road with Ben Van Der Steen en route to go racing abroad
The Danish crew in Turkey
A clogged arrivals hall in Ashgabat Turkmenistan.
Enjoying dragging bags in 40-50c heat
Ran into a sand storm!
A mini, but well organized pit area for two!
First time in my life where I got up at 4.30AM to go rig up!
Evening entertainment in Awaza, Turkmenistan
My Point-7 AC1 7,9 sail and myself
Got to get traditional in Turkmenistan with the boys
Long travels get exhausting 🙂
SUV´s all lined up for presidential visit
Yelken Yacht Club in Awaza
With my buddy Sean
Warming up for racing
Nothing like getting to come to a place where you can truly relax after being on the road for a long time!
A place where I always feel great racing, Alacati, Turkey
Thanks for flicking through!
This year I’d like to see myself as starting things over again. Not long ago, the first World Cup of the year started for me, and it was super exciting to get out on the water and test out what I had worked on over the winter against others. So I want to let everybody in on a little “tale” that evolves around this years PWA world tour season opener.
My first competition this year actually started in Denmark, but as there was no wind for this first event, the next one up was going to be the PWA World Cup in Costa Brava, north of Barcelona. This would mean that I would go into my first event with no big competition training. Yes of course over the winter I have sailed a lot and trained hard, but hadn’t done any serious competition training. So after being in Denmark for a couple of days, I headed back home to the island of Lanzarote with one goal in mind, train those starts and turns, so that I would be light on my feet when I went into a competition.
And of course the island provided the perfect conditions for this. I managed to get into a good mode and got a good amount of hours on the water! After about a week, my buddy Sean O’brien from Australia joined me, as he was in Amsterdam, so I managed to convince him to come over and I now had a good training buddy as well.
As usual the time flew away and so did we on a direct flight from Lanzarote to Barcelona.
Game time it was, and even with a terrible forecast, I knew that we were going to have some action on the water. The forecast doesn’t always know what will happen at this spot.
A life on the road is often a life of patience
Sharing a hut with fun people is important,, always early morning entertainment at our place!
Sure enough on the first day with no particular forecast, we were out there on our biggest gear. Now let me take a few steps back again and get into how I feel about racing at this location, and my goals for this event. If you look at my achievements here over the last years, it has been somewhat of a disaster every single time. First of all, I get super allergic at this place, to whichever plants they would have, and I am sick 24/7. It completely drains me. Then for the last few years since 2011 we have mainly had lighter winds which has been my weakest point.
So I went into this event with one overall goal, to avoid a complete disaster.
I knew that my speed would be fairly good and generally felt good although I was already struggling with the hay fever. Even though I didn’t have any big success on the first day, I managed to keep myself within the top 20, which for now was good enough. Then the ultimate challenge came, two full days with no racing. The wind played tricks on us, and I just got lazier and lazier from sitting in the sun and not doing any big exercise.
A bored gang
Sunrise starts of the day
Sunrise and rainbow at the same time
Then on the second last day it all happened again, but with an added twist, an early morning start! Everyone who knows me, also knows that I’m not the best of morning person, and I guess the two days of nothingness had gotten to me. A premature start and an early round exit brought me right down to the end of the twenties, urgh, a wack to my confidence. I then went to bed that night thinking hard about wether I had actually improved myself over the winter or not? Had I just wasted my time? Hmm, no way in hell.
Setting up for pretty conservative starts here at Costa Brava
Setting up for the turns
Another day came by and once again, sick with hay fever, I woke up at 6 AM feeling like someone had beaten me during my sleep. I fired up the coffee machine to the max with no regards to wether it’s healthy for me or not and started carrying my gear down to the beach. This was going to be hard one.
The forecast this time was good, and within no time, the wind had filled in, and we were out there. I had only one goal on this day, redeem myself from the day before. I then made a plan and stuck with it, and suddenly it started paying off. I fought my way into two semi finals, but by the time I made it all the way through, I was just too tired to sail properly. The poor nights of sleep and the hay fever had really gotten to me. And for those who would ask, then YES I do take medicine but it doesn’t work.
Working hard on the last day of racing
At the end of the day, I ended this event on a 22nd place, which for me, for now is good enough, why? Because it wasn’t a complete disaster. The work I had done over the winter has pushed me in the right direction and raised my bottom and top level of performance. There are still loads of things to work on but I got through the Costa Brava event in one piece. And now, back on the road, I feel like a spell is being lifted off me as I no longer am feeling ill and can breathe again.
For those who were wondering about what equipment I used, it was pretty much all of it except from my smallest sails. The conditions were very tricky and the wind would go up and down several times through the hour.
All I know is that I really like the gear I have now, and it’s always a joy sailing on it, easy, fast and comfortable in any conditions!
Light wind days at Costa Brava
Having my life dedicated to only this matter for many weeks, I am going to take a couple days off windsurfing and gather my thoughts on the next world tour event which is going to be in Turkmenistan, a country bordering to my place of birth, Iran, so I will “sort of” have home ground advantage there, so I’d say things are looking good. Wether it’s an actual advantage or not, only time will show, but having survived this first event which is usually my hardest, I am looking forward to the next ones with a clear open mind.
Showing off my new boards