Local LIVE conditions

This is the deal: 100 racers embark on this small island in the North of Germany for 6 days to all race for the World title. I am racing in the production class- something that in 2012 will be mandatory for all riders. This means I have to register 1 board & 3 kites so as well as being a good weather person I just need to make a quick decision on which sizes I will use for the next 6 days- bearing in mind we are on the north sea & last year when I was here it never went above 10knots!!Reluctantly I handed in my form- 16, 13, 10mtr –just the same as all the blokes!!! Then I just looked again at the synoptic chart & quickly crossed out the 16mtr & added an 8mtr kite. This was a tricky one since not only do North have amazing big Dyno kites but also I now really did need it to be over 15knots each day. This has proven so far to be a smart move.

The Grand Opening Ceremony was magic with countries participating in this event I had barley heard off! All the ‘luthania’s then USA, Brazil, Australia, China & europe–it was really great to be part of such a massive event. (over 150 competitors) Entering his first European event-Ned /Ted held the Union Jack & was joined by fellow UK representatives : Luke Whiteside, Ben Todd & Hannah Whiteley.
Shortly followed the Skippers meeting which was a huge affair & then the we hit the water with a straight 4 x races.

Poor decision making resulted in me loosing the first 2 races- not the best way to start my World Championship come back. Influenced by male dominated friends all taking 13mtr kites & with a bolt off-shore wind there was no way of going out for a quick test to check the conditions. Back of my mind was looking on the horizon & seeing white caps but when I even mentioned I was thinking of going out on my 10mtr kite – the team just laughed. Now I rig in a completely different area so as to not get influenced. So after a beating in 23knots trying to hold down a 13mtr kite on 32cm lines with big fins, I downsize all round & attempt to make it back out to the start which was way offshore. A steady 2 x bulletts in race 3 & 4 meant that I was now back in with a chance.
Day 2 & 3 I sailed consistently, either powered on the 8mtr Rebel 2012 or the dyno 10mtr kite & just did my thing. Preperation, going out on the water early & getting transits & mentally sorted. Long days & late finishes but its not dark till mid-night

This was the most challenging conditions I have ever kitesurfed in. Everyone that raced today deserves a medal including the crazy guys in the rib & jet ski’s making it all happen for the world championships. My smallest kite registered was an 8mtr rebel so this was it- no choices. The wind was 25-30knots but it was this huge swell with breaking sets all over the course that spiced the racing up a notch! I felt pretty on the edge & it turns out I was not the only one! Anyway we all did it & by 8.30pm we were back on the beach buzzing with the achievement of racing in these narly conditions. It was an upwind /downwind course & it was all about commitment- confidence to loop the kite & just go hell for leather down the rolling sets. I won 3 out of the 4 races this day so now had 9 bulletts & was clear ahead with 1 day to go. If they did not race tomorrow I had it in the bag & was hoping this would be the case with the swell forcast.

DAY 5- This was the best day since racing was cancelled & I went wave riding on a 5mtr Rebel with next years Whip. It was like a bigger Westward Ho! Day & faster wave sets coming in but was just so relaxing to be in a waist harness without big fins, Straps & just doing what I really love.

The closing Ceremony & prize given was a grand affair & standin g up there on the Podium with the national Anthem banging through the crowds was an amazing experience. So there I was thinking this was a pretty proud moment- perhaps I should do it for 1 more year- Brazil 2012???? So the massive thanks went to Eric for allowing his wife & business partner to disappear for a week, To little Guy for watering the veg & fruit, to oliver for a decent training partner, to Callum for the mainsheet, to the staff fo keeping the kiteschool going, to North for making the best kites & boards & not forgetting my parents for introducing me to the ocean at such a young age. Looking forward to being back in the UK for some summer again!!!!

Pics taken by Axel Reece