Local LIVE conditions


Boarding the 14hour journey to Bangkok I start getting twitter feeds about a huge earthquake & Tsunami about to hit Japan. Suddenly I just feel vulnerable, leaving the Bridglets & Eric back in the UK & travelling all this distance. A Selfish feeling inside is soon forgotten as I board an empty aero plane with ridiculous amounts of leg room, rows of seats to lay down on & super friendly staff. I have a loose arrangement with North production manager- Dirk Hanel- to meet in Bangkok. Along with kite designer- ken Winner, Sky Solbach I am really excited to receive a 2011 quiver of new dyno kites, light weight kite lines, race board & crazy sized fins. Pretty jet lagged & not really slept on the plane, slight overdose of films actually. In  fact I think I watched more films on this 14hour plane journey than I have watched in my life!

My arrival at Hui Hin- 3 hours taxi ride south of Bangkok & all I wanted to do was sleep & get out of the heat! But Christmas, birthday & thanksgiving all came at once- Dirk had bought with him 150kilos of excess luggage which was all the new race equipment for the nkb race team.Wrappers, cardboard, bubble wrap all around us we fix the foot straps, screws & huge great fins then hit the water. Joined by Ken also, I just felt really fortunate to be involved in such a driven & passionate company. Not an ounce of daylight or wind was missed as we went up & down the bay, falling in a bit but grinning all over at the feeling that the boards & kites gave in the light winds.

That night we picked up our scooters & hit the town. This was the best 25 euro’s I spent- this 7 day hire allowed me to see a bit more of Thailand than just the beach. With  5 minutes we ran out of fuel, towed each other to the gasoline station & picked up a ticket by the only policeman in Thailand!

The 1st days racing I was on the new 13mtr dyno kite when most of the blokes were on 16;s. I held back a bit but was amongst the first 5 men & in both races I did not see the other girls. Getting the feel of the board & its like I have a centerboard in when I am going upwind- the tracking is really good. Now I just need to increase the speed whilst trying to keep the board on its leeward rail.Its a full on North domination & I am really thankful for all the guys involved helping to make this equipment possible.

That evening was a beer happy hour followed by a free champajgn bar which could have got messy. But our hunger gave in & it was time for some more fantastic Tai food- this time to the ‘railway’ place- Which I only got the hang off while sat down & hearing this huge diesel train come past, full on old school & the track I had just ‘gunned it’ over on my scooter with no sign saying slow or stop! Evidently it takes a few lives each year. Dinner time with Tom Herbert wanting to change wing tips on vegas kites while Sebastian Garrett told of many man/girl stories that I found hard to believe- but I am pretty old fashioned as far as this stuff goes. Ice cream at the market followed by the traditional foot massage –it’s the perfect way to end a night & this is just 3 euros’!!!

The following couple of days it rained & rained with crazy cold temperatures never heard off at this time of year. This unseasonal storm bought strong gusty winds from the left & a decent swell also. Racing was challenging & many wish they had registered smaller kites. (only 3 kites & 1 board can be register for production class). Day 5 was a proper work out  with 6 races in 20-25knots on these wide boards & fins. I crashed a lot downwind sometimes getting fully stopped by jelly fish or floating bags & taking crazy wipe outs. As the day went on I improved against the main bunch, but realize that the downwind is where the time is needed.

Evenings were ‘same- same but different’ involving free beer on the beach followed by sushi or eat as much as you want for 4 euro’s. Then ‘mums’ icecream at the night market followed by a Tai foot massage & night cap at the Sim-Sim bar. A lot of fun, chatting & team spirit with such a friendly local vibe also.

A final 2 races on day 6 & a messy Champaign spraying closing ceremony with The North race team dominating the Podium 100% for production & in 2nd, 5th, 6th for men’s. I had won all but 2 of the races for the woman’s & super stoked with how the future looks for 2011.

There are many other events however this is not my full time job so for me the focus is on the world championships in Germany in June. To get involved & learn more about racing then join us for the edge Friday night racing & THE EDGE RACE CUP on 11th & 12th June sponsored by ATASS & NKB.