Local LIVE conditions
San Francisco World Championships

san-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpgsan-francisco-037.jpg sf.jpegMy arrival to Chrissy Field, San Francisco was rushed having made a dash from the PKRA Germany Grand Slam. I am just in love with the venue for this event, it is insane! I am riding in the bay with the city back drop, blue sky stonking 25knots of wind, heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge with this huge tanker heading towards me full of containers! It is full on place, all day & all night action.DAY 1- Yacht club briefing with powerpoint prescentation on the rules. Surrounding me is Martin Vari, Sky Solback, Ken Winner & all these huge names in Kitesurfing & I am thinking ‘this is a pretty big event in the history of the sport. The fleet is split into 2 accoring to ranking & I am in the blue fleet with 10 other riders that are really good & any one of us could do well. Race 1 I got 5th place and race 2 I got 10th place. One mistake & I you can not catch up, also there is only 1 thow out race so it is all pretty intense. The deal is that the top 30 people make it to the Gold Fleet then the top 10 make it to the medal race on the final day. It is early days & lots of racing to come- will keep you posted!DAY2-I was in the yellow fleet & up 1st. I had the start all under control, it was the best starboard end start I had made for ages and we get 2 guns! This means someone is over & I rightly decide to return back- behind all the fleet ducking & diving, it was horrific. I duck & return across the line & the flag comes down to say I had now started correctly! So, in last place watching 40 other kitesurfers disapear upwind, Sean was neally half way to the windward mark! I decide to go hard right where no one was & hope that the ebb tide had built enough. This was my race, the water was flatter and the breeze just perfect on my 12mtr rebel. I was just like a train, tacking well on the wind shifts and playing catch up. I got back up to 9th this race & had had a full on work out! Race 2 I was crazy & went on my 12mtr again and was fully powered like ever.  I got 7th this race. The final race It had gone balistic & I made the right decision to take the 9mtr rebel. I was 4th to the windward mark & just hanging in there but lost 3 places downwind- got 7th this race. It is so competitive the top 10. The aim is to get to the medal race & at the moment this is looking unlikely. Dirk & I really need a couple of light wind races, the locals would stuggle then & it is all these locals that are messing it up for us! The level is so high & our legs after day 2 can not do much more! The level of health & fitness is also incredible. Everything we eat or drink is completely different to all the other top riders. They are eating cucumbers, seeds & nut powers, golbi berries, full on vegetable drinks. Its incredible. Our cold beers in the cool box we bought do not seem to be the norm here!DAY3- Lighter winds at the start of race 1  & I made the bad decision to go with bigger kite on long lines.  I was flying downwind but upwind getting dragged to leeward. This was my worst race in 12th. The 2nd race I was up there & battling out with Martin Vari which I was happy about! He is still a legend to me & I asked him last night why a guy like him that rides ‘The Zoo’ & makes crazy stuff like ‘space monkeys’ is doing going around canns!!!His reply was that he loves it &give him 9 month’s he will kick my asse!! I was 8th in race 2 then they decided to do no more races which was a shame. Dirk had the best day so far with 4th in both races. Tomorrow we race in the gold fleet which is the top 30 plus all the girls that did’nt make it to the gold fleet will also sail in it. There is 4 races back to back so choosing right kite is the key.DAY 4-Had alot of bad luck this day & made a fair amount of school boy errors (this is what my father would say!!) To be brief 2 maddest moments were clearing the fleet with 2 other riders on port tack, site down to leeward whether we would make it or not! Then I am getting to my layline on the final leg & just about to tack and the biggest ever tanker is coming at me full chat!! Its insane- it is going sooo fast & suddenly the wind drops & I wallow, then there is the flattest water ever out the back of it, its all really spookey! I now have to go on a reach for the finish & loose 10 places!DAY 5 

An early start for the big day, it is colder & more cloud around the bridge. Back to Back races were sailed & I was up there, doing well within the top 10 on both races. Had some bad luck though. The 1st where I must have hit a seal and came off my board really hard I lost 10 places- it was the last downwind leg!! 2nd Race made an awesome starboard start & then just got eaten alive by the helicopter. He followed me for the entire race which was not too bad until the final beat when He comes really close & my kite falls completely out of the sky & I am left in the doldrums with kiters just overtaking me- again I finish well down. It did not effect my Ladies title but it meant my overall result was low.(17th overall just behind Martin  Vari!!!!)  Probably would have been 12th overall if this had not happened.

The final race was the medal race & this was soo spooky. Just before we launch the fog rolls in hard & I decide that since the race was short I would take a 12mtr kite on long lines & just fight it if the wind freshened. The race was set close to the beach so the wind was a disaster inshore but outside it was 25knots and the wiedest thing was that the ships horn’s were going but we had no idea where they were! I made an awesome port end start & walked the race, fully lit & flying with the long lines downwind.

I was really happy to have finished it all, felt a real mission this one and required my full focus. I was disappointed to not make it to the blokes medal race & feel that I did have it in me but just had not sailed well enough.  I learnt a stack of stuff, I am still learning to sail my board fast, I have more knowledge on fins than ever before and I believe that Dirk & I really did make a good team. It is great to bounce idea’s off  someone like Dirk, he gets any negativity away from me and I help him when he makes silly decisions also! Even Sean & Bruno asked me on many occasions where to start- I was happy that I got at least some credibility.

Other than the start I did not see Sean or Chips, they really did have the edge. For me I am not sure where this racing will go, I am super stoked to be 3 x World Champion & I have only Eric to thank for letting me be away for all these races. It is 3 weeks since I have been in town and a fair bit has happened in this time. In these 3 years of progression for me I have got myself fully competitive with the blokes & only really now feel like we understand what board & fins work well in certain conditions. My legs are bigger than they have ever been & I feel totally worked! There will be plenty more design & testing to do but there is no level of competiton in the UK. Maybe Denzil will make a come back, Andy G will put some time in then all the guys that go Olympic sailing will come & get involved.

I really had a shock in San Francisco the level of the sailing. This really was a world event & you really did need to spend time in the bay before the event. I felt that now I am ready for the event, having raced here for 5 days an appreciation of the strange thing the tides do has been learnt. The future of kite racing will involve standardization of kit, more prize money for men & woman & making ideally running race events that are not alongside freestyle. Will see what happens.





1st day we go sopping & get ice cooler, ice, cold beers, crisps for after racing. North designer, Ken Winner may not have approved at the time however the Ice came in useful later for his leg injury!


Mike Gebbhart educating us in foods, every single thing we turned up with to eat was wrong- even the water!


Staying at Jack’s house where I slept on the sofa & Dirk on the floor. We are the only competitiors getting a feel of SF Nightlife. Jack lives the most incredible life, never at home & I don’t think has ever cooked a meal. It was great to spend time & get supported by Jack’s Dad Mike Fowler who  used to sail against my dad. He came to cheer me on along with his daughters.


Not being allowed in the yacht club with hat, sunglasses, tee shirt on! No Mobile phones & shoes on!!


Heinaken or was it Kelloggs???


Every day driving to Chrissy Field & watching all the super fit jogging & working out along the promenade.

Dog walking!- these dog walking business’s were doing super well.


How many rules America has, what happened to this free country? Dirk & I had definite had enough of this after 5 days.


Getting taken out by a seal on a fast dowinder, not sure if seal survived!


Getting taken out by the helicopter filming me!


Martin Vari, not sure if he approved of me beating him at all!





Sandy upstairs—the invisible internet connection with high heels