Hung over Dalarö

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After a summers evening of drinking with friends in Stockholm there is no better cure for a ‘slight’ hangover then a dip in the sea! I spent most of the drive over to the beach on the phone to Neil, trying to wake him up, and then, convince him that it’s an amazing idea to get down the beach and sail for a bit. The poor guy had stayed out a little longer than me the night before and ended up out in the clubs till around 4am… Either way, it’s was 1200 and fuck the issue of still being over the driving alcohol limit… It was time to get to the beach!

The session was pretty relaxed, I decided to take out the short board and a 5.5 sail, to play around with getting used to the board in the light winds. It’s really fun to sail, you a spin it round on a dime (or a pound coin I’m sure) and once you get used to always being over the centre point and never putting your weight too far forward, it was a board with a lot of feel and I recon its going to be a blast in stronger winds.

The pic is a screen grab from the website the windsurfers use to get the weather reports in Sweden. It’s the Norwegian weather institute, I think? And is pretty accurate. There website is yr.no if you want to take a look?

Looks like Tuesday might be good. Basically we looking for around 7ms minimum.. That’s normally enough wind to get planing with the bigger sails.

Enjoy the sun, Andyc

Naish Hybrid

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Got me a new toy! It’s a 109 liter Naish Hybird… Get ready for some bumpin’ n jumpin’ people!!

Really love my slalom board, but have been wanting something that I can get a little more adventurous with and here is the answer!

On the question of boards and sails… What to buy, what not to buy etc. I personally only know what ‘I’ need /want from my gear, I find it impossible to advise other people cos everyone sails at different levels and wants different things from their sailing experiences. I think you gotta keep in mind these things:

    Think of safety first! Don’t go for something above your level
    Go for the usable option! (Don’t wanna be sat on the beach all day cos the wind is low!)
    Build your extra kit around your main board/rig! (I think it’s nice to have a good quality main sail and all-round board, that you aim to use 80% of the time, then buy ‘toys’ that you can use as n when)

…. But what the hell do I know?! Lol. Andyc

Day 7: Heading back home

20130628-093034.jpgIncredible weather overnight! Thunder, rain, wind, cats and even the odd dog thrown in for good measure! Nothing to report… Just a full day, no wind, no sun and so we decided to head back north and check in at home.

Good news is that we are heading down the west coast in the next couple of weeks, so more riveting, in depth, conceptual blogging coming soon! Andyc 😉

Day 6: Time to read a book

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Breath in…. Breath out…. and…. Relax… That’s the kind of day we’ve been having on the Öland chilled east coast today! The wind switched to the north over night and never really picked up above 4-5m/s today, just as well as we were both feeling overworked from the last few days of hard sailing. I went out on the water in the afternoon… Got planning once… But nothing very exciting.

Incase you ever visit this place it’s worth knowing that there is nothing to do on the island except windsurf and relax. We took a trip in the van to the south of the island and stopped in at a few places on the way, it’s full of really strange shops that are like a step back into the 1970’s… Very odd and very strange to be honest. But anyhow we’ve had a lovely day of good ‘van cooked’ food and relaxing on the beach.

Not sure what the forecast is for tomorrow, it’s just started raining, but let’s hope it’s a hot one! Andyc

Day 5: Power Slalom at Haga Park

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What a day! Top fun and top speeds! I’ve spent the afternoon thundering around the bay in high winds with my 7.0 Maui RXS sail…. Loads of power and super fast turns. I wanted to work on my gybes today, as I can get the planning going into them, but don’t always manage to keep the board on the plane during the exit.

I was basically not committing myself to the foot change and weight shift enough half way through the turn… So this was meaning the board was going into the turn fast, then the back was digging into the water and so was loosing speed towards the end of the turn, where as when you switch the feet and weight correctly, you balance the board and keep it driving through the turn and out the other end! The other thing I found useful was to get my body really low just after switching the sail; this allowed the wind to power into the board and get the speed up quickly as you exit. Can’t wait to get out again tomorrow!

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Well today it was dead at 1000… No wind.. Forecast said ‘no wind’… So no wind. But sure enough the wind increased steadily between 1100-1400 until we had at least 10m/s… And by the time we left, around 1730, it was really blowing!!! All to do with this unique location that ALWAYS gets good wind at 1300 everyday day… Something to do with the land/sea temperature difference… Not sure but Wow!

Elin hit the water again today, we went out together for the first hour and we worked on some turns and the sailing position… This paid off, as when it started blowing Elin was really sailing well, putting into practice the things she’d trained in the lighter morning winds.

Now it’s around 2100 and we are shattered… Time for bed! Night all! Andyc

Day 4: Still loving… Haga Park

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After a scrabbled egg breakfast we headed down to the beach to find a wonderfully sunny and windy day! The carpark is around 20 meters from the shoreline and ONLY windsurfers can use the carpark (love it… There is a big sign as you drive in… About time us wondsurfers got the VIP treatment!), we were there at around 1000 and so managed to get a spot right next too the grass where we can rig up.

Elin took out a hire board today, she’s 20 weeks pregnant so we thought maybe she should take it easy ;), so with a nice big board and a 4sqm sail off she sailed! The wind was around 7-10m/s and this increased at around 1pm. Elin did a great job… We did a bit of sailing together… Lovely day!

I’ve been on my 5.5 today and its been perfect, there was a few dips in the wind during the afternoon, but managed to finish off the day with some speedy runs and planning carve gybes, you can’t ask for more than that!

Pretty addicted to this place.. Not sure We’re ever going to leave… Let’s see what the next couple of days bring, we still haven’t ruled out popping over to the west coast for a few days, depends on the weather! (Remember: we can’t drive in rain… Wipers on the housevan are still not working…amazing!!!) Andyc

Day 3: Haga Park, Öland

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We drove across to the west coast of the island today, heading for a legendary windsurfing location called Haga Park. I’d read a lot about the location with almost everyone one I’d spoken to stating that it is ‘the place to sail in Sweden!’… Big expectations!

They didn’t let me down, it’s incredible! The closest place I can compare it to is Portland Harbour in England, which is two miles wide and perfectly flat water. If anything this location is better as its blows everyday due to the land/water temperature differences creating a minimum of 10m/s, everyday, at around 1pm… Now that my kind of sailing!

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I went out at around 11am on my 7sqm sail, this was soon too big, so changed down to a 5.5 and the fun happened! Cross shore wind with a little chop on the sea leg and flat as you headed towards the shore. Really fun getting the board jumping and flying along the waves, best sailing day I’ve had since the UK!

The campsite costs 245:- per night, with electric and showers etc… It’s around 1min drive to the launch place for windsurfing.

There’s every type of windsurfer here, from the old ‘sit and go fast’ guys through to the dedicated speed sailors… Fuckin fantastic place to meet like minded, friendly people.

This evening we took the bikes to a restaurant called ‘storafrö hostel’, it’s run by a lovely couple who moved down from Stockholm 4 years ago, really great priced food and a much needed break from the ‘pasta’ menu in our housevan 🙂

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Let’s see what tomorrow brings… Hopefully Elins going to have a sail tomorrow, but let’s see what the ‘little baby inside’ thinks about that idea! AndyC