Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Homeward Bound

Sun gently penetrating the windows low and distant in the afternoon sky the fields stay a constant green and the naked trees cast their shadows through the carriage of my train as I make my way cross country back to my (not for much longer) home. Yes ive landed in the outskirts of winter here in the UK. Funny, I could swear its spring but after along cold winter it looks like we’re in for a further cold snap before spring lets its warm magic loose on the beautiful countryside. I’m definitely hoping I have a wetsuit at home where I haven’t cut the legs off as I have the feeling that a ¾ length suit is perhaps a little premature to unleash on the British Coast. Either that or I need to put a couple of spoonfuls of concrete in my PG tips and toughen up!

(Riding in North Wales in the Cold)

Capetown is where I have spent the passed 5 weeks. It was much different to how I remember it – not better not worse – just different. Its so much more built up now and a whole different vibe. The vibe was much more one of being in a major city despite staying in Blouberg 25km’s away from the city itself. Restaurants and cafĂ©’s line Big bay making a great viewing platform and great place to chill with your friends and watch the kiting when windy however I often found myself sitting there feeling like I was living out an episode of Sex in the City as opposed to making a small movie showing off my new tricks. Despite less winf then usual I still averagely rode for 3 hours 3 times a week. Not quite the 40 days on the trot of 30mph and above that Capetown is known and loved for.

Although a good trip I can’t help feeling robbed of some mental ‘hang on for your life’ sessions where my 6m and I a very strong friendship which means next season will be a cracker!

(Downloop Railey on the inside at Big Bay)

With less windy days on the cards I found myself more open for some random adventures. Dicing with gravity on the side of some rock face over looking Muizenberg spiced up a hot windless day plus a more extreme adventure involving gulleys prone to rock fall, mountain ridges, sleeping under the stars under uninhabited mountain side also ensued.

Our house this year was an eclectic mix of sports. We were a mixed bunch of kiters and climbers providing entertainment on the dodgy fashion mistakes / non mistakes! Apparently mid length shorts on the thigh and tight batman t shirts are all the rage in the climbing world ;-) Anyhow we had plenty of fun and was a perfect escape from the frustrations of the windless days.

(The walk in to Oceans of Fear)

One morning at 4.30am we set off with a wingsuit flier, climber/base jumper and 2 other climbers plus myself and another kitesurfer.

(The crew - check out Leo Houldings' work on youtube!!)

We chucked some food in back packs along with sleeping bags, climbing equipment and headed for the mountains. 3 days later the boys had climbed an enormous route done by only 12 others before and alone I had hiked my way up a gulley and across the mountain ridge to meet the climbers which was scary enough for me. All of us successfully fended off the onlooking baboons and slept under stars on a diet of peanut butter sandwiches and salami and 3 days later found ourselves dozily wondering the streets of Capetown wondering is such a surreal experience had really happened.

(Waiting at the summit for the others)

Back in the UK I am now here for 2 months running UK Short Burst Coaching Sessions for Jo Wilson Coaching. Check out my coaching site for more information. I travel all round the country and run 4 courses per weekend for kitesurfers who are looking to improve their level. I run basic courses in the morning for those who are jumping but not always landing consistently and would like some coaching on how to jump higher with more control, try their first rotations, raileys and also pop transitions. In the afternoons I run advanced courses that move into the realms of unhooking and taking things to the next level. The courses are reasonably priced and extremely accessible for kitesurfers and it would be great if you wanted to take part on a course near you.

There are still a small number of spaces left on certain courses so please check out my website to see where you can sign up.

My plans this season is to run awesome coaching courses but also hit Egypt in June, the Canaries over the summer and travel may be to Oz at the end of the year, but for now im going to enjoy a few days at home and the spring sunshine in the UK.

Keep you posted…

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