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Thursday, 10 March 2011

Cape Town training report

It has been a pretty hectic couple of months with lots of comings and goings as I have been to Cape Town and Austria so far this year. I got some good punishment and had a fantastic time on my snowboarding holiday with Sophie, who definitely enjoyed seeing me as an intermediate. Now that I have been home it has given me the chance to do some much needed office work including my ever so subtle marketing and sales to get you lovely people on my 2011 clinics. As promised I will now give you the report from, my winter training and testing venue, Cape Town.

I headed out to Cape Town in early Jan. with my great mate and training partner Tony Ford for my yearly dose of port tack pleasure and pain. Tony and I had last been here together back in ’04 when we scored some great wind. This was a good omen as we really got some great sailing in once again and enjoyed heaps of windy days with good swell. The last couple of years I have managed to get just enough sailing in by travelling around to be at the right spots at the right time armed with my local knowledge and the guidance of the oracle Phil Horrocks, Ben ‘party’ Proffit and Andrea ‘RRD tester’ Rosati. This year it was easier with a lot of the good conditions local to where we were staying, with Nick Coleman firstly and then Martin (centre manager in Rhodes) afterwards.

The sailing was just right in the first week with about 6 days in a row and plenty of time to get dialled in on port tack. At home I mainly sail starboard and a lot of my venues are starboard tack too, so I really seek to benefit from training on my opportunity to improve side. As you all know there are no weaknesses merely opportunities, and the only limits placed on us are the limits we place on ourselves. By the end of the 6th day I was pretty much delirious as I staggered around the beach begging Tony not to make me sail again, and this was even with sailing focussed ‘hours of power’ fuelled by good food and hydration. Luckily a non-windy day came before we were back on...

With the second dose of wind the swell increased so we had to choose our beaches wisely. This coincided with RRD teammate, John Skye’s arrival along with his ripping fiancé Nayra. The head man and legend at RRD, Roberto Ricci, called a photo shoot at Scarborough point so we headed off there early doors the next day. I volunteered myself for video duty as I knew the RRD riders rarely get footage in these conditions and I knew they would have better sessions than me in the huge waves, gusty winds and constantly shifting peak. It is a true point break with a channel, of sorts, and huge chunks of ocean roaring in and breaking right off some gnarly rocks. Tony went out, true to form, following the rippers to be in the right spot and caught some good waves. When he eventually came in he was shattered from shaking so much in the nerve racking conditions and said that the memory of that day will stay with him for a long time!  You can watch out for this footage on some new RRD videos and Skye boy’s next movies he will no doubt be making.

My trips to Cape Town really gave me the chance to get fully tuned and accustomed to as many of my RRD boards as possible and this time I really got to know all sizes of my CULT Qu4ds (92, 83 and 75) and my Hard Core Qu4d 84. I benefitted from the extra control, drive and grip that the quads bestowed upon me, as Cape Town can get damn windy, choppy and gnarly. Another benefit was the improved upwind performance the quads gave me allied to the security that I could really push into my jumps due to the boards reliability and grip. I have put quite a few people on quads now and heard from many happy owners who are regular weekend warriors and so I am really happy that they work for both improving wavesailors and rippers. Check out Boards / Boardseekers fine test on the 75 right HERE.

Whilst in Cape Town I get a chance to get my coaching from the pro crew out there and this year I was working on improving my wave riding and push loops. The beauty of windsurfing is that we can always set new challenges, whether they’re conditions, equipment led or just plain old stunts and moves.  On quite a few days Tony and I had a ‘push loop off’ - doing as many as possible without killing ourselves and we each exchanged wins on separate days. There is nothing like your mates and peers inspiring you to step up and make a new move and of course receiving focussed guidance from a great coach too, just like on a coaching clinic PLUG PLUG.

In all we had a great time and I took some big hits, broke a bit of kit, improved my sailing and survived my swims without getting eaten. After a trip like that I am fully charged for this year and my port tack improvements even showed on the last sessions I had on my 3.5 down on the South coast.
The last few weeks I have scored some great SUP action at the Witterings and Kimmeridge and am gagging for a few more big days with no wind to continue the momentum.

I am off to Marsa Alam next week and then have April in the UK for some more home ground ocean realignment and joyous office time. If you want to follow what is going on then you can follow me on facebook and Twitter   @jemhallcoach     and my blog of course. You can catch up with news and points of interest on the RRD / Ezzy UK page on Facebook too.

Please get in touch if you have any questions on the right clinic for you and remember if you want to improve then you have to take action both in your sessions at home and in seeking my world class coaching assistance. I have many bookings now for my 2011 clinics and I look forward to meeting some of you for the first time and of course welcoming back many smiling faces. You can see what is available right HERE on the windsurfing coaching clinics page.

Roll on spring, thanks and enjoy,
PS. The pics are screen grabs from John Skye and Nayra’s video footage so thanks to them.

Last, but by no means least, we have Tony Ford on the green and white Ezzy Panther 2 giving it his best. Tony is a co owner with Darren and I of our Jeri, Brazil apartment in Casa do John, that is available for rent, and my loyal friend and testing / training partner and I owe him a lot for getting me to get back into push looping and generally ensuring I up my game : )  



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