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West Cornwall Biggest Storm

11:51 23rd March 2008 by Boardseeker
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During the past 10th, 11th and 12th of March, one of the biggest strom in a long time hit the West Cornwall coast. The locals had some hectic sessions, and they have sent us a letter with the experience. Have a read, sound quite hard core (words by Lee “Pasty” Harvey)

    With the news calling it, ‘the biggest storm of the winter’, much deliberation was had on Sunday over the best spot to make use of the approaching 40ft swell? In the end the general consensus by the local crew was to meet up at 9ish down at Maza and see what Mother Nature had dished up?

Day 1-
What we found early Monday morning was a lot of wind coming from the west, with logo high waves, loads of chop and frequent squalls of 80knts complete with horizontal rain.
Andy and Nick were first to rig their 3.7s around 10 o’clock, closely followed by Harvey and Ian on his 3.5 he knocked up especially the night before. With a massive squall coming through as the first two test pilots hit the water, they were both forced to come straight back in and whack some more downhaul on. Harvey and Ian were found hiding under cover of the Station House whilst Fawcett and myself stayed tucked in our vans until the next batch of sunlight, which didn’t take long!
   With the six of us now maxed right out on our smallest sails, several others including Steve and Blackie were left on shore without small enough sails to handle the mother gusts.
A super confused sea state and the real off and on gusts made for hard sailing conditions with most of us going the safe route of, big jumps and wave riding, apart from Andy King that is, who was busting some huge pushies and back loops. After about 3 hours of extreme sailing, the wind then kicked in an extra notch, leaving us all too stacked to hold on any longer, even though I had my 3.7 Blade so downhauled so much that it was flapping like Captain Morgan on Barbie night!
With the tide coming in really quickly and the swell picking up to mast high on the outside, we all left to check various spots around the coast to see how big it really was out there, with the plan to meet up again in the morning for more of the same.

Day 2-
    Waking up to plenty of wind again, looking out into the bay it was blowing slightly WSW and didn’t look that big at Maza, although the tide was still way too high. Confirming it on the net, a quick scramble was made to check a few secluded spots on the north coast in the hope of big rideable waves. Finding it not as big as I’d expected, it was off to the Bluff for a look, to see some nice mast high lines but the wind was now blowing Westerly again, forcing the move back to Maza.
Powering up with a Pasty in the car park, it looked like we were in for a fun session as the tide eased back producing perfect 2-3ft ramps and a nice gentle 30 odd knts.
Steve was keenest after sitting out the biggie and was straight on it on his 4.5, closely followed by Blackie and the rest of the crew, mostly on 4.2s.
With Andy’s looping antics the previous day, everyone was keen to up their own game and loops were being thrown all over the place in the more manageable conditions, only for Andy to up the game again by going for and getting close to loads of doubles.
With only a couple of rain squalls most people spent at least 3 hours sailing, calling it a day, only to save some hand life for whatever was coming on Wednesday?

Day 3-
    With it howling throughout the night, the morning brought yet again loads of breeze around 30knts from the WNW and a fair bit of swell still left in the bay. With the tide still fairly high it was on the 4.2 again at Maza for day 3 of windsurf goodness. As more people began turning up, the wind started to disappear becoming really patchy and with the set waves starting to get smaller as the tide dropped, I called it a day rather than changing sails, my hands throbbing from 3 days of super windy and hell gusty, great sailing.

Photo Credit: Joe Cockle

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