A Storm Chasers Story

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Storm Chasers

After missing all the major competions from catching mumps, I was recoverig at home when I just so happened to get a call from John Hibbard late on Sunday evening. Against all doctors reccomendations I stepped forward to represent Quatro international for the Scottish Leg of the Red Bull Storm Chase.

In the rush to get to Johns place I managed to put a load of petrol in my diesel van, but undeterred by this minor setback, I thought what the hell I drove to Hibbards anyway. There was a storm to chase and I wasn\’t going to miss it.

Chauffered (not chaved up!_ up in John Hibbard\’s luxury Nissan van conversion, we arrived on the East Coast of Scotland that evening and met up with the film and camera crew. The wind was forecast to be up to the Storm Chase pre-requisits.

Next morning we looked for suitable location because it was offshore, but by the time we had arrived at the Nuclear Power station, an unusual setting for a Storm Chase, we found even more nuclear winds, bright sunshine, waves and a reactor cooling system that made the water almost tropical!

I\’m not sure how windy a forceĀ 10 is, but John was on a 3.4 and I was stacked on a 3.7. The sailing was really good, both a reef and beach break. There were a lot of rocks around including John. The Rock managed to hit the submerged rock, and destroyed his kit leaving him with a long swim in. We got loads of sessions in, despite the sea being churned into a mass of confusion by the stormy winds. I hadn\’t sailed on port tack for a while, but I still had a wicked time trying plenty of doubles and stalled forwards for the camera crew.

After being put up in 5 star accomadation, courtesy of Red Bull, the next day the wind we rigged 4.7\’s in the easing winds, although the swell had gotten so big that the tankers on the horizon were dissappearing into the vast voids between the peaks – something I have never seen before. The spot we found had mast high waves coming through. John and I were getting some good rides on this left hander beach break, managing to tack upwind in the channel. After seeing John get some good rides, we decided to get on the same wave for the camera. Despite the fact it was a little onshore and light on the wave face, we still would get some smooth waveriding. With not enough wind to smack sections with any power, I got on to the top of a mast higher with a fat lip, which completely totalled my equipment and me. Red Bull Storm Chase – The End…

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