North Of the border
The boys from Troon in Scotland get a lot of wind. They all own two sails smaller than a 4.2 and regularly hit the water on 3.3s.
On Monday 23rd May, just as the UK-wide wind-drought was coming to an end, Scott McDowell, Alan Jackson, Big Davey (Davey Edmiston), Ricky the Wrecker and Jim Gamble all bunked off work on the promise of a pretty solid forecast of strong south-westerly wind and big swells.
“We get plenty of wind up this way, especially in the winter, but not much in the way of waves unless it’s howling.
This winter was a bit different though – we didn’t have much sailing and it seemed to go on forever!
I took the afternoon off work on the Monday and got to the beach to see the boys looking knackered having sailed all morning on 3.7s. The wind had picked up a notch to about 50-55 knots and we all moved up to the top of Barassie beach and rigged 3.2s.
I headed out first, super keen because I had missed the morning. When I hit the water, I realised how crazy it was. Pure survival! I only managed a couple of runs before I got back to the beach and was thinking about giving up.
I put some more downhaul on and just carrying the gear to the water was hard enough. I remember holding my gear in knee-deep water by the tip of the mast with the board flying out of the water and flipping from side to side.
I did a couple more runs and we were all thinking about calling it a day when Richard Whitson showed up with his camera lens…
Needless to say, we all stayed out for another couple of hours and stepped up the sailing a notch. I was going for pushies for the camera in 50 knots of wind and Scott and Davey were going massive – the biggest jumps, out the back unfortunately haven’t been captured, but you get the idea just looking at these photos!
It was, without a doubt, the windiest session of my life and was more a ‘tick in the box’ than a classic day with the move of the day being a carve gybe!”
“There aren’t many days when we have much to jump off up here, but that Monday definitely delivered!
We’re no spring chickens anymore but once the camera showed up, we had to step up our game.
It turned into a full-on jump-off between Davey and me.
A great session to mark the return of the wind!”
Photos by Richard Whitson
Sailors in the photos:
- Scott McDowell: Quatro / Simmer (and Ezzy)
- Big Davey: RRD / Neil Pryde (and North)
- Alan Jackson: Starboard / Tushingham
- Ricky the Wrecker: Witchcraft / Simmer
- Jim Gamble: Starboard / Ezzy