Braving Storm Barbara – Windsurfing and Biking
What a day that was! There has been very little wind for what seems like ages. Very little apart from the mad, short-lived and very destructive squall that we had back in November. The forecast for the run up to Christmas was looking good wind-wise though so I was chomping at the bit and ready to go windsurfing. Friday looked like the first day of real wind with Storm Barbara due to hit our shores. She was bringing with her another squall line which was due around 3pm. This time though it was going to be windy all day before the squall came through.
Windsurfing in Storm Barbara
I was up early and after doing some work headed over to the beach at around 9am. I started off with my 5m sail and big wave board. The larger kit was probably a little too much for the conditions, so I changed down to my 4.5m sail. Alastair was sailing on a 4.5m sail. When I stopped to chat to him he said that the 4.5m sail was plenty. Sure enough, once back on the water the 4.5m was more than enough once again. What’s more, the wind was continuing to build. As the wind picked up, the rain started falling too and conditions were getting pretty mad. The waves were getting bigger with some nice ramps on the inside and then some big rolling swells out the back. Occasionally these bigger swells would break which certainly made life interesting.
I could probably have got away with my smaller wave board really but had only taken the bigger one across to the beach. As the Storm Barbara intensified the big board became a bit of a handful. Never way out of control, but sometimes being on the edge is fun!
Cycling in Storm Barbara
With the windsurfing over, Storm Barbara was still in full force. I had planned to go mountain biking with Simon. He’d been suffering with a cold and I couldn’t get hold of him. Rather than not go out myself I decided in the end to head out for a little loop around Borth Bog on my CX bike.
I headed out in the pouring rain with all my waterproof kit on. The cross-winds whilst making my way towards Tre-Ddol were crazy, trying to push me into the ditch at the side of the road. I felt as though I was leaning over at 45º! I then had a horrendous headwind with driving rain for a while before I headed off onto muddy tracks around the south of the Bog. The weather continued to deteriorate as I made my way to Borth, but now I was loving it. I was soaked through, covered in mud and being blown all over the place.
Crazy conditions for only the crazy ones! At least I had a tailwind all the way along the bumpy, grassy tracks alongside the Leri. Storm Barbara did it’s best to beat me with lashing rain and driving winds but I completed my ride and made it home in one piece.
Sometimes you’ve just got to get out there and do it!