A Windy Weekend

Things were looking good for the weekend with plenty of wind forecast. I was hoping to get out windsurfing as well as get some swim, bike and run training in.

As usual I was up early and the wind was indeed howling. It was also pouring with rain and didn’t look exactly ‘nice’ out there as day broke. It did however look like a good beach day for a windsurfer.

Beach Weather!

The cats weren’t happy though as they were off to the vets. This meant no breakfast from me so that we could catch them later and then the joys of being bundled into a box, man-handled by a stranger and a few vaccine jabs too! Morgan wasn’t in the best of moods either. Not just because he’s a grumpy teenager but because I’d asked him to help Anna with the cats so that I could get some training done.

Morning Training

So, while Anna, Morgan and the cats were out I jumped on the turbo trainer for a 90 minute ride. The weather was still pretty grim so an indoor ride was ideal. 90 minutes at around 90-95% FTP was quite an ask but I stuck with it and felt good come the end.

It was then straight off the bike and out for a 30 minute run around Ynyslas. The sun had come out by now but it was pretty chilly out there and the wind stopped me in my tracks a few times.

With my training done and Anna, Morgan and the cats back at home it was time to wander across to the beach to see what was going on. It looked perfect for a nice windsurf session, although not quite as windy as it had been earlier.

The Frustrations of Windsurfing

So, off I headed to the beach with my wheelbarrow loaded with kit. I rigged my 5m sail first and headed out with my bigger wave board. I managed to get going but there wasn’t enough wind for that so I came back in and rigged my 5.7m sail. Once again, I got going a few times but the wind was dropping the whole time and before long there just wasn’t enough wind. I sat in the dunes for a while to see if it would come back but the wind just continued to drop so I packed up to head home.

This is when I discovered that my wheelbarrow had a puncture! Who’d have thought it would be so difficult to push a wheelbarrow with a puncture! It was virtually impossible. I’d pick it up, brace myself and then push with all my might to get it up to a quick run for a 20 yards or so and then just have to stop for a breather. I should really have gone to get Anna or Morgan to give me a hand carrying everything home. I didn’t of course, instead I just kept plugging away until I finally made it home and collapsed in a heap.

By now the tyre had come off completely and was jamming in the frame, the inner tube was caught up too and it would barely move at all. Once unloaded it was out with the tools to fix it. Puncture repair kit mobilised and utilised and it was holding air again. I wasn’t sure how long it would last though as the inner tube was perished and falling apart.

At least I had a delicious Spicery Curry to look forward to from the Curry Legends recipe book. Not a bad day all in all and time now to chill for the evening whilst dreaming up and checking out some plans for a new adventure. This is an adventure that I’ll keep under wraps until it’s actually a reality.

Sunday Training

Sunday dawned not too windy so after a slow start at home it was off to Aberystwyth for me for a swim in the pool. It was actually quite an easy swim session today.

  • 500yd warm up
  • 1000yd timed swim. (which I did in 13:40)
  • 300yd cool down.

Just 1800yds in total so it took less than 30 minutes giving me plenty of time to sweat it out in the sauna after. I then headed into town for some shopping. This included a bit of a scrum in Lidl to get bakery products for brunch! Quite why so many people were buying bakery products from Lidl on a Sunday morning I don’t know! Maybe it’s just a ‘thing’ that happens in Lidl on a Sunday morning! Fully loaded with danish pastries and chocolate croissants there were a couple more things to buy in town before heading home.

It was now beginning to blow a hoolie once again but the sun was out today. The tide was also in so I had brunch with Anna while I waited for it to drop.

More Windsurfing

It was now time to head over to the beach again. I checked the wheelbarrow and the tyre seemed OK but still needed a little more air. Big mistake! I went to pump it up a little but as I did so the valve just ripped off in my hand. I knew the tube was a little perished but didn’t think it was that bad. I couldn’t repair that so I would have to carry my kit over under my arm.

This meant I could only take one sail and one board and plumped for my little wave board (70ltr) and a 4.0m sail as it was pretty windy. What I had forgotten was the fact that this sail had seen better days and had been attacked by mice at one point in the past. It was still serviceable so I was soon rigged and heading into the water.

Sunny Days on the Beach

It was plenty windy enough at times but quite gusty out there. The 4m sail doesn’t really have much of a wind range and at times I was struggling to get going. It certainly seemed windy enough but there just wasn’t quite enough for this small kit. I did have a few nice runs and some good jumps but the 4.5m sail would have been better. Or, maybe I should have left it a little later as the wind ramped up a notch once I got back home, hitting almost 55 knots in one of the squalls! Although the squall did look a little unpleasant, even from indoors thanks to the hail that accompanied it.

Hailstones

Here are some clips from the windy weekend.

And some still images too.

Not quite as good as it could have been thanks to having the wrong kit most of the time but that’s what it like to be a windsurfer. Every now and then everything is perfect and then that makes up for all the not quite so perfect sessions. Looking at the forecast for the week there will be plenty of chances to try again!

A Windy Week Ahead

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.