Monday, October 29, 2007

Peconic Puffin - Surfer Model of the Year

Above is a wonderful picture of 'fellow blogger' (Peconic Puffin) from Long Island who has recently been on a 'Men's only' windsurfing holiday to the Hatteras area (Carolinas if I'm not mistaken - in the States).
I thought I would share with you a sample of the good looking surfers that hail from Long Island!

Peconic Puffin is by far my most favourite of bloggers - I suppose because his way of blogging is more on how I think a blog should be . Peconic is listed on my favourite links if you wish to view his blog.



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sad Ending for 'Loki'

'Loki' after she was left abandoned but anchored - photo taken from the Rolex Middle Sea Race gallery


A sad ending for 'Loki' - her anchor couldn't hold all the battering from the rough sea and eventually ended up on the coastline where it looks like she may be beyond salvage. What a sad ending for such a lovely boat.


Meanwhile, the last of the boats are heading back home. 'Elusive' is now back home too and I am sure the crew are feeling very proud of themselves - as they should be.
'Rambler' is overall winner winning line honours, breaking the record and winning the race overall on handicap.


You can read more about the Rolex Middle Sea Race on www.rolexmiddlesearace.com
There is some more further reading about 'Loki' and the race on the following links:

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?SEID=2&Nid=38531&SRCID=0&ntid=0&tickeruid=0&tickerCID=0

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22640630-23109,00.html

http://www.ybw.com/auto/newsdesk/20070923094219ywnews.html






Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Middle Sea Race Photos

Nice shot of 'Tai Shan'

'Guts n Glory'

The leading Maltese boat 'Elusive'

A very sorrowful 'Loki' anchored and abandoned

All these shots were taken off the offical Rolex Middle Sea Race website

http://www.middlesearace.com/gallery/index.cfm?page=2&list=3&xYear=2007&


'Loki' Loses Rudder - Crew Safely Airlifted

Photo taken by myself during the start of the race on Saturday. 'Loki' is the white hulled Australian yacht in the middle


'Loki' - photo taken from Rolex Middle Sea Race website
Quite alot of drama with this year's Middle Sea Race. 'Loki' got into big trouble losing its rudder off Sicily. The crew had to evacuate the boat and were, fortunately, all safely air lifted by helicopter. Hats off to 'Atalanta' who turned back on hearing the distress call and news to see if they could be of assistance. Unfortunately the waves were too high and wind too strong to be able to actually do much but it must have given the 'Loki' crew alot of moral support knowing they were right by their side.

I suggest you go onto this link to read the full report of 'Ramblers' success (which is very intersting to hear what Ken Read has to say) and also the full report of what happened to 'Loki'

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rambler Home and Breaks Record

Rambler crosses the finish line

'Rambler' has taken line honours and totally smashed the race record by over 16 hours! The next two boats are still by Pantalleria.



Rambler Nearly Home

Taken off Stromboli!!


Elusive - Maltese boat and as far as I know still in the race and doing well
Wouldn't like to be caught in the middle of that


Atalanta - still easy sailing when this pic was taken


Above are some pics taken from the Middle Sea Race site. Well worth reading the latest news on the race by clicking on http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/news/index.cfm?ID=129&f
Well, WHAT A STORM LAST NIGHT! I think its one of the worst I can remember. It was howling with what I would imagine would be 'horizontal' rain. What those boats still racing must be going thru I can't imagine...........................plenty of sick bags probably unless you are the most hardened of sailors. These sailing conditions can't be far off the terrible conditions faced in the Fastnet Race. No doubt the 'Roaring Forties' are probably far far worse cos its a large open ocean not an enclosed sea like the Med. Its still howling like made out there. May try and get some pics of the coast today.
Hats off to our Maltese teams who are still braving it .'Elusive' who, as far as I know as I write this, are still racing look to be in a good position. The skipper and owner of the boat - Arthur Podesta - is the only person who has taken part in every single Middle Sea Race that has taken place.
From looking at the tracking chart 'Rambler' is nearly home which will mean the record will be smashed. The next boats are quite a way behind on the Western tip of Sicily. It looks like the second boat is 'Roaring Forty' (very aptly named!) and 'Vineta'. 'Cippa Lippa' and 'Atalanta' seem to have taken shelter in port somewhere just before Palermo. Alot of teams have gathered in Syracuse and are having a big party whilst waiting out the storm before they can sail back home!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Third Posting of the Day!

Tommy 360


Chris - nice chop hop

Chris gybe - nice position
It's a blowin'! Blowing westerly around 35 knots right now and set to blow even more during the night and tomorrow. Was a flat water blasting day today.

Middle Sea Race Update

Well, since this morning's posting there have been quite a few retirements and these boats have gone in to shelter in various harbours on the East coast of Sicily. Some have damage and I think some just don't like the sound of the forecast and are playing it safe. Amongst those that retired are 'Damiani' and 'Titan' (think they must have had some damage for them to retire). Locally I know Lee on his boat 'Artie' has retired and also 'Prima Donna' damaged their mainsail so they had to retire too. Also the double handed 'Geisha'.
The trimaran 'Skywalker' just wanted to start the race but had decided beforehand to retire just after the start since they would not be able to handle the extreme wind conditions they would have to face. Damage to that sort of boat can cost one hell of alot!!
As for 'Rambler' they are miles ahead of the fleet and already past the half way mark heading fast toward Pantelleria. From now on for them its a broad reach down to Lampedusa and then probably a very close reach back to Malta. As long as nothing goes wrong they will definitely break the record by quite a long way.

A Fast Fast Race

Not even 24 hours has passed since the start of the Middle Sea Race yesterday and it looks like records are going to be broken this year. As I type this 'Rambler' is leading the pack well on its
way toward Palermo on the North Western tip of Sicily. She is followed by 'Loki', 'Damiani' and 'Cippa Lippa' who have all rounded the famous landmark volcano of 'Stromboli'. The majority of the fleet are passing thru the treachorous Straits of Messina (an obstacle course of whirl pools and ferries) with others heading from the Straits towards Stromboli.
The forecast is for force 8 winds by this evening and all crews have been readily anticipating this during this past week of preparations. Because of this forecast, yesterday 3 boats decided not to start the race while 4 boats had to retire after the race start. I can foresee a few more retirements as the race progresses - either preferring to take shelter during the worst of the wind or perhaps being forced to retire due to breakages. As long as no-one gets hurt - that's the main thing!

Meanwhile, here in Malta its already blowing a pretty strong westerly so it will make a good windsurfing day!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2007

The 'bridge' at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

Just before the gun went off for Start 1

Lee heads for the mouth of the harbour


Coming up to the line for the 2nd Start



'Superfast' - a Greek boat and the most colourful on the water


'Guts n Glory'


'Damiani'


'Rambler' - the ex Alfa Romeo


'Atalanta' crew in their beige coloured uniform


'Rambler' and 'Titan'


'Guts n Glory'



'Skywalker' - before the start. Looked massive on the start line

Just got back from watching the start of the Middle Sea Race which is always great fun. There weren't as many boats as last year. Also the starts seemed to be a bit more exciting last year but nevertheless always spectacular cos its such a unique start line. To see all those boats (and some are whoppers) jostling for position on such a short start line is very exciting in itself. I have said this so many times before - and I will say it again (!) - it never ceases to amaze me how these boats ,anything between 50 and 90/100 feet long, are manouvred like they were small dinghies. Great admiration for these skippers. There was a great breeze for the start - about a force 4 once they got out of the harbour. They all know whats coming up ahead since they have been making all sorts of preparations to get ready for the force 8 winds they are meant to hit Sunday night-Monday. 'Rambler'(former 'Alfa Romeo') will probably be the first one to hit the strong wind unless the trimaran 'Skywalker' manages to overtake.

You can track the progress of the yachts on http://www.middlesearace.com/tracker/index.cfm
its great fun being able to follow the progress of each and every boat round the 600+ mile course each day. I expect the record will be broken this year.

Hope you enjoy the pics!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wind Died

The wind has decided to take a rest and has gradually died down throughout the day. Its now gone down to a force 3 as I write this, so those guys who have been down every day since Sunday can give their hands a well earned rest. But...............not for long! Forecast says it will come up again from the NW this time on Sunday afternoon, but fortunately for the Middle Sea Race sailors the forecast has changed for next week and instead of gale force winds they should have a good moderate to strong wind taking them from Malta up thru the Straits of Messina, round the volcano of Stromboli then onto the West of Sicily and down South again towards Pantalleria and then on round Lampedusa before the final home strait. So should be quite a fast race.

John had a day off school today and spent the day making the most of the last of the wind and surf. In the afternoon he tried some kitesurfing. Not doing bad at all as you can see from the pic above.

Middle Sea Race 2007


The wind is still howling here with the sea 'mighty rough'! The Yacht Club actually had a few starters for a coastal race yesterday - not many braving the conditions but a small handful did and hats off to them! It was a pretty wild sea out there yesterday. Having said that alot of these 'yachtie' guys have done the real tough ones like the Fastnet Race, Sydney-Hobart, Round the World etc. so this is chicken feed I suppose!
You can view the latest report by clicking onto http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Day 3 & 4 Grigal - Gale Force Winds

John on the left and Manwel on the right. Windsurfer and Kiter. John and Manwel are starting up their own blog soon mainly to display their photos. Will keep you posted when its up.



Roger flying high.

Dana getting some air time.


Manwel getting some good air.



John.........are these conditions to be trying Geckos??
Yesterday was day 3 of the gale force North Easterly winds that have been hitting the Maltese Islands and our side of the Med. The wind shifted slightly towards South East creating a very strong current and confused sea - this made sailing quite difficult, but a few braved the conditions.
Today is day 4 - I havent been down to the beach today but conditions have veered back more North Easterly and I have just had a look out over the bay and the guys seem to be ripping pretty well today so conditions must have improved from yesterday. Its windier but looks like easier sailing conditions.
The forecast for tomorrow remains more or less the same just down a notch to a 6 and easing off on Friday down to force 4 to 5. Then Sunday wind is going to change to North West and be force 6 to 7 again with the Westerly winds prevailing all week becoming pretty windy again thru the week. Well thats the long range forecast.
It looks like this year the MiddleSeaRace is going to be tough one. The past couple of years it has been plagued with very very light winds, but this year looks like its going to make up for it! Should be interesting. Due to the bad weather we have been having there are some yachts that are stuck in Sicily and hope they make it down in time for the start of the race on Saturday morning.





Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day 2 October Grigal - NE Wind

Manwel kiting. Manwel is one of our local kiters - 15 or 16 years old. He is also a windsurfer.

Benji is new to windsurfing. He is a former Oppie sailor and now sails Lasers. He is sailing well especially to cope with the conditions we have had the past couple of days.


David is one of our 'veteran' surfers. Loves the sport and will go out in anything. His wave riding is good too.
Yesterday was day 2 of wind. The direction was NNE. Waves inside not as big as the day before but outside they were pretty big. Some guys went out to the second reef where there was massive swell breaking - probably logo to mast high is the norm when the wave breaks out there. Further in near the 'Tunny Net 'the waves were building up and breaking really nicely later on in the afternoon. Was easy to get out of the surf as wind was almost totally cross shore which is nice as we usually get onshore when the waves are coming in. A big patch of thick thick seaweed in the middle made for a couple of thick mushy wipeouts if you happened to get dumped in the wrong place (like I did a couple of times!)
But it was a great day and nice to wake up with aching muscles........feels you have done something worthwhile! Today its blowing again - direction more Easterly and forecast is to become force 7 by this afternoon. Hope my hands hold out. Will have to put a glove on cos have burst blisters on one hand.
As my Synchro 86 felt way too big the day before (and as John was at school) I took John's Fanatic wave board -75l. What a difference! I havent had a small all out wave board for a couple of years now and must admit it was just great to feel a wave board beneath me again! Have been getting too used to the wide higher volume boards! In the present conditions one needs a small wave board...........so..........I have one on the way! Will put a pic up when it arrives Peconic!! Having said that my Synchro 86 pro is great for the majority of conditions we get here, so the combination will be perfect for me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wind at Last (with a vengeance)

John having fun in the surf

John close up

Gamblu catching a wave


Darius getting some height and in the foreground Benji who is new on the scene (dinghy sailor) and doing really well

Yesterday the forecast proved to be correct and we had a strong North Easterly wind which is still blowing as I write this morning. Forecast is for it to stay most of the week. It got up pretty strong yesterday and it was nice to see so many people out on the water. Must have been 25 to 30 people down at the beach. Being a Sunday too meant more people could make it too. Also great to see new faces on the windsurfing scene. There's a bunch of Oppie/Laser sailors who are taking a keen interest in windsurfing now so we have some good potential young blood coming into the local scene here.

I was out with my Synchro 86 but was way too big for these sort of conditions. Had a feeling that would happen so have to try and add a small wave board to the kit. Today as John is at school I will borrow his Fanatic wave board 75..77? Around there somewhere! I was on a 4.5m yesterday. Was fine at first but then got way overpowered. Outside the break I was totally out of control.

Quite a bit of muck in the water being the first storm after the looooong hot summer. Big patch of seaweed (always positions itself in the most critical area!) Also should have drunk about a dozen bottles of Red Bull cos could have done with some 'wings' after not having a proper windsurf in waves since early July.


Some activity on the beach where we launch

News & Special Offers on Gozo Farmhouse Rentals

This is the link to the News and Special Offers page on our website Gozo Farmhouse Rentals. Have tried to put the page on this blog direct but havent managed (thanks anyway Joe! Even the link on the side of your blog page hasnt come out. Keep getting errors ).News & Special Offers

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Maui Young Gun


The cute kid above is Bernd Roediger. Just came across his site and thought it would be interesting to follow. There is a competition coming up in Maui soon for under 18's - its unsponsored and looks like alot of fun. From what I have seen recently the local community in Maui do so much for their up and coming surfers/windsurfers etc. This seems to be lacking so much on our side of the world. Perhaps we should all sit up and take note and try and do the same for some of our young talent. You can access his site on http://www.berndroediger.com/

New Page on Gozo Farmhouse Rentals Website

I have added a new page on our Gozo Farmhouse Rentals website. Its ''News and Special Offers'' and can be seen on this link: http://www.gozofarmhouserentals.com/eng/

Can anyone tell me how I can actually show a webpage (ie the picture of the whole page) on my blog? Remember I was not born with a chip in my brain and these things dont come naturally to me!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Small Amount of Wind Yesterday

Coming out of upwind 360

Think this was end of one handed upwind 360. Not sure!


One handed spock
Yesterday a bit of wind came up late so John came rushing in off the dinghy and rigged up. Wasnt much wind but enough for John to fool around on his Skate with a 6m. Not enough to entice me out on a veeeerry lazy Sunday afternoon!! Was quite gusty being a northerly direction.
Anyhow, got a couple of 'not bad' shots of some light wind freestyle. Trying to remember what he was doing in each shot is the problem!



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