After a slightly delayed start, mainly due to supervising a certain shop manager during his wooing of the Maidenhead females, Amy and I made it down to a sun blessed West Wales at around 17:00. No sooner had we settled into a couple of drinks at the Griffin, enjoying the warm early evening and relaxing after the journey the rest of the ‘club members’ arrived. I say club members, possibly a more accurate description would be ‘associated members’! Down in Dale we had the old guard of Colin and Mike, the original ‘Big’ Dave Haskins and the justification for the term club trip, Les!
A good dinner was had by all in The Griffin, especially Dave who, ignoring the menu, managed to have a prawn curry appear from somewhere, then any leftovers from anyone else’s plate and finally finishing off with an apple crumble. This could be the reason for his height! In true Bray style the rum and cokes flowed until we eventually retired, excited by the possibility of wind and sun the following morning.
We woke on Saturday to blazing sun and building wind. Excitement took over so, skipping breakfast, we headed to Dale car park to see who was contemplating an early session. Dave and Les were leading the charge. Dave had rigged his 9.4 Lightning and had ‘advised’ Les onto his 7.5 T-Bird. Rather more meekly I opted for my 6.3 Ezzy wave SE and a 100L Starboard Kode.
As it happened the wind built more than Dave or Les had anticipated so were quickly back in the car park rigging something a little more manageable and were equally quickly back on the water having a more enjoyable time. As days on the water go I have to say it was pretty much perfection for the UK. Force 4-5, high tide, sun, 25 degree heat and only a handful of people on the water. Bliss!!
As the morning went on we were joined on the water by Colin and (shock horror!) another club member – Simon. I have to take my hat off to Simon for his commitment to windsurfing as he was only there for Saturday driving both ways in the same day and scoring some great conditions during the day, amazing! A lesson to all those with work, family or friend excuses!!
We decided to break for brunch at around 11:30 and retired to the cafe to dissect the morning and meet back up with Mike (and his blister!).
Wanting to gain the most from the weekend away I opted to go for a walk in the afternoon and after following Mike and Dave’s advice headed round to West Dale beach and then on to St. Annes Head rejoining the crew for dinner. As it, fortunately, turned out the wind died a bit in the afternoon so I enjoyed my walk with a clear conscious!
Unfortunately during the afternoon Les had to return to England with pathetic excuses pertaining to his brothers golden wedding anniversary! Back down to one club member! No I tell a lie, Simon had to return to Blighty also, only associated members left!!
Another wonderful evening in The Griffin was had by all, the rum and coke flowed once more!
Sunday started with Dave myself and Amy meeting Colin and Mike at Allenbrook B&B to examine the owners 1934 Rolls Royce which was described at one point as ‘slightly mashed up due to machine gun fire’. It has been lovingly restored and, along with the Peacocks, adds another touch of elegance to Allenbrook Bed and Breakfast. Greeted as we were on Sunday by no wind (nats fart being generous) three of us headed to Newgale for some surfing and paddleboarding parting company with Colin and Mike.
I however cared not a jot as I had recently purchased Frostie’s 10’5 Starboard Paddleboard and was eager to give it a whirl!
(You have to admit that is a pretty board)
Conditions were ideal to test out the new toy and I generously let Amy and Dave have a go as well! The only word to describe the board is fantastic. Wonderfully stable, great glide and highly responsive on the wave, incredible. As it turns out it is also really useful for giving your girlfriend a tow as well!
After a few interesting wipeouts I started to get the hang of it and had a brilliant time in the less than great conditions. This is honestly the best sport to go along with Windsurfing as you can make the best of the conditions on offer. Wind – windsurfing, wind and waves – windsurfing, no wind – paddleboarding, no wind or waves – paddleboarding. It allows to have more time on the water whatever the conditions, genius!
Have a good one and take it easy……………
Contributed by: Ed Thorne