Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Accidental tourist The Movie
<span class="text">After the written Accidental tourist came the video version, where I've tried to capture a year of all my comings and goings on film. (soon coming to a store near you)
This followed one year of my travels, which started off in Hawaii. It covers the spring sessions on Maui and then moves over to Oahu (Diamond Head) for the Naish photo shoot. It's there I blow my posterior cruciate in my knee and followed my girl friend (Anne Marie) to Holland for a jaded look at the freestyle, and then down to the south of France where she has to participate in The Roxy Jam, which is basically a massive corporate exercise with lot's of girls jumping around in bikini's.
We kept moving south down to Portugal and Guincho for the production board world titles, and then down to the Canaries for the world cup and some 50 knot action.
<span class="text">I was then able to sail again, and went home to the deserts of Western Australia where myself and Pat Redman score one of the best (Long/Hollow) waves for windsurfing on the planet.
It then moves on to the circus of the world cup in Germany (Sylt) and then the Natural Beauty of everything - which is Ireland. (Port Tack side off, side on. Starboard Tack side shore)
It's then back to Hawaii for the Aloha classic, which it really was, with all the guys and gals of the world tour going off in Mast High at Hookipa.
And finally I get to go home, where I share the treasures of the west Australian coastline. These range from super fun rippable beach breaks, to mast high thumping beach breaks and reeling reef points. These are sailed by the hardcore underground windsurfing scene of Western Australia, whom all sail as good as any one on the world cup. If not better.
Truly a global odyssey.
And now comes the Accidental Web pages, where I'll be keeping the experiences, thoughts and images flowing through the fingers to the web to share some of the experiences of the road.
The Here and now
So where am I right now.
In the Kingdom of Thailand. I'm on my way home from Europe for the first time since February. I'm doing some work with the team here at Starboard for the development of the 2003 waveboards.
Pretty tasty spot really for being in Bangkok. Their offices are situated on a cable ski park, so when ever the shaping or whatever gets a little much, you can walk out the front, carve a few laps, and then get back into it.
Then tomorrow I finally get to go home and catch up with everyone and what's been going on. Who's gotten married, who's gotten pregnant, what's changed, and more often than not, what hasn't.
Basically I've got to go home and sort out all that has gone wrong while I've been on the road, get a new drivers license, credit card, fix my teeth, hug my mum and dad, go back to the desert for some medicinal waves, distribute my video and then get back to Europe within two weeks for the next events to finish off the year. Hopefully with a healthy body.
(Will show you what is scored.)
THE YEAR SO FAR
It's been a pretty sketchy year for me so far, due to the breakdown of various bodily parts. First off it was my knee in January where I tore my medial collateral testing boards for Starboard.(Not the posterior cruciate I tore in Hawaii in May) Then towards the end of summer I started to get a little niggle in my back, which didn't seem to go away. I flew to Maui with it, where it continued to get worse, where on one bottom turn it just went. Crippling pain.
The next weeks were spent going to various sources of relief, (Chio/Physio/massage/accpunture). It would get better and then I'd go sail or surf and would come straight back. A bulging disc was pinching a nerve in my lower back.
I sailed tentatively for the Starboards Photo shoot, but then realized I shouldn't sail anymore. So I came in. But then late in the day the new Naish sails hit the beach with Dan saying, come on man, this might be our only shot. So stupidly I went out and sure enough got flung in the over powered conditions with a searing fire bolt rushing down my leg.
The next day I couldn't even bend down to get on the toilet, and it was only a couple of weeks till the contest in Vargus.
Ummed and agghed about whether to go or not, where I finally said stuff it and went. Really couldn't imagine not going. So flew there rather uncomfortably and went for my first sail. Wave riding was ok, but jumping felt very sketchy indeed.
Didn't really make a jump before the contest, and wasn't very comfortable, but it was getting slightly better each day. Come the first heat I had this Italian guy who sailed pretty well. Waves went really well and then also made my jumps which really surprised me. Confidence was back a little and felt like I could get through the day. Got through the heat and then came up against Grubby. Greg Alloway.
Went out on a 4.3 but then the wind came up so I went out on a 4.0 The wind also swung and it became really gusty. Overpowered or underpowered, there was no in between and my confidence was shot. Everything that could have gone wrong, it did and that was the contest done for me.
They only just finished the 1st round in conditions that were right up the alley for a lad from Perth (Small waves and light side shore winds from the left), meaning there was an extremely disappointed young lad leaving the Canaries.
But hey, we were on our way to Samoa for a photo trip which isn't all that bad, but it was pretty hard to shake the disappointment. Expectations quashed. Must learn to seek detachment from the outcome. But I'm no Buddah yet.
Also was troubled because I didn't know if I could surf as that's what stuffed it up the most back in Hawaii. And Being in Samoa not being able to surf would be like a little kid made to stare at his presents on Christmas day and not be able to open them up.
Discovered an Island paradise on this trip and was actually allowed to surf from my back, although in three weeks we sailed for half an hour on the last day.(Long story covered in the mags.)
So back to Hawaii it was with the Video editing to get through. A gnarly procedure that took a couple of weeks, drove a young man to the brink and the drink. So much has gone into the video by this stage it's a joke, but by the end of it I was pretty proud of what came out.
So with it finally done it was down to the Canaries to warm up for the contest. We got down there pretty early, as did Polokow, Baker, Goya and Kevin Pritchard. The goal was to get down there early so as to become comfortable with 3.3 and 3.7
All the time I was keeping it kinda low key and not going to high, and I was staying away from forward loops. Every time I did those- my knee brace would pop open and I didn't feel too comfortable with them basically.
So come contest time - felt pretty ready. New sails just before the comp felt really sweet, so I was pretty keen, especially with the forecast of some good waves. 1st round went OK getting through the first two heats, but then Bjorn in the third.
Solid heat and was feeling on, but Bjorn was more on saying he had the best heat of the first round, so I wasn't too bummed. He jumps pretty high, and when he pulls off his backside auto rotators, pretty much unstoppable at Pozo.
Anyway, losers round came around and I didn't have the easiest of Draws with Vidar far ealier than I would have liked. It wouldn't have mattered though. My first one was against young Julien Tboulet from France. I wasn't too worried, but he had taken some guys down, and Polokow and Photographer Cater both came up saying to do table forwards as that was what was getting him through heats.
Had a super High and dry back loop, same with a push loop, a fairly tweaked table and some solid waves. I was pretty sure that I had him done, so I thought, alright, just finish him off with a table forward. It was 3.3 weather and I was kinda powered up, but I went for it, got sort of end over end and came down WRONG.
My knee which was in a knee brace went the same direction as Hawaii and I knew I had done something shit. Sail into the beach spewing, but then got scared as to what had happened. Taking off the knee brace I was stoked to see that there weren't any abnormalities. I was next to Scott Sanches (MPG) who had a look at it and a feel and he said that it wasn't too bad as it wasn't hot.
So entertained the idea of continuing for a little while as they announced that I had made it through the heat, but as the minutes progressed I knew that I wasn't going to be able to continue. So Antoine Albeu got an easy heat with no one to sail against, while I watched the swell build to best I've ever seen it. But it didn't just build, it hung around for three days allowing a second double to be completed (First time ever) and me just spewing.
Loving contests this year,
So since then it's just been work on the video, and a lesson that I will never live in anywhere near London, and that Europe is just too damn crowded. (Traffic Jams everyday of the week)
So from here it's to the future to potential successes, future pains. Good waves, and the up and down roller coaster which is Life.
Come on Aussie
Stay tuned for updates.</span>