The day before the training, a storm force wind had blown from the north so a big swell was running. On the day itself there was a wind force 5 to 6 from the north, no conditions for a crossing but perfect for a heavy duty training session. I had three sets sails rigged and secured in the gunwale so we could also practice a sail change. Via a waterproof VHF set attached to my crash jacket I had contact with the boat at all times.
First we sailed a few kilometres out and I started with the 7.0 m2 RS Evo 6 form Neil Pryde and Tabou manta 110 litres 69 cm wide board. A local news and radio station “Omroep zeeland “ was also on board with a cameraman so we could make some footage of the training. When we passed the breakwaters and started to head into the 2 to 3 meter swell with 30 knots (55 km/hr), the cameraman asked us to return to port because he was turning green. We would have to do it with our own cameras.
The communication worked well and in terms of speed the KNRM boat and myself were evenly matched. The sail exchange was heavy and not without dangers. Due to the high waves it was difficult to get the sail back on deck, especially when you keep in mind that you are in the water only a few meters from propulsion jets of the boat. When the sail was back on deck we decided not to go with another sail into water. For a record attempt it would be possible but for a training we estimate the risk of damage too high.
During the winter months, luckily one of the warmest winters in recording, the work outs in the gym and running were keeping me in shape for the next season. I picked up Yoga during the summer months and that gave a big improvement in my core stability.
In April of this year I went to Hyeres, South of France with my German training buddy Denis Standhardt. The intention was to get used to the new Tabou boards and NeilPryde racing sailing provided by my sponsor Vertigo sports. The wind wasn’t as strong as we had hoped for and all 5 sessions I surfed were with an 8.6 m2 sail. Nevertheless, it was a successful trip with a combination of slalom and endurance training.