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Storm Season Rolls into Vancouver Island in Full Effect

Storm season has rolled into Vancouver Island in full effect, cancelled ferries, power outages, rain and lots wind. All good news for us wind boarders. It might be in part due to my change in work status, but I’ve scored more amazing sessions this fall and winter then I did over the summer.

Columbia beach north of Parksville has delivered many days over the few weeks, and I even missed a few of them. And it’s been delivering some of the best and most challenging conditions I’ve seen, with nice waves, but 25-50 knot winds, making it difficult to nail jibes on the outside.

A local sailor know as “Dunkinguy” throws a port forward coming over the wave and lands on the lip in 40-45 knots.

There have also been the odd day here and there at a secret point break that can deliver world class down the line wavesailing a couple times a year. The best looking day was last Sunday, a forecast of 30 knots winds and 27 foot swell. Sadly the winds missed the south Island and only swell rolled in which made for some amazing double to triple overhead swell. Also on this day winds and swell hit Tofino in Full effect and two windsurfer from Vancouver, Ryan and Jen, scored big time. View the full gallery of the epic Tofino storm sailing here.

Lets hope this stormy trend continues, I could go for a weekly session at least!

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July Update – Another Solid Month on Vancouver Island

July is at an end, and on Vancouver Island all in all it’s been a pretty solid month.  It started off with a bang on Canada Day, and a few solid hours of sailing.  The rest of the week continued to blow unfortunately I came down with a cold and missed a few solid days that week, but what can you do.  I’ve scored about 11 sessions since my last update including a weekend trip to Nitnat.

With not much happening right around Victoria after recovering from a bit of sickness the forecast was looking favorable for a spot called Pipers Lagoon located just North of Nanamo.  I headed out, but arrived a bit late, and the few windsurfers on the water were on the way in.  I got to check out a new spot, and hope to sail here again on a windy day.  It is an excellent place for beginners taking their first steps with a sandy beach and a lagoon at high tide.

One day really stood out, June 9th at Gordons, fully lit on a 4.7 with some very nice ramps.  So nice in fact I made several backloop attempts.  Luckily I had my GoPro mounted on my mast so there is some nice video of a bunch of backloops into crashes, I’ll post the footage shortly.  The conditions that day also provided some waves that you could squeeze one or two turns in on, quite fun.  Unfortunately majority of the other days didn’t provide much for ramps or windsurfing.

Also in July I made another weekend trip to Nitnat.  On the agenda was attempting to work on Vulcans while over powered, and I managed a few attempts each day.  I think my fear of sprained ankles on this particular move is still there, having already sprained it 3 times.  So I spent a lot of time working on carving 360s and was getting closer by the end of the weekend, this should be excellent practice for my bottom turns in waves.

The second last week of June saw two more great days at Gordons beach working on forwards and and some backloop attemps.

Coming soon I’ve got some backloop carnage video from my GoPro and a few more videos, so check back soon.

 

Lawrence jibing at Gordons

June End Update – Good Windsurfing in Victoria

I’ve been planning to write this update for awhile, but would either get busy looking for jobs, working on projects or the wind would come up and I’d be out windsurfing!  I’ve scored about a dozen sessions on Vancouver Island this June, and Mostly on my 4.7 and 5.3.  The First Session I grabbed was at Cook Street in Downtown Victoria, a bit underpowered on a 5.8.  This was my first session on the water since the fall and my car accident, it wasn’t very long as the wind dropped and my arms were sore.

Lawrence jibing at Gordons
Jibing at Gordons.

The best days I had were no doubt at Gordon’s Beach, which has some of the most reliable winds on Vancouver Island other than Nitnat Lake.  I’ve scored 9 sessions here, from choppy to some nice wind blown swell, where you can score a few backside hits, and good for launching forward loops.  One day  I showed up, see a huge stickered up trailer from Ontario… Phil Soltysaik, his Brother Tom and Austrian Max Matissek were up here work on some video and travel projects for magazines.  Pretty sweet to windsurf around with them, watch them and share a few drinks around a camp fire at Jordan River in the evening.

I also scored one weekend at Nitnat, conditions were good, typical Nitnat, picking up in the afternoon.  I was working on Vulcans and watching Phil, Tom, Alex and Adam busting out Funnels and more latest freestyle moves.  My ulcans were far off, I’ve got to work on a bit of the fear factor, I’ve had a few sprained ankles, and split my shin at Nitnat.  Oh well it’ll come.

Check out the pics below.  Big thanks to my girlfriend, Leah who took a bunch of pics, and Mike Nash from West Coast Captures for a few more.

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Wind Dude Rough Cuts – Gordon’s Loop Attempt

A forward loop attempt at Gordon’s Beach, BC on June 6th, 2013. It had been awhile since being on the water, and even longer since looping due to an ankle injury at the start of a three month trip in Brazil. It was fun and gave me a bit of a confidence boost again, to throw a loop in the cold and slightly overpowered conditions.

Winds were blowing from 25 – 30 knots, with some small to med wind blown swell coming in, this was only my second session at the spot since moving to BC.

The mount I used for my GoPro is a $5 mast mount made out of some PVC piping, cheap and has worked great so far.  I’ll share more on that soon.

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Waiting for Wind in Victoria

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I’ve been in Victoria, BC for just over two weeks now, and still haven’t scored a session. My only consolation is my previous Home Lake of Lake Winnipeg, is still half frozen, crazy and unheard of for the end of May. I’ve tried to go for two sessions. I took a drive out to Jordan river as Magicseaweed was calling for waves from 5 – 6 feet, but I got there to only find ripples on the water. After talking to a local today, Jason from Epic Surf Co, he told me the only reliable forecast for Jordan river is Randy’s which can be found at http://www.islandnet.com/~rkashino/jr.htm. The next day I attempted to go for a freeride session at Gordon’s Beach in Sooke. Environment Canada was reporting 18 knots near by, but as I drove out, clouds rolled in and it became forecast, wind quickly dropped. I took a walk down the beach and checked out the spot, can’t wait for my first session in Victoria.

So what have I done? Well I built a sweet rack in the garage with the help of my landlord. (Pictured in the above photo). Also been working on some web projects, which should be available soon. If you’re looking for some web work, get in touch with me, or check out my other site LawrenceStewart.ca, I love working in the windsurfing and SUP industry!

Also I should have  a short video coming soon from my time in Brazil, the rough cuts have been sitting on my hard drive since September!

Fingers crossed for wind and waves soon.

Lake Winnipeg still frozen

Koala by frozen Lake Winnipeg

Its been awhile since I’ve been on the water, actually since the day I left Brazil, which is close to 2 months. I’m getting anxious, and really craving some time on the water to work on some moves! I was up at my lake the yesterday, and it’s still very frozen, although ahead of schedule due to the mild winter and warm spring. Hopefully it will be just a few more weeks!!

Jealous of everyone one who’s out ripping somewhere right now!!

Slide Show from Brazil 2011

A selection of photos from my Trip to Brazil for 3 months while running a windsurfing school. Not tons of windsurfing shots(But a few sweet ones), so its more of a lifestyle slide show. The pictures are all from Icarazhino and Jericoacoara, and shot with a canon 20D.

Enjoy!

My biggest windsurfing accomplishments and pitfalls of 2011

Lawrence windsurfing in Icarai
Lawrence windsurfing in Icarai

2011  was a busy year in windsurifng, with many accomplishments and a few pit fall, find out about my biggest wins and losses here.  Here are the 5 biggest things that happened to me in 2011.  Follow the jump to see them all.  Lets hope 2012, bring lots of wind, lots of windsurfing, and no more injuries.  Happy new years!

 

 

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First Week in Icaraizinho Brazil

So after a long flight well 3 and 24 hours in airports I arrived in Fortaleza Airport.  I saw the Club Ventos sign and headed over to the driver.  He Didn’t speak any English, and I didn’t speak any Portuguese, but we soon managed to communicate we where waiting for two more people coming on the transfer to Icaraizinho.   After 3 hours of waiting they finally arrived, but without there bags, after an hour or so of trying to sort that out we where finally on our way.  In about 2 hours we arrived in Icaraizhino, where I was greeted by my boss and a few others from Club Ventos.  Had a quick beer and I was ready to crash.  The high humidity kept me from sleeping the first night but I quickly adjusted.

I’ve been here for just seven days.  The wind has been light, quite unusual weather for here.  I’ve sailed a total of seven days, on sizes from 6.2 to 5.1.  Several days I was under powered.  Today the weather got back on its normal pattern, and looks like it will be increasing over the next few days, and I’m quite excited.  I had my best session on the trip today on a 5.9 throwing big airs of the waves on the reef, working on duck jibes, and even attempting one forward.  Which I should be completing any day now.

The waves on the reef do far have been quite small, but I’ve been told they can get about head high to a little higher.  I can’t wait for that.  Inside the reef there is a nice flat water zone for ripping jibes and working on freestyle maneuvers.

Pictures will come soon, and I’ll work on some video but the internet is quite slow here, and cuts out when ever the phone rings.  So check back for some awesome pictures and videos from a windsurfing paradise!  As well sorry for my possibly horrible grammar and spelling, I think I’m forgetting it even more as I try to learn Brazilian Portuguese.

On My Way to Icaraizinho Brazil

Leaving today for Icaraizinho Brazil!  I’ll be there for just over 3 months instructing and windsurfing at Club Ventos Icaraizinho.  A little bit about it from the Club Ventos site

Located at 190 Km from Fortaleza, more precise at the West Coast of Ceara State, this little village it’s not yet known by common tourists, but just discovered by kite and windsurfers whom have found this spot, where on-shore wind blows around 20 – 30 knots per day, during almost the whole year.

As there is not much of a night life, what you can expect to do is sailing, go fishing with the natives and rest under the coconut palms. It’s the ultimate vacation!

Icarazinho offers a diverse and amazing windsurfing spot (or spots).  It reminds a lot of Jericoacoara, as both places are situated in bays with specific wave points.  ClubVentos Icarazinho center has its porch right on the beach on the upwind side of the bay, just next to the point.

You will find a big flat water area by the center, which is protected by a reef. During low tide the reef sticks up outside this area and stops nearly all water movement , and you will have the whole bay as a perfect freeride / freestyle area. Most part of the inner bay is waist / shoulder deep which makes it a perfect beginner spot, especially during the mornings with lighter winds. As the tide raises smaller waves appear which are perfect for easy wave practice.

Three minutes upwind sailing from the freeride / freestyle area you will find Icarazinho’s wave spot. A reef, combined with fishermen’s old wood logs creates a break for the more advance waverider / jumper. Brawzinho and Kauli had no problem doing double forwards during our stop here in December.

I’m looking forward to ripping it up!  Feel free to drop me a line if you’re going to be there, or come down and visit!!  Also hoping to have lots of posts from there with videos, and pictures! so check back often!!

 

YEEEAAAA!!! 🙂 🙂