Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Summer in Brandon Bay

I have been coming out to Brandon bay Ireland for the last 10 years and this year when I come over
for the BWA comp in may I managed to get a job in Spillane’s so I could stay for the summer and this
is how it went…

Last year I won the amateur fleet which has now allowed me to enter the pro fleet, and at 18 years
old I am the youngest competitor in this fleet at the moment. I wanted to train somewhere where
I could raise my level of sailing but needed to be able to work to support myself, so I saw this as a
golden opportunity. I was lucky enough to of spent 3 months in South Africa over Christmas after
spending last summer working on building sites but managed to survive without working out there.
However this time I had run out of money and needed to find a way of being able to work and train
at the same time. Rob Jones and Jamie Knox came to my rescue not only helping me find a place to
live with some of Jamie’s surf instructors but also work in Spillanes, Jamies surf school and Rob Jones
sail loft. I have passed my driving test but have not been able to afford a car yet so getting to the
beaches was sometimes a problem if I couldn’t blag a lift. At first the answer was walking whether it
be a surf board or my whole windsurfing kit until Rob Jones was kind enough to lend me a bike but
then I managed to find my own in a skip all be it without brakes, but who needs to slow down when
you’re going to the beach to surf?

At first I was surfing alone a lot of the time and having a few quiet drinks in the pub at night until
my friend Tom Bennet (who quickly got the name of no standards tom) arrived. This not only filled
the house up with even more kit and less room to sleep it also changed quiet drinks into mayhem, I
won’t go into the details but it turned into a pretty crazy summer but as soon as there was wind or
waves we were on it.

One of the most memorable days I had this summer was definatly the day where I scored 3
amazing sessions in one day starting off with an amazing down the line side off super clean waves
windsurfing session then off to Spillanes to do my daily clean up work then back out on the water
for another fun jumping session then straight from that to another beach for a classic surf, where
I managed to get fully barrelled for the first time then straight into a pub in dingle for a bit of
traditional irish music and of course a guiness..what a day!

It was a big change going from having one of mums home cooked dinners waiting for me on the
table back home everyday to having to budget big time cooking a dinner that will last me a week and
didn’t cost me to much or make me too ill, but was still quite healthy.

Brandon Bay is amazing because you can go from helping someone learn how to sail along for the
first time at one beach to helping my friend Connor do his first forward loop after only sailing for one
year to another beach where it is all time epic wave sailing conditions all to yourself, cant get much
better than that!

Overall my time in Ireland has been filled with mostly highs such as watching tom bennet ride off a
ramp on a pier on a bike at 1mph and ending up with 4 stitches in his foot and a week off the water
which wasn’t so good for him obviously but was so worth it for our entertainment, cheers tom. The
only downer on this summer is that it will not last long as in the winter it gets very remote and quiet
out here in Brandon so isn’t many jobs around, so my work with Jamie and Spillanes has come to an
end now so I think I will have to head back home for a while to save up some money to hopefully
enable me to have another epic summer next year.

I would like to thank Tim SMITH visuals for getting me some amazing photos this summer, look him
up if your ever in KERRY OR NEED A PHOTOGRAPHER , my amazing sail sponsor Hot Sails Maui which have not let me down in some crazy conditions, and have lasted me super good ,K4 fins and Marcus for the board repairs and lastly a massive thanks to Rob Jones from Kerry sail compney Jamie knox water sport for al there coaching help and support.

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