Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movin' on from Maui but what an EPIC 2 months it has been :-)

Hello again compadres...... Proud of myself for keeping this thing slightly more current, woohoo! Wow what an incredible 2 months I have just spent on Maui. The place is like a second home to me and this time I really felt I was at home. It was my 6th time to go there and train and slowly but surely things are feeling like they are really starting to click, both on and off the water I feel more and more at home every time I go. This is partly due to my Maui Ohana Neil Turpin and Sam Campbell who act as surrogate parents to me and have me shack up with them in the 5 star Camp One gaff with Michelen Star Neilo meals and windsurf playground in my back garden :-) love you guys and thank you! Also attributable to my Maui happiness are my awesome amigos and AWT clan. Sam Bittner is the Don of windsurfing events and now my very dear and special friend, between the laughs, the chats, the windsurfing, the adventuring and the copious amounts of happy hour Margaritas, she and I have pretty awesome fun together!
Sam and I at the AWT award ceremony :-)

Of course it wasn't just Sam B and Neil and Sam C who made this trip for me, all of my amigos and obviously the epic sailing and surfing conditions combined to make the whole 2 months so amazing. Particularly all the awesome girls I met and sailed with this time. It's so rare, especially in Ireland to be able to meet and sail with so many like minded water women. We all share a love of being active and spending as much time on the water as possible. I've always just gone out and windsurfed or surfed for myself and a lot of the time on my own, even this year I embarked on completely solo, in the knowledge that I would probably be doing what I love alone and being pretty ok with it. But to my surprise and the absolute enhancement of my year, I have thankfully met the most incredible water girls ever! They have shared with me some of the best water moments of my life and motivated me to push harder and try take my windsurfing and surfing to the next level. Starting my year in Tenerife I made amazing friends with the PWA girls; Amanda, Hester, Eva, Justyna, Laure, Karin, Nayra etc etc and then through the AWT meeting Fiona, Sam, Miho, Ingrid, Sarah, Shawna, Anne-Marie, Tatiana etc etc..... it's been EPIC! 
So with that in mind, the Queen of Aloha and the ambassador of the Butterfly Effect, (which pretty much embodies the spirit of all water women getting together to do what they love most), Tatiana Howard made a quick video of herself, New-Caladonian ripper and fellow Simmer Team rider Sarah Delaunay, Amy Carter and I. She used her GoPro with various mounts and we shot the vid at Camp One..... take a look and see just how happy we are :-) Waaaaaaaaaaay too much fun! 

Just Click on this link to watch the video!

The girls Tail-Gaiting outside Mana Foods after our session in Tati's truck :-)
Check out Tatiana's incredible effort to spread aloha on the water and off amongst women around the world here     She is an inspiration! 

Another of my newly found amigas is Amy Carter. Amy is the editor of Boards Mag, Boards and and is a ripper windsurfer. We first bonded over some cervecas at the chiringuito bar at El Medano during the Tenerife PWA and then I managed to convince her to come to Maui to windsurf and party for 4 weeks...... lets just say it didnt take too much arm twisting! Hahaha We had a blast and worked on some articles for her mags while she was here.
If you follow the blog you'll know I do a series of Diaries for Boardseeker documenting my year of adventuring so click this link to read my latest entry on my Maui funtimes :-)

As usual I'm fed up of typing so I'll just let all the pictures say what I need to say :-)

Amy and I spreading the Aloha with a few cheeky Margaritas in Milagros

 Of my last 4 weeks there was only one week of good sailing..... then the wind died and the swell kicked in and I spent the next 3 weeks surfing and SUPping my little heart out!

A small day on the SUP at Lanes. I was using an 8'5 Quatro from Hi-Tech, lovelove :-)
I ended up having some EPIC days at Lanes during that big North Swell..... at one stage I was out there with only 6 guys..... one of them being Josh Stone, the other Robby Naish....... pretty funny for a wee paddy like me to be sharing waves with 2 absolute legends, "howya Josh?! aghh no you take this wave, I had the last one, aghh sure go on go on go on" ;-) "what's the craic Robby, lovely day for it" ;-) Surreal. But that's what happens on Maui and you eventually stop noticing. This place is so unique and I'm pretty sure there's no other sport in the world where you get the world's best doing their thing and sharing it with kooks and average joes alike. That's what I love about windsurfing and even surfing, after a while you just stop paying heed to the fact that you're in the company of legends, both on and off the water and just feel like you're out there with a bunch of like minded people doing what they and you both love to do. 

Speaking of talent; here's me with Freestlye world champ Steven Van Broeckhoven..... poor Steven had a fight with his sail, and the sail won..... resulting in a face full of stitches and a nice rosy shiner, this is me putting my skills to the test with a dodgy Gilette razor and a very becoming head lamp..... all very professional, all very sterile ( ahem.... ;-)

We had some pretty awesome craic when the AWT event was over and all the crew was still around. Including this epic night when Bryan made his all-time epic Enchiladas for us all...... Casey, Ingrid, Joshypoo, Griff, Sam, Steven, Sam, Neilo, Mike etc etc..... we had plenty of time to get well acquainted with the cervecas before the 3 hour marathon enchilada bake off was finally ready

Steven and Bryan.... el masterchef

Then it was onto the amazing adventures of the 4 amigos..... quite the mash up of nationalities; we were the Paddy, The Aussie, The Mexican and the English and we spent many's a flat, windless day exploring the island and keeping oursleves busy until we could surf or sail again.

Amy, Joey "The Legend" Sanchez and I at the blow hole


Dave (aussie), Me (paddy), Amy (pom), Joey ("mexican") on top of the crater

PowerRangers Hike Iaow Valley

Dave the nutjob is a serious triathlete and he insisted on biking up Haleakala..... 10,000ft verticle..... 3 times...... silly goose ;-)

Me pulling a cheeky backflip off TwinFalls

Griff, Dave, myself and a plant..... it was a double date ;-)

Every now and again the wind came back and the hero that is Jimmie Hepp took some photos from his perch on the rocks, King Jimmie we salute you!

Broken mast walk of shame :-)

Thanksgiving was spent at the Paia Bay Invitational Event..... Tatiana, Me and Mary Elizabeth who won best wave :-) whilst Tatiana, Michelle and Paige Alms wowed the judges not only by ripping as usual but also a cheeky topless wave 

Mary Eliz and I in a "who wore it better" moment..... hehehe

Also so proud and humbled to have been included in Cafe Mambo's Team this year. Jamie and Olga are Cafe Mambo in Paia (and now New York) and they serve the coldest beer, the best Duck burger, Kalua Pig Fajitas and Chicken Tagine you will ever try! Not only are they amazing food ambassadors but they are also so generous, welcoming and friendly and have a gorgeous young family. So make sure to go to Cafe Mambo in Paia next time you're on Maui.... tell them Katie sent you ;-)

Sam Bittner in all her organizational masterfulness also organised the last tour stop of the KSP kite pro event at Ho'okipa. Here we are checking out the skills from the hill with Irish Kite man Ryan Koot, Neil Turpinator, Myself, Joey Sanchez and the Aussie

The crew camping at Kaupo for Bittner's bday

And from there, it was off to Oahu before I finally left Hawaii for my current adventure in Barbados. We had the most insane trip! With the timing (intentionally) coinciding with the final stop of the ASP tour at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore. It has always been a dream of mine to watch the best guys rip it up at pipe and I was in for the treat of a lifetime...... We watched Slater, Medinez and Kerr battle it out 50m in front of us in huge pumping surf..... words cannot describe.....

Me lost in the sea at pipe with Andy Irons ;-)

We hit the beach at 6.30am and bumped into this dude round the back of the Volcom gaff...... YEP I'm pretty much world champion..... hahahaha.... wonder if Parko knew I'd been fondling it before he did? ;-)

So close to Kelly..... sigh

Just as much of a highlight for me was getting to watch Gerry Lopez "Talk Story" at Surfer the Bar. Very much a surreal moment and such a nice guy..... he asked where I was from and when I told him Ireland he said " Nice. Lots of good surfers from there"..... hear that guys?! He knows you're out there!

And that's that or sin e as they say. As usual I wish I had more photos or videos of me sailing but I'm slacking bigtime in that dept.... apologies. It's just so hard to find someone who will sit on a beach and take pictures of you all day and I always get distracted when the conditions are good and just want to hit the water as soon as possible. So even though I can't share with you all the amazing, (and not so amazing) waves I have caught in the last few weeks I can promise you they are all in my head and in my bones and I can close my eyes and be back at those places any time I like...... which is good enough for me :-)

Back soon when I have more news but for now it's goodbye from Barbados, Merry Christmas, Happy New year and don't forget; ACTION!!
Hanging out with Brian Talma at De Action Surf Shop Barbados..... ACTION!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Morocco and Maui and lots of Competitions!

Heyhey friends ;-)
ALOOOOOOOOOHA from Maui, the windsurfing mecca and garden isle of Hawaii :-)
Well it's been a while..... sorry! I have a habit of leaving these posts for a few weeks and then bombarding ye with a big one..... I'm just so busy having fun!
Sooooooo since Peru had an epic few weeks at home and away...... took a cheeky trip to work on my surfing in Morocco with my bestie girl friends from home.... Lisa, Marese, Ailbhe and Aoibheann. We booked into the SurfMaroc Taghazout Villa and had probably THE best random surf week ever! The accommodation was pimp and the local Moroccan tour guides, mixed with super tasty local food and a bunch of roudy Irish girls was the perfect recipe for some mad old craic.

Evening Yoga on the terrace.... still can't even touch my toes ;-)

Birthday shinanigans

Girls with Fadl our couch and dance partner in crime ;-)

Wish I had brought my SUP for these perfect rights..... still super rookie at surfing but could have done a lot more on waves like this with my little SUP.....

Me still sucking at surfing..... some day! 

Me trying to out run the section.... ha!

Then it was off back to Ireland for a few cheeky sessions at home...... gotta love the September sessions..... warm and long days and hurricane season in the caribbean = happy happy joyjoy! 
We had the 1st event of the IWA wave tour for 2012..... As usual there weren't many women who entered but I got to compete against Sophia Joy Gilje, a UK ripper which was awesome. I had some pretty fun heats.... 4.2 onshore port tack and took the ladies win! Also came 10th against a fleet of 17 men so pretty chuffed with that too :-) By winning that event I also took the over-all Irish Women's Title for 2012..... for the 4th time.... woohoo! SO happy! Congrats to Rob Jones too who won the men's title :-) Legend :-) Also got a shipment of my new 2013 Simmer Sails Blacktips, SICK! Love them. Thank you SIMMER!

New Simmers 2013..... MOO and IR 091

Then it was off to MAUI! Love this place and so lucky to be able to come here again and again. The main aim was to compete on the last AWT event stop of the year... the Maui Makani Classic at the mecca of Ho'okipa. It was my 3rd event on the 6 stop tour and was going to be the toughest. With 20 girls entered and the vest majority of them being household names in windsurfing I was going to have my work cut out for me bigtime! I was also the media director for the event helping out my friend and AWT tour director Sam Bittner. It was an awesome new angle for me at events and meant everyday I would do the write ups for the day's heats..... you can check them all out on the AWT facebook page Also did some interviews with Camiile Juban and Levi Siver and Brawzinho so you can check them out too on

Made it through my first heat but heat 2 was a toughy. I was up against last year's 2nd place and legend Anne-Marie Reichmann and last year's winner, total shredder Junko Nagoshi..... eeeeek! So it was always going to be an uphill battle. But my heat went well, I picked off one long set wave with 5 turns and two other decent waves. I only lost out on a place in the semi finals by 0.9 points on a 2:1 judges decision to Anne-Marie..... so I was stoked! to have come so close and to have sailed the best I could have :-)

Having logo-mast high Ho'okipa to yourself with only 3 other girls for 20 whole minutes...... an absolute dream!

Opening Ceremony at Ho'okipa..... check the little Irish flag we brought from home on the left! WOOHOO! Gwan the paddies! Neil Turpin was also representing for Ireland among the other 120 competitors and 24 nationalities and coming an impressive 3rd in the amateurs, go on ya good ting Neilo!!

Jumps weren't counting but sure I did one anyways..... ;-)

So I came 7th overall for the AWT Maui event.... pretty stoked with some HUGE names in the women's fleet. Well done to all the girls who entered.... not a single girl was out there who didn't rip and prove to the guys what we can do!

And I came 5th Overall for the AWT 2012 year!! WOOHOO! I only did 3 events so here's hoping if I can do 4 events next year I will make it to the podium!

Me with AWT rippers Sarah Delaunay (new Simmer team member woohoo!) and Butterfly effect legend Tatiana Howard :-) 

Me with Bouji and Fiona Wylde :-)

Contest girls Tammy, Sam, me and Sierra :-)

So I'll be writing my official Boardseeker Diary from Maui soon and will post the link to it here asap :-)
For now it's back to sailing Ho'okipa, surfing, eating fresh Ahi and hanging out on this beautiful tropical island with the coolest amigos in the world :-)
Back SOON! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peru Shinanigans

Heyup there buddies,
So here's my latest article for all about my trip to compete on the AWT in Peru

Just click on this link

And if you missed my last article about my adventures on Mexico on the AWT just click on this link

And lastly, here's a wee mooooovie film from 2 days sailing at home in Louisberg Co.Mayo. It was wiiiindy and I couldn't sail at all cos I was stacked on a 3.0m but fun to watch anyways! Check out Dan Gardner ripping, especially his massive backloop at the start.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Adventuring and the likes......

Sure what have I been up to at all at all these last 12 months?! Not blogging apparently......muchos apologies but I didn't have anything worth writing about so trust me, I did ye all a favour!
As I said in my last post I've been grinding away at my job as an intern doctor for the last year, based out of Galway and Sligo. I barely windsurfed a dozen times all year but work had to take the main focus and I survived the hard slog and have come out with my full registration and qualifications so happy bunny now!
Where to start...........let's do a quick recap on my trip to Maui in March, epic old adventure, quick 2 week break from work and hop skip and a jump over the Atlantic into the deep Pacific and onto the doorstep of my surrogate Maui family Sam and Neil at Camp One. I was treated to the joys of roomate-dom with the effervescent Muzza and Jay Haysey...Mr.Globalshots and we spent 2 weeks sailing, SUPing, surfing and eating all of Neilo's delicious foody treats. Here's some pics

Backie at Ho'okipa thanks to Globalshots

Jimmie Hepp Ho'okipa

Giampaolo Photography ;-)

Si Crowther photo at Ho'okpia

Then it was back off home to finish my intern year and then begin what I like to call my version of the PWA..... the Paddy Windsurfing Adventures ;-) as I embarked on a year of sailing and training in the best windsurfing spots in the world ;-)
I started with my first actual PWA (professional windsurfing assoc) event in Tenerife in July. I lived with the awesome Amy Carter aka Miss Boards and Boardseeker and we had a right old hoot for 2 weeks. I have always wanted to do  a PWA event ever since I started wavesailing and saw the girls with the PWA stickers on their sails at Ho'okipa. Unfortunately my 'year off' is from July to July as that's the working year in Ireland and this is not at all conducive to competing on different tours as most run from some time in March til October. This means I could do events on the PWA, American Windsurf Tour (AWT) and British Windsurfing Association Tours (BWA) but I wouldn't be able to compete for any solid overall rankings because I was going to miss the start of the year. Anyhoo, less words, more photos! So I did my first PWA event in Tenerife and had a total hoot but I was less than prepared seeing as I hadn't trained in a year.....but timing wise it was the only one I could have done this year so I sucked up my pride and entered. I was the only Irish entrant at that event and the 1st Irish woman to ever enter a PWA wave event ;-) Didn't exactly wow with my skills but gave it all I had.....which wasn't much hahahaha! and came 9th overall. Good experience yes, would I do one again? .......cost of travel and locations the PWA choose considered...... probably not..... but you never know and there's nothing like having a world ranking so we'll wait and see. 

The PWA girls with 3rd place legend Karen Jaggi

And then it was off to San Carlos Mexico for an EPIC adventure and the start of my 3 stops on the AWT for 2012. I was their 'Rider of the Week' in May so check it out here on the AWT website Not going to write anything about it here because I have poured my heart out about it in my monthly Boardseeker diaries called "The Adventures of Katie McAnena". Have a good read of it here
 I came 2nd in the ladies which I was pretty delighted about!


1st Place Fiona Wylde, 2nd place me!, 3rd place Sam Bittner

Biggest flag ever in Ensenada

Dodgy border crossing

EPIC Solosports camp

And then I scrambled off to Peru for the Pacasmayo Wave Classic! Another stop on the AWT! Here I came 3rd in the ladies which then gave me a ranking of 4th overall for the AWT 2012 which would have been better had I done more events, but again timing this year for doing competitions hasn't been ideal ;-) I'm not going to write about it here because I'll be doing a huge article for boardseeker next week all about it so stay tuned! For now here are some photos.....

Me during a heat

Me during SUP heat

Sunset sesh

Cheeky jump

Endless lefts

Epic waves, I'm LOVING it!

Sam Bittner and I.... walking lop-sided mostly from the howling wind but also from the cervezas we partook prior to the session ;-)

Up at the point

Pacasmayo Fiesta with Tatiana, Alex, Sam, Caro and I

Closing ceremony with Sam and I 

3rd place ladies windsurf, 2nd place ladies SUP :-)

Margaritas by the pool......

1st place Tatiana Howard (Hawaii), 2nd place Miho Tanaka (Japan), 3rd place me! (IRELAND!!)

SO pictures speak a thousand words and as I said check out my article in next week for the full report from Peru :-)

Results so far this year:
2nd Place Ladies AWT Baja Mexico Windsurf
3rd Place Ladies AWT Pacasmayo Peru windsurf
2nd Place Ladies Pacasmayo Classic StandUpPaddle (SUP)

AAAAAAAND there ya have it amigos. The beginnings of my epic year-long windsurfing adventures. So exciting!! Currently in Taghazout Marocco for a surf/yoga retreat......more on that another time, but catching some fun waves with all my Galway girls. Then off to Maui for the last event of the AWT where I will be competing and also taking up the role as Media Director.....should be funny! Can't wait though.... gonna be crashing at Camp One with my foster family again and cruising around with all the Maui amigos. I'll keep this blog much more updated from now on....I promise so stay tuned for my future adventures 
Cheers! Katie :-)

Little Article from my local Newspaper thanks to Lia Stokes!