Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cabo Verde Pro Champ, Irish Winter and Maui!

Magheroarty Winter; snow, freezing gales, monster waves and a big fat smile on my face! 

Well it's time for another onslaught of photos and news from my most recent hiatus from blogging (it's only been 5 months in fairness!). It's been an epic few months of water time and work time. Since I last posted I've been slogging away at work like a mad woman which was super challenging and left little time for me to squeeze onto the water. But that's just how life goes and you have to take the good with the bad. Work dominated for 4 months and I was hard pressed to find time to train on the water and in addition, Irish Winters can be brutally cold, as was this one, which just makes trying to surf or sail an actual mission. But enough whinging..... I've still had some savage sessions and here, best described in photos is a recap of my last few months.... ENJOY!

Let's start with some Winter Sessions....

It's hard to describe how brutally cold these sessions up in the North West of Ireland can be..... in the depths of Winter the air is super-dense and the wind is heavy and gusty and the squall showers of hail stones and sleet make you want to cry!
A Sunny Sligo SUP in January......

Irish GOLD! Loving life on my Starboard 8'0 carbon Pro and Ke Nalu paddles!

When the AWT announced they were planning on holding an event in Cabo Verde I was going to make it my mission to get there! It was a serious pilgrimage and took 2 days of travelling but it was so unbelievably worth it. Vickey Abbott and Sam Bittner made history by having women compete on the island of Sal for the first time. The Goya Cabo Verde Pro was a raging success and the atmosphere amongst the local and foreign riders was insanely positive. Although we didn't score epic Ponta Preta for the contest the girls still proved they could hold their own at this legendary mecca of wave-sailing and I cannot wait to get there again next year! 
I was beyond stoked to have taken 1st place in the women's fleet, my first win on the AWT and something I had never dreamed would happen. WOOOHOOOOO! 

Happy bunny!! 
Loving my Starboard Quad 74L!!!
Happiest person ever! 
Starboard Quad 74L and Hot Sails Maui Firelight 4.3 = dream combo
Camille 1st, Kauli 2nd, Boujmaa 3rd,
Me 1st, Sam 2nd, Vickey 3rd

The ladies of the final! Nicole Bandini, Sam Bittner, Me, Vickey Abbott

And then after a quick stop home back to work for a few weeks I was off to Maui for the 2016 Starboard Photoshoot. For sure this was a major dream of mine growing up in Ireland and training on Maui. I would see all the pros in the catalogues and watch the heli- shoots at Ho'okipa and dream that one day I'd be included...... and that day CAME!! I'll never ever forget being chased by a helicopter at Kanaha with John Carter taking photos from above.... bucket list tick! It's also so amazing to be a part of a team, considering windsurfing is such an individualised sport. It's the first time I really felt a part of a team and getting to hang out with some of my windsurfing heroes for 2 weeks was magic. Also it was such an honour being included in a group of phenomenally talented women like multiple world champion Sarah Quita Offringa, young charger Fiona Wylde and freestyle ripper Oda Johanne. Starboard are pushing the boundaries in windsurf and SUP board innovation and I am so deeply honoured to be riding their products around the world. For sure they are pushing my skills to the next level! Thank you guys! 

Backloop at Ho'okipa, photo credit Fishbowl Diaries, THANK YOU Sofie and Paul!
Swimming with my besties! Mermaids!!

Hair Whip! Thank You as always Jimmie Hepp- HERO! 

Starboard Girls!!