2014…Highs and Lows…

January 4, 2015 5:11 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

IMG_4794Well here we are about to tell another story about another year in the life of Team QSW, Quayside Windsurfers and Severneshop. I cannot believe the years gone so quickly but on reflection (and a very handy App Andy Holland told me about – more about that later) I have every reason to think 2014 has gone quickly. With 72 sails this year it hardly surprising we are already at the start of 2015. For me its been a year of fantastic highs and a few awefull lows. Here’s my summary of 2014!!

 

So we started the year with plans to compete in Defi Wind 2014 again after a dreadful 2013 defi Campaign. I and Paul Perry were due to go down and compete with a few other Brits from the BSA Slalom Series in this the most extreme endurance race in the world – more about that later. We also tested the NEW North XT  mast extension after its 2 year long redesign. It is actually bloody good and works superbly with Severne sail due to its twin pulley system. Check it out Here.

Colin ‘Whippy’ Dixon also gave us the heads up on the New Severne sail line up with input from Scott Mckercher and Timo Mullen. These ‘Up close and personal’ videos are super useful when choosing which sails are right for you. Take another look at these fantastic videos Here

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The start of the year also brought probably the hardest news I have had to digest in my life to date…… the passing of my very close friend and fellow windsurfer Paul Perry. This giant of a man was for us ‘Wells-Next-To-Sea’ watermen just our buddy who we joked and sailed with for over 10 years, whilst outside of his windsurfing hobby Paul was one of the worlds most highly regarded Martial Arts Guru’s. His esteem outside of windsurfing was a stark contrast to his ego when windsurfing with his buddies. This guy really showed the rest of us how to live our life fully as well as being and excellent ‘piss take’ sparring partner on the beach and in the water. I miss this guys tremendously as I know others do, but his Wife Michelle continues to sail with us and in a funny way his passing has also brought

IMG_4131New opportunities for friendship. JB and Pauline, Paul’s bestest buddy for life flew over from Australia after Paul’s passing to be there for Michelle. Him and Pauline spent the whole of 2014 in the Uk supporting Michelle thru her difficult time………. what a friend that it!!……. and I for sure got to this couple far better in 2014. And you know, if there is any such thing as ‘silver linings’, getting to become friends with JB and Pauline is definitely one. Follow the 3 part story Here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 19.02.422014 was a year where Wells (our favouritest spot!! Lol) threw up a few surprises in offering new sailing spots and improving existing ones. We continued to enjoy the new Low Tide Channel sailing in beautiful sunshine in March and through the Summer – even tempting the Speed guys to try out the spot. I also found 2 new sailing spots at Wells: First being ‘Perry’s Heaven – a superb flat 1/2 mile run on a Northerly at Half Tide, and the second ‘Out The back’ – Finding that the furthest most beach out to sea works superbly on a SW with glassy waves and monster swell once you get out. Check the new location Here

 

 

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Team QSW rider Richard Hobson continued to fly the Team QSW flag at the UKWA BSA Slalom events in 2014. His promotion to the ‘Pro Fleet’ was a big step in anyones book but he stepped up increasing his fitness massively resulting in a overall 12th Place in his first year of Pro Fleet sailing. I for one know exactly how hard the BSA is and to get to the Pro Fleet in 3 years in a monumental achievement. Richard will be heading our BSA campaign for 2015 and seems sure to rise up the UK rankings even further this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1030792My exit from BSA racing didn’t stop me wanting to go back to compete in Defi Wind in 2014 – the hardest, most extreme and utterly  adrenaline firing race in the world. I rocked up 1 week early to get some practice and it payed off. Come the races on the Friday the winds were 50knots offshore with waves mast high as you tried to get upwind to the shoreline to then blast it off wind 25 miles with 4 gybes. To say this race was extreme is really an understatement. I sail in pretty hostile conditions at times but nothing hold a candle to hanging on to a 40mtr sail in 40knots gusting 55knots for 25 miles is relentless……….. but once to have done it…..OMG its satisfying!! Read my blog Here

 

In July team rider Andy Holland announced the much awaited 2015 Severne range of sails. It had for first time a range of ‘Pro’ series sails in S-1 and Blade which were the lightest sails ever………in the world….seriously!!LOl

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True to form when I got my S-1 Pros they are like nothing else. The 5.6 sail weighs the same as a normal 4.0mtr in say North or Tushingham. They are a lot of money but sales have had to be stopped worldwide due to to higher demand – in fact even long standing pre ordered sails have still not arrived yet in some cases. If you want to see just how good these sails are just ask any team rider: I have S-1 Pros, Andy Holland has S-1 Pros, Steve Chatten has Gators, and we do have some SWAT’s and Blades here to try.

 

IMG_4791In September Quayside Windsurfers and Severneshop hosted our biggest stand ever at the National Watersports festival in Hayling Island. This event is now truly awesome whatever the wind conditions as it includes SuP’ing and canoeing as well as windsurfing and kitesurfing. We took a massive shop with us and had  Jonny ‘Utah’ (ex team rider) join us for the weekend which was a ball!. We enjoyed a fantastic weekend of selling, advising, and meeting customers from around the UK. If you have never been go in 2015 – its well worth it!! We will have an even bigger stand with over £100k of windsurf, Sup and ION kit for 2015 so come and see us for a bargain! Check it out Here

More locally we attended Lifestyles at Hunstanton in 2014. Sadly in my opinion the event lacked the ‘edge’ of previous years and it poured with rain most of the time. So for 2015 we will be holding our own Demo weeknd in the Summer. It will dynamic either being at Hunstanton or Wells depending on the wind and we will have a Pub night in the evening for those who camp over the night. More to come soon here.

 

 

 

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In October Team QSW were super busy – I was promoting windsurfing at the National Caravan Show whilst Andy Holland and friends took their annual homage to Ireland – and this year it was windy…..VERY WINDY!!. Take a look at the blog Here and scare yourself!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…and in November Severne Sails Uk slalom racer James Dinsmore retained his UKWA BSA racing championship. What sails does he use……. you know, Severne Reflex’s of course!! Check out the story Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And to end what has been a busy 2014, we saw the most beautiful sunset when sailing Wells only a few days ago……….. and maybe the view I had that evening sums up my 2014. You have to endure a little pain to enjoy a little pleasure……… Happy New Year guys…..

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This post was written by Neil Greentree (Team Rider)

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