Scottish Weekenders with Freshy
Not to point out the obvious but...It's been a pretty tricky year for us, as it has been for many businesses. We take for granted how easily we can travel around the world on our hunt for sun, perfect conditions and new destinations. We had to cancel mid way through our clinics in El Medano and then had to watch all the other clinics drop off the calendar one by one, it was pretty heart breaking. Luckily I got stuck in a pretty nice place, once we finished our quarantine, I got to enjoy a quiet summer in El Medano and run some great mini clinics both in the Bay and at Cabezo.
It soon became clear that World travel wasn’t going to be quite as easy as before for awhile, so I let go of the idea of a normal autumn and winter on the other side of the world and decided to head back to the UK and minimise everyone’s need to travel by offering some local clinics at people’s home spots, where possible.
We got in touch with Mr Jonny Freshwater, who usually needs no introduction but, if you don’t know the legend, he runs an awesome watersports/ outdoor activity place called Loch Insh, close to Inverness in Scotland. I have been great friends with Jonny for years since our seasonaire days in Vassiliki, Margarita and Dahab but until now we had never actually worked together, so we thought now was great time to combine our forces and bring WSC to Scotland.
My first mission was to recover the Megavan from Gatwick where it had been parked for 9 months and shoot up to Scotland to lock myself up for a couple of weeks and self isolate before I could mingle. Surrounded by the beautiful Scottish countryside it wasn’t so hard!
Our first ‘Weekender’ was for the young guns, we had great wind and sunshine (!) for 2 days. The conditions really couldn’t have been better, although the water temperature a bit of a shock for me coming from Tenerife!
Jonny grew up at the Loch, he’s a great windsurfer and has been teaching all his adult life but since taking over the business from his dad he’s spent a lot more time behind a desk and managing, so I was super excited to get him back out there on the water.
It’s been a while since I have taught kids and I soon realised the audience isn’t quite the same, anyone who knows me will know I love to talk but I quickly learnt that kids don’t want to listen, they want to do! So we got these 14 mega keen kids on the water and filmed the action.
On day 2 we got their attention… all we had to do was put them one the big screen and suddenly they were all listening! We had 2 different levels within the group, for the higher level, all of their gybes improved massively, all of them started sailing out of really nice gybes by the end of the day. The lower group were now starting to blast comfortably in the straps. I’ve definitely been missing out on coaching kids, I love the enthusiasm that lead to so much improvement and working alongside Jonny for me was really special. We will definitely be back next year!
Weekender number 2 was for the adults. We had a great group, the average level was learning to carve gybe and generally get more comfortable with manoeuvres. The conditions might not have seemed perfect to most, as although we had glorious sunshine, the wind didn’t show up. We see it on people’s faces at the start of a clinic, that disappointment that there’s not strong wind, and we feel you! But….IT DOES NOT MATTER… Anyone who’s been on a clinic will know that core skills are a huge part of the Windsurf Coaching method and an incredible way to improve your strong wind sailing. For most windsurfers at a higher level if they see the conditions as non planing they will rarely step on to a board and it’s such shame. By the end of this weekender the guys were all broken from sailing all weekend, they had learnt so much and really loved it. Most importantly, the next time they go out in planing conditions they will see instant results from all that practise and will enjoy their session so much more.
All in all another great weekend sharing the Windsurf Coaching love and knowledge. Brilliant once again to be alongside Jonny as, for us as well, it’s a great learning experience, we all strive to improve and gain more knowledge and new approaches as coaches, and I know I have picked up some invaluable insights from my time in Scotland and I hope that I returned the favour.
One last massive thanks to Jonny and the whole Team at Loch Insh, plus all the kids and adults that joined us for an epic time, can’t wait to see you next year… keep ripping.