Thursday, 3 March 2011

New Indian Restaurant to Open at Polzeath

The owners of the Raj, in Wadebridge are opening a new restaurant here at good old Polzy. It's taking the place of what used to be Saltwater up on Tristram Cliff (if you look out to sea, up on the left hand side). Previous owners have struggled to make a go of what has to be one of the most stunning restaurant locations in Cornwall, but I have a sneaky suspicion that this could be the one to come good.

"What's all that about?"

In the words of a poor comedian, "What's all that about?" Icy puddles and frost on the windscreen this morning! Good news is, the sun's out and despite the chilly start, we're all set for a stunning day.

Surfing GB, the new organisation taking over the role from the now disgraced BSA, is making efforts to wipe the slate clean and rebuild the reputation of a surfing governing body. It's quite clear that a back to basics approach needs to be taken. It's a chance to rebuild and get it right. No point in just trying to restart under a different name with the same blood. The last lot blew it, big time and quite frankly, should be embarrassed about it.

Jamie James riding one this morning! Photo by Kinta

Many questions remain about the last body - one in particular that I'd be keen to have resolved. The BSA used to have it's own surf school right on Fistral. The National Surfing Centre. As you'd expect it was one of the busiest in the country. Anyway, one day it was gone. A position that I had campaigned for, for years. How you can you be in competition with the gov
erning body? A GB should be there to support and ensure standards. But it must have had a value - a pretty good value, where monies would have gone to the BSA. Bear in mind it went under because it ran out of money. Had it gone to tender we may well have thrown our hat in. Many would have done. But a deal was done on the quiet and there's no record of money changing hands? Really? There is no record of anything being paid for it. And that just begs the question, doesn't it. No money changed hands for one of the most prestigious surf schools in the UK? Not even a penny for all the equipment, of which they had loads?

"What's all that about?"

Sean Taylor getting the hang of it this morning. Photo Kinta

And then we look at the training programmes and instructor courses. If you ran a beginners lesson in the the way that the BSA professed, your business would last about....... a day. The lesson plan was just so sterile. Lacking the dynamism that the sport naturally embraces.

Change is necessary. But change may be painful and not welcomed by all. But lessons have to be learned. We sit on the 'advice panel' and my recommendations have been - under promise, over achieve; bring all the training back in house to ensure standards and that monies get paid directly to the organisation; establish Fistral as the HQ for Elite training; keep it simple. This is a re-building exercise. Over the years the faith and trust in the BSA was completely lost by members - the new organisation cannot expect to convert these members back immediately it will take time. On foundations of ensuring public safety; establishing fun and progressive lessons; a support network for surf schools and instructors - this can be re-established. And let's not worry about those who don't want to be a part right now. That's totally understandable. We've all been served badly for many years. Turn it around and create an organisation so strong and supportive that individuals, clubs and schools start knocking on their door. That will take time, but it's goal worth striving for.

The Bali trip has been and gone. Wailin's reporting back for duty on Monday where he'll be giving us the full low down. Not sure when he boards the return flight, but it must be soon. Sounds like they've all had an amazing time, as always.

Surf today? Dropping, few sets still in the chest high range, light wind. If you're in the area a surf session might be good for the soul.

Billy's big night tonight. Subconsciously it must be on my mind - it's 11am and I'm on my 4th Mochacheeeno! Come on my son.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Billy gets the Call

Okay then Billyman, here's your chance! Last night we received the news that Billy has been invited to trial for Plymouth Argyle - starting tomorrow. Despite Argyle's financial problems, the youth set up is very strong. Down in these parts it's a big deal to get the call. These chances are very hard to come by. So you have to grab them by the scruff and see where they take you. He'll get a maximum of six weeks, at which point he'll either get sent home (with no dinner!) or they'll sign him up (he can choose his dinner!). Fingers crossed on this one. Competition is fierce.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Good to Go!

That was hard! Coming back from hols. I can't lie, it's been a struggle getting back into the swing of things. When was it, on Saturday the shop was full and I went in to help. When I got to the till it was like I'd never done it before. It all felt a bit odd! Still fully in holiday mode.

But today is different - back dealing with all the enquiries, getting them sorted. The Beach House is flying this year, so that's good. Very few dates left to fill. The sun is shining, so no complaints.

I mentioned on here a while ago that I really fancied doing the RAAM - the bike race across America. I watched the DVD Bicycle Dreams, the story of the RAAM on the weekend. How depressing was that? Far from finding it inspirational, I found it really ... stupid. One of the competitors got knocked off his bike by a sixteen wheel truck in a fatal accident. He left behind his wife and kids - for what?

So that's a big no no. But what is a big yes, yes is the Lanzarote Ironman 2012. No down side to that. I know I can do the cycle, I know I can do the swim with a bit of training - the challenge (apart from putting it all together) lies in the run. I used to be a good runner, but have a history of pulled achilles and hammies. So running is something that I avoid. But maybe this is the opportunity to getting my legs sorted once and for all, do the stretching, do the exercises, build some strength slowly over time. Yep, so that's where my head is and training has already begun.