Friday, 24 June 2011

Rach is Back

Morning! And what a fine morning it is too! Le soleil brille pour tout le monde et les vagues sont... well actually the waves are on the weak side. Hand on heart, I can't call this a solid swell, locally generated wind chop. Still okay though - hey, and you never learn anything by sitting on the side. Not strictly true, but we'll go with it for now. Couple of foot, light breeze from the South-West.... any complaints will fall on deaf ears.

Always have loved a bit of the french language. Slips off the tongue a treat.

Rach is back! Fresh from a Kings of Leon Hyde Park experience. With Paul Weller as the warm up act. Dream line-up. I've just handed her my scraps of paper assembled from two days at the helm.. despite being the boss, I might be in trouble! There are pieces to pick up. "Can I get you a coffee Rach?" I shall enquire. I'm surrounded by some very, very tolerant ladies who for some reason have learned to by-pass me on all important issues!

All that chat about Greece defaulting yesterday - now there's a worry. If Greece goes, Ireland, Portugal and then the big one Spain (they say) would follow - total meltdown. Good reason to holiday in Cornwall I say.

I'm going to call this composition 'My Dog'! She drives me nuts - if I try a long exposure she gets in the way, and if she's not in the way she's doing a big wet tail, shakey, shakey right next to me.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Feed at Roserrow

We had a staff get together up at Roserrow this evening. Wow, great food! Really great food - I had Calamari followed by Sea Bass. Very tasty indeed. Great night. Great company. Great food. Big thanks to Randy and his team. A relaxed, chilled evening... although I think the younger ones may still be going! Time for a cocoa and beddy times hobnob for me.

Bright and breezy

We've got 3ft, onshore breeze - sun is shining! Great for Beginners and Improvers!

I'm at the helm again today - poor old Rach (who went to see King's of Leon last night) will have to pick up the pieces when she comes back in tomorrow. Although I have surpassed myself this morning - I have been a bundle of energy going from e-mail to telephone enquiry (as I say Rach will have to pick up the pieces!). No need to worry though, no need for pen, paper or computers, it's all in my head! All together now, "Nooooo!"

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


I've got into a great routine recently with the light evenings. I take the dog for a walk with the camera - try lots of different settings. Last night went down to a little secret spot near the Rumps where the water is crystal clear. Nothing happening though - every photo I took I binned when I got home.

This was Greenaway this evening. Nights are drawing in - some idiot had to say it!

Of course if it's surf photos you want, here's the very man. Presenting Mr Nick Wapshot of 360 photography - a legend in his own camera bag. Check out his site - you won't be disappointed. If you want to know about apertures, f-stops etc he's the man that has the knowledge. Come for lessons and you'll also see him at the water's edge snapping your best efforts. He looks a bit like me, we often get confused - which has it's advantages. Sometimes it's quite useful to play the role of the photographer!

WW2 at school today - should be fun!
Let's hope Billy doesn't take to his new look and head for the City! "Yeah as much as we love you, I'm afraid if you're going to be a banker you're going to have to find somewhere else to live!"

I Love Finisterre - and they love you!

My mate Tom just rang for a catch up from St. Agnes. Always good to hear from him. He runs the clothing company Finisterre, along with a mad Canadian called Ernie. Me and Tom go back a long way, we used to teach surfing together up in Bude. What they've done with Finisterre is awesome - it is such an amazing authentic, ethical brand and they've done such a great job in a tough industry during tough times. I couldn't survive without my Bise jacket! I doff my cap to them.
(Tom on left, Cuddlemeister in the middle, dog called Happy)

I might pop in and see them tomorrow - they've got this super cool surfy HQ - very chilled. Be good to have a proper catch up with the blonde haired dude - oh and get a big bear hug from the Canadian. He has a lot of love to give, that boy! If you're passing, I reckon it's worth going in just for a cuddle!

In the Galleon

Ah bless - the girls from the Galleon Cafe, former Surf's Up! Boardriders going for a splash last night. Great to see them going in. From the left Rosie, Beth and Becky - serve up a mean sweet chilli chicken burger and chips.

Surf this morning - head high on the sets, light onshore breeze and Kris from the Tubestation has it all to himself (9.30am). I'm not sure he likes it when I'm up on the cliff top taking photos - it's the pressure!

Just me in the office today - oh dear! The Empire may well crumble.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Where's the Minibus Gone?

Minibus has gone, gone for ever. Was costing too much as a private vehicle and we hardly ever used it for Boardriders. We reasoned that on those odd occasions when we would use it (summer trip) it would actually work out cheaper to hire than to keep our one. And with us doing so many miles now, we really need two decent cars. So it's a Mondeo Estate - quite nice as it goes. Black, Petrol, does 38mpg - considerably more than the minibus with the massive roofrack! We save £1000 just on insurance. No brainer. And great to be a little bit under the radar. Was starting to get an achy arm and cramp in my jaw from all the waving and smiling in the sign written minibus! Free to indulge in some road rage.

Centre of Excellence

We thought we'd go for the full cheese on this one - hence the sandwich! Wailin and Rach. Just got our Surfing GB Award through the post - Centre of Excellence. Waiting to get final confirmation, but we may be the only one's in Cornwall to achieve the top billing. Cool.

How's Surfing GB getting on? Hard to tell. But what I do know is that they have a good person in the office in Jo. She holds it altogether in what has been difficult circumstances. If I was asked to sit on the Exec (the answer would be, thanks but no thanks) the first thing I would do is sit Jo down and say, "What do you want, what do you need?" Simple as. She knows better than anyone what goes on. And my directive would be "Come up with a master plan that concentrates on the basics. Take those basics and cut them in half - make it even more basic. Promise nothing. Build slowly."

Has it been busy on the beach? Not so bad! We've had a few schools in - all seems under control. A nice busy as opposed to a nasty busy. Sun's out, light breeze on the 2ft surf, sound of laughter coming from the beach, I'm eating a chicken burger with sweet chilli sauce, yep all's well in the camp.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Findog signed by Argyle

So that's both boys signed by Plymouth Argyle now - we went up to Home Park to do all the paperwork with Fin this evening. They were even allowed to sneak on the pitch to knock a ball about for a bit - a rare treat. Very tough to get into the team so obviously we're very proud. There's eight lads in Fin's age group that have now been signed - that's from all over Devon and Cornwall. Great work - and will be much better for travelling to training - except for matches that is. Example - in a few weeks Billy has an away match against Birmingham on the Tuesday, Fin plays against Birmingham in the same week on the Thursday, also away! I think this could be a long term problem - well not actually a problem because we're stoked for them both, and the longer the term the better. We'll do whatever we have to do to support them. We sold the minibus in anticipation that the fuel bill may well rise - looks like it's been a smart move to switch to a Mondeo estate! Anyway, nice one Fin.

It can be a lengthy old process breaking into the team. You start with your school team, then you trial for Wadebridge. Establish yourself in that team, get spotted and you get invited to the Plymouth Development Centre at Newquay, do well there and you get invited to the Bodmin one. Then you wait for the big call which is to trial at the Centre of Excellence at Ivybridge. You can wait here for years. If you get the call you have six weeks to do your thing. It's very serious - the training is very intense. Two and a half hour sessions, pretty well non-stop skills and drills. The coaches are unbelievably dedicated to the cause and they don't take any nonsense. If you're not good enough, they send you packing. Most get sent back at this stage, only a very few who make it to trials get signed. That's why there's so many anxious parents on the side - it's not nice. If you think in Billy's team there are fourteen on the books and in Fin's, eight. Throughout Devon and Cornwall that's a lot of competition for so few places. It's a big old pyramid. Billy went to the trials very focused - played hard and signed on the dotted line prior to the six week deadline.

For Fin it's been a quicker route. With Plymouth's bigger problems - they closed down the Bodmin Development Centre for the summer break a bit earlier, but gave six of the players at a shot at an early trial at Ivybridge - one of them being Fin. You've got to take your chances and that's what Fin did. Billy and Fin are very different players - Billy's the right winger, speed merchant, quick pass and go, creates chances for others. Fin is a defender - if you've got the ball and you're heading in his direction, you should know two things - 1) Fin's going to get it back 2) it's probably going to hurt! My top tip - pass it before you get anywhere near him. That's what made their trials so interesting. Billy a bundle of energy with huge work load on and off the ball. Findog much more laid back choosing to stand his ground and pick off the players who have the cheek to play with 'his' ball. There's a lot of good players there and to be honest, there's very little to choose between them. When I watched the under 15s at training last week I tried to pick out those who stood the best chance of going on to great things. They all looked pretty similar to me!

Coming out of trials onto the team is different too. During trials the idea is to play your best, play to your strengths, show the coaches what you can do. Once signed the message is the complete opposite - they want you to try stuff that you can't do, stuff that you struggle with - so that by the end of the year your weaknesses are much improved. They get some breathing space, and of course, if play relaxed, you play well. It's a great message.

Having both boys there is fantastic - what an opportunity for them. The path now is quite simple - do what you have to do to stay in the team through the age groups, that's all you have to do. A simple path, but not an easy one. The door is open, just need to keep it that way. As the head coach says, "It's not the best player here today that will make it, but the one who puts in the most work."

ps. we're on 10%!

New Hat, New Day

Get into work this morning to find a nice new hat sitting on my desk... and now on my head! That's because it's started to rain. It even has my name on it - essential in these parts with Kelly around! I shall have the warmest head in town - thanks Sarah! It is a fine hat.. and we need these in the shop! It says 'Pete' on the front - not 'ete'.

Janey last night - "If you asked every Boardrider how many lessons they'd done since we started the club, and you added them all up, what would the total be?"
"I've got no idea!" I said. "I'm watching Rory. Now go back to bye-byes!"
Come wake up time, my mind has been feverish with activity. I resolved to work it all out. I've had to check it through a few times just to be sure - but here's some numbers.

No. of surf lessons - 19,000 adding up the total number of surf lessons done by each member

No. of hours training - 38,000 adding up the total number of hours done by each member

Total saved had everyone paid normal lesson prices (ie if we'd charged full price for the sessions) - £300,000+

No. of broken leashes, boards and wetsuits - okay let's not spoil the occasion!

I had no idea! Could have bought a house with that - admittedly not with a sea view! I'd like to think that's a pretty healthy contribution to the local community. Having said that there's been plenty of times I've said "Right that's it. No more." Because there are one or two who just take the soggy biscuit!! But I reckon on those figures we shall walk with heads held high and by rights should be awarded the Freedom of the village of Polzeath (which by law allows us to walk our dog on the beach at any time of year, and to ride our bikes on the coast paths - oh, apparently we do that anyway!). Freedom, you've got to give for what you take!

Here's Findog (our youngest) - he's a sporty boy! Lovin' his surfing' and lovin' his footie - we find out tonight if he's been signed by Plymouth Argyle. Fingers crossed. His big brother gets all the glory, but he's hot on his heels. No counting of chickens mind. He was training next to the under 15's yesterday - all gets very serious at that age. Two of the lads were snapped up last week, one going to Liverpool, the other to West Brom. Shows it can be done.

A moody shot of the Rumps from Lundy Bay last Saturday. Man it was windy. Should have had my new hat!