Bodyboarder in Israel: Kiril Shchegolsky

I challenge anyone to pinpoint a country that has endured as much turmoil as the state of Israel. Between Egypt and Jordan, on the South East coast of the Mediterranean, Israel has seen its fair share of blood shed over the years, and nearly all of it in the name of territory. Tensions have always sored between Israel and Palestine, but when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat declared a war against Israel in the late nineties shit really hit the fan. Since 2000, records indicate around seven thousand seven hundred and thirty fatalities as a result of the on-going conflict.

Kiril Shchegolsky is arguably the top Bodyboarder from the Jewish nation.
“For the last ten years I’ve been Bodyboarding and travelling all around the world Hawaii, Mexico, Canary Islands, all over Europe and USA,” he types from Israel, “we had a great winter season in Israel, the waves were good, it was a very consistent season here.”

kiril b and w

Photo: Lea Ohana

Not a lot has changed for the twenty-four year-old since we met in 2010; yearly trips to Mexico, Hawaii and the Canaries are still on the cards, and he’s still hanging out with Bodyboarding royalty on a regular basis. So far Kiril’s been back in Israel for about six months, the longest period of time he’s been back home for five years. Kiril is pretty far removed from the stresses of living in a burdened plagued by a historical conflict. Five minutes from the beach, about thirty kilometres north of Tel Aviv and ten minutes away from his local break, Argaman Bay, he lives in the City of Netanya (meaning Gift of God and twinned with Australia’s Gold Coast), and spends almost all day every day in the sea.

“Right now I’m studying at ‘Vingeyt Sport University’ it’s a big sports school.  I’m doing that through ISA (Israel Surf Association). I also have a small surf school called “TIME 2 SURF” working with kids.”

Alongside his study Kiril also bartends weddings with his girlfriend Lea, who just finished two years of national service in the military.
“She skates and surfs and she’s really good at snowboarding too, I’m really stoked I met her and we can do all these things together. She’s epic!”

Israel is the only country in the world to draft both men and women for military conscription. All Israeli citizens are conscripted at eighteen. Men serve three years and women two. Of course, Kiril was no exception, fresh out of school at eighteen, he joined the army.

“When you’re eighteen and you’ve just finished school and want to go ahead with your dreams, you have to go to the army! So it kinda sucks! It’s good for those who don’t know what to do with their lives and want to learn more about themselves, for those who want to have some experience being part of a system and some lessons for life in general, but for those who got some alternative objectives in life, it might be an obstacle. For surfers it’s definitely an obstacle.”

But, with the support from the ISA (Israel Surf Association) as an active water-sportsman in Israel, he still managed to spend the majority of his military time in the water.

“I was in the army, but I never went to fight, I was surfing ninety-nine per cent of my army time. But don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for people who serve their duty to the army. My big brother was in the Air Forces of the Israeli army for 4 years, and one of my best mates is doing a career in the army and I’m really proud of him. I’m just not really the right person to fit in this kind of systems like the army, but I guess you just have to go and do it. Israel has a lot of hostile countries around it and there are a lot of terrorist threats, so it needs to protect itself.”

In July 2005, eighteen year-old, Ahmed Abu Khalil detonated himself on a pedestrian crossing near the entrance to Hasharon Mall in Netanya, representing Palestinian Islamist militant organization ‘Islamic Jihad.’ The suicide bombing killed 5 civilians and wounded a further ninety. The shopping mall was situated about fifteen minutes from Kiril’s home in Netanya, and his mother had left for the mall fifteen minutes prior to the time of the explosion.

“Ten to fifteen minutes after she left the house there was a big BOOM everything was shaking in the house, it was crazy!
I looked at the window and saw black smoke coming up from the shopping centre, the next second the phone rang. It was my mom, she was fine. Super lucky, just a few blocks away from getting to the shopping centre she met my grandma, and they stopped to talk for five minutes, so she didn’t get to the shopping centre, those five minutes saved her life that day.”

Tucked in the corner of the Mediterranean, most of Israel’s waves come courtesy of short period wind swells, so most of the waves lack the kind of power bodyboarders would usually look for.

Secret Reef in Israel serving up the goods

Secret Reef in Israel serving up the goods: Kiril Shchegolsky

“It almost never gets epic, but it can get three to four feet a few times a year can be really fun most of the breaks in Israel are beach breaks.
it’s the Mediterranean sea so winter time is the surf season here. Summer time we have heaps of jellyfish that sting really bad and the waves are small and shitty most of the summer except a few occasional swells.”

Having said that, now backed by YCB (Yamo Custom Boards), Kiril has surfed nearly every day since being been back in Israel, due to an unusually consistent season.

Kiril started bodyboarding a couple of months before his fourteenth birthday. He and his friend Danny were rebel kids, and Bodyboarding kept them out of trouble.

“We told each other we were going to buy a surfboard, but since we were young cash was tight. After going to a local surf shop, Beach House in Israel, we discovered the amount of money we had together was not even enough to buy a surfboard, let alone a leash to go with it. So the owner of the shop gave us a really, really, old Mach Morey boogie, maybe from the eighties, and that’s how it all started.”

Kiril in Mexico. Photo by Marcelo Rocha Braga

Kiril in Mexico. Photo by Marcelo Rocha Braga

When I met KiriI back in 2010, he was based in Puerto Escondido for the summer, which he has done for the past eight years, with his close mates Shay Shamian and Mor Cooper. Along with Eden Mugani, the three of them travel all over Israel in the search of waves. Now studying with the support of the ISA, Kiril wants to increase the Bodyboarding scene in Israel and bring more Bodyboarding brands to his home country, setting off again.

“I definitely will do a big trip after I finish the study I’m doing right now. I was thinking about The Philippines to start … the place looks epic, sick waves!”


The Cheesecake Factory

Another disappointing summer comes to a close and after those long evening rides the prospect of a long, cold and dark winter doesn’t seem so appealing. Kiss good-bye to long evening rides and cruising in shorts. The season of ice, rain and darkness is upon us.
A couple of years ago, a small group of Exeter riders were faced with that same old predicament, without the funds or time to continuously travel over an hour to the nearest indoor park.
“It was the beginning of the winter when we were street riding around Exeter. We had heard about this massive warehouse that was empty so we thought we would try to find it,” says 24-year-old, Radio Bikes team rider, Jamie Skinner. The plan was to transform the wasteland into a private and most importantly sheltered skate park. It was pretty clear that the warehouse hadn’t seen any action for quite some time, so a major clean-up operation was set in place.
18-year-old Harry Mills Wakley was another one of the scallywags that could be found down at the warehouse any given day of the week, “At the start there was nothing in there and gypsies had been stripping all the copper wire and leaving human faeces. We spent ages cleaning it up to make it a more pleasant place to ride,” explains Harry. “From then on the scene down there got stronger and stronger, the whole crew was always tidying, painting and building ramps. We spent loads of cold winter days riding there and sometimes with a crew of 30 riders there.”
Hours in the warehouse stacked up that winter, and the warehouse was occupied nearly every-day; building and building ramps. Nestled away in a forgotten corner of busy industrial estate in Exeter ‘The Cheesecake Factory’ was born.

James Holmes Flipping out at the Factory - Jason Colledge

James Holmes Flipping out at the Factory – Jason Colledge

There were enough left over tables and chairs from the once busy warehouse to set up, but the riders soon out grew their resources, sending them further afield to in search of materials.
“A few of us would meet up late every few weeks to get wood to build more ramps. Sneaking into building sites, stealing crates; we took anything we could get our hands on,” says Jamie. But like any good but unprotected spot, word got out and the warehouse became as busy as the other parks in the area, and the only option for evening riders. “It started to get real good and people were coming down, destroying what we had made, so we decided to make the place secure so only we could ride it, we boarded up all the doors and windows and put our own lock on it!”
Eventually, like everything good in this world, the Cheesecake Factory’s life was a short one. New owners took on the warehouse and the contents of the new indoor park were stripped.
“I really can’t believe we managed to keep that set up for nearly 2 years with no problems,” says Jamie, reminiscent on the golden days. “But all good things come to an end. It definitely helped the scene in Exeter stay strong over the winters.”

Jamie Skinner and James Holmes from CSG UK on Vimeo.

For The Love

Whether you’re a keeno, bashing out a cool 60km 3 or 4 times a week on a 3 grand road bike, or just a weekend warrior scraping a few miles here and there on an old Christmas present; there’s nothing quite like putting your roadie through its paces on an early Sunday morning.

River Thompson is a 20 year old photography student studying at Falmouth University. Since moving from London, River has spent a fair bit of time in the saddle of his ‘Trek Alpha’, exploring the winding Cornish lanes, taking in all the Mother Kernow has on offer.

Although River always enjoyed cycling, it was his older brother that initially hooked River into the world of road riding:

“About three or four years ago my brother who was at Bath university at the time was raving on about how good road riding is, and how I need to take it more seriously. After investing in a Trek road bike and some lycra shorts, that I still sometimes feel uncomfortable in, there was no looking back.”

_MG_2846After a Devon birth, River was soon uprooted to the warmer climates of Southern France, where his mother still lives today. Between his student house in Falmouth, his home in London and his Mother’s house just outside of Toulouse, unlike the rest of us, River has a fantastic pick of neighbourhoods to spend his summer months; and of course the Pyrenees mountains just south of his French option make for a great cycling break.

“There are a couple of timeless routes near where I live”, explains River. “It’s not that hilly so you get big numbers and a good chance to top up the tan. Last year me, my brother and a friend took our bikes down to the Pyrenees, on a beautiful day, and hit up the Col du Tourmalet straight after tackling the col d’Aspin. Hours in the scorching sun, it was the best ride of my life, by far the most painful but there’s no way I’ll ever forget that day.”

With perfect smooth, scenic roads, seemingly tailor-made for cycling, it’s no wonder that River makes the most of his time in France each year. After completing his first year at university, instead of flying to Toulouse, last summer, he decided to cycle.

“I got a ferry to Santander and was hoping to make it back to Toulouse in a week or so. I only bought the map 2 days before leaving England and just chose a route day by day. In the end it took me about 8 days including a rest day or two.” Not bad considering it’s a 540km trip, but it wasn’t just the beautiful scenery that River grew to appreciate. “Spain is such an incredible place, just as you think you’re on your own, struggling up another category climb a car slows down behind you… ‘Shit, here come the insults – I knew I should have worn baggier shorts,’ says my English side. I turn around to give a confident nod and I find people leaning out the car cheering me on for the next 100 meters. Amazing! It was mid-summer so I camped where I could, though because I was on my own it was nice to find hostels or campsites when I could and like whenever you’re traveling you meet some incredible people. I cycled with this Scottish guy for about 3 days and I’m still in touch with him now. It was such a great trip, I really pushed myself mentally and physically, especially on the last few days by which point I was ready for my mum’s cooking to fill my boots!”

River and Scottish companion

River and his Scottish companion

With regularly resurfaced roads roaming over the beautiful countryside alongside France’s strong connection with the sport, not to mention La Tour de France; it comes as no surprise that the cycling community in France has developed into something so solid.

“The weather is a massive help but also the roads are just so good. They seem to just redo roads as soon as there’s a tiny crack which means it has unbelievable riding conditions. Cycling is such a treasured sport and part of France and you definitely feel that on the road. Riding in England you can start your ride with yells and shouts from complete strangers about the “spandex” you’re wearing, then you seek comfort in a fellow rider with a nod of the head but all you get is another dirty look half the time. In France you feel good, you feel cool and part of a community, there’s respect from the cyclists and the cars and the cafés have a coffee waiting for you and your spandex on every Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong, England is great… but France just does it right, you know?”_MG_2929 _MG_2823

By this point, you’d be forgiven for developing a little jealousy towards the little man. Every year he gets to sample the world’s best cycling roads, but he has paid his share of dues to the cycling Gods. The dreaded big city commute can be a daunting task for even the most experienced cyclist, and after his recent crash, we don’t need to look much further than the current world number 1 Bradley Wiggins to appreciate the dangers of city cycling. A job in the centre of London saw River commuting about 20-25km a day around town last year but he admits he got a buzz out of it.

“It can be terrifying and you need to learn to be aggressive but also not give cyclists a worse name than they have. A lot of drivers hate cyclists in town and sometimes I understand it when I see them creeping across red lights on main junctions, but it’s growing and that’s really exciting. So many people are on bikes in London, in rush hour there’s a peloton at every main set of traffic lights.You got to make the effort to do big road rides when you live in London, there are a few really nice routes as soon as you’re out of the hustle and bustle but I find it much Harder to motivate myself if I’m honest.”

All that cycling under his belt, yet River still favours the Cornish lanes as amongst his favourite for cycling, and after covering  90km last Sunday with his newly joined cycling club ‘The Falmouth Wheelers’ he’s still got it in him to appreciate the British scene.

“I love it here and some of the cyclists you meet in the UK are some of the most epic riders you’ll ever meet. I love how big cycling has got, I guess a lot recently is to do with Wiggins winning the tour and the Olympics.”

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A Breath of Fresh-Air

Photos by Kaelan Sizemore

An interview over the internet is never ideal. So much is lost without meeting face to face. I caught up with Sampu Samantary or Sanjay Ray as he’s more widely known, after he returned from a trip full of discovery to the “wild and virgin” region of the Bay of Bengal, where he said he found some “world class waves.” However, sat on Facebook chat late at night I can sense his beaming smile as the symbol indicating his reply returns to the bottom right hand corner of my screen, and it’s becoming infectious.

“Waves, culture and spiritual journey, make a unique surfing journey,” says 41 year old Sanjay, who hails from the Orissa region of India. I’ve never really considered a surf trip to India, but as he describes his love and passion for the country I find myself wishing myself away from a wet and currently wave-less West Cornwall.

“In India, one has to dig a life from shortage and struggle in the mass. It took 20 years from my first beach adventure, for me to settle my bread butter house to come back to the beach and to start the surf things. It was a big challenge for surf to be in India due to lack of experts, equipment and the surf culture. Yet I had plans, to use the power of internet as my tool to organise the hurdles.”

Sanjay is the founder of Rangers Adventure Foundation who has been facilitating camping on the beaches of the Bay of Bengal since 2002. “SurfingYogis operate from our campus at the Puri -Konark marine drive with a secret beach break behind our forest,” he explains.

“Our team, Surfingyogis was recognised by our state tourism department which opened the official surf history of India and we started taking expeditions along the coast to search for waves.”

Unlike so many companies that focus purely on wave quality, Surfingyogis, place a heavy emphasis on keeping a healthy balance between the sport and the country’s natural beauty, careful not to pollute or damage the beaches or any of the surrounding ecosystems, offering its customers more than just waves.

“We try to provide such trips to open minds, or those who are ready to open their mind for possible spiritual elevations within scientific justification.  Surfyogis is about living to the fullest in joy, love and service.”

The company offer healing beach practices, organic life styles and yogic mind management alongside great waves. “It has a taste, smell and colour of green and unpolluted scenic India,” says Sanjay.

In February of this year, Ramachandi Beach, on the Puri-Konark Marine Drive in Orissa played host to The India Surfing Festival (ISF). With Orissa State Tourism Department and Chilika Lake development authority being the only companies getting behind the event, Surfingyogis took it upon themselves to provide a unique experience and they didn’t disappoint.

“We worked hard to bring all this without corporate sponsorship and yet we showed to other festivals to adopt an artistic approach to avoid high tech pollutant plastic. It all came out good. India is Surf ready now.”

Super keen Bodyboarder, Kaelan Sizemore, from San Clemente, California is currently working with Sanjay, promoting the surf industry in India, and tasting the various fruits India has on offer.

“My work is kind of random,” he explains, “talking to different companies and government officials here to promote our different goals.”

To many people surfing in India is still a strange concept. In a country widely associated with poverty and disease people overlook the wave potential of the forgotten coast line.

“There aren’t many people that know about the surf scene here”, says Kaelan, “that’s the problem, and so much of it has gotten lost in translation with Indian journalists.”

Sanjay describes Kaelan as “King cool,” and I’ve got to admit, after spending some time with him in Mexico in 2010, I can see where he’s coming from. The length of his hair and beard along with his laid back approach to life has to be admired, regardless of his ability on a bodyboard.

He names a Mexican wedge and South Straddie in Australia as his favourite beach breaks but claims to have found India’s answer to these waves earlier this month.

“A heavy inside sandbar, breaking like a wave back home in Cali that’s considered to be pretty good.  I got one of the most aesthetically pleasing photos I’ve ever captured Bodyboarding, super glassy wave with my reflection in it. It’s very trippy. And about 2 weeks ago we had really good beach break it was like a left and a right with a channel in between and ramps at the end of each wave but, the surf would be comparable to a much smaller version of Mex-pipe on a blown out afternoon almost every day. I’m definitely having a blast.”

To many people surf tourism is becoming a stale industry, sometimes it feels like every corner of the world is being raped for waves and good times. But it seems India is introducing a much needed breath of fresh air back into the surfing world, far from the pretences of popular destinations.

Modern Age….

My mind doesn’t like to wander as much as I’d like, and when I think I’m onto something or I’ve found a new theory, it’s usually ‘insomnia bullshit.’

After an unproductive day, mostly wandering around online, I’m thinking about the net, and as a so called aspiring journalist, it’s kinda scary. I’ve been at Uni for almost a whole academic year and nearly every day it’s drilled into me how we need to change the practice of journalism, how the physical form is dying out, and how much extra work needs to be put in to make an online presence. I’ve even written essays about it.

Has internet killed the romance of traditional writing?? I love the feel of a properly produced magazine, there’s not that many about either, at least not surfing ones. But have we seen the last of them already? Am I being melodramatic? Pretentious even?  Shit I hope not, but is the idea of running my own publication one day even realistic anymore? Facebook’s sucking the life out of everything. Everyone is starting their own blog, their own online magazine but to what detriment? Is there any need for professionals anymore?

I sound like someone’s bitter Grandparents, frightened by the prospect of change. I’m only 20. Hell, I grew up in this age. I’ve never experienced life without the internet. Anyway, is the net such a bad guy? If I want to (and believe me I do), I can spend all day watching videos for free, I can find out how someone else feels about something the other side of the globe and learn about something I have no idea about.  It’s given everybody the chance to share what they do, be it writing, photography or to show us how to grow a great beard.

As writing moves from print to online, a new canvas has been presented, and it’s so much bigger than it was before. Yeah it’s made it more competitive but doesn’t that mean the quality of work will improve and yeah physical magazines are struggling, but it’s just calling for everyone to step up their game. A magazine will survive in print if it’s worth having in print. Let’s just hope I’ve written something worthwhile in 10 years-time!

Anyway, here’s something to let your mind drift…

Being a Coastguard: “It’s just helping keeping people safe when they’re at sea”

Its 6.20 Am on the 27th October 2010. It’s been a long quiet shift for those manning the HM Coastguard operation centre through the night, and the thought of retiring home for the day is beginning to sound very appealing.  Just 70 minutes to go. The team receive  a distress call from a factory fishing ship that has set alight 230 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean with over 100 people on board. The responsibility of making sure these men and women get off the burning ship safely now lies in the hands of the Coastguard.

Maggie Howell has been a coastguard for over 7 years. She was one of the crew members responsible for safety of those trapped on the burning ship: “We decide what help is needed and how best that can be achieved and who is best person or best unit to go out and do that.”

Falmouth Coastguards cover a huge amount of shoreline stretching round the coast of Devon and Cornwall. However, what many people won’t know is that the team are also the first point of contact for anyone in distress within this half of the Atlantic.

“People coming down from up North don’t even know the tides come in and out… let alone that it happens twice a day”

“We cover half way across the Atlantic, and the other side is picked up by Canada. Most of the time we get the information in and if it’s not near us then we pass that onto the relevant country, but sometimes, Countries like Liberia don’t have the adequate rescue organisations so we would have to do it. We would have to arrange a rescue in the middle of the Atlantic by using satellites and all the stuff that we have available to us.”

But it’s not just major boat incidents out at sea the Coastguards have to deal with, the everyday issues of large tidal movement and rip currents, usually associated with the lifeboat team also become a major concern for the Coastguards. “People that come down from up country, they know the lifeguards and they’ve seen the lifeboats, but they wouldn’t know what we do, and it’s us that gets the 999 call to go and help them.”
During the summer months, the Cornish coastline attracts millions of tourists unfamiliar with the area, and it’s up to the coastguards to ensure everybody stays safe.
“People coming down from up North don’t even know the tides come in and out let alone that it happens twice a day”

“As much as you can tell people and give them advice on checking on the tides and boat users checking that their boat is in good condition and checking they know how to use their radio, things do happen that are outside your control. The weather is its own animal, it does its own thing, and despite the forecasts, it can suddenly in seconds do something different.”

Being part of any emergency services team, despite being stressful, can be extremely rewarding. Especially when you’re working twelve hour night shifts. Maggie puts her as well as her colleagues love for the job down to the fact that she is helping to keep people safe on a daily basis: “It’s just helping keeping people safe when they’re at sea,” Maggie explains hosting a warm smile. “That’s our bread and butter really isn’t it, that’s what we do, is help people and rescue people, and if it weren’t for that, then we wouldn’t be here.”

During the summer of 2011, the station was close to becoming a daylight-hours only operation after plans were put forward by the Marine and Coastguard Agency. This sparked an outcry in the town, with the local paper collecting a petition of 7,459 signatures – a quarter of the population of Falmouth – calling for the coastguards to remain open 24 hours a day. Government were forced to reconsider this proposal. However, coastguard stations all over the country are in danger of closure with 8 stations across the UK expected to have closed by 2015.

10 Days in Ireland

Photo: Tim Hunt

Images of empty Irish slabs took up residence in a wave riddled corner of my mind some time ago. Watching guys like Brendon Newton falling into green caverns in the old Mickey Smith videos always had me amped on making the crossing, but it was only until a few weeks ago that the opportunity really presented itself.

My brother had some work experience lined up on the west coast and fancied chasing some waves for a week before he started. A few persuasive phone calls, a clean looking swell on the charts along with the idea of spending St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland firmly planted into my head, and I was sold on the idea.

I now had 48 hours to book the ferry, complete and hand in work, hit Falmouth and get myself home and packed ready to leave early the next morning.

In Cork, an introduction to Beamish, led to 15 hours of heavy drinking with St. Patrick, who led us well and truly into the next day with my cousin and her family.

Full of stout, we headed west in the search of waves. A brief stop in Lahinch was followed by the mission north, to find offshores. After a windy night in the tent without pegs on Mullaghmore Head, we opted for some small barrels in Bundoran.

Cliffs of Moher

Without any form of map, GPS or working phones, we headed for Easkey, which we completely overshot, to find a secluded left hand reef. The surf was only a few feet but held the most perfect little crystal clear, hollow bowls to split between us.

Another Baltic night in the tent was followed by a 300km drive back down south to Ballybunion, where my brother worked at the angling festival after a rough night’s sleep in the car.  I joined 300 primary school kids for a sea-life talk, to leave richer in knowledge after discovering how dolphins sleep. Winning!

That afternoon, we passed Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith at a windy Aileens, to come across a stretch of reef holding a flawless left hander. A bowling sucky take-off that ran into hollow wall… and only two guys out! We were also graced by the mystic presence of local celebrity, Dusty the dolphin. She’d accompany us as we paddled back to the peak, swimming under and around us while we tried to get our heads around the bizarre situation.

Below Sea Level. Photo: Tim Hunt

Happier than a pair of pikey’s in a scrap yard, we settled for a swift pint before hitting the hay as we knew the winds would be light the following morning.

We started the final day by heading to a slab we had checked a few days before and believed to be Bumbaloids. As we hopped the fence to have a peak, it only looked about shoulder high, but after watching a couple fold in half and spew their guts out into the channel, it was clear I would be going it alone.

Aileens. Photo: Tim Hunt

The paddle was further than I had expected, meaning it was also a lot bigger than I had first thought. The second problem was a dropping tide: As I got close I could see it sucking water so hard off the slab that about half a foot of it was poking its ugly head out the water…..SHITE!

I couldn’t paddle all this way without getting  couple, so I watched it a bit longer from the shoulder trying to suss out which ones weren’t going dry. I knew exactly where I needed to sit, but that meant back-dooring the bastard, and with no one out, my balls weren’t having it. Some of them also had a hideous side wedge running through them and I definitely didn’t fancy falling head first through one of those.

Picking a Fight. Photo: Tim Hunt

After barrel dodging a couple of wide ones, I went a little deeper but caught my nose as soon as I made it to the bottom. I lost my board from under me and scorpioned my way back up the face before being dropped onto the slab. I bounced around in knee-deep water for a bit before admitting defeat and making my way back to land. It wasn’t until half way back that I noticed two cuts across my arse framed by two big tears in my suit. Ideal.

No poorly organised surf trip is complete without some sort of travel fail at some point, and up to now, the trip had run smoothly, maybe too smoothly.  We checked the wave from the previous day, but with a dropping swell and time ticking down to my return flight we sacked it off. Back at the car my brother declared he had lost the car keys, just three hours before my flight home.

After an hour spent retracing our steps through fields, it hit me….The clocks had changed last night. Props to my brother, who forked out a 120 Euro taxi ride for me to

Heaving. Photo: Tim Hunt

get to the airport. By the time taxi arrived, we had under an hour to make an hour and halves journey.

The driver was a hero. Without easing off the accelerator, he made some hairy over takes and went for some full on Colin Mcrae racing lines through the winding lanes and got me to the airport only 20 minutes after check-in.
10 minutes later, I’m sat on the plane, leaving a perfect chart behind with nothing but a maxed out overdraft to cheer me up.