Tales from a campfire


Think back ten years ago to a time when competitive windsurfing was at an all time high: there were so many contests each year that competitors had little time for anything else, let alone disappearing into the desert for 3 weeks!


Then think back to who was dominating: it was the two legends of windsurfing, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Robby Naish, an uncontained rivalry as they battled for the prestigious title of 'Windsurfing World Champion'.The idea of the two of them being brought together far off in the middle of nowhere, with the sole objective of riding and enjoying empty waves would seem absurd. Yet here they were, far from civilisation at the end of rugged dirt roads somewhere off the west coast of Australia. How did this happen? What has changed?

Ready for the desert! (click to enlarge)   

I think that this reflects the nature of our sport right now: we have steered away from the more blinkered, serious competitive approach to focussing on the lifestyle of the sport, having fun and living out the true definition of 'freeride', or sailing


   Bjorn Dunkerbeck (click to enlarge)

for fun. Bjorn and Robby deciding to make the trek up to this far off spot in the company of a few friends is a testament to this, bringing the sport back to its roots: the pure, unadulterated enjoyment that can be derived from windsurfing rather than the thrill of winning. I feel that this is a healthy stage for our sport and one which will prove hugely beneficial in guaranteeing its long and successful future. That being said, on with the story…

Despite having flown over the huge country a number of times, this was my first trip to Australia and I was eager to see all I had heard about this country with so much British ancestory.


Arrival in Perth was painless as Bjorn and a couple of other friends picked myself and Scott Carvill up from the airport. There was however an immediate sense of urgency, as we raced across the outskirts of this somewhat confusing town to make the


closing moments of the Sunday Session, (an all day Aussie drinking fest!). Being my birthday, the boys took me under their wing to ensure that I had an unforgettable night and I must say that the debauchery that ensued was quite something, as we continued well into the next day. A brief visit to Avis in the suburb town of Welshpool was all we needed to get us on our way. Now fully equipped with 4x4 Toyota Land Cruisers and an equally powerful hangover, we made our way up north. The journey seemed endless, and if it wasn't for the sterling efforts of my travelling companion, the photographer Alex Williams in as far as the driving was concerned, I am not sure we would have
made it.

Campfire (click to enlarge)   

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