Inverloch Windsurfing Club

Never let a breeze go begging…

IWC Training Day 6-4-2014 No Comments

Thanks to all who came and played on the IWC Training Day on the 6th of April, a time to learn some new skills or reinforce older ones. Low tide was early, and with the increasingly stronger Easterly, made for great gybe and tack practice on the short runs to the sand bank and back. Self rescue practice, with controlled body drags, made for some fun racing.



April 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm

IWC at Australian Wave Nats by Louise Bricknell 2 Comments

“What could possibly go Wrong?”
“Enter? Me?”
“Why not? What could possibly go wrong?”
792413_734744373222460_853738353_oOK. It wasn’t that simple. It took the combined efforts of two dear friends – scheming – to get me to the event: no pressure to enter: “Just come and look!” So I looked. It was Cat Bay, about 10 – 12 knots, and ROCKS!

“Don’t worry about the rocks? Just enter … you don’t have to got out if you don’t want to…”

I registered – and watched. I’d always wondered why wave sailors had such big feet, I began to understand: it’s to allow for all the suction pads, like frogs, so they can spread the surface area when walking out of the ocean, carrying their gear overhead – on ROCKS!  I watched a bit more when someone suggested I rig. Which I did, because the wind was dropping – below 10 knots and I really didn’t think any one would be sailing. I was wrong – off they went. The waves looked really nice for me – not too big, no white water, and the ocean was so clear. “Hmm … I thought, not so bad …. I just had to be able to pull off very wobbly light wind gybes at the end of the waves next to the ROCKS!”

Wobbling out, I hoped that hours of practicing light wind stuff would actually work, I wasn’t convinced and stayed well away from the rocks as I bobbed around watching everyone else catch waves. This was all too hard and nerve wrecking. I went back to the beach.  Resembling a dishevelled fairy penguin – whose just seen a white pointer – I huddled amongst the grasses on the sand dunes. The competition was postponed – this was my chance. Nipping quietly up the stairs – while my scheming friend was still bobbing around on the water – with gear under my arm – I was heading to the car for a stealthy get away when a charming man intervened. Pointing at the flags he said – gently but firmly: “Next heat is yours, off you go, don’t want to miss it do you?” That’s exactly what I wanted to do! He was so polite as he ushered me back down the steps. Talk about dead woman walking.

The wind seemed horribly light, but to my surprise I had no problem wobbling off the beach and getting to the start area.  I’m not sure what happened after that. I’ve raced dinghies a lot, not for 10 years, but until then – a lot. The flag system had been explained to me; and after years and years of watching flags drop on crowded start lines I had no problem with that. I did use to wear a watch, so I’d have to “guestimate” the final minute. I remembered the 96 Atlanta Olympics medal race in the Men’s Finn class; the sailor leading on points was a Polish sailor. His watch stopped working just before the 1 minute flag – he stayed on the line and counted down: he won the gold. I was trying to remember his name when I noticed the Yellow Flag had dropped and it was Green!  Green meant GO: time to catch waves. I honestly don’t know what happened at that moment – maybe Green Flag fever, but I forgot about rocks, wobbly gybes and tacks, and just went for it.  16 minutes seemed like an hour! To say it was intense is an understatement. I don’t know how to wave ride so I just tried …. “tried” … to catch some waves. I didn’t even think about rocks and gybes. It all just happened: catch a wave, get off it, turn, get back up wind, turn, catch a wave. The only thing I can remember is feeling HOT! I was sweating. The day had been overcast so I’d gone for my winter wetsuit: no idea how much I would be working and loving it. It was fun, and I genuinely surprised myself – even tacking. Can’t over estimate how much the light wind practice helps – especially when you have a 16 minute timeframe to work in.  The red flag went up and I caught one more little wave and sailed off downwind to a patch of sand and a set of steps below the judging tents. Not sure what planet I was on as I made my way ashore … over rocks … but it was rather a lovely planet as a fairy penguin was waiting to greet me at the bottom of the steps.

When I did get back to the judges tent and car park, my scheming friend, Lisa, pointed to a large white board with lots of names and colours on it.  She kept pointing at it and saying how well I’d  done; a few other people said the same thing. I  asked what I was meant to be looking at: the heat results! Kim, who had travelled from SA for the event, also came to congratulate me. I was feeling rather pleased for a number of reasons:

1) I’d survived
2) All the practice paid off
3) My shoulder was intact – not much harness time
4) It was over; and
5) “yes” I’ll admit – it was FUN.

I wasn’t expecting this though:
“When do you want to sail your next heat?”
“What? You mean I have to do that all over again?”
Lisa was sneaking off – she had neglected to tell me that part!

The next heat was scheduled for Friday at Woolamai. I’d never been to Woolamai. Everyone told me there were no rocks – so what could possibly go wrong? The wind was fickle on Friday – so I squeezed in a quick meeting at Inverloch (thank you Mick). Then went back to Woolamai and watched. Was it my imagination or did it look quite big? It was inspiring to watch people compete in super light conditions and what looked like reasonably big waves to me. When Ben Severne came in and said: “There is no wind out there now”, I secretly hoped our heat would be cancelled: rocks were suddenly looking a lot more appealing than this beach break. It was cancelled. Learnt a lot watching everyone who was out there and was ready for Saturday.


Images Courtesy of Col Leonhardt

Saturday was on. Had a text from Kim to say Woolamai didn’t look as bad as the previous day and our heat was on early pm. The sun was out, the wind was probably around 15 knots or so when I arrived. I rigged a 4.7. Cat Bay had been a 5.3. I worked out my tactics: either I played around in the white water or I tried to catch one big wave. One would do it, and they didn’t look that bad from the car park! After all, what could possibly go wrong …

The Green Flag went up and I thought I was in a reasonable position, so I quickly checked behind me to see what waves were about: a rather large one was RIGHT behind me. I was surprised – this was bigger than I thought. I hadn’t allowed for pfaff time so I missed it. Another one right behind it: these really were bigger than I’d anticipated. I did try and catch them, but kept missing. I was heading towards the white water and decided I’d better get back out – so without thinking I tacked! I was heading back out before I even realised I’d managed it. Happy girl.

This heat was 12 minutes, and Kim had decided on the white water surf option, so I needed to catch a wave quickly. I positioned myself – somewhere in the recess of my mind I remember a certain Mr Cribb saying something about not catching the first big wave in a set because if it went  pear shaped all the others would come down on you too – but this was against the clock: I didn’t have time to be selective!  A wave was on its way, they seemed to be getting bigger and they were a different shape to any thing I’d seen before – I haven’t done much wave sailing! One final glimpse and I started to pump – this wave was rather big so I dug my size 3.5 feet into the straps as hard I could – leant forward and kept pumping: something wasn’t right.  It was like a cartoon bubble in my brain: “I wasn’t in the right place, either I needed to be further in or further out – I was in the impact zone and not a good place to be to catch a wave.” I don’t remember much after that really – I remember thinking this is steep – should be I leaning back or forward? And then the cartoon bubble in my brain changed to lots of white bubbles all around me…

I figured if I kept swimming to the light I’d surface eventually … hmmm …. then I wondered what it must be like to have 30 feet of wave breaking on top of you. And then … I figured if I kept swimming to the light I’d surface eventually …. hmmm … can I breathe now? Not there yet. It’s rather pleasant being amongst all these bubbles … am I there yet? No…

Eventually I surfaced and could see my gear 100 or so meters away – it seemed to have got stuck in the rip  and didn’t seem to be going any where. I started to swim and OK, so the aforementioned Mr Cribb was right: if it goes pear  shaped on the first wave the rest of the set will get you. They did, and I did as he had suggested in his course and turned around and faced them, ducking underneath them. Mental note to self, and Mr. Cribb, when they are mast height and heavy I will duck a little deeper than he suggested – especially for the first one!

When I got to my gear the Green Flag was still up – yes I’d been watching it, so I water started and got through some white water to try and catch one wave. I did – but the Red Flag had gone up, still I got a nice ride in.

Morals of the story -

  • When invited to the Wave Nationals GO! Where ever it is, GO! It was a great event, and everyone was so supportive and friendly. It was great to be a small part of it.
  • It doesn’t matter what level you are at, you will have fun – people will support you, so it’s nice to  support them, too – even if it’s just by entering and splashing around.
  • You’ll go out in conditions you would never normally go out in – and if it goes pear shaped you’ll  learn a lot and be quite safe – everyone is watching – they had a rib and jet ski, too.
  • Theory is great – but practice makes perfect. It was a great opportunity to practice with so many  good sailors around.
  • Inspiring to watch very good wave sailors, twice your weight, go out on the same size gear as  you are – and wave ride. So exciting to watch.
  • Even though I haven’t done much wave sailing, and had 8 months off windsurfing last year with a  shoulder injury, wobbling around practicing all the theory that the Cribb INtuition courses cover – even if it’s in 6 knots or the garden – really really helps. As the skills improve it’s so much easier putting the theory into practice. I knew I was in the wrong place when I got hit – but that’s just experience, and it wasn’t so bad.
  • Practice on the bay, practice on flat water – conditions are never perfect – which is why practicing in any thing is so important. Big thanks here to Simon, for lending me his SUP at the IWC Women’s Day – that helped SO much!
To sum up, the 2014 Wave Nationals….Great event. The last day at Woolamai was truly epic: the helicopter was over head filming as the final heats started: mast head hollow waves, surfers in the barrels, sunshine, 20 knots – it was action plus. I’d never seen any thing like it. Yes I went back out, yes I got washed up all over again – because I ignored the theory – but sometimes you just have to do that, don’t you!

Huge thank you to Al McLeod (Neil Pryde and SHQ) for getting the event at Phillip Island. Al finished 5th Overall – a great effort given that he was also organising it. I know Hudson and his Dad, David, where heavily involved in the organisation, too. Hudson was also competing. Lots of sponsors – the official site has more details of these and results –

2015 Australian Wave Nationals
I think the 2015 Wave Nationals are in Lancelin, WA. What can I say? I’ve already floated over Island Reef there, and clipped South Passage Reef, too – so what else could possibly go wrong?

Oh! Who won this year’s event? Some bloke called Ben Severne.
Am I still friends with my two scheming friends? Yes, congratulations to Lisa who won the Women’s Wave Nationals – it’s always a pleasure to watch her sail.

More images and information, including video about the event. The images shown here have come from:

Col Leonhardt’s (Windsurf – Australia) aerial shots from the final day of the Wave Nationals at Woolamai.
For those of you not interested in wave shots, he took some great aerial footage of  Craig “Spotty” Spottiswood sailing off the Island too. You Can check out his full gallery at:

Also check out  White Caps Photography (Jodie Stevenson). Jodie has albums of IWC days, too!-



I know you are all waiting with bated breathe to find out how my heat finished?

Did she win or lose?  Did her plan (one big wave V surf white water) work?

I lost. My plan – was good in theory – but the waves were out of my league – so it didn’t work this year. But there is always next year.

Would I do any thing differently? NO. Well, I’d love to learn to wave ride so I don’t have to do wave sub aqua all the time – but I’m sure I’ll have mastered the rudiments of that by next year’s nationals. Am I going? Absolutely! IWC will be represented.





PS:  Wave sailing at Easter. Robe South Australia
The ONBOARD Robe Easter Classic is on again – 3 Days of Waves sailing!
Going down to Robe let me know if you need more info and want to come.


April 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

APRIL FOOLS PRESS RELEASE- A New Beginning for Old Salty 1 Comment

(EDIT:  Apologies to those who emailed and messaged about a website error which kept bringing up “Anderson Inlet Kiteboarding Club” whenever they accessed the IWC website!!)

You may have noticed our past president- Doug ‘Old Salty” Hocken has been a little quiet of late…

IWC is proud to announce some very exciting news….

After seeing the phenomenal growth of IWC under his leadership and guidance, Doug has been approached by Kiteboarding Victoria to build a new club- the Anderson Inlet Kiteboarding Club.  The club aims to copy the blueprint of the Windsurfing Club, but with the thrilling sport of kitesurf boarding.

“It was an easy transition” Doug commented, when I caught up with him over the phone, “Realistically, all I had to do was take all of IWC’s members, then copy all of the guidelines and strategic plans and replace the word Windsurfing with Kiteboarding…Simple…  Also, in many ways this was a long time coming.  it all started after the kiteboarding lesson I took after losing a bet at Simmo’s Australia Day bash.  Kate for GoKite taught me the basics and even though I nearly  took out a few kids on the beach, I must say, I thought it was pretty good”.


It has taken a while for Old Salty to hear his calling.  ”Later on, there was one day on the Inlet when a big front blasted through…all the windsurfing guys were out battling the 20-25 sou’ westers, whilst all the kiters were packed up on the beach, not sailing, but just talking about how strong the wind was.  This really appealed to me.  The other thing that rang true was I wanted a sport where I only thought about myself- I didn’t have to be part of a vibrant community or concern myself with anyone else.  Now, the only time I will need people around me is when they take photos as I go for a sick boost in front of the swimmers on the shore”

The final straw was a matter of taste.  ”Let’s face it” says Doug, “you only have to take a visit to the Angling Club car park to see that the windsurfing crew really isn’t very stylish or sophisticated…I am a gentleman of fine taste with a strong sense of fashion.  You only have to look back at my wetsuit balaclava to see that I am ahead of my time in terms of trends.  With its bright colours and use of innovative layering of  textures like boardshorts over neoprene,  kiteboarding is much more happening and debonaire…”


IWC wishes Doug every success with his new position…



April 1, 2014 at 5:00 am

IWC’ releases 2014-16 Strategic Plan No Comments

It is with pleasure that I can release Inverloch Windsurfing Club’s Strategic Plan 2014-16. Over the past 12 months committee members have been working very hard to produce a strategy that has relevance to our member’s and stakeholders while also articulating a pathway of sustainability and embedding the principals of good governance within our club, sport and the wider Inverloch community.

There are many people that need to be individually thanked for making this strategy come to life, particularly the current and former committees. I would like to say thank you to them for all the hard work and their commitment in making this strategy a reality.

The strategy is divided into five priorities areas and 33 broad strategies with deliverable targets. The strategy will become part of the overall operating framework for IWC, linking the clubs strategic direction with our members. This was one of the most important elements identified when developing our strategy and was considered to be one of the most fundamental requirements that the strategy should include.

This is an exciting time for IWC and as you read through the strategy you will see that we have set the bar quite high on deliverables to our members and stakeholders in the coming years. I hope you all read our plan, be inspired a little and become an active member of the IWC continuing to make it a great community sports club.

As identified key stakeholders, hard copies and corresponding cover letters have been sent to to the following people/organisations:

  • Mr Steve Walker, CEO, Yachting Victoria
  • Mr Brett Morris – President, Australian Windsurfing Association
  • Mr Steve Coward – President, Windsurfing Victoria
  • Mr Howard Scott, Recreation & Open Space Planner, Bass Coast Shire Council
  • Ms Jerril Rechter – VicHealth CEO
  • Mr Barry Switzer – EO GippSport
  • Gippsland Ports, Anderson Inlet Harbour Master.

Download & read our 2014-16 Strategic Plan below.


March 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm

What a load of rubbish! No Comments

On Sunday, a few IWC members took part in the Annual Clean Up Australia Day Event.

We focussed on the area immediately around the Angling Club and the scrub down near Dan’s shed.


We dug out lots of bottles and cans, heaps of plastic and the odd car tyre…

The plan was to also to head over on longboards to Point Smythe and do a clean up over there, but unfortunately the wind didn’t play ball.



Thanks to Etsuko and Simmo for organising the Clean Up, and Ern, Deb, Sherelee and Bev for giving up a few hours to make the Angling Club a better place!!!

March 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Photos from Women on Windsurfers No Comments


A few shots from the great women-only session today. A great event!

March 1, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Windsurf Photobombing 1 Comment

OK, so i’m working away on filming the Wooden Dinghy as part of the Inverloch Regatta….when suddenly someone tries to get their head in front of the camera…

Wooden Boat_finecut


Let’s talk for a minute about Port and Starboard!

Nice one Naz!

February 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Article in The Sentinel Times No Comments


During the Intuition clinic, Guy Cribb took the time to chat to the Sentinel Times about his second visit to Inverloch, the Club and the next steps- the need for a permanent base to call home.

We always knew that Inverloch was world class, but its great to hear it from a legend in our sport!


Download Article (in PDF)

February 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Guy goes down under No Comments

Guy’s Intuition Courses take him to many exotic locations around the globe..but probably not underground!


After a wild day windsurfing- with a bit of busted gear and a 30 knot SW change thrown in for fun, Guy’s students were treated to a fascinating evening underneath Wonthaggi!


Thanks to IWC and the staff and volunteers at The State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi, in particular Braxton Laine (Park Ranger- State Coal Mine) and Lou Storti (Miner and Tour Guide).

For those that haven’t been to the State Coal Mine, it is well worth a visit.



February 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Guy Cribb – INtuition – Day 1 1 Comment

Day 1 of the Cribbie Intuition course saw a beautiful 30 degrees of sunshine & light winds.  So the crew spent the day on light wind tacks & gybes, along with some rigging tips…

February 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

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