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© AUS120 Sean O'Brien.
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Last night I was up super late watching movies on my friend Markus’ computer when he suddenly emerges from his room at 2.30am and announces we are going WINDSURFING! Apparently, some of the hardcore Dutch speedsurfers had been tipped off about some super conditions at a secret speed strip in the North of Holland – however the tide was only going to be perfect for sailing the strip at around 5am. The place was 2 hours drive from Dokkum so we thought… yeah, we could do this?! So after only 30 mins of sleep and two pieces of plain bread for breakfast, we loaded the van with speed kit and began the drive in the freezing dark of night to the beach at 3am in the morning… 

The Dutch Speedsurfing Team

Ok, so we arrived finally at the beach at around 4.30am and checked out the location. The strip at low tide was about 1.5km walk out to sea through the mudflats (30-40cm deep of mud!). Not the ideal location but the strip is about 6km long of perfect flat bank and there’s talk of the locals here being about to reach averages of over 75km/h in only 18 knots of breeze!

The wind had been howling on the drive down across the afsluitdijk – I had been driving with Markus catching a few more Zzzz’s of sleep in the back of the van, so I could feel the van rocking as we were driving. When we arrived the wind looked a little light but we hoped it would build so we rigged a 5.1m / 5.9m MauiSails set of Markus’ with a Starboard iSonic 50 for me and an F2 Missile XS for Markus. Most of the other Dutch speedsurfers present were rigging between 5.0m – 6.5m sails (everything from new ’08 Vapors, to Point7’s, NP’s and North’s).

So with our gear on our heads, our 5mm wetsuits and beanie’s on, we braved the cold and began the 1.5km mission out through the mud to the speed strip. The wind was beginning to die as we were halfway out but the forecast was for it to build so we remained optimistic…

Arriving FINALLY at the water the wind had dropped down to around 8-10 knots. Impossible for sailing considering the biggest board we had out there was around 75l. DAMN! What a mission! We decided to stay out there as a few small gusts came through of 15 knots to tempt us a little more; but after over an hour of standing around in the water freezing our toes off and trying to keep our spirits up we decided to pull the plug.



For the walk home, the hardcore speed guys all have their custom ‘sleds’ to carry their spare boards on so they could just hold their sails and slide the boards all the way quite easily across the mud. Markus and I of course had nothing of the sorts so we completely raped our arms carrying the gear for nearly (what felt like) an hour of sledging through the thick mud with the gear on our heads to get back home. Ouch!

Back at the vans we had to somehow clean the mud of our gear and wetsuits in the freezing cold and miserably derigged our gear and got back into the van. It was now after 8am and we’d had only about 30 mins of sleep over the ENTIRE EVENING.

Windsurfing?! What a great sport. Now I know why I haven’t committed myself to buying any speed kit as yet…

Enjoy some photos of the mission anyhow :-)


  • Chris says:

    That’s the worst skunking I’ve ever heard of!!!

  • Sean OBrien says:

    Yeap, definitely in my Top 3 all-time skunkings…

    Right up there with flying 9,000km from Amsterdam to Seoul for the ’06 Formula Worlds, and sailing about 2 days out of 14 in 5 knots of breeze. Awesome.

    Least there wasn’t any mud in South Korea!! haha.

  • Markus Bouman Ned-6 says:

    Thank god I didn’t go to Korea!

    Actually I got a call from one of the guys we went sailing with in the morning..
    They went back there in the evening, when the tide was right again.
    The did made top speeds over 77 km/h!

    That made me feel even worse!!


  • Chris says:

    Hey be careful don’t curse my trip to Portugal for the worlds, it’s all paid for!!!

  • Sean OBrien says:

    Surely we couldn’t be that unlucky!

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