I made time to head for the lake at Brogborough in the hope that the wind might tempt the hardier sailors to venture there to make the most of what windsurfers need most – a stiff breeze. On my arrival however the lake was entirely free of humans, and knowing my time was likely to be spent experiencing windchill at its extreme for a long period, I stayed within my car keeping my body at a reasonable temperature and simply watched, waited and enjoyed the music from Classic FM. Travelling only from Marston Moretaine, meant the engine was barely reaching its operating temperature so I did not kill the engine till there was warm air within.
There were soon signs of activity, so then I gathered the tripod and cameras and put everything together, choosing the 7D MkII and the Tamron 150-600mm lens and mounted it atop the Lensmaster Gimbal head and the Novoflex levelling head on the heavy Gitzo tripod, having learned that the lighter tripods were buffeted by the wind meaning that they were not reliably stable platforms from which to shoot, in particular my carbon fibre tripod had to be weighted down for fear of being literally blown away!
I then grabbed the 5D MkIII and the 35mm f/1.4 to get some shots of the preparations as at this point there was even the occasional sunshine between scudding clouds, but fortunately no rain forecast as the ground was already treacherously sodden and slippery.
The presence of a camera has a beneficial effect here, as it does mean that those hardy souls who are honing their gybing and turn skills and their jumping tend to be within shooting range of the photographer, however, as I have learned, several are unaware that they can often come too close and it becomes well nigh impossible to capture unless you also have a shorter focal length lens within easy reach. Fortunately most of the time I have the coverage at both ends of the range when using either the 100-400mm on the full frame 5D MkIII or the 150-600mm on the 7D MkII.
I consider I was really lucky on this occasion as for most of the time there was a reasonable amount of light and plenty of on-water action to keep me on my toes, though when I was on the jetty, the water several times came up through the slats soaking my jeans and giving me soggy socks, perhaps I should have considered wellies and thick socks rather than my hardwearing shoes.
By the end of the day I was very satisfied with what I had captured; several sequences, the downside being the amount of time that I would be at the computer before being able to post a gallery on my blog.