Waking to warnings of high winds, meant that after a long wait for winds of sufficient strength to encourage Windsurfers to make or find the time to leave work on a Thursday, at last that day was here. I phoned Sam to check whether he had heard from any sailors, and learned three were scheduled — that was promising! I checked when they might arrive and gathered early afternoon, so I let him know I might see him later — that was hardly the full truth, I had made up my mind to definitely make it!
I then assembled the camera and lenses I planned to take along, but put the 70-200mm on the 5D MkIII and the 150-600mm was already on the 7D MkII, taking along a 300mm and a couple of other primes to cover the distances that I might need to cover, but as it turned out my first choice proved to be those I used — the 7D on the Gitzo tripod, and the 5D MkIII slung around my neck, for handheld closer shots.
The wind at home was fairly blustery, and fairly strong, but later on the road to Brogborough Lake it was considerably stronger, I presume to it being less built-up than within Marston Moretaine. When I met up with Sam, he reckoned it was the worst he had ever seen it, and he was not exaggerating! I drove over and on arrival opened the boot to assemble the tripod and gimbal head, and Doris blew the boot lid down on me!
I spotted Sam and he told me three were getting knitted up and one was already on the water, so picked up the gear and headed towards the bank, but since the wind was directly on the shore and the larger breakers were sending the slime inland, I put the tripod down a fair way back! It was not long before there were generally at least two out on the lake, and for a change I operated on the basis of shooting as often as I could because with the best will in the world shooting was very hit and miss, because I had to keep one shoulder against the tripod as the wind threatened to blow it over. Also, I had to keep resetting the levelling head as one or more tripod legs dug into the muddy, water- sodden ground — it certainly was not easy keeping the surfers in shot.
Every now and then a squall would come up, and I had to break off to keep my kit safe, but as one passed, I'd be back out and shooting again, also,if my subjects came in close, I would forego the camera on the tripod and shoot handheld, which as I find it hard to accurately synch the two bodies some of the true chronology is awry. I did get a few jumps and sequences, and was reasonably satisfied with what I did capture, but at least half of what I shot was binned, but I am really glad I made the effort, so I hope they give those who had braved the weather some pleasure.