Andy "Bubble" Chambers reports on the JP Young Gun Camp 2010
I was really looking forward to the JP Young Guns Camp 2010 especially after attending the camp 2 years before. I traveled from the UK, which was super easy as there are loads of direct flights from most UK airports. The transfer is just over one hour from the airport to Prasonisi. I arrived the night before the camp started. The first day was really the registration day, also we got out on the water the whole day with all the participants that had already arrived. It gave us the chance to see what levels people were at so we had an idea of the group split for the official start to the camp.
Monday morning was the official start to the camp with all the participants ready to go! In total we had 37 kids from 11 different countries!! The group was split into 4 separate levels with 1 instructor per group. The groups were a small kids group, a gybing/waterstarts/blasting control group, a carving maneuvers/chop hops/vulcans group and then a high level freestyle group from Vulcans up to switch moves and double moves. The level was so high! Each year it gets higher and higher. Antxon Otaegui and myself were the onsite Pro's which meant we would jump between all the groups and help out as best we could. Also we were doing video interviews each day with the kids and trying to provide as much action on the water for the daily videos as we could!
The wind on Day 1 was perfect for everyone to get into their sailing again and get familiar with sailing in Prasonisi. It also gave the chance for the instructors to see the level that everyone in their group was. The wind blew the whole day from 9.30 in the morning when we started till way past 6.00 when we finished. Here is a daily plan of how the week went:
8.30 - 9.30 Breakfast , 9.30 - 12.30 Windsurfing, 12.30 - 2.30 Lunch, 2.30 - 6.00 Windsurfing, 7.30 Dinner and daily video
Wow!! So much Windsurfing it‘s amazing!! I was totally broken by the end of each day!! I have never windsurfed so much before and the crazy thing is that the kids just don't get tired!! We really have to try and get them off the water for lunch and dinner!
The first few days the wind blew all day which gave myself and Antxon plenty of time to get round to seeing all the groups. The range was pretty big, everything from waterstarts to switch chachoos! In the middle of the week the wind went a bit lighter for a couple of days which gave us the chance to get some good light wind exercises done. Everything from heli tacking to forward loops were practiced on the beach and on big boards. The higher level group took out some of the best JP/Neil Pryde slalom gear and went blasting around the bay. Also we got the chance to try some different activities such as Stand up Paddle boarding on the wave side and also some cliff jumping! Which proved to be very popular amongst a lot of the kids!!
The amount that the kids learnt as they went through the week was amazing. The difference from day 1 to even day 3 was massive. The great thing about teaching the kids is that they really listen to what you say and they also do exactly what you tell them to which makes them learn everything really fast. Having the great conditions and the best equipment also helps!! Throughout the week the kids learned a variety of moves both old and new school. As the old school moves build up the core skills needed to learn the new school moves. The sessions were mostly run on the water but still there were some good maneuver theory sessions on the beach.
Mid way through the week we had an evening social away from Prasonisi, which was awesome!! It gave us the chance to see the island a bit and do something different. This year we went Go Karting!! So much fun!! Great track and karts and loads o fun had by everyone. Afterwards we checked out a really cool beach bar on the way back to Prasonisi. Lots of ice cream had by everyone!!
By the end of the week everyone had achieved what he or she had set out to accomplish on day 1! Which was amazing!! They improved so fast!! I have never seen someone sail as much as they did during the week. On Friday there was a freestyle competition with top prizes including a JP Board and a Neilpryde Rig. The kids were split into 3 different fleets, kids, girls and boys. In the kids heats they all sailed really well with the top 3 managing to pull off duck gybes, carve gybes and even some chop hops! In the Girls fleet there was a definite split with the top 3 girls pulling off all sorts of planing moves including duck gybes and even some Vulcan attempts! In the older boys fleet the level was super high. It was great to watch some promising young stars in the making. Old school and new school moves were completed by everyone, which showed real diversity in their sailing. The top 3 boys were completing up to 10 moves in their 5 minute heats! Switch Stance combinations, double Flaka's and forward loops were among the top moves performed by the top 3. All the top performers in all fleets showed some real potential and showed what moves they had all learnt during the week.
The prize giving was held in the Lighthouse Taverna, which also was responsible for providing the great food the whole week! The prizes that were kindly donated by JP and Neil Pryde included a JP Board, Neil Pryde Sail, Mast, Boom and accessories!! All the kids were so stoked with the prizes and the whole week in general. A final BBQ and small party was held at the Pro Centre Christof Kirschner to celebrate the great week that was had by all.
I would like to say a huge thanks to Christof Kirschner for organising the camp and inviting me out to attend again. Also JP and Neilpryde for supplying the amazing equipment and prizes. The coaches from German Surf Magazine Steve, Manuel, Jonas and Franky who are so motivated and amazing with the kids. The Lighthouse Taverna for keeping us fed everyday!! Anja and Martin from Sofa Movie Lab for creating the great daily videos! Martin and the staff from the Pro Centre was dealing with us and the kids everyday!! The biggest thanks have to go to the kids though for really showing amazing motivation and great skills on the water. They truly were a pleasure to work with and I am really looking forward to the next camp!
All in all it was a great week and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone aged between 8 and 19 that just wants to windsurf till they’re arms and legs fall off and get some great tips from some of the worlds best windsurfers!“