Words: Corky Kirkham.
Pics: Gilbert Bara, Corky Kirkham.
Windsurfing has always had its long term colourful personalities. And Corky Kirkham’s surely one of these. Keeping in regular contact with us at Windsurfing UK Corky’s always ready for a chat and catch up. With a recent sponsor change to F2 International, we thought it high time for a natter. Over to Corky for some thoughts on all things windsurfing and Fuerteventura.
The last 18mnths have been such a weird time. Trying to even get in the sea to sail on Fuerte was hard at times since COVID. We were allocated time slots. One was 7pm to 9pm so you can imagine either no wind or it was going dark! Luckily my house is 50m from the sea so I was ready @ 7pm. It was then a case of enjoying a quick blast. Now it’s all ok again. Everyone is keen as mustard to get in and sail and try to forget the last 18mnths.
It was during Lockdown that the whole F2 thing came about. A lot of changes were going on with emails back and forth. I knew I needed new boards but F2 wanted me on their sails too. That was a big part of the deal as S2Maui were trimming their team right down having not sold for over a year due to COVID. I actually signed with F2 last year but because of COVID delays and transport issues, my gear got lost! It was a nightmare. But I’ve got it all now. Everyone in the UK’s going through the same delivery shipment delays. It’s just what we’re all having to deal with.
I’m using the Barracuda wave boards. They can be set up in quad mode but I always use them as a twinzer. I’m super happy. They’re very quick and loose. For rigs I’m trying the F2 Rebel 5 batten wave sails and the Rebel 4 battens as well. These sails are super ligh and responsive. I’ve had quite a lot of drillings on them already and they’re are holding up fine.
Wave sailing is obviously my sole passion. I will never ever stop that. The adrenaline on a wave has to be the best feeling ever. Plus the jumps are what I love most.
As for the new disciplines well I’ll be honest not for me. But as a sport anything that keeps you on the water has to be good. F2 does the whole wing foil thing along with SUP and they’re flying out the door. You can go in 5 to 12 knots so here on Fuerte – everyone’s loving it. I prefer to wait for storms. There’s a lot windsurfers into winging but the lure of strong winds brings them back to windsurfing when it blows.
The windsurf scene on Fuerte is still strong. Regular sailors fly in and on a good day there can be 30+ locals riding. 2021 has been the busiest. I’ve never seen so many windsurfers, which is great for Fuerteventura and the sport.
As for windsurfing goals the way last year was I’m just so grateful to have my health and to carry on sailing for as long as my body holds out. Touch wood I hope for a long time yet with maybe a few less eagle wings!
Let’s hope 2022 is windy and healthy for all. I’d like to thank Gilbert Bara for always being in the right place for my pics. Plus all my sponsors for supporting me for over 10 years. Huge thanks to all on the list below.