The launch is actually pretty straightforward, aside from the fact once you leave there’s no easy way back in. On the lee side of the headland, the water is calm and sheltered from any wind and waves. So after a tricky tightrope walk down the old lifeboat launch ramp, it’s a nice flat-water swim and drift until you clear the land and reach the wind line. The only downside would be that there would be no easy way to get back in the same way you headed out. This was a one-way ticket with a far more painful return journey.
Ross was first out and soon was in the thick of the lined-up swell, probably wondering where in the hell he needed to be when he dropped in? Without backup, we were definitely playing with fire. The main lefthander to the left of the rocks was definitely holding up the biggest waves, but occasionally a separate peak to the left would loom up out of nowhere, making the territory between the breaks all the more risky. From the cliffs it was pretty hard to gauge exactly how big it was out there, but once I saw Ross’s mast disappear between the swells out the back, I thought to myself ‘Oh shit – that is massive!’ For the next hour Ross and Neal both diced with the Cribbar, taking some monster sets and outrunning avalanches of white water. Luckily there were no wipe-outs until the boys decided to sail in through the huge surf at Fistral. Considering there’s a sandy beach upwind, it seemed odd to me that they were both heading in towards the rocks in the corner. I guess they simply both misjudged it. Next thing I see Ross get swamped by a huge wall of white water and he was now in front of the worst of the rocks with another a ten-foot wall of water about to hit him. After a gnarly washing he was now stuck in a cove and, from my perspective, it looked like there was no way out. Moments later I saw Neal suffer a similar fate and go down in the drink, right in near corner of the bay. The few people that were around down in the car park all headed over to check on their safety and thankfully, ten minutes later, I spotted both Ross and Neal with their rigs clambering up the rocks. We’d survived unscathed!