Jim Thompson  
Age Division
Grand Master (45 - 59)  

Windsurfed a few times (probably less than 5) on Lake Cootharabah when I was 18 on some second hand gear I bought at an op shop. Then got a job that involved travelling everywhere, my brother 'borrowed' my gear and I never sailed again till nearly my 50th birthday. 

I was in Albany where my better half and kids go to the Quaranup Music camp each year (were all the WA Orchesteral types hang out every new year for the last 50 years and play music all day and drink too much at night).  Despite my best efforts to join in and can hack out a few tunes on the piano, I am not a musician so I try and avoid the day activities as much as possible. So I looked around at stuff to do and noticed some windsurfers ripping it up so thought I would give it another crack. Back in Perth I walked into Reg's nearby shop and told him to sell me what I needed to get back into it (Jez 2nd wind shop was always closed so sorry Jez).  Reg happily took my money and I spent the next year mainly in the water wondering what I was doing this for.  Took about 1 1/2 years to 'get it' and successfully gybe but after that have been trying to get out most days possible.    

Came across GPSTC by accident and since some of you like stories and have asked about the nickname Flex here is the true story to this point.

I have very poor flexibility and haven't touched my toes since I was about 20.  Roll forward to a bar in Austin, Texas just before 911. I had gone to Austin with the girl friend (upgraded to wife status just a few months later) for the weekend to check out the live music scene.   We were minding our own business when a couple of military types (in uniform) that had had a few too many noticed my accent and came over to us, introduced themselves as Private so and so and Sergeant bla bla, and asked where we were from as they just love my accent.   With the sophisticated wit only obtained after a few beers and meaning to take the piss a bit,  I said in my best accent, I'm from stralia and I'm Captain Flex.  Upon this they stood up straight and saluted me with complete seriousness.  There was nothing I could say to get out of it, they were convinced I was some high ranking brass from Australia on holiday or business in the US.   We couldn't get rid of them and they kept buying us drinks and hanging with us and the night descended into surreal drunkedness....Captain Flex was born.

Roll forward again to Dec 28, 2020 at previously mentioned camp at Quaranup.   I had brought the board down the two previous years but the wind was always W or SW so I sailed at Shoal Bay and Nameless bay right next to Quaranup which suited me fine as shallow, sandy bottom and warm.   This year I typed 'windsurf spots in Albany' into google and this was one of the first links:-  https://gsweekender.com.au/mandurah-mob-windsurfers-albany-perth/ I checked out the GPSTC website referenced, read all the rules and soon discovered KA72. Wow, this is where everyone is hanging out and learnt about all the various categories. Uploaded my previous tracks (recorded on Apple watch) to KA72 to see how I compared.  Between the two sites I checked the tracks of Morts and Stretch who were posting crazy speeds and following strange routes.  That afternoon I tried to copy what they did the previous day.    Parked and rigged up where the kite boarders hang out (one of them kindly informed me I had also parked in the ladies toilet but to my defence it was pretty crowded parking).  

I noticed a few windsurfers out doing the same runs as the tracks I saw previously so I slowly made my way upwind through the weedbergs to them.   As soon as I got to their take off spot for what I now know is the NM run,  they took off and I followed and to my horror they appeared to be sailing over what looked like grass (solid sea weed rising out of the water) but I hung on for dear life in my big board with generic cheapo weed fin that Reg sold me to get me started.  To my surprise I didn't die, catapault or even stall but the fin was really pulling and wanting to give up but everything became a lot quieter.  Wow, different world. My legs were burning at the end of the run and the ticker was red lining.   After that run I was hooked and attempted it a bunch more times with less sucess on each attempt and always ended up stalling and ending up like a sea monster.  Anyway, I got a glimpse of going fast for a moment and was hooked.  Since I had been checking out tracks from characters with names like Stretch when I discovered this site and very few people used their own names, I just shortened previously explained name to Flex when I created account on KA72 and then continued that on GPSTC.

Got back to Perth and immediately bought a GW60 and lurked on this site for a couple of weeks but was prompted by another team to join GPSTC.  I didn't even select a team when registering as I didn't really know anyone.  Admin said the first WA captain that pushes the button will get me.  This was Anita.  I had chatted to Anita previously as we seemed to sail, park, rig at the same time and spot but no mention of GPSTC. Turns out she assumed I was with already with another team but the reality was I was just clueless.  Certainly my experience and skills are very low but hope to improve overtime with consisent practice and a few tips from the many that blast past me all the time. Anyway, its good fun and a great workout and appear to be a great bunch doing it which I think is the point.

Current gear: 120 Litre Tabou Rocket and 104 RRD Freeride/Wave board, Severne 7.8 Overdrive M2, RRD 6.7 Move Mk6, RRD 5.7 something plus the fins these boards came with which are Tabou 40, some sort of 33 weed fin and a 32 RRD fin.   I usually drive a beat up blue VW camper van and local spot is Melville.

Personal Bests for Flex
2 Second Peak5 x 10 Second Average1 HourAlpha Racing 500mNautical MileDistance Travelled
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