I first met Jamie Hancock(Gaastra/Vandal) when he joined Jem Hall on a trip to Punta San Carlos in 2014. It was great to see someone with a ridding style and attitude much like my own, or rather in this case one I aspire to achieve. I’d seen a number of very good sailors that year, but no one could come close to Jamie’s jumping and go for broke attitude. We did not have the best conditions while he was here though despite this I still managed to get a few good shots of him as he launched himself wave after wave. One night whilst chatting over the bar, I mentioned to him that I was planning a trip to Cape Town during the winter as I had never sailed there, even though I grew up 400km to the east. He said that he goes every year and that if we happened to be there around the same time it would be great if I could help him out with some product shots for Vandal.
Since I was already planning on being in South Africa and had already made arrangements for travel I agreed to meet up with him while I was there and see what shots we could get. For me it was an opportunity to share in the windsurfing culture that Cape Town has on offer, one that I would have missed out on without Jamie to guide me through as I had no idea where the spots where, let alone which spots worked on which conditions. I only ended up being in Cape Town for little over a week, during which time we did not have the greatest conditions. One big, messy wave day at Melkbos which was by far the knarliest conditions I had sailed in and a few more sessions along the coast.
Towards the end of my stay there was a no wind day and I decided to go surf at Milnerton with a friend. As we got there the wind started to blow offshore, light at first but it picked up throughout the surf session. After about 3 hours of surfing I decided it was windy enough to windsurf, so gave Jamie a call and told him to get down there. During previous surf sessions I had seen how the evening light can work there and had an image in my head which I knew I could get with Jamie sailing. It required me to be in the water so that I could shoot up towards the backlit waves, there was a lot of current and I was exhausted from the earlier surf session, but after about an hour of swimming against the current I figured I had the shot I wanted. Jamie and a couple friends finished off their session as the shadow of the mountain replaced the evening light. They had Milnerton on one of the cleanest days to themselves, not even another surfer in the water. The session was topped off with a BBQ and a browse through the shots on my camera, while the waves weren’t big and there were no epic shots of crazy manoeuvres, the light is what makes these shots so worth it to me.
You can find more pictures of Jamie in this surfline gallery.
If you would like to share your adventure and commission me to take some photos then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.