Trading the slate grey waters of the north east for reeling Moroccan point breaks, Tom Bing and Ambassador Sally McGee were joined in the land of rights by Emma Tweddle. Flying the flag for Yorkshire amongst a hungry crowd, they scored one of the best swells of the year so far.
Two Yorkshire Lasses In The Land Of Rights
Emma confessed to me that she was doing the nervous passenger braking thing as we wove our way across the lanes of traffic in the night time rush of Agadir. Taxis, old Renaults and scooters finding order in the chaos as we made our way north - the style of the local drivers. I've driven and ridden motorcycles through Lima, San Salvador and Mumbai. Agadir feels fairly tame to me, but for a first timer, the order on the road isn't so clear.
Pulling into the dirt streets by our house, the street dogs howling and the sound of cats fighting feels a long way from the cold Victorian streets of Emma's home of Saltburn. She'd come to join us for a few days of North African waves and after two slow weeks, the forecast was looking hopeful.
The following few days were spent chasing waves, using our knowledge and experience to dodge crowds, winds and try to get ahead of the tides and into the best waves in the area. As a photographer and cheerleader for both Sally and Emma, I felt an immense sense of pride that amongst the local Moroccans, Aussies, Portuguese, French and other international wave seekers these two Yorkshire lasses with one young son in tow were out there, respectfully picking off set waves amongst the hungry crowds.
People ask where we're from and the response is nearly always the same. "Oh England, cool. Oh, the North East... do you get waves there?" Well, of course we do our due diligence and play it down. We might not have 18 second groundswells hitting endless right hand points in the sun, but we have a surf rich homeland and watching these two flying the flag for it made for a great few days.
With the recent run of North East flat spells I was drawn to the land of right hand point breaks and warmer climate of Morocco. Luckily, Tom and Sally were already making the most of it with their son Billy, so I went out to join them for a few days.
It did not disappoint, we scored big time. Hustling amongst the hungry crowds, some amazing sessions went down; waves that will be forever etched in my memory. It felt special to share it with such amazing humans. The jitters from the sugary mint tea we consumed after every surf have faded, but I've brought home memories that will last a lifetime
It was great to bring a little bit of home out to Morocco for a few days, and I can't believe how well Emma timed her trip. We've carved out a couple of months of our winter to be here and have been living feast or famine with the swell. Surfing until everything feels broken whilst it's been on; feet cut to bits, shoulders burning, leaving little left by the end of a swell. Then back to beach days helping Billy catch little knee high reforms, runs at the skatepark, reading, writing and soaking in the culture.
This swell was maybe the best of the season we've had yet; it was under forecast and over delivered. To share it with Emma was great; looking down the face of a perfect blue wall to see her grinning as she paused a second before paddling over the shoulder; watching her disappear and reappear kicking over the back of one in front of the cliffs. Billy so stoked to show her everything he's been discovering. Blasting songs in the car, windows down, winding through the desert. Surfing gives us a lot as a family and it's great to have a good friend and surf buddy to bring into the fold for a few days.