Tuesday, 12 August 2014

PWA Tenerife, 13th place!

I have been in Tenerife for about 3 weeks now, and have to say its a really fun spot when there are good conditions! Our first week didn't have much wind or waves, but two days into the contest, we had some really nice conditions, and this week (I have 4 more days) is looking epic! El Medano is a lively town, there are lots of bars and shops with a more Spanish feel rather than some tacky resorts like elsewhere in the Canaries. It is always busy too, with lots more nightlife than Pozo! Here is an aerial picture from Ricardo's drone of the event site and a morning picture from John Carter at the PWA:
There were 22 girls registered for this event, a great turnout and even 3 British chicks! The day before the event started, all the competitors marched though the town with a drumming band, waving their country's flag's, before meeting in the centre of town and being called onto the stage for the official opening. This was awesome and such a great way to start the event and let the whole town know we were there! On Monday morning we registered and stickered up all our sails. The single draw is below, I had Montse Collado in my first heat.
The forecast looked good from Wednesday to Friday, but the judges decided to run straight away (and rightfully so incase the forecast was to dissappear). The Juniors were up first, followed by the ladies. My heat against Montse was run in pretty light winds and little waves, but I still managed to get my jumps in and some wave rides, pumping into my first forward! I was pretty happy to win this heat but I then had Steffi Wahl in my second heat who was 3rd in Pozo. Here are some photos from my first heat...
So first round of ladies over, we went straight into the second round where I was up against Steffi. The wind and waves dropped in this heat and I really couldn't get going. I didn't find any good waves or a bigger forward despite seeing her land one and in the end she had the edge and some good riding put her through. Steffi climbed all the way up to 4th in the single elimination, with Amanda 3rd, Daida 2nd and Iballa 1st.
The double elimination had much better conditions with waves and feeling powered! My first heat was against Alice Arutkin who had missed the single elimination due to missing her flight. Alice is again a very experienced competitor and won on both waves and jumps, with her table top scoring more than my forward, and some nice wave rides. I confirmed as I feared before this competition that I wasn't consistent enough on my wave rides, going more for broke with bigger hits that I only sometimes land rather than a safer competition style of riding, so I definitely need to improve on that! Alice went through 4 heats in the double to finish 6th overall, well done! This meant I came 13th overall, which with Pozo leaves me 11th in the World so far, with my goal to be top ten!
The double elimination had great conditions to finish the competition, with standout sailors (for me) being Sarah Quita Offringa, who as previously un-ranked, climbed 8 heats in the double and came 3rd place, and Victor Fernandez and Thomas Traversa for their style and consistency, (coming 3rd and 2nd respectively).
After the competition a Super Session was run, giving 20 minutes to score your one best jump. Originally this wasn't for women (Men and Juniors only-don't ask me why...), but as there were a few girls wanting to participate on the beach, a heat was run. I was actually pretty scared as I prefer riding to jumping and didn't actually realise it was a jump contest when I signed up! The conditions had backed down a little and I took a 4.7, but with the current and the weed it felt terrible, very pull-ey! Anyway, us girls had a great time, and I went for several backloops, landed a table top and a forward and tried my first stalled forward, landing on my back which I was happy with! I came joint 3rd after Justyna winning with a couple of landed backloops and forwards and Amanda with some pushloop crashes.
For winning this, Justyna got to have a go at the tow in windsurf jump session at Siam Park. Only the top men got to compete but it was sick to see her getting towed into the ramp! Hopefully if there can be more sponsors for the event girl's can be included next time! Here is an edit Markus and Gustav did of the session, it's amazing!

PWA Super Session @ Siam Park, Tenerife from MacG Productions on Vimeo.

Here is also the video from Day 5 of the competition, showing the last heats of the double elimination for men and women, and the men's super session. Finally, a couple of shots from general sailing in Tenerife! I am hoping to make a video from the Canaries, but its very hard to get someone to sit on the beach and film!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

PWA Pozo, 9th Place

Ok, where do I start?! I guess you have read and seen a lot about the Pozo World competition week already, so I'll summarise my view. It was great to meet all the girls (16 entries) for the competition, girls like Olya, Sarah Quita Offringa and Steffi Wahl who I had heard and seen about but never met, were really nice and I really enjoyed the team spirit between all of us despite the fact we were competing against each other! It was great to sail with all the girls!

As the conditions weren't too great (wind but very little in the way of waves), there was a lot of waiting around to be called for our heats, but the event organisation by Daida and Iballa was spot on, with the event tent giving us food and drinks and the competitors area with comfy beanbags sheltering us from the wind while we watched the sailing! My parents came to watch so it was a shame it wasn't classic Pozo as I had built it up to be, with super windy conditions and waves, but there were still some breathtaking moments and the excitement of some interesting knockouts, and stalled double forwards from Koster and Browne! I don't think my parents would have enjoyed 3m weather Pozo if it had been that windy so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise!

So my training up to the event I was really happy with, my forwards were pretty consistent, sideways and mostly dry (but not the biggest), tabletops getting better if I could find the right ramp and wave riding better too. My heat almost went ahead twice before the real heat, with Justyna versus Olya and me versus Steffi. The second time round our whole heat was run, 14 minutes with 1 wave to count and two jumps, the red flag went up, and then it was cancelled afterwards. This was a bit of a let down as I think I sailed a good heat, with a nice clean forward, tabletop and a good wave at the bunker. The conditions weren't great and I think there was some problems with the judging and the live scores, so this heat was binned.

The next and 'real' ladies heat was a day or two after, the same criteria and I don't think the conditions were any better. I went on 3.7 as I was powered up just before, but the wind must have dropped a little during our heat as all the girls were underpowered. This made it really hard to get a clean forward, and the waves were small!! Justyna and Steffi took the win on this one, I think I was 1.3 points behind overall, winning on jumps but lacking a good scoring wave.

So I am out! Lack of conditions meant only a single elimination was run, (which runs tops seeds against lowest seeds) so half the fleet in mens and ladies comes joint last. With a double elimination there would have been a ladder to work your way up. It was a real shame after all that training I didn't have a chance to fight my way back up the double. For the guys this means a lot of the higher seed rankings now are in the trials for Tenerife, so they will be seeded against the top seeds, causing a bit of a stir as they have lost their hard earnt ranking over many years!

I have to say I was super impressed with all the sailors especially the top guys and girls making the conditions look so easy! It was really inspiring.

With 23 girls entered for Tenerife I really hope we get good conditions to compete. I am currently sat in my apartment with no wind outside and little waves-come on Cabezo!!

All the photographs are either from Jose Pina, Fishbowl Diaries, Si Crowther, John Carter or myself, so thanks to those guys for doing a great job and capturing the action!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Week Tomorrow...First PWA Event!

A week tomorrow is the first PWA wave event of the year in Gran Canaria, with 17 female entries-that's a lot! See the entries HERE

Training has been going fairly well, I have been sailing everyday for the past two weeks or so, 3-4 hours a day in 2 sessions. The past two days had light wind and no waves, so I took them off, having a rest day and a crossfit style workout day with a run. Today the wind is back, and I was fully stacked on a 3.4, I don't think it was even meant to be that windy today?!

I have been practising my wave riding a lot, and trying to learn from Miss Consistent Justyna Sniady! I find it quite hard here to control the power, needing to do really tight turns and not end up clew first for very long. This is quite different to my training in Chile where it was still onshore, but as it was a lot less windy I could really pick where I wanted to hit and not worry about everything exploding with the power! I am getting a lot better, until I get stacked then everything seems to go wrong again! I hope the heat isn't mentally windy...So here are some pics of mainly top turns, some good some bad, its interesting to see the hand and sail positions. I know to move the back hand back right to the harness lines but any more tips people can give me about controlling the power please comment! A couple of these pictures are from Territorio Comanche-thank you!

Backside hits are getting better, and certainly easier if overpowered!

Jumping is also hard to practise if I am stacked and bumping all over the place! But fun if I am nicely powered. Here is a straight jump when I was stacked on a 3m sail, and a pushloop crash when I was stacked on a 3.4!

Finally, a picture from the other morning so you can see the layout of the beach (if you don't know Pozo!) It was a busy morning on the water!

The event tents and cabins have started to arrive, and a cool graffiti art picture is being painted on the entrance to Pozo. Its quite exciting but I am pretty nervous, as I know that sometimes I can sail pretty well, but if it is howling I am going to struggle....urrrrrrr!!! Until next time!