Tuesday, 11 December 2012

SWA Liverpool and Pompey wave

After experiencing the epicness of last years SWA Liverpool event, there was no way I was going to miss it this year, even with an interview in St Andrews the same week!

It was worth it, and despite a small turnout from Bristol, I had an incredible weekend, we even had some wind on Sunday morning! Saturday saw light winds - suiting the beginners, who I spent the day instructing. After Saturday night, I was surprised so many people made it to Crosby lake by 9am to make the most of the insane wind that was set to drop throughout the day. It was proper windy, and after battling it out on a wide 120 board, the wind dropped and Boardwise turned up with some freestyle kit. The competition got under way  and I gave my best shot in my first ever freestyle competition in Planing conditions. I didn't exactly make any big moves, but made plenty of 360's and tried what was supposed to be a forward loop. Anyway, 6th place, not last so all good.

The individual racing looked like it would go the usual way as I convincingly won my heat, but a poor start in the final put me down to 4th in the end. With only two of us from Bristol, Jan and I hijacked Pete from UWE for the team racing, and we managed 4th I think.
Photos by Mark Whitfield

A big thanks to Boardwise for providing loads of demo kit including the RRD Fireraces for the racing, and a Tushingham Rock 4.5 and JP Freestyle 98 which I used in the Freestyle. Also thanks to all the Crosby and all the guys from Liverpool who made it happen.

This weekend was the first of the SWA wave trilogy, hosted by Portsmouth Uni. Blue skies and sunshine coupled with a mirror sea saw a bit of golf on Saturday, but the wind arrived on Sunday, and despite the tiny waves, competition got under way early that morning. The wind was a little gusty, but I had plenty of power in the gusts with my 5.0. With the waves so small, the judges were scoring 1 ride and 1 jump, but most of the emphasis would be on jumps - not my forte on Starboard tack! I landed some tail kick jumps and crashed a forward, which got me 3rd in the heat - not enough to advance, but enough to get me joint 9th in the event. I spent the rest of the day free-sailing and had a great time! Thanks to Puravida for sponsoring the wave series, and Fanatic/North for providing some demo kit - I spent most of the day on a 2013 Fanatic Quad 81 - awesome board!

So far in the SWA series, I'm leading the Racing by 0.5 points after two events, 4th in the Freestyle after 3 events, joint 9th in wave after 1 event, and I think I'm leading the overall ranking by 0.5 points.

I've got a 12 month Industrial placement in St Andrews starting in July, a very long way away, bit cold during the winter, but it's not going to put me off competing in the UKWA this summer. Keep an eye out for my plans for next season.

Looks like the xmas holidays have timed themselves for a week of warmish weather and strong south-westerlies in Cornwall - revision could be interesting!

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