Highs and lows
Luckily there's been more of the highs than lows.
2 weeks ago I was heading up to Lancelin for my favourite event: the Lancelin Ocean Classic. It's the weekend I wouldn't miss for anything. The windsurfing, the people, the atmosphere and of course the legendary party, it's all epic.
The wave contest is held at South Passage, one of my favourite break. It's such a good wave. We go and sail there a lot and when the swell is right you can get heaps of turns on one wave.
Thursday was flat and windless. On Friday a good swell hit the coast. Mast high walls were rolling in and sometimes closing out between South Passage and the next break down. It doesn't really handle such big swell very well there so the waves weren't lining up as good as they can, but it was so good to get this swell just in time for the comp!
Big thanks to James for the pics below. Well done for the 2nd place mate!
I was nervous, like I always am during contests. But I was also ready to give it my best and score some good waves. Karin Jaggi entered the wave event too so I knew it'd be a hard one but awesome to have her out there, try and learn from it and push the level.
Juniors and women were first. The wind was super light and onshore, the tide super high and the current ridiculous, making it very difficult to catch waves. I caught a couple of good ones before the heat started though, making me feeling good about it all. I like light winds and feel really comfortable when the conditions are like that, wobbling out and riding in.
When the heat started the wind dropped another couple of knots and I wasn't going anywhere on my 72 and 4.7, i needed way bigger. But more than anything else, when the green flag goes up in a comp Laure's focus goes down, her mind get lost somewhere in the ocean I reckon. Here I was, unable to place myself in the right spot and not taking my time to go all the way upwind and catch the right waves. I didn't ride one single good wave in the whole heat. Although just before the heat started I got 2 good ones in 5 minutes. Useless.
Karin got some good ones, I saw her getting good turns on a couple of bombs. She finished on a well deserved 1st place. Kirra did a really good job too and finished 2nd. And Laure... well she was 3rd.
I don't mind the actual result but I felt so massively disappointed about my performance out there and I think the reason it affected me this is the fact that I love this place and this event so much but couldn't show what I can do. It was an experience though and I guess it's all part of the learning process.
On Saturday the swell dropped a little bit, just enough to get a perfect South Passage. The seabreeze kicked in so they ran the Marathon first, which meant there was almost no one out in the waves and we had it all for ourselves. Once the Marathon was done they ran the Elite wave fleet. I went out to judge their heats on the platform out on the reef - yep that's where you wanna be when these guy are out: front row seat! We saw heaps of sick stuff out there. Proper turns, wave 3's, massive jumps, they were all doing all kind of sick stuff. Jaegger won, Luke was 2nd, Ben 3rd and Si 4th. Really happy for all of them!
Photos below ©John Carter
The rest of the weekend was really good, hanging out with everyone, the party at the Tavern and getting more waves on Sunday. Looking forward to next year already!
A big thanks to Rob and all the other people involved in the organisation of the Lancelin Classic, you guys are doing such an awesome job.
So after the emotions of the weekend I took a couple of days to put my thoughts back together and sort myself out. Mid-week it looked like Geraldton was the place to be to get some water time. Van loaded up with gear we hit the road and did 3 days of intensive windsurfing at Coro's. It's the same everytime there, we stay for a few days and windsurf till our arms drop. Once we have totally windsurfed ourselves out and we can't move anymore we drive back down.
I did a fair bit of freestyle training as the waves weren't too good and also because I had Sergeant Barnaby as a freestyle training partner - so much more fun than by myself. It was awesome, just like freestyle should be all the time! Heading out full speed and hitting these little ramps throwing switch konos and all sorts of moves. You get so much height there it's awesome. Simon did a bit of filming which helped me loads to understand what to change and improve.
Wave sailing was fun too despite the small waves. A massive thanks to Si and Ben for their coaching. It's so good to sail with them, they're pushing me loads all the time and are such good inspiration. And thanks to them I landed my first backie the other day! I had started trying them a couple of weeks ago - it's about time I know - and after listening to these guys' wise tips and processing them the best I could in my little head, I went out and landed one on my first run! Off a descent ramp too, smooth and clean. So happy! Backies are such an awesome feeling. No effort, just flying.
So yeah, life is good.
Thanks a lot to Ben Pallant from Gunfire Images for the photos below! Beno is the man if you ever need good water shots.