The freestyle PWA Aruba Grand Slam is over and I finish the 2nd girls freestyle event of this year with another 2nd place!
Both Bonaire and Aruba were such great events, it is awesome that the tour has new events like these on its calendar. A big thank you to the organizors and everyone who made them happen!
I'm flying back home tonight for a day then off to the Canary islands. We will be based in Tenerife and go to events from there. First Pozo and Tenerife for the PWA wave events, then Fuerteventura for another freestyle event. Busy summer ahead! Looking forward to it all and to going back to Tenerife!
The wind kicked in properly today and we managed to complete the first single elimination of the event here in Aruba. I started with a sick first heat, landing all the best moves I can do. I then sailed against Yoli and had an ok heat, landing a shove it spock, switch kono, and so on, and advanced into the final with Sarah-Quita again. That heat was hard work. We had so much wake coming from all direction from the boats that we had some runs where it was just impossible to throw a move. The wind had picked up loads by then too, I could have easily been on 4.2 instead of 4.7. Sarah landed a sweet kono and some other really good moves. I crashed loads, did a couple of good moves too, but not enough to beat her. So I ended up 2nd one more time!
I'd like to win an event one day of course - that's why we're all here right? - but I'm always happy if I'm in the final. And I came very close to winning a few times now... I'm improving and one day I'll get it! Big congrats to Sarah for her 1st place and her amazing sailing - you're such an inspiration! - Yoli for 3rd and Xenia for 4th, and also to Steven who finished 1st in the men's elimination, Gollito 2nd, Kiri 3rd and Tonky 4th. Let's see what tomorrow brings, it looks like we'll get some strong wind and a double elimination done.
All pics ©John Carter / PWA. Check www.pwaworldtour.com for more photos, videos and live action!
Check out the video of our final in Bonaire! It's from the live stream we had there, with Ben Proffitt, Bubble and Max commentating. Really cool to have the live stream at the events, a lot of people are watching it. I watched the whole of the Vietnam men's freestyle event when it was on last February, couldn't take my eyes off the computer! And I can't stop laughing with Ben Proffitt as a commentator. Perfect. Make sure you follow the events on www.pwaworldtour.com!
Here we are, in yet another amazing place on this planet, Aruba!
The next PWA Tour's freestyle event on the list has started. We sailed yesterday but unfortunately the wind wasn't good enough to start the competition. Today's not great so far either, but it can always improve during the afternoon so we're on stand by. The forecast looks better for the next few days and I'm sure we'll get some good action out there and run at least one elimination.
Pics ©John Carter / PWA
5 days of competing here in Bonaire, 2 single and 2 double eliminations, 4 finals with Sarah-Quita, and a 2nd place for the first event of this year's PWA tour!
I'm really happy about the way it all went. First of all this place is amazing. Perfect freestyle conditions, warm water and beautiful island. The event organization and the atmosphere on the beach were great too. And I finally managed to put together some really good heats and land the moves I can land when freesailing, instead of crashing the moves I do eyes closed when training because I can't focus and handle my nerves. So I am definitely very happy about that. It gives me a lot more confidence and fingers crossed I can keep on this track for the next events.
Yesterday was the last day of the event and we finished the second double elimination. The final with Sarah was amazing. We both had the best heats ever and landed sick moves. Shove it spocks, switch konos, 1h funnels... Sarah also did a double spock and a normal kono. We pushed ourselves as far as we could and everyone on the beach loved it. It was such a good feeling to sail a heat this good!!!
Sarah took 1st place, I'm 2nd and Yoli 3rd. All the other girls sailed really well too. There is a whole new crew of girls out there who are very young and keen to learn, it's great to see the new generation pushing!
We're all flying over to Aruba tonight for the next PWA freestyle stop which start on Sunday the 19th, until Thursday the 23rd. I have never been there and really look forward to finally seeing this famous place.
Despite an early start this morning we only managed to run another 2 heats of the second double elimination today. The wind then dropped off and took the day off.
A nice and relaxing day in Bonaire, ready now for more action tomorrow if the wind decides to kick in again.
Keep an eye on the pwa website to follow what's happening here in Bonaire! Live action, videos, photos, it's all there: www.pwaworldtour.com
Pics ©John Carter / PWA
John Carter has just uploaded his pictures on the pwa website. There are some really, really cool ones, you should definitely go and check them out on the pwa website. Action, lifestyle, it's all there and looking great.
Thought I'd post a couple of them here, as well as some by Jan Wachtemeester.
We've just finished the 3rd day and second single elimination of the PWA freestyle contest here in Bonaire and I'm still holding onto 2nd. I'm really happy with the way my heats went - sailed some awesome ones, today a couple of less awesome ones too, but still enough to make it all the way to the finals with Sarah-Quita. Sarah's sailing really well as usual and although it's been really close I didn't manage to beat her. It was so much fun sailing the finals with her, I couldn't stop smiling. We've been giving our best and put up a good fight out there.
Yoli is 3rd so far and Arianne 4th. Steven won the single elimination of today, followed by Kiri, Taty and Gollito. The guys are all doing such insane moves, it's awesome just to sit and watch them sail. Great inspiration and motivation.
The competition is not over though. Still 2 days to go and it looks like we'll get to finish at least the second elimination. If we're lucky we might even get a 3rd elimination in which would actually be cool as it would give us a discard. But who knows what's gonna happen, let's just wait and see!
I'll keep you posted.
Also wanted to say a big thanks to all of you out there who have been and are supporting me. Sponsors, family and friends. You make it all so much better and easier!
The PWA just updated their website with some photos of today. Make sure you check out www.pwaworldtour.com for all the footage, reports and of course the live action every day!
Pics @John Carter / PWA
Today's been a really good day here in Bonaire. The wind has been good all day and we started competing straight after the registration.
The action out there was insane, everyone ripping and throwing some unreal moves. One of my favourite amongst many was I think Kiri's flying grubby into ponch. On dead flat water. Incredible.
I'm very happy with the heats I sailed. I managed to put together some good ones all the way until the final against Sarah. Even that one was really close! I'm sitting on 2nd place now. That was just the first single elimination though. The wind looks like it's willing to stay for the whole time which means we will be able to run at least 2 or even 3 double elimination. So still a long way to go, but it definitely started well and I will do everything to keep it this way!
The opening ceremony was really cool. As you can see on the pictures lots of people joined in. People singing, playing music, dancing, there was also a big march down to the beach, even bikies on their Harley and all sorts of pimp bikes joined in. Even the usual opening ceremony speech was replaced by a guy rapping on stage - perfect. The atmosphere here is just great, everyone is so friendly and happy, I'm loving the island life!
There we are, enjoying some Caribbean island lifestyle in Bonaire... The wind hasn't been part of the trip yet and after 3 pretty stressful days not knowing where my boardbags had gone - they didn't follow me on the flights to here- I finally got them and started to really appreciate the place. We have been enjoying some very relaxing days - cruising around, swimming in the 30° water for hours, snorkeling and catching up with everyone. The island is beautiful and what striked me most is the kindness of the people here - everyone's happy, smiling and taking time for everything. Amazing.
The forecast is promising for the end of this week and next week, which means we should get some wind for the PWA event. The contest starts on Sunday the 12th until the 16th. I am really looking forward to competing here. This spot seems like so much fun and I'm sure we'll see some insane action happening out there. You will be able to see all the live action directly on the pwa website thanks to the live streaming, as well as photos, videos and daily reports.
I have been training hard for this season so let's see how it all goes, hopefully I can get some good results. I'm really excited about the new events we have this year on tour in both freestyle and waves, I'm sure it will be loads of fun.
Will keep you posted!
I have just spent a few amazing weeks in Dahab. After a bit of a slow start the wind kicked in properly and pretty much didn't stop until the end. We made the most out of it, heading out for early sessions every day and getting lots of quality and uncrowded time on the water. I trained hard, getting pushed by all the local rippers, and learnt a lot.
Beside all the great windsurfing, it was really good to spend time and share special moments with my friends there. The people there make what Dahab is to me, a special place where I always feel like at home and get looked after.
So much happen over those few weeks. A few of many highlights were for a start having my little brother and sister with me for a week; then the trip to a secret and very remote spot with some local friends - one of the most peaceful and amazing place I have seen (don't bother trying to find it, only Bedouin people can get there); all the early morning sessions with no one out beside a few of us and perfect windsurfing; all the amazing Egyptian and Bedouin meals, hiding behind the sail rack or sitting around the fire; the Dahab Festival was awesome too- the freestyle contest and tow in session were run really well and heaps of fun!; the North and Fanatic photo shoot, during which we got some awesome shots and definitely lots of laughs; and let's not forget the 958 cups of Egyptian tea with the crew at the Planet centre... A big thanks to everyone making all these moments happen.
It was hard to leave, but I will be back for more!