Inn of the beachcomber SUP Gold beach challenge supported by RedBull.
No wind today, so, not surprisingly, windsurfing was off the menu. Those hungry for competition were invited to enter the Inn of the Beachcomber SUP Gold beach challenge.
A small south swell provided play park conditions, with the occasional overhead set wave. what little wind there was, proved challenging to the SUP competitors, blowing onshore & offering up enough chop to menace the riders efforts. Ladders were drawn up for men & women, heat lengths for the first rounds were set at 20 mins.
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People SUP’ed, some people won, some people lost.. the ones that kept winning ended up in the final, but then that’s exactly what you would expect to happen in a competition, right? So before I tell you the results, let’s get into who stood out on the water. Conditions were tough, a shore break was the first hurdle and more than a few people were chewed up and spat out at some point during the heats. Some competitors really flirted with it, Dan Gardener pulled a headstand into forward roll just meters from the beach. Pete Dekay busted out a mean cockroach, much to the crowds delight, and Sam Bittner launched an impressive air guitar routine in the closing minutes of her heat.
Further out, the peaks would shift and many waves would close out, so most riders would resort to kneeling or lying down to paddle out back (I’m sure it’s called stand up paddle?) getting out back was at times a lottery. Kate Barker dropped into some nice over head waves, she dove under a few too. Sam Bittner’s heat tactics were varied and thoroughly entertaining, air guitar wave ride, the classic cockroach and I even saw a no footed air drop! Katie McAnena and Fiona Wylde battled furiously for top spot, with wave after wave on both sides, in the end it came down to a tie breaker, with the highest scoring wave playing the decider. Our beloved Irish charm had to settle for second this time, as Fiona took the win.
Head judge Brian Caserio was smooth and consistent on the wave, Pascal Hardy managed to pick up and shred many a set wave. It was Bernd Roediger that rose to the top with an energetic and impressive display of skills, hacking and smacking a mass of waves into submission, he even managed to forget his own heat watch and donate a borrowed one to davy jones locker…whoops!
Straight after all this excitement, we launched right into the Bittner Board toss. If you don’t know what one is, think javelin, with an old windsurf board! My throw was pathetic, definitely lacking technique.
Word on the beach was that Ferdinando Loffreda was the man to be beaten, and he was.. with Jesse Jared taking the win for an almighty throw. In the ladies, proving finally that the luck of the irish is very real, the win went to Katie McAnena, though she did mark her best throw with her pint, which Ferdinando then knocked over with his next throw, mixed emotions for that win for Katie.
The Inn of the beachcomber finished our day with an amazing BBQ of meat and plenty veg. It went down a storm.
That rounds up todays action. skippers is at 11 tomorrow and all fingers are crossed for this wind forecast to materialise.
Gold Beach, Oregon, plays host to the 2013 Pistol River Wave Bash. Competitors have arrived for registration at the Inn of the Beachcomber and have kicked the event off in true style with an epic opening party. The night got started with a great BBQ. Beer and music flowed, and the thirst for competition saw beer pong heats get under way into the night. A lot of fun was had by all. There were a few sore heads in the morning.
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The first official day of competition saw no contestable wind, so the event remains on hold until conditions improve, and looking at the forecast, Thursday looks most likely, however, conditions can change quickly at Pistol & the AWT team are poised ready should the wind kick in tomorrow.
Bernd Roediger and Fiona Wylde got the action started on the beach by holding a wave SUP clinic, sharing valuable tips and techniques for making the most out of a wave SUP session. Competitiors were released for the afternoon, everyone then met later for supper at an amazing little mexican diner called Playa del sol, once all fed and watered, we headed for a movie showing at a local church, a great little extreme sports movie called ‘Purpose’
Whilst we’re waiting for the wind to show in Pistol River why not check out the action from last year’s event?
Tomorrow kicks off early with the Inn of the beachcomber Sup Gold beach challenge, report and pictures coming in tomorrows update.Photos by Si Crowther & Mike Archer.