Following on from Guincho the entire wave fleet arrived in Gran Canaria to train their skills at the legendary spot of Pozo. It really is like the circus arriving in town with not only the best sailors out on the water everyday, but also everyone pushing their sailing as hard as possible in a last minute attempt to learn the latest moves and take their level above the rest of the fleet. This year we were also blessed with some of the best conditions I have sailed in the Canaries in four years making the show even more spectacular.
So who was ripping? Obviously the usual suspects were looking good: Victor and Kauli really are so consistent and it was pretty clear these two would be in the final before the contest even started. What was interesting was the rest of the fleet: standouts included local rippers Dario Ojeda and Jonas Ceballos, plus Dani Bruch, Regis Bouron, young Aussie Jaeger Stone and even younger 13 year old local Philip Koster. However as soon as the contest started it was a pretty different story. In the end the ranking lists don’t always seem to represent how good the sailors are. Certainly there were some very good sailors out in the first round and also some very average sailors through to the top half of the fleet. Still, that’s contests for you.
The girls fleet is also starting to hot up although Daida and Iballa are still in another league when it comes to jumping. Daida’s pushloop table tops are probably THE best of everyone’s (men and women) and they both tried doubles in the women’s final! However behind them things are getting really interesting. Evi Tsape turned up this year having learnt pushloops and although she didn’t have the riding style to advance far in the contest, she certainly ruffled a few feathers. Nayra, Silvia Alba and Junko Nagoshi have all improved their forwards massively, but I know they will now be working hard on the backwards rotations for next year. Nayra already landed her first backloop so let’s see what happens next year; definitely a really good thing for women’s windsurfing.
Similar things are going on in the freestyle fleet with Sara and Laura getting pretty close to beating Daida in her home spot. Unfortunately for the newcomers the wind picked up in the second half of the contest and Daida was able to start with a jumping routine that was unmatchable by the rest of the fleet. Now with a win each for Sara and Daida it will all come down to a decider in Fuerte this week.
So how did the comp go for me? Well it was the best I ever sailed Pozo for sure. My jumping was good and consistent and my riding was starting to feel good with the necessary mix of standard turns plus a few tricks thrown in when needed. In the single elimination it all went well until I hit Kauli in the third round and had to settle for 9th. I had obviously hoped to get a little higher, but Kauli is on such good form there was little I could do to advance. However the bad part came in the second elimination. Literally minutes before the heat, the wind dropped from 4.0-3.7 weather to 4.7-5.0 weather. I had been so busy preparing my small sails for the usual Pozo madness that I didn’t even have the big ones ready to go. I spent the heat underpowered on a 4.5 and in the end couldn’t even put up a fight. I lost to Klass Voget after failing to get two good waves and that was the end of it. I dropped from 9th to 17th in a short but painful eight minute heat and in doing so dropped out of the top 16 prize money (incidentally along with Bjorn in the same heat). So all in all a painful day, but looking at the positives my sailing felt good and hopefully with a extra bit of luck the next comp should go a lot better… bring on Brazil.
Back to School
It is strange this year only competing in waves as normally the Canaries Tour is a long, physically draining three event marathon. For me however it was over after two days of contest, a total of four heats totalling just over half an hour! I now have a relaxing holiday caddying for Nayra in Fuerteventura and hopefully getting some nice North shore conditions in the process. For the last three years we have always stayed a few extra days after the contest has finished and Fuerte never disappoints. After that it’s back to GC to go back to school. After spending so many years going to and from Spain without picking up much of the language it was time to get out the books and give it a proper go. Hopefully by the end of August I will be at least semi fluent in Spanish.
Until then…adios y hasta leugo.