The final day of competition in Baja was a true spectacle of wavesailing, thank you to Tanya Saleh (Zero Gravity Distribution, Goya, Quatro) for reporting direct from the action all week…
The wind howled, and the waves still came, the sets were perhaps a little less consistent as the tide shifted, but the 16 minute heats allowed for plenty of waiting time.
After both Eric and Marc missed the 4 man amateur semi final yesterday, it was decided to kick off with their heat to decide on 3rd vs 4th place. It was barely 11 am but they were overpowered on 3.7’s already, Marc’s aerials gave him the edge and he took 3rd place.
The next 2-3 hours of competition was a battle of who could hold down their sail, not get blown off the back of the waves and have some sort of control down the face of the wave.
Every sailor deserves their own special mention for sheer determination and persistence; it was one of those days where you would have felt overpowered no matter how small your sail was!
The youth final heat was particularly awesome to watch as I considered for a 15 and 16 year old the waves that Alex and Fiona still managed to pick out were the biggest of the sets and they still made them look good. Brit Alex is really one to watch in the future, he’s from the south coast, where we don’t exactly get logo high down the line sailing, so how he looks so comfortable out here I’m not sure. But you can even see how much he has improved in the last 4 days alone, good job Alex. Fiona’s experience and fearless attitude to attacking the lip gave her the edge and she takes first place in the youth.
The pro fleet was whittled down to Levi Siver, Keith Teboul, Camille Juban and Kevin Pritchard; 4 of the top names in windsurfing, a mixture of experience and youth, all stacked on their smallest sails. The 16 minute heat delivered a couple of really good sized sets and so most rides consisted of multiple aerials, one footed, head dips, the works. Camille and Levi took the top 2 spots putting them into the final, with Kevin Pritchard in 3rd.
By this point in the afternoon everyone was eagerly awaiting the 2 man finals to start. In the masters Norm Roediger took 1st and Italian Ferdinando took a close 2nd place. In the amateurs Ruben dominated with his broken nose and solarez infused board taking 1st and Tom Soltysiak from Canada in 2nd place.
In the women’s Ingrid and Fiona somehow managed to hang on to their top turns without getting blown out the top of the waves over powered on 3.2 -3.7’s. It was a very close heat but Ingrid’s more slashy top turns and staying closer to the pocket just gave her the edge to take 1st place with Fiona in 2nd.
The men’s final between Camille and Levi re-enforced just how windy it was. They didn’t get the biggest sets so instead milked the waves which were thrown at them; both aggressive in style, both matching each other’s aerials. Camille stayed incredibly deep on the waves with his first couple of turns at the point and this just put him ahead of Levi. Camille Juban in 1st and Levi Siver in 2nd.
It’s been an incredible few days; competing somewhere that has world class waves down the line is an honour. Sam Bittner once again delivered the goods with another flawlessly executed event.
Well done to Camille, Ingrid, Ruben and Norm. Now we get to free sail out the rest of the swell!