Get High or Die Flying

Report by:  Steve Gibson

On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May, I staged the first ever wave comp at Punta Blanca on the north shore of Fuerte- the “Get High Or Die” Wave classic! My idea was to bring together all the locals for a full weekend of windsurfing at Punta, throw in a bit of competition and have a huge party!
I devised a method of judging whereby the riders were judged by the riders from a different heat, based on their usual level of sailing, thus implementing a kind of “handicap” system. I was hoping that this would allow everyone a fairly equal chance of progressing and also encourage every single competitor, regardless of ability, to push their own personal limits- and how it worked!!!!!!!! Everybody, without exception gave it everything they had, guys who normally just cruise and chop-hop were throwing themselves into their first ever forward attempts and the top guys were attempting doubles at every opportunity! I have never, in my 14 years of sailing Punta, witnessed a spectacle like the sailing on the Sunday- it just went off!

Will Ward won the day with his crazy, high double attempts, with Victor Moncloa in 2nd showing off his consistency with an array of backloops, pushies, big stalled forwards and a couple of sneaky double attempts. In 3rd was big Pieter making it look easy with his big, classic backloops and forwards.

The biggest jump in the expression session was won by Machel with an enormous backloop and best crash went to Thijs for a huge stalled forward-to-earplant which must still be stinging today!

For me, though, probably the biggest performance of the comp came from italian Stefano, who has been thinking of learning forwards for the past two years but never actually tried one. He decided that it was now or never and went for it in his heats, landing his first clean one after only two rounds! Even the fact that he eventually tore the ligaments in his ankle and came to the prizegiving at the U-Turn on crutches couldn\’t wipe the grin of his face! Congratulations, mate, you should have been in the final.

I had a bit of a disaster (oh, yeah, here come the excuses) when my mastfoot broke after 1 minute of my quarter-final heat, trying a pretty lame double, spending the remaining 14 minutes swimming for shore. Fadi, an ex-Maui local, who won this heat and eventually finished 4th said to me later,”Yeah, man I saw you swimmin\’ and thought about helpin\’ ya, but I was just too busy beatin\’ ya, man!!”. Wicked! This about summed up the entire mood of the competition, everyone had a smile on their face, on the water as well as on the beach. There was a party atmosphere all weekend and I have to say the comp exceeded all my expectations in every way. Be warned, boys, next year I will have a new mastfoot and will be looking for retribution……….

Check the event video here..

Follow Steve’s crazy life in Fuerte here..

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