Davenport 2011: Day 2

An earlier start today with all the HP guys expecting to surf at 7am. My first heat was at 720, nice and early. Which was good because I was guaranteed at least three heats today with a potential of 7. The waves looked like crap, but we still had to surf. I knew it was going to be all about wave selection and was ready to try my very best to not case. Which of course didn’t happen and I think I caught 4 waves, two of which I might have done a turn or two on. Needless to say, after this heat I was frustrated but somewhat excited because I was going to be in my IC boat for my next heats.

IC was next on the agenda with just a moments rest. The heat was absolutely amazing and I found myself in all the right places at the right times. One particular set I was stalking Dan towards the point and he turned on this big shouldery bastard and I remember thinking ‘crap, he’s going to go all the way in with that and win.’ Lucky for me there was another right behind it. According to Kurt, who was watching up on the Bluffs, Dan and I were doing out cuts almost in synch. I rode that all the way in, of course right behind Dan, but I did make sure to hop off before going out of sight of the nice people on the cliff(judges).

Kotw semis was next in 40mins. It was good to take a quick breather and get some water. I went out the salsa since I had just been on point with that boat. I don’t remember too much of this heat (they started to blur together) but I recall catching waves and doing some hard slashes. Also there was for sure a point when I was on a spent wave unable to get off and getting mighty close to the cliffs. The only reason I was able to get off of it was a real nice washback that threw me up and out of the wave.

I lucked out here and had an hour and a half break from heats. I wasn’t expecting to make it on in HP but I somehow pulled out a 2nd place that put me through into the semi-finals. IC was an excellent heat and I was confident that I was going to make it through to the finals, and I did with a first place that ended up being the highest scoring heat of the contest with a 60.5. Kotw I was thinking the same thing and I made it through to finals with another 1st or 2nd (I honestly don’t remember which, I’ll update this later when I find out). I scarfed down some food which I found a bit difficult because it was only 940.

The HP semi heat went just about the same as the rest of my HP heats. Felt like I was struggling to catch anything and when I did I barely did anything. I did get a couple waves in my count and was not expecting much.  Somehow I nabbed a 2nd place which got me into the finals.

So, four heats in and I was already real tired. But, it was my doing signing up in so many event. I was still having fun though. Being on the water and pushing myself to continue to do well was great. Not to mention the I was the young gun who was representing the Worlds team who went to North Carolina and I really wanted to prove my worth. With that motivation I was able to keep going and pushing.

Now onto the finals.

First up was IC. I was with Dan, Eric and Dennis. A good crew of guys I had my work cutout to me. The old guys (hehe) were sitting more North of me at the start, but I felt like there was good stuff in front of table. I must have caught at least 6 or 7 waves over there before I moved out to the point to sit and wait for a bomb. One set did roll through, but it was real chunky and choppy and I decided not to turn on it. The trend had been soon after that set the good set would roll through by table  so I moved over that way and totally lucked out at the buzzer with a sweet waves. Did a big roundhouse and several slashes. Only problem was that this started me way on the inside for my next heat.

yes, back to back heats. The organizers were kind enough to give me the same color jersey for both heats and the same for Dan and Eric who were both in IC/kotw finals with me.

The King of the Wave final had three IC boats and one HP boat in it. I just kept surfing like I had in the previous heat. It was interesting being in a heat while in an IC boat and surfing against an HP boat. I was for sure on some waves planing long before he and we would end up on the wave together because he was inside of me. I don’t think we ever really crossed paths and I could see him being frustrated with that, but first one the wave right?  I remember again catching lots of waves and getting uncomfortably close to the cliffs multiple times.  The heat mixes in with the previous one but I do remember being very happy with my performance in it.

Luckily there was the SUP finals in between kotw and HP which gave me a moments rest. Those SUP guys had some balls being in as close as they were to the cliffs.

HP finals. Normally I would be amped to be surfing HP but I was dead tired and the waves were just absolutely pathetic. I caught a few waves that I was able to do at most a harsh cutback. I spent most of my time casing waves and slowly paddling back out. I think I will need to train for this time of endurance event if I am to sign up for as many categories.  I came away a bit frustrated for the heat, but I think I did as well as I could have.

Awards!

I took 2nd in IC of which I am very happy with. I felt like I had been surfing exceptionally well in the Salsa and it came down to me being 2 points behind. Even though I had not surfed IC since Worlds I feel like my boat control has improved. Maybe it was just the experience I had at Worlds and the confidence I took away from it or possibly a different wave, but I do know my IC control was mostly dialed in at this competition and I am extremely content. Content with the results I got out of IC and especially my cut down Salsa, that boat ROCKS.

In King of the Wave I managed to beat Eric, the winner of the IC class, and everyone else! My first time placing first at a Surf Kayak competition. WOO! Its  small contest but the quality of surfing there was a solid test for me against several different paddlecraft using different paddlecraft. I hope to do as well in the rest of my competitions.

For HP I walked away with fourth.  I’ll admit I believe I can do better, but with the conditions we faced I’ll take it. I know I desperately need to work on my wave selection in an HP boat since I do not have the luxury of catching what I please like the long boat. I need to work on not going as big either. There were for sure a couple of waves that I fell off of because I was still trying too hard. Doing smaller cutbacks will for sure keep me on those little tiny waves.

In closing. Geoff did a great job on this competition. I had an absolute blast. Of course took away a bit of knowledge for myself. Hopefully competitions like this will grow in numbers and keep the sport going. Next on my agenda will be Santa Cruz in the spring. I have plenty of time to train for it and plan on being competitive. I hope to see everyone there and that we have excellent waves.