PWA Fuerte round 1

Just a quick one.

Well that was a shocking start! A bit unexpected if I’m honest. I was hoping to do a little better then get knocked out first round. Probably something to do with being a bit underpowered, horrible chop and thinking the competition area was important… Not really making up excuses, I didn’t really sail very well anyway, I think the term you put to it is called ‘playing it safe’. Something I’ve kind of realised you can’t really do in the PWA anymore.

Lesson learnt – bring on the double….

Also Josh has been making a few sweet videos from the event, here are the latest two.

Fuerte #2

Fuerte #3

Fuerte – Training update 2

Ok so some more pictures, words and video action now…

Having been here for almost two weeks we’ve scored epic conditions for the whole time… until day 1 of the competition! Literally as soon as the PWA Slalom was meant to kick off the light wind effect known as calima has set in. The forecast looks great but the it is just too hot for the wind to come through. How long it will stay for is fairly unknown, however, a few locals have been saying that Monday looks like breeze on. So in the mean time it’s surfing time over on the other side of the island as well as catching up on a little work and going out for a beer or two. However, that said, I’ve been avoiding the organised parties put on by the event, so far, as apparently competitors who pay a huge entrance fee, who spend a lot of money to be at the event and who are generally on tight budgets have to pay to attend the pre-event parties?! Anyway I won’t go into it but I get the feeling most riders feel the same.

So a personal update goes something along the lines of this – windsurfing, eating, sleeping, windsurfing, windsurfing, eating, sleeping, repeat… It’s really been a great trip and I’ve learnt a lot in just two weeks. With no wind yesterday we hit La Pared for a couple hours surfing, the waves were surprisingly good and it was nice to take a bit of a break. Now I’m pretty keen to see the wind return though. In the meantime Josh from Blacklab put me in front of the camera and told me to speak to Paul Zeper about the event and threw in some pre-event warm up clips. So check that out over on his vimeo channel – I think the plan is to do something similar today so we will head down later and see what we can get. Any special requests just fire a message my way.

The gallery below includes a couple sequences which I thought were cool, all the shots were taken about 5 days ago by Markus Seidel, thanks very much to him.

In terms of other sailors, I think just about everyone is here now. Two days ago it was still windy and most of the guys got out for a sail in the competition area, actually it was really hard to sail there, you would come in full power and then go to duck the sail in no wind!? Dieter Van Der Eyken was sailing well, actually he seems to be on fire in all conditions. It’s hard to really pick any other stand outs really, I mean the standard is super high so everyone is sailing well but so far it seems a lot of people are crashing moves where you least expect it.

Anyway enjoy the photo gallery and more updates soon.

Fuerte – WTF

Photos – Oli Stauffacher

So I’ve been here two days and it’s been crazy getting back into sailing on 4.2 completely stacked. It’s been a long time since I really had sessions like this and one thing I know for sure, I’ve missed it!! The last 48 hours have been a fast learning curve for me. I decided to really just go all out and try and learn all the latest moves that the top guys are landing, by default my other moves, just the single moves, have gone a little … wild! Both days we sailed at Matas Blancas in the morning and then I sailed at centre 1 in the afternoon. The first day Steven was out as well as Loick Spicher and a few others, and from just that one session it is obvious that EVERYONE has been training like a group of wild beasts over the winter. The moves are insane! Big double forwards, massive pushloops, air skopus, double/triple combos, one handed, no handed, just about everything you can think of… So it is all fairly inspiring to watch and then try and copy, albeit pretty savage on the body. As many of you will know, last year I couldn’t compete because I crashed hard on a pushloop just a couple days before the competition, well this first two days has cemented a bit of fear back in to my mind about ending up back at the hospital… I had a real bad one today where I was fairly unsure as to whether I had cracked a rib or two, I think I must have been sailing at about 35knots and then came to a dead stop on my boom clamp as I planted my body full speed into it! Although I have no planes to slow down on the progression, I will do my best to stay well clear of the hospital. Oh and gawwwd-damn-it those Patrik boards are working, as well as being super popular out here!

So to cut a long story short, the plan is to update every few days with pictures and perhaps even do something similar to Ben Proffitts Pozo Training Diaries if I can get round to getting the video camera out and filming, also I think a few more people need to turn up… Unfortunately I’m not as well situated to film during lunch and after my sessions but we shall see. If not then it will just be round ups similar to this.

So putting myself aside, as obviously I’m sailing like a complete hero and deserve to be number one in the world…… there are a few others who have been impressing. No one more so than Youp Schmit who I have yet to see sail but have heard that he is sailing like some crazed animal! I managed to get a whole load of pictures off Oli Stauffacher and they certainly back up the claims. Just check out the height he is getting on his pushloops! Obviously Steven Van Broeckhoven is on fire, I’ve heard of countless perfect double forwards, I saw him pushloop over a guy, well at least that was my perspective of it… and in general you can see he means serious business this year. Aside from that there are plenty others stepping it up, but I’ll leave a lot of the actual moves people are training for you all to see during the competition.

Anyway that’s enough chat for now, check out the pictures below, feel free to rate them and enjoy this beastly update.

Finally, a massive thanks to Oli Stauffacher who took all the pictures and for letting me post them, some he wanted to hold back but allowed the permission for you all to enjoy! So any feedback would be much appreciated by him no doubt, leave a comment, etc… I’m sure you know how it works!