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What an amazing weekend! Just got back from the Minnis bay UKWA freestyle event in Kent. The best conditions for a competition we have had in ages and great to see some new faces to the events! Conditions were 5.3/4.7 on Saturday and 4.2/4/7 on Sunday – but choppy! We got through 4 rounds judges to overall impression, and I finished 4th, which I’m stoked with. Loads of practice over the winter has seen my sailing improve loads now, and I can now land switch moves in choppy conditions in a heat consistently – highlight of it for me was landing a big switch kono right in front of the judges in one heat!
I had a great Saturday – I finished both rounds in 3rd place behind adam and bubble, beating John Palmer with a solid performance of switch moves and slidy freestyle in the lighter conditions. Having never been able to beat John before I was really pleased as he is a very very solid sailor. On Sunday, I couldn’t hold him off, and he took the win in a few of our heats, although it was close! In my favourite heat, I landed a fully planning powerful puneta, really high switch kono, air flaka, spock, flaka and a few big planning shuv its, John landed similar, but a shaka just won it from him. By the finals, I just couldn’t match Johns performance who by now was firing, even managing to beat Adam Sims both times, meaning that with the 1 discard from all our rounds, I couldn’t beat John overall.
A it further through the same Puneta
I had a really fun heat 1 on 1 with Bubble, great experience, the wind had died a bit and I was underpowered on a 4.2, landed a spock on both tacks, fully planning flaka, grubby and puneta. Bubble had a bit of a nightmare heat crashing lots of his moves, and the judges were split on the decision but awarding it to bubble for his huge powerful shaka. Awesome experience to sail and learn from Bubble who is so experienced when it comes to competition sailing. I defiantly need to get my shakas dialled so I’m confident doing them in a competition!
Brilliant judging from Mike Archer, Julian De Val and Reuben Petrise of the EFPKT. I enjoyed hearing all the crazy stories from Jules from his time on the PWA! Also as ever Trevor funnel did a grand job of organising the event – many thanks.
We shared the weekend with the EFPKT, so the youth and junior fleet was amazing – nice to see so many kids out there ripping, totally stoked on freestyle. Some very promising young guys as well at the top end, who will give the top guys a run for their money when they come into the pro fleet! Speaking to the kids, they were all loving it, it was really motivating them to learn more and try new moves! The girls also did a competition, with Jules and Lara putting on a good display of jumps, duckgybes and helitacks – they both are keen to get more girls involved next time, so get on it!!
I can’t emphasise how much I learn from these competitions, how much it pushes me to learn new moves and what a great feeling it is when you manage to land moves on demand in front of the judges – The format of the weekend is a bit hectic, with the rolling clock through heats being a bit confusing, but when you get the hang of that, it’s a superb experience. Get involved next time at Mumbles, its awesome!
Final Pic – pro and ametuers Prize giving – EFPT continued on til today…Thanks to Julia Slack for the pictures