This Saturday was the first of a 4-competition series in Wellington - the Freewave series. The basis is basically to run semi-casual fun competitions trying to get as many people involved as possible. Much to my approval, Plimmerton just did not develop the conditions early enough and it was held at Shark Bay in the Ditch! YEAH!! Apparently, not long after starting the competition, things did ramp up at Plimmy and the wind and waves filled in... oh well. The ditch is fun as and I think it is good to mix it up a bit. Good call James!
Of course, there were those wave purists out there who were all poopy-pants cuz it was not in Plimmerton... as if to suggest that the waves at Plimmerton are actually decent. Maybe those people have not been to any down-the-line places... who knows?! Even Mac's Pt in Lake Ontario kicks its ass. The real waves are up in Taranaki!
It was pretty much going off: 30-40knots from the NNW with decently large chop coming through. At least people were going nice and big and throwing down their best efforts at anything and everything.
One of the stars of the show was new comer Erwan Hemery, who busted out one of his nicest one-handed jumps right in front of the judges. It was great to see some enthusiastic up'n'comers out there playing in the nukes, and I reckon the vulcans and other trickery are coming along real quick!
Leland was going off in round one, busting out pretty close E-slider efforts, nailing spocks right in front of the judges, and even throwing in a T-Bone for shits'n'giggles (a switch-stance forward loop)... thankfully he still has both ankles in one piece... the crazy bastard!
Forwards everywhere from almost everyone, lots of vulcans from Clayton and Gareth, and then there was Tom Taylor. A year of competition on the European tour and earning a spot in the Pro PWA line-up kinda shows up in situations like there... Lots of forwards, goiters, flakas, grubbies, and then some. Tom pulled out the win, with me following up in second place, and Clayton in third.
As with the last freewave, somehow, despite all my struggles with the trick, I managed to pull out a grubby out of my ass in each heat, just when I needed them. It also helped that I had a big floater shuvit right in front of the judges as well, and a pretty close big back loop off one of the biggest waves of the day! It was definitely the grubby and shuvits that made the difference over the solid sailing of Woo, James and Clayton. Leland must have had an off final heat, otherwise no doubt his trickery would have put my lack of divesity to shame.
A fun time in crazy winds!! Loved it!
OH yeah, and at the end, Leland got his mast-mount camera firing... He followed me around for a while and we got a couple of neat perspective shots... still needs some fine tuning, as the camera got loose in the housing and was flopping around in there. NOT good for those cameras!