Just like last year I rented a van to drive to the European contests.
I really enjoy the adventure of driving right now!
I can stop wherever I want to and don’t have to stick to a rigid plane schedule.
So, on my way up I stopped in Kiel to meet up with Steffi wahl and Lina Erpenstein to explore a bit.
They took me for a fun light wind freestyle session at Heidkate.
During dinner we had a look at the forecast for Sylt, and started speculating about what the week would look like. Unlike our earlier session, there was definitely a storm coming our way, and did that look like Starboard tack conditions !?
The points were quite close between Lina Erpenstein, Justyna Sniady and me. My goal was to finish top 3 for the year again. Having said that I couldn’t wait to compete and see how it would all turn out.
Ai ! I was really getting in the mood for some wavesailing!
It’s been a while I’ve experienced Sylt like we did this week.
After some light days and slalom action the wind started absolutely cranking and went on like this for the rest of the week. It was the first time for me, that as wave sailors we were on standby every morning until the end of the week.
The most crucial day was when we finished the single elimination early in the week. After that we struggled to get heats in because the crew needed to decide between sending out either the wave or freestyle fleet. Or we’d have to wait for the tide to drop. Because with the dead onshore winds and current it was really mission impossible to get past the shore break during high tide.
Our skipper’s meeting was at 7am and the stage was set for a long day in our wetsuits. Arriving at the beach it looked like it was mega windy so I brought out my 3,7 and 4,0 but with every sail I brought, it looked like the wind was dropping so before I knew it I was making my way out with my 5,0.
2 minutes in, my heat got cancelled due to lack of wind. 2 Hours later, things settled and we were on for real. I passed my first heat against Marine Hunter and then had to face Steffi Wahl.
Oh man! Steffi wasn’t exactly the person I wanted to meet so early in the elimination! I almost missed this heat because I didn’t pay proper attention to the heat order. It was different than usual. When I realized I was up I had about 5 minutes to get on the water. I ran like the wind to grab my gear and made it out just in time. Not the calm preparation I would have wanted against the wave guru!
I was out on my 5,0 Combat and 86L Ultrakode.
This was the heat where I started to enjoy my self though!
I was well powered and was stoked to be riding waves so close to shore! I was in the groove and posted some good wave riding scores and made it through. So I was still on my way to secure a top 3 finish for the year, which was the main goal for Sylt. It seemed I was in the groove linking a couple of good turns on some waves and turned out I advanced to the next round!
Next up, was Daida Moreno! I have said it so many times now, I liiiivee for these challenges. All I wanted to do was post a good heat score. There was also a shift in my thinking. Like everything is possible you know?In my mind I saw myself advancing and competing in the final.
I had quite a good heat and my forward was a highlight, I had the perfect ramp and without thinking I went up, waited and then sheeted in to land a 7,38 point floaty forward. Wabam! After that I did what I could on the waves, I think I crashed more than the heat before but also had some good turns. Can you believe that my base broke in the last minute? I had to come in early. Anyway win or lose, I was satisfied with my sailing. Back at the beach apparently I won! W I C K E D!!!
Against Iballa I had another heat that I was happy about and in the end I lost for less than a point. It’s pretty cool to get so close to a win like that. It’s only more motivating to know that it’s possible. I sailed all my heats without thinking too much and really enjoyed the whole day. It was a nice day to be competing in Sylt.
As I mentioned before it was hard to get the final heats in for the double elimination so I finished in second place in Sylt and 3rd place overall for the year 3 times in a row !!
Watching the men battling it out in mental conditions in the waves and freestyle was also inspiring!
Thank you Sylt for a great week!