Fuerteventura was a whirlwind event.
In 10 days I did a contest, gave a clinic and of course had to hit up the carpa for that major lazer performance. Such an intense week, with lovely people around so as always I was a bit sad to leave. After a 6-hour ferry trip with maaike and Arrianne, I arrived in El Médano at midnight. Exhausted.
The first couple of days, Cabezo was quiet and hot because of Calima.
Which was perfect so I could recuperate a bit. Serena and I went for a little adventure to the South, sightseeing and swimming at Los Gigantes. It’s relaxing to get out of the surf scene every now and then.
Registration day, and the opening ceremony came and went with no wind in sight.
But slowly, the conditions started to pick up. Two days in, the juniors were competing. Once they were released I went for a late session on my 4,0 Combat and 76L. It was windy!
I love sailing at Cabezo. The wave opens up a bit more and has a nice wall to it. I felt comfortable on the water with that gear setup. It was game time the next day.
Before competing I usually don’t sail that much, because I don’t want to waste energy and for some superstitious reason I’m afraid to land my best moves before the heat! But something came over me that morning and stayed with me for the rest of the day. When I went out on the water just to test my gear, I saw this ramp upwind from the heat area and just couldn’t resist launching into the floatiest pushloop ever. What a feeling!!
That one jump sent me into some kind of overdrive mode. Instead of warming up and taking it easy I feel like I went into a full-blown training session for 20 minutes! Conditions were great and it would have been a waste to let those waves go. I came out of the water with so much fire to compete.
I took that crazy excitement with me in my first heat against Sarah Hilder.
I landed a stalled forward straight out of the blocks. I got overexcited on my first pushloop, crashed out badly but then quickly landed a clean one. From then on I just had a blast wave riding completing two really good cutbacks. My stoke level was spiking high. Too bad the heat was only 12 minutes.
I could have kept on going until sunset and then some more.
The next day my heat was against Steffi Wahl “The guru”. Ah, it’s too cool to sail against her. I think she’s one of the best wave riders out there with gnarly backside hits and super critical front side hits.
I just love any heat where I know I need to be on point. The conditions in this heat were a dream!
Some head high waves were rolling in, I was nicely powered on my 4,5 and 86L, and only 4 people out. Anyone up for a 45 minute heat ?! No..? Okay fine… just twelve minutes again. I had a good performance and was up against Daida for the next round.
And this is where Tenerife trickiness came in. The conditions can change so much during the day. and the conditions started going a little bit funky then. I should have learned from last year. But I didn’t. I tend to go out on too small gear often. For this heat I swapped my 86L for my 76L. Because I felt slightly overpowered in the heat before. I got caught on the inside for the first two minutes of the heat. Then landed two good jumps to afterwards just struggle to get any good wave rides in as I didn’t have enough board volume to keep my speed. Pfff really SQ?
I felt like I barely put up a fight. Back at the beach Maaike gave me this little thumbs up. Wait. What? I felt like I had my worst heat ever against one of the best in the world and I advanced? Thanks to my last wave?
0.3 points advantage for SQ. No Way. Yeaaah!!
Time for the final against Iballa!
And again I make an equipment mistake. I did take my 86L board, but I stayed on my 4,5 while I should have been on my 4,7 or bigger. By then it was only 1 jump and 2 rides, but I lacked power for both my jumps and wave rides. I should have come in and changed, but I feel like I don’t have the peace of my mind to do that during my heat, so I stayed out. It was an okay heat, but it could have been much better if I had more power. Choices and decisions…
I lost by 2 points. I also realized much later how important that heat was, since we weren’t able to finish the double elimination. It wasn’t until 2 days later and literally the last minute of the last day that the event was called off. Just one more heat before I had to compete and defend my 2nd place before hopefully moving to the final again. I would have loved a heat with only waves counting, but the wind was deteriorating, and finally we were not able to finish the double elimination for the women.
This was my 3rd consecutive 2nd place for the year.
I’m well happy to have been consistent across all sorts of conditions during three different contests. But in doing so I can also not win the title anymore for the year, even if I would win Sylt. Even though both Daida and Iballa record a 3rd place each, they also both have at least one contest win in the pocket. Long story short, I can’t win the title anymore because Iballa finished 1st twice already and Daida could also win the title if she wins Sylt. 2x1st and 1x3rd scores higher than 1x 1st and 2x2nd.
So all that’s left for me now is to fight for 2nd place. Maybe if I realized earlier how important a 1st place finish in Tenerife would have been for the title race, I would have done that bit extra.
Anyway, I feel that if I didn’t realize this early enough, then I’m also not ready for that title.
What I am taking away from this is that every heat matters and you need to give your all then and there, every time.
Well that was it for the contest. I really had a blast. But since it got called of literally as late as it could possibly be called off, I had more important things to tend too: I had 5 rigged sails and 3 boards set up on the beach. And another 7 sails, and 6 boards to pack into 5 board bags. Since I was leaving the next morning at 6am, it had to be ready before dark and prize giving. Two hours I had for this mission. Impossible. I was panicking. So I walked off with a mojito to contemplate life.
10 minutes later I came back calm and collected and I see ALL OF MY GEAR IS de-rigged thanks to the coffee house crew. I just had to shove it al into my board bags. Did my wildest dreams just come true?! YAAAS!! Thank you Thank you thank you. <3
Tenerife was once again a great way to close of the Canarian leg of the tour.
I love sailing there and it was great to hang with all the juniors as well!
These kids rip. After 3 events I’m ranked 2nd in the world in waves and I didn’t know it would mean so much to me! The final wave contest will be held in Sylt.
Now for a little break in the Netherlands, before heading over to Norway where I will be joining Oda for a clinic!
Catch some Neilpryde action and interviews in the video below by Robby Swift!