Peruvian SwellMay 30, 2023
Pozo Worldcup 2023July 15, 2023
My trip to Fiji started stressful with a missed flight in Lima, Peru.
They wouldn’t let me, well actually they wouldn’t let my 2 board bags on, so I had to re-book and catch the next flight 24 hours later. This meant that I would have no break after my 12-hour flight to Holland so I was going to be travelling for about 40 hrs. non-stop.
Check the schedule: Lima-Amsterdam-Istanbul-Singapore-Fiji.
Book your board bags ahead of time kids!
I was wrecked when I arrived in Fiji, but the view on the lush green hills and the warm welcome of the locals straight away put me at ease, and I was very curious what Fiji had in store outside of the airport.
Before I knew it, I was on a boat, speeding to the outer reef, Cloudbreak together with Leon Jamaer and Flo Jung. Wow! A legendary spot I’ve only read about in the magazines, and I was on my way there. All of the windsurfers were already out in the water surfing and luckily I could borrow a board myself. It was probably the smallest day ever there, but at least I can say I surfed Cloudbreak! The water was SO clear, and I could see the beautiful reef below.
I sailed Cloud break for the first time the day before the final.
But it was marginal and not comparable to what I actually sailed in the heats.
Before that I only watched the men in massive waves, and I was experiencing some anticipatory anxiety before my heat. It looked scary and beautiful at the same time!
In a competition like this where the elements are quite extreme it’s more about overcoming myself rather than outdoing my opponents. I went out one heat early so that I could line up with the riders in the heat before me. It gave me a good sense of where to position myself. In the first heat I feel like I eased myself into it and stayed safe.
It got me through to the next round and final where I felt like I grew in confidence.
I only sailed my 5,0 Combat and 88L Hyper. It’s quite a big board, but the wind got lighter and lighter so in the end the extra litres were really helpful.
Before I knew it I was on a massive wave and the rush I felt going down that liquid mountain was exhilarating!
Feeling the energy of the wave crashing behind me was unreal. I was definitely not comfortable, but the adrenaline was pumping and as I raced down the mountain, I just tried to do what I saw the guys do, stay close to the peak and ride more in the pocket. I did three turns and kicked out screaming of excitement, and I could hear the everyone yell from the boats as well. I was terrified and stoked at the same time! Coco kicked out of the wave before me and she was just beaming and that’s where I started enjoying and appreciating this chance we had to have this break all to ourselves.
After that I filled up my score sheet with two smaller waves and then waited out back for a big set. Unfortunately I was not in the right position for the first waves of that last set that came through, right at the end of the heat. The other girls caught those waves and I saw that Sarah Hauser did 3 amazing hits on the wave. I Felt a bit gutted there because I knew that would be a great score! But then I looked over and saw I was in the perfect spot to catch the biggest waves of that set. I had a massive opportunity!
Sadly, the size scared me and I let it go. I think this is going to be one of my biggest regrets in competition. I had a huge opportunity handed to me but I froze. The wave behind it was even bigger and already breaking so I bailed and dove under. And that was heat over. Congrats to Sarah Hauser for taking the win and Coco on your 3rd place!
Overall, it was a great few days of competition. Cloudbreak allowed riders to display windsurf wave riding at its absolute best. Some riders that have been flying low on the radar were shining at this event. Big Thank you for the good times to Maria Andres while sharing the speedboat together!
I think the images we have from this event will go down as some of the best ever in windsurfing.
It’s a huge endeavour to organize an event like this and I’m happy I could be a part of it.