What a rush to finally be drag racing around the slalom course with 10 other women again!
The confirmation of the event in Israël came a bit unexpected for me, but I am so grateful and thankful that the event organizers there, and the PWA pulled it off.
It was so good to see the whole PWA family again.
The conditions were actually quite difficult as the course was close to shore for better media coverage. Which resulted in very gusty conditions. Nonetheless I sailed my 5,8 and 6,6 on my medium board all week. So it was definitely windy.The wind was actually very predictable and would kick in at exactly 2 o’clock, but some days it was very hard to gage how strongly the wind would pick up.
There was one day where I went out on a 7,4 then 20 minutes later I grabbed my 6,6 and another 20 minutes later even Antoine albeau was on the 6,6. I had no time to go and grab my 5,8 so it was full survival mode to make it around the course, and honestly that was quite epic!
Competing in the foil for the first time was a fun challenge.
I have been training a lot of course racing since December but
I’m still not fully comfortable reaching on a slalom course. but I improved every day.
The best choice I made was to go down to a 550 front wing instead of the big 800 as it gave me much more control and confidence on the course. In the end I even won my first foil slalom race.
It’s a great feeling to start a new discipline and work my way up in there.
I had 2 tough days because of a couple of incidents in a row. I had to really work hard to stay focused and keep it together. It started with a foil crash where Marina lost control of her set and the gear flew straight to another girl in front and then lifted again and boomeranged towards me, I had to do a downwind 360 to avoid getting hit, ultimately it was only material damage, but I was definitely rattled for the rest of the day, I fell at the first mark in the next slalom race and finished 6th. The next day I dropped off the foil while leading the loser’s final and got passed by 4 people. And then In the next slalom race where I would have a discard I was a bit anxious I realize now and went over early, following Sarah Jackson who had won her first race the day before.
And that’s where I started to hang my head and lose confidence. All I really want is to race. Some how I got myself to calm down and focus on doing my own race. I nailed the start of race nr 5 and also took the win in race #6. I jumped back in the lead and was so elated to finish off the day on a high.
From there on it was upwards for me, I won my first foiling race just on the last leg where I passed Alice read on the last meters, and later also won the last slalom final on the last leg. That was a rush.
Because of that I jumped from 9th to 4th in foil and I was super happy to take the slalom win as well! By combining the slalom and the foil it seems we’re entering in a new era! It was interesting to see how Nico Goyard just dominated and how some of the guys that have been foiling for a while also excelled and at the same time, the top guys like Aoine Albeau were still right up there. Let’s see where this (r)evolution takes us!
Seeing everyone again was a pleasure and a real joy. I have missed all of this a lot! The banter on the beach and in the hotel, the light nervousness you carry all day because of the contest, the full focus state you go into during a race, the ecstatic feeling of winning a race, or the disappointment of not performing so well.
I wanted to say a big thank you to the event organizers and the PWA for pulling off the event.
Photos by: John Carter
Drone: Fridman Gal