Back in action in Pozo 2022July 26, 2022
Pozo Izquierdo 2023
I’m leaving Pozo this year finishing 2nd place in slalom AND 2nd place in waves!
Slalom was announced last minute, and I just couldn’t resist.
I’ve watched the men compete back in 2009 and it looked so cool.
I wanted to be part of something cool, especially since the women haven’t competed there since probably the 90’s! I assumed it was going to be so windy that we’d all be racing on the fin so I took my chances and only brought my small gear. 63 Isonic. 5,3–5,6 and 6,5 EVOXIV and I just prayed that I’d be able to hold on to the 5,3 because I knew it gets significantly windier than that.
But the usual nuclear Pozo winds never arrived.
If you’ve followed our social media you will probably have seen that we were having the worst summer ever in Pozo. My trip started with 3 amazing days of glassy surfing because there was simply NO wind. It was nice to see Pozo so quiet, but apparently it hadn’t been windy since May. And this semi windless spell went on until the contest, which meant virtually zero days of wave sailing practice before. In the meantime we kept busy, baking cinnamon rolls, burning off those calories in the gym, surfing, drinking coffee at El Viento and more.
When the competition got closer I started to feel the stress.
What did I get myself into? Why did I register for 2 disciplines?
My main goal is wave sailing and with the little training time I got, I got really nervous.
Because of my over eagerness I was going to have to divide my attention, focus and energy over 2 disciplines.
Looking back now…Did I love every second? 100% yes.
The first day of the contest was absolutely all time Pozo conditions, incredibly windy and great waves.
Unfortunately there was not enough time to run the women.
Even though the men’s show was amazing I would have loved to have been out there.
The next day there were still some waves and lighter winds. I used my 3,7 with my 76 Ultra and 4,0 with my 82 Ultra.
From the beginning to end I felt like I was in the flow and I really enjoyed my heats.
My mate Astor from Aruba flew over and excelled at his first caddying gig, assisting me in a perfect gear change in the heat against Iballa where the wind dropped. I managed to keep it together and secure a good back loop and wave ride to take the lead. In the final heat against Daida, the conditions really deteriorated. I stayed on my 4,0 and 82L but was a bit underpowered. Of course we need to work with what we get, but I feel like there was little opportunity for either of us to put on a good show. But it was a final in Pozo against Daida and I’m always happy about that. Finishing second was a good start and all I could do was wait for the double elimination.
Luckily for me I competed in slalom 3 days in a row and kept myself busy.
After slalom I had 3 more lay days. I didn’t expect to be sailing again but lo and behold on the last day of the contest, conditions showed up and we were called on. I really struggled to find my competition mindset and was dying of nerves. Finally when I got on the water I could shake it off and I did enough to defend my spot against Lina Erpenstein who staged another impressive come back and fought her way back on the podium.
In the final Daida broke her mast in the opening seconds.
I couldn’t believe it ! It’s as if I paused until she was up and running again. That heat was a weird one, I sailed alright but I didn’t feel that fire. Daida nailed a wave 360 and won.
Very cool to see her sail like that. But I was disappointed in my own performance. Those are moments where I wonder if I’d be better off specializing in one discipline. I’m missing that confidence and consistency to really put together a good heat. And feeling that regret is not worth it. I need to do better!
SLALOM 3 days full on action!
I was relaxed after the wave single elimination and was just excited to get out there.
High wind slalom isn’t my strongest point so I went out with the mindset of doing my best and learning.
Even though I won a race on the first day, it wasn’t after the 5th race -We did 5 races a day- that I started to get comfortable.
On the first day, most girls were on fin and I was actually on the smallest sail with my 5.3 I just didn’t want to be overpowered. By day 2, most women were grabbing their foils and I realized I had to go big or go home.
I didn’t stand a chance against the foils unless I was completely powered ALL the time.
Day 2 was SO exciting!! I think I did the best races of my life. I didn’t have good starts all week, but I managed to make up for it during the race. It was never over till it was over, riders were going down at the jibes and the reaches were long so there was plenty overtaking opportunity. I gave everything on every reach, every chop, swell, gust, lull and jibe. Sometimes I was chasing foils, other times I was being chased by them. It seemed that with my 6,5 I had much more drive and because it’s heavier it kept my board flatter on the water. It was such a good combo.
By the last day I was still in 2nd place behind Blanca Alabau but ahead of Marion Mortefon.
Since I made it so far, I really wanted to keep that spot. It seemed the women on the foil got more comfortable and were handling the strong wind better, they were making less mistakes which meant I couldn’t either. I badly wanted to win another race, but it became a hard task as I felt the course and especially the finish line was set in a way that favoured the foil. That said I had a super consistent day finishing 2nd and 3rd most times, and on the last race I had the pleasure of finishing 2nd after Jenna Gibson who won the race on the fin.All I can say is that my gear is working incredibly good.
Finishing 2nd was better than I could have hoped for. I absolutely LOVED racing in these conditions and can’t wait for more in Fuerteventura. I really hope it’s windy enough to have a chance on the fin as it became evident that fin and foil are two different engines and should not be competing against each other.
Even though in my case the foilers brought out the best in my fin racing and I enjoyed that.
My heart rate and adrenaline was through the roof and I haven’t had so much fun racing in a while.
It was a mentally challenging event but overall successful.
I spent my 32nd birthday racing and that marks 20 years since my first PWA contest.
When I was 20 I didn’t think i’d still be competing past 30 but here I am feeling like I have so much more to give!
I don’t think I want to combine disciplines anymore, but I already committed to Fuerteventura, so here we go all in again haha!
Up next in this action packed summer: Slalom and freestyle in Fuerteventura 27 July- 5th August