Later heats followed, both on the waveski and in my kayak. Each time, I was pleased to find myself advancing. Sweet. It was a super fun day, with good conditions and a high level of performance from all the competitors.
Saturday morning we arrived to find some crazy stormy clouds, and waves a bit bigger than Friday. I had a waveski heat sunday morning, and was shocked to take 1st. I got a 2nd in my kayak heat that morning as well, meaning I was in the finals for kayaks. I was super fired up at this point, and went into the (I believe semi-final) heat on my waveski against some absolutely incredible paddlers. Not bad for my first few times on a ski! Unfortunately, that last heat didn’t go so well. I seemed to have trouble finding the peaks. I tried to catch one, but didn’t, and turned to find a bigger wave barreling down on me. Tyler was on it, and I couldn’t figure out how to get out his way. He just surfed around me, but I wiped out. My belt popped, and I was swimming. My ski went all the way to shore, and by the time I’d swum into it, the heat was nearly over. Oh well. I still did much, much better than I’d though I would, and really had a good time. I’m going to practice on the waveski and compete in that division more at contests. I think I can do better.
After that, it was only a short break before it was time to go out in my kayak. It was the finals. I haven’t made the finals at a competition since I moved up to the expert class, so I was really excited to just be there. The four surfers were Sean Morley, Jim Grossman, myself and my good friend Chris Russ. I got a few good waves, and was generally pleased with how I surfed, but in that crowd I knew it would be tough to beat any of them. I finished 4th, which I was pleased with.
I now have new resolve to really train, lose some weight, and kick some butt at Santa Cruz in March. (Sean Morley got 1st, Jim 2nd, and Chris 3rd).
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