Irish Surf Kayak Open
It’s been 2 year’s since I last got to compete in the Irish open and I’ve missed it. The day started off with a briefing at 8.30 and me getting to try on my really cool looking new topdeck. I was out in the first heat soon after and got off to a great start catching a lovely set wave and getting a really long ride, making the most of the wave and flowing smoothly through a series of roundhouse cutbacks and turns. I just about managed to get a second wave after being really picky, trying to only catch the biggest and best waves, but still, I did enough and won my heat, into the quarter finals!
Next up, I got into the long boat and was pretty apprehensive. Last time I surfed an Attak was this time last year, and I’ve only surfed a long boat once since then. Fortunately for me there was a short break while some other competitors had to switch their boats so I was able to get 2 waves in with the boat and get feel for it, and then we were off. It went like a dream, the boat doing exactly what I wanted, carving and shredding the waves from top to bottom exactly like a short boat, I finished up the heat feeling amazing and loving the way I was surfing, I couldn’t wait to see where I would end, but first, I had a few more heats to win.
Two quarters finals later, I had won both of these and was feeling great, in particular one wave in the long boat which had a lovely take off under the lip of the wave, dropping down the face before bottom turning hard into a huge slash and a ton more big turns. I felt great with the semi finals just round the corner. Back in the water I won my first semi in the short boat quickly followed by a second in the long boat semi, making it into both of the finals.
The exhaustion was definitely starting to set in at this point after 6 heats in the water, and 2 left to go. Knowing I only had 40 minutes left to surf, plus the time to paddle in, change boats and paddle out again, meant I really pushed myself to surf my hardest. I gave every wave my all and surfed right into the shore, almost on top of the rocks. As soon at the buzzer went, I was straight in, grabbed a quick chocolate bar and was paddling out again. Last one. I caught two good waves fairly early on, then followed these up with a great set wave, only 10 minutes left and I was really feeling it. After this point I caught another wave or two that looked like they were going to work really well, unfortunately they didn’t break how I expected them to, but I still managed to surf them really well, and come off the water knowing I’d done some brilliant rail to rail surfing all day.
At the end of the day I had really amazing results, a first in the open short boat, the highest score of the day and a second in open long boat. I can’t wait to keep the momentum going into the British championships next week and see how I get on there. Massive thanks to Paddlesurf Ireland for running another amazing Irish open, and Peak UK for the really cool kit, I love the look and it’s so good for competitions!