In my opinion I believe I have the best gear on the beach, my sponsors Severne have made a board called the Nano which just rips in everything but in particular excels in onshore. For Cornwall I used my 93 and 103 Nano, I ride both in standard thruster setup, but after the single elimination final in which I came 4th I felt that I needed to be able to tighten up my turns as it was so onshore and you really needed to milk every possible bowl section. So I changed my fin setup on my 103 to a quad, well what a difference that made! Normally I’m not a great fan of tuning gear during a contest as I feel it distracts me from the job at hand, but this was so worth it, my board was now driving down the line with ease, I could hit aerials, it felt so good! My heat strategy was to fill my jump scorecard almost straight away, so within the first minute I would solely concentrate on getting my jump, either a big forward or a clean high back loop, the judges were so far away they would not be able to see any one handed variations so that kept it all relatively simple.
That left 9 minutes to score as many waves as possible, the first hit and last hit are the most important, you really want to start with a big first explosive hit to grab the judges attention and then make sure you put an exclamation mark on the end with one last big hit. My strategy worked well, but when I came up against Phil for the battle for 2nd place I knew I’d have to go a bit harder so my plan was to stick a good solid back loop then try find a double ramp. I only do doubles in contests, I can do them OK but not with PWA consistency, so it is a bit of a risk, especially with a 5.3 and a 103 board! I came pretty close, getting both rotations, but my landing was too wet to score high.
I was super happy with my 3rd place result and the way I sailed, a podium finish at a BWA event is nothing to be sneezed at as all the guys rip, but a podium in port tack onshore for me was like winning the event, it’s not that I hate port tack onshore, I just never really sail it that much as fortunately where I live we don’t really have to!
“ It is as much of a challenge to sail these sort of conditions well as it is to sail pumping hollow waves. ”