This is one of my favourite locations to travel to and race. Villajoyosa is great little town close to Alicante airport. Known for their famous Valor chocolate it is always a good trip.
The race was held on the first weekend in May and has been part of the World Cup Series for a good few years now. This year there is a new European Cup Series and The Eurochallenge was the first European Cup Race for 2016. I have been coming to this race since 2009 and it never disappoints. We might not always get the perfect downwind but the organisers really try their best to make the race on the best day and in the afternoon when (if there is any) the wind should be the best.
There was a strong line up this year and I wanted to better my second place from 2015. We arrived on the Tuesday before the race to make the most of the town and to settle in before the race. My Carbonology Sport Pulse was due to arrive the next day, so I just took the day to catch up with all the friends we have made here and from around the world. Great catching up with PaddleLife's Sean and Emily to hear about there travels. Go and check out where they will be this summer.
My Surfski arrived and it was awesome to get onto the water and get a feel for the area, the wind was good so it was a fun paddle. The race was due to run from Altea, 22km North, and we would finish right at the Nautic Club. Unfortunately on race day the wind didn't come through as the forecast had promised, so it was going to be a tough race. The start as always was fast and furious.......
The first few km's were basically a headwind battle until we rounded the headland, then the wind died completely leaving a glassy sloppy sea. Myself and Amaia Osaba raced hard to the headland, after there we were neck and neck exchanging leads all the way to Benidorm Island. We rounded the island and then there was a long 5km to the finish. We both fought hard to get ahead of one another and in the end Amaia got the edge and opened a small gap on me, in the last few km's I could not close it and she crossed the line for a well-deserved win. There is not much more I can say about the race, other than it was one of the best "battles" on the water I have had in a long time.
After the race the organisation puts on a huge paella, where we can all exchange war stories and listen to how everyone's race went. Thanks to the Nautic Club of La Vila Joiosa for a great event. I will be back next year once again.
Next up is the Canary Island Championships on the 21st of May 2016. Until then I will be training in Tenerife from Escuela de vela Los Cristianos
Thanks for the ongoing support.
See you on the water.
Thanks to Chloe for providing the report.