Where Have you Been?
What a year 2016 has been for myself. It’s been a long time between blogs so I will try to fill you in quickly, since my last blog I raced at the Canadian Surfski Championships (13th) and Gorge Downwind Championships (16th). Along with racing ocean ski, I also competed in the United States of America National Surf Lifesaving Championships at Hermosa Beach, where I competed in the Single Ski (2nd), Ironman (4th), Board Race (5th), Taplin Relay (5th) and Board Rescue (7th). Overall I was the 4th highest point scoring male although I only competed in 5 out of 15 events. I would like to say thank you to Scott DiedericQuickly the Doctor approached and the excitement of traveling and racing were again flowing through my body. The last 3 weeks leading into the Doctor probably weren’t the best, my preparation were hindered by my exams and work schedule, but I tried to stay focused the best I could. This year a group from the Sunshine Coast travelled together for both the Thursday night Sunset Surfski Series race and the big event on the Saturday. For one of our group members Matt it was actually his first ever surfski race, he was lucky enough to partner up with Roscoe. The competition was going to be tight as we had another doubles combination that included Clint Robinson and the winner of the “Ride of your Life” competition (Which was sponsored my Cricks Auto Group Noosa and Nambour) Rhys Burrows.
h for the use of both his prone paddle board and surfski. At the completion of this event it marked a long 3-month journey and it was time to go back to Australia and straight back into University and work.
Once back in Australia I was involved in the Mentone spring training camp at Maroochydore beach hosted by Clint Robinson, over this weekend I learnt a fair bit about coaching and how to pass on the knowledge that I’ve learnt over the years to the future generation. During this time, I was also asked to be an assistant coach at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club where I coach both the nipper and senior athletes in board, ski, ironperson training sessions. Since commencing the new job I’ve been busy completing my 3rd year of University and also starting to train for the Perth Doctor.
The Sunset Surfski Series race that was 11.5km from Sandtracks beach to City beach was a quick race with the pace on from the start. Conditions were 10-15knots winds swing from the south west to the south east, with a 1-2-foot swell pushing from the south. I finished the race in 46:32 mins and 29thoverall, Hank McGregor won paddling the new Epic V12, Cory Hill in second and Dawid Mocke in third.
Friday was a great day to sleep in, relax and get everything ready for the big race on Saturday, started off by having a small float around the Sorrento beach area just doing an active recovery to help ease the soreness from the day before. After this we all went back to our room and just chilled out had some lunch and then it was time to go to the barge to load up all of our skis to get them ready for the easy part of the crossing. Loading the skis onto the barge is quite an art form in its self, your have to time it right, otherwise you’ll be standing in the sun for a few hours. A huge shout out to Deano and his team for being patient and loading up all of the 365 ski’s, boards and OC’s onto the barge.
The next step after this is to go back to Sorrento beach Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC) to register and pick up your race pack, also to look at the VAIKOBI stand and see what fresh gear they have. Once doing all of this it was dinner time, watch a movie and then bed time (all sounds so simple).Saturday Morning rolled around quite quickly and it was time to start getting dressed and packed for the ferry ride over to Rottnest island. The general rule of thumb is if the ferry trip to the island is mellow potentially you’re in for a rough day in the saddle, but if its bumpy you’re in for a fantastic day in the bumps. Unfortunately, this year the ride over was silky smooth, and unless there was going to be a major change in the forecast it was going to be a long day. This year while we waited for the race start near military jetty I got to see my first ever Quokka which was amazing. After this it was time to hop into our boats and paddle across the channel, and as always the start was on fire with two main groups heading to the hotspot. I turned the hotspot marker in the mid 30’s, from there it was all about aiming for observation city and chasing the ocean swell. It was challenging out in the Indian Ocean with it coming from both slightly over the right side of the tail and also left side of the tail which meant for a lot of zig zagging. After staying fairly south early on, I drifted north with about 5km to go to the centaur marker (6km from the finish) this was due to the runners I was able to catch. Turning the marker, I could see the finish, and knew the runners stand up a little bit more and others were starting to hurt just as much as I was, so it was my time to make my move and make up places. As I came within 300m of the finish I caught a runner that developed into a wave which I rode all the way to the beach and beat a fellow competitor in the 100m run up the beach.
All in all, the Doctor is one of the premier downwind events in the world that attracts roughly 350 competitors each year, but unfortunately this year we lacked the wind. I finished up 35th in the single ski category, next year I’ll have my fingers crossed for amazing downwind conditions.
For me it’s been such a great year, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, I’ve travelled to 4 countries, raced in 5 world surfski series events and I’ve met a lot of new friends. But all this wouldn’t have happened without my family, Roscoe and my sponsors, I would like to say a huge thank you to Epic Kayaks, Vaikobi, Cricks Noosa and Nambour, Miguel’s 24-hour fitness.
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