Sunday, July 26, 2009

Surf Kayak World Championships

Kicked off this weekend in Santa Cruz, Portugal.
The event is taking place over the next ten days in a combined beach festival that includes Kite Boarding, Body Boarding, Surfing and Skim Boarding.

The beach festival site includes a swimming pool where you can cool off, try out kayaks or play with your kids, 3 stages pumping out live music through out the entire festival, and several restaurants. The opening fireworks began at 1 in the morning. Those Europeans sure know how to throw down a beach party.

The US East Coast team got off to a good start yesterday with five members advancing to the next round. Heats are 15 minutes long with four paddlers competing , during which time they get judged on wave selection, length of ride and style.

New East coast team member Tom May ( Grand Masters HP) has been consistently winning heats with high scores but alas, Spencer Cooke today was eliminated from his IC heat.

The Team event does not start until next week.

Other paddlers of note looking likely to taking the big trophy are Edu Exteberria - consistently paddling hard and fast with lots of flair - Chris Hobson, a very competitive and extreme surfer- and Corin King, another Northern Irish lad really ripping it in the competition atmosphere. And of course Chris Harvey- 3 time winner of Santa Cruz- and very hungry for that first world title.

Conditions so far have been small swell, windy and choppy, with a gnarly dumping beach break if you get too close to the shore.

Come Monday things are expected to ramp up with an 8ft swell predicted and the beginning of the Open HP heats...yummy !.

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