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Laurence's PWA New Caledonia adventure #4 - wrap up

(Laurence's final posting from the event)
It has been an awesome experience coming to New Caledonia for the PWA. Below is a quick overview of how I felt the event went and what happened in today's racing.

Todays racing

Today the forecast didn't come as expected and was overcast in the morning. This made the sea breeze kick in later which is why we only completed one round.

I wasn't sure if I would end up racing today as I had hurt my ankle really bad the night before. I felt I had tweeked my ankle while sailing in the final elimination the day before, but didnt even think about it and kept sailing. That night I rolled my ankle really bad, where I was struggling to have any weight on my foot at all.

In the morning I slowly walked to the containers, It wasn't as windy as forecast which meant I had more time to relax and take the pressure off my foot. Before racing started I went to the medic area where they strapped my foot and gave it a massage. Before the racing started I went for a quick session to make sure I could actually sail. I decided to race regardless as it was only one elimination and I didnt want to just give up. I went out and it was 7.8 conditions but my ankle couldn't deal with that so I sailed with the 7.0 and Isonic 107.

The race started and I had a relatively good start, however as I couldn't apply full pressure I got rolled by the majority of sailors. From here it was catch up, I was given the opportunity to overtake at the second to last mark. Usually it would have been easy to avoid him and overtake however, as I tried to change my angle I twisted my ankle in the strap and instantly stopped turning leading me crashing also.

Overview of the PWA

The PWA has been amazing, like words cant even express how much I have learnt and also the friends I have made. The events are run so well where the atmosphere is amazing with a positive vibe the whole time. Fortunately I was next to Taty Frans who is quite honestly one of the coolest people I have ever met. He is so positive and competes because he loves the sport and has a passion for windsurfing. He is also an absolute machine, I mean he is a lot smaller (86kg) then the majority of the pros (who weigh between 95-110kg) but still manages to beat them.

In terms of the racing I was not overly happy with how I raced but considering I have been at university the last 3 months and working full time I am trying to not be to hard on myself. I had glimpses of great sailing but i just cant believe how fast some of the top guys are, especially Pierre Mortefon and Antoine Albeau, they are freaks. I have never seen people literally hunt others down on the straights like them. The racing standard is very high as expected on the PWA where any simple mistake is punished big time. I made some great ground with my own sailing and learnt a lot of new race tactics. I have also gained a whole new level of confidence where I know now that I can beat the big names of the sport if I truly put my mind to it.

It has been awesome competing with people like Antoine Albeau and Bjorn Dunkerbeck and I hope I have proven that I am competitive with them. After racing today I had a quick chat to Antoine and he told me I was racing well and he noticed me on the starts. Which I take as a compliment as I know he has board speed on me but I stood my ground twice when he tried to drive me upwind.

Overall I finished 30th in New Caledonia out of 57 competitors.

Thanks for the support
I would like to thank everyone who has made this trip possible as it is a dream come true. To start with the North team especially Kai, without your support over the last 2 years I wouldn't be where I am today and I appreciate everything you have done to help me. Also Jimbo as you were one of the first people to ever see that I had potential and take a leap of faith and help me with gear about four years ago now.

I guess I need to thank my caddy for coming along on the trip also. It has been awesome having dad here and we have had a great boys trip having many laughs about things I never imagined us talking about. Then of course mum and the family, your endless support is awesome. Finally a big thanks to my sponsors North Sails, Starboard, BTS GYM, Eye for Detail and Meanline Fins and all those who have sent me messages while I have been here.
"Revoir Nouvelle-Cal├ędonie, Merci de me avoir"

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