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THINGS WORTHY OF SUCCESS COSTA RICA
Things worthy of success
. Waves the entire event.
. Hotel headquarters giving total support.
. Good sponsors.
. “Tica” party 4 of the 7 Days, at the hotel and in El Puerto.
. A container of Kayaks from the United Kingdom was transported.
. LACSA helped in the transportation of all the participants from California.
. The closing party – we all ended up in the pool including the Hotel Manager.
. There was the first cycle of a team of Kayak Surf in Costa Rica.
. We showed the world what we are and what we can do.
From Costa Rica 95, my next competition was Santa Cruz, California again in Steamers Lane – one of the craziest places to run waves that I know. That year I had the stars on my side and I Won the open event. Something unprecedented and with an incredible transcendence. Here in Costa Rica they gave me a prize, along with other athletes, to recognize those of us who had excelled abroad during that year. They did interviews in gringo and national newspapers as well. While serving on the World Surf Kayak Committee, and having recently won Santa Cruz, I was invited to the Home International Tournament in Jersey, Channel Islands UK. Something out of the ordinary since these tournaments are very closed and almost never invite anyone who is not from the United Kingdom.
During this time I acted as an ambassador for Kayak Surf, because wherever we went we had meetings and we talked about the sport and its development. This tournament could not finish because the sea stopped throwing waves and was canceled after having competed only one day. This was on the French North Coast, below the United Kingdom: a group of islands in the middle of nowhere which often serves as a tax haven. My next objective was the next World Cup. This was in Thurso, Scotland that year: a very cold, inhosítable place with a dangerous sea. It is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Black Sea – the Land of Vikings, men of the north, my favorite heroes after Mohamed Ali.
For this tournament I prepared as well as I could. I conscientiously trained, spending hours in the water and in general I dedicated myself to everything that could be done well. A big factor in the competition was that the wave was a very fast right on a point – it came out on top of a flat stone and ended in flat stone too.The weather was unpredictable -everything difficult that you can imagine. The first week I stayed in a Trailer Camp which was practically on top of the wave with Malcom Pearsy. An English “brother” of mine and owner of MEGA Performance Kayaks– at that time the leader in the manufacture of surf kayaks. In that week I dedicated myself to acclimatizing, to know local surf points in the area and to surf the wave of Thurso. As an anecdote, the day after my arrival, I was going to meet with part of the Scottish team, in the break. The wind was impressive “in shore”. I remember seeing them when they arrived; I got out of the car to say hello and they were untying kayaks from the roof. From one moment to the next all the boats went flying away in the wind! The competitors were big people: Tony, Neil, Daby, and Edy. From then on -plan B: to find another beach to surf. We drove about half an hour to the northeast, to an inlet that was about 1 kilometer away from a Nuclear plant there.
Even in the inlet there were waves of the wind. To run whatever waves there were you had to row and row just to stay in position. Another curious fact with Daby, who had been a rower for years – he had a disease that made him lose all of his body hair. Two years ago we had been in Siberia in a World of Rafting event called Project RAFT Worlds. When I saw Daby, Russia came to my mind. I asked him if he had been around and he had indeed gone with Neil, another of the group. It was too good a coincidence! From there we went to have beers (birra) and Scotch Whiskey. That week had a lot of stories: people were coming to the tournament and groups of acquaintances were making themselves. Neil Kahn, from here in CRC, and owner of Kayak Jaco signed up with Jasmine Chollette that were in their honeyMoon. The cold was too intense, and Neil could enter the water.
I’m just going to tell one more story about Scotland: on one occasion, l went out with the Scottish group,and Dennis Hudson (organizer of the Steamers Lane tournament in Santa Cruz for many years). Legend says the waves were about 15 feet, but I think they were more like 8. The place was called BRUMS NEST.: a break over stones, very technical, a point that ended in rock and rock and more rock. We parked on a dairy farm that overlooked the sea. After instructions on how to get to the wave in the middle of all the stones, we got into the sea ….I was almost all out to be able to surf, it was my turn to play the big one … no matter how hard I tried, that huge and powerful wave grabbed me, threw me back almost in the air and removed my paddle, the kayak and everything … sure, emergency. The thing was now to rescue me and take me to the shore. Hypothermia sets in fast out there …. these people were expert kayakers and rescue specialists – everything you would want in that situation.
The good thing was that we were all armed with everything you could need for a problem of this kind. They pulled me out, mounted me on my kayak full of water and towed. We paddled an endless 300 meters of cold ocean until we reached a mini beach, full of cow dung and dairy waste. That was the most “heavy” experience of my life. From this day forward, that point was baptized TOCAS TAKE … There is this song that I sang that same day after the risky paddling and already with a few beers “birritas” inside me. It was composed by Neil Baxter, captain of the Scottish team. The World Cup started with a parade in the streets of Thurso: very emotional and cold. We were 90 participants in several different categories: Those who had come to Costa Rica, plus really cool new people from the Vasco Country. I enrolled in two categories: in the OPEN, which is all against all, and in the Masters above 40 years old. During the competition the waves were quite small. We had had waves up to 8 feet in the Thurso break during the previous days, and in those conditions we had trained and surfed. The facts that the waves were lower meant that it was necessary to change the break; we had to move the tournament to the West of Thurso, to a beach break that was about 45 minutes from where we were staying. There were still no qualified judges for these events and we had to rotate all the participants to take part in the Court. It was an interminable week, but very beautiful. The surf stayed at 3 to 5 feet. In these tournaments, there is individual and team competition. The teams are of minimum 7 people. I organized an international team where I gathered several competitors, so I stayed wet every day as I reached the two semifinals in my two individual categories. In the end I think I was the participant who competed most in the heats of the whole group. The final result was a FOURTH place in the MASTERS, and A FIFTH in the open: everything a success.