Rest moves West, Freshwater West, Pembroke
It's taken a couple of days to recover from the 'Rest moves West' competition. Originally meant to be held at Rest Bay in Porthcawl, 'Rest is Best' got postponed twice due to no swell. This time it was moved to Freshwater West in Pembroke, for the best chance of contestable waves. It was a good call and after a gruelling 6 hour drive, I arrived on the Friday evening to find swell, albeit a bit lumpy! I decided to get in for the last hour of light to get a feel of the wave and my boat, something I always try to do but this time it was a bad decision...I ended up having a close encounter with a rock and putting hole in my boat, not a good start to the weekend but at least I knew where not to take waves!
The next morning was an early start ready for another 2 day event made into 1 because of dying swell. Instead of knock out heats it was decided we would all surf best of 3, to allow chance to surf in the conditions throughout the day. My first heat wasnt until late morning so I had time to prepare, eat breakfast and dry my wetsuit in the sun! I struggle to eat much on the day of the competition due to nerves so a bit of toast for brekky and a banana just before the heat then things like flap jack and jelly babies keep me going and give me bursts of energy when I need it!
Clean, small waves were there for most of the day, although there were times when I struggled to find a decent wave in the heat at all. It was a full on day with 6 heats in total, constantly keeping an eye on which heat was in the water and when you were in and also what colour bib you needed. We didn't find out the final result until prize giving although I knew I hadn't done enough in the HP to get a 1st so was already a bit disappointed!
After the last heat had come out of the water and everyone was changed we gathered around for prize giving. I was stoked to come away with a 1st in the Open waveski and was told it was super close in the HP, but ended up placing 3rd.
Although I am disappointed, It's all good practice towards the World's and each competition I try and take away something to work on. Wave selection and patience is the one this time! I definitely surfed my best in the last heats of both categories when the waves switched on nearer to the high tide and had loads of fun seeing everyone else catching good ones. The sun was shining all day and the atmosphere was really chilled. There's something really special about Freshwater West and although the waves weren't big, it wasn't flat. It must be a hard call to make to run a competition when the forecast isn't looking great but it all worked out OK and the competition ran really well.