The third stop on the American Windsurfing Tour brought us to Punta San Carlos, Baja. San Carlos has to be one of the most fun waves to sail. It is a long point break with perfect side-off winds to keep the wave faces open and clean.
Competition was held the first week of August, and we were rewarded with wind and waves every day. There was so much sailing to be done, that we ran through single elimination brackets most days. My top finish throughout the heats was a 3rd overall. I was very pleased with my sailing and managed to finish the week of San Carlos competition with a 7th place.
On the last day of competition head judge, Matt Pritchard called for an Expression Session. The wind picked up to around 30mph and waves were pretty big, so conditions were very challenging. It was so windy that it was hard to wave sail. For the final of the Expression Session, we changed the format to favor jumping. It was a good line-up of jumpers with Kevin Pritchard, Graham Ezzy, Nathan Mershon, Royn Bartholdi, and myself.
We headed out to the best jumping spot, which would be up wind and around the island. It was a little difficult to get to because we had to dodge Logo+ high waves breaking onto the rocks, but everyone made it fine. Once we made it around the island, it was a game of who could get the best ramps. Those were found closest to the rocks, but they also brought the most risk. If you crashed the jump, you ran the risk of being cleaned up by the next wave that was always right behind. If you dropped your gear, it would be washed straight onto the rocks to get smashed by pounding waves.
I had an absolute blast, because I love high wind jumping and challenging conditions. I started the heat with a bang nailing a big back loop. I followed that up with a push loop and another back loop on one run. I was feeling pretty good at that point so I went for a big stalled forward and landed that one perfectly. After hitting all these jumps right off the bat, I felt like I had control of the heat. It’s hard to see what everyone else is doing when your focusing on yourself, but I was confident. I landed a couple more back loops, and saw some other guys miss. When the heat was over I heard that I had won 1st place! I was really happy to cap off a successful contest with a victory on the final day. I scored a sweet trophy for my efforts. Here is a shot of all the winners.
Here is a video put together by Graham Ezzy highlighting the Ezzy Team. We all had a great time, and I can’t wait to go back again next year.
Congrats Russ! Awesome performance. Are you planning to come visit your folks anytime soon and sail Clinton?
Congrats Russ! 1st place in the expression session and 7th overall, that’s amazing. Any plans to come back to Lawrence and visit your folks? Maybe sail Clinton again?
I would love to come back and sail Clinton. That’s where it all started for me, and I have great memories learning to sail with all you guys. We’ll see. I may be able to make it next year.