started on 2nd December with the forecast showing some promise of a swell hitting just in time for the
event to start. Having been to Sal a few times before and getting skunked when I was there for a month for my 30th birthday a few years back, I was a little weary of the swell being too north to get into Ponta Preta.
Arriving to my friends Phil and Vicky of Cape Verde Imports, I managed to get straight out for some left hand waves at Punta Leme at the bottom of town past the Angulo windsurf centre. After this I went to check in at the Farol hotel which Mitu had arranged with an amazing deal of All Inclusive for 25 euro a night. Thanks! Gorging myself on some amazing food I hooked up with the Brazilians, Ian Glaza & Mauricio Padreira and Portugese champ Nuno Stru and decided to rent a truck together to make the most of any swell we could find. Driving to get the car in an Alluger, the guys ended up negotiating with the driver to be ours for the duration and got it for less than the price of the hire car including driver, Jaouso and fuel. Nice!
So the first day of the comp saw no waves at Ponta Preta and the call was made for a lay day. We all then headed North to my favourite spot on the island, Curral Jouel to see if there was a wave. It turned out to be small but fun and easy enough to launch on the rocks, which is impossible when its over 3ft and the reason the event could not run there. We all had some fun waves on 12-9m kites and it turned out Jaouso was good fun and keen to film and take pictures. Perfect!
Saturday dawned with magic seaweed showing decent swell with a
large period but with a lot of north in it. We had the riders meeting at 8am at
Ponta Preta with the occasional overhead wave breaking and light winds. We were
put on hold for the wind to come up and the first heat started around 11am. I
was up in heat 3 with the wind super light, I borrowed Sky’s new 12m Fuse and
rode my 5’7 Resin8 Scoop. With my knowledge of the break I had 5 fairly average
waves which were all of the sets that came through but then with 3 minutes to
go of the 15, the head judge called the heat off stating it was too inconsistent. Shame as I was winning by 4.5 points! This turned out to be it for the contest proper which was a massive shame for me as some of the riders beating me in the rankings had never gone right and I was confident of a good result on my preferred direction which would of moved me considerably higher up the rankings! Still we all jumped in for a surf and had fun until dark, when we went back to our all inclusive palace.
Sunday and yet again we were at Ponta Preta at 8am, but this time it was almost totally flat. The call was for an expression session at Secrets at the top of the island. Knowing it would take a few hours for them to set up, the real wave crew, now joined by Spanish rider Diego Anta, headed all the way to the top and a pumping Curral Jouel. Our plan was to have a quick hour before riding the 3km downwind to Secrets for the expression session with Jaouso driving down to meet us. Needless to say with sets approaching double overhead and only 5 of us out on 7m kites, we ended up riding for nearer 3 hours and by the time we made it to Secrets, we had missed our heats and they were onto the semis. Watching the action while we ate lunch we then sped back for the second session and were greeted with more offshore wind and perfect glassy waves. 7 hours of riding with just friends in great waves really made the trip worth while, especially as most of the other riders were all moaning about the lack of waves! Big congrats to Bear Karry who won the expression session.
Monday we were yet again meeting at 8am even though no waves were
forecast. The call was expression session at Kite Beach. This turned out to be
mostly jumping, right next to the beach in Onshore winds. The locals showed
everyone how it’s done and Airton took the win with some amazing strapless
tricks while Kirsty showed that the girls can do some strapless jumps too!
With no more waves forecast for the foreseeable future and an upcoming strike by Tap Air, the contest director decided to call the event off meaning most people could change their flights and fly home instead of being stranded for another 2 weeks. I managed to book a new flight back to the UK and left the next day after a great beach party at Mitu’s centre on the beach in front of the Hotel.
With everyone getting equal points for the event, The top 3 men for the year are – Airton, Mitu & Guilly while the women are – Innes, Marie & Kristin. I ended up 10th which is ok but definitely gives me plenty to work on for next year and my goal of Top 5.
Big congrats to 2011 Wave World Champions - Airton Cozzolino & Innes Correia and to the whole KSP Crew for forming an amazing tour and pushing the sport in the right direction.
I would like to thank my sponsors-
North Kiteboarding, Resin8 Surfboards, Freeirders, West wetsuits, Wiley X & the BKSA for all the support throughout the year and Sportif for the help with my flight to Mauritius. Also Tara and my whole family, whom I couldn’t do it without!
Have a great Christmas and an amazing 2012