Report #4 – World Surf Kayak Championships, Portugal

by Spencer on July 26, 2009

A little video showing with some of our Welsh friends.

Last night we had some good friends over for dinner and a movie. From right to left, Mark, Nathan and Naomi, all from the Welsh Surf Kayak Team.

Today we headed back down to the beach for more individual preliminary heats.  Low tide has been hitting in the late AM making for some interesting conditions.  Today the swell was as small as we have seen it, around waist high consistently with head high sets.  It was also pretty windy by the time most of our heats rolled around making it choppy and sloppy.  Nonetheless, most of our team did well, advancing to the next round.

A most curious creature showed up on the beach today.

We met a most curious creature on the beach today. Numerous of these blue, jelly-like critters covered the beach once the tide dropped out. At first glance they seemed to be a shell with a sharp fin coming off the top, but in actuality they were soft like a jellyfish. I have not yet identified what this is, but it is beautiful.

I arrived at the boat locker before 8am and caught our security guard posing as a “sleeping security guard.”  I thought it was a most brilliant idea.  I’ll act like I’m asleep and just when someone is stealing a kayak I’ll jump up and tackle them. Just kidding, these guys are working hard to look after our stuff.

Surf Kayak Security this early AM

Surf Kayak Security this early AM

A little morning siesta never hurt anybody.

A little morning siesta never hurt anybody.

This morning I competed against an English and a Spanish (Basque) in the IC class.  I lead the heat by a healthy margin from the get-go, all the way until the last couple minutes.  The final announcement before the heat’s end was White Bib (me) 1st place, Red Bib 2nd, Yellow Bib 3rd.  A couple waves came through at the end of the heat and my competitors posted high enough wave scores to push me out by approximately a tenth of a point.  So there you have it friends, I’m eliminated from the IC Class.  This is a pretty weak display and I’m sorry to let my supporters down.  I gave what I thought was my best but obviously it wasn’t good enough.

On the brighter side Joey dominated his heat placing first as did the majority of the team.  We had six wins and three losses today.  Bear in mind that Mens HP preliminary rounds begin tomorrow and the team competition has not even begun.  Swell size is expected to more-than double in size overnight, giving us 6-8 foot waves perhaps.  Swell prediction is rarely exact, so we’ll see if that comes to fruition

I am continually impressed with Tom May, our senior team member.  The man is 57 years old and he surfs and competes like a champ.  He has yet to lose a heat after paddling in three of them.  Better yet he has placed 1st in all three, advancing himself to the next round.  Tom has been surfing for fourty+ years and his wisdom exudes.

Tom May, Jedi Surfer.

Tom May, Jedi Surfer. Not the best photo because I was focusing more on shooting video. Anyway, it gives you an idea of the slop we were surfing today. You did your best on what you got served.

Tom Checks his scores at the judges booth.

Tom Checks his scores at the judges booth. 1st place once again.

That’s all until tomorrow.  Come back here for the next report.  Also you can visit for more full results.


Reporting from Santa Come.  This is a little cafe in Santa Cruz.  Santa is not here.

Reporting from Santa Come, a little cafe in Santa Cruz. Santa is not here as far as I can tell. Maybe he owns the place.

Spencer Cooke
US East Surf Kayak Team 2009

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda Miles-Graeter July 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Thanks for these colorful updates….love the surf goddess! Keep ’em coming! Good luck, be safe, have fun!

Chris Gal. July 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Nice report. Wishing you well in the HP, Spence.

Vasco July 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

The blue jelly-like things you have seen are Portuguese Man o’ War. Careful with them, they might give painful stings. That’s why yesterday there was a red flag in the beach. Check

Keep on the paddling!

Mikey P July 27, 2009 at 3:59 am

That’s a Portuguese Man-o-War; don’t step on it!

Teams Dirt Girl & Tomato Jam July 27, 2009 at 4:43 am

Good show, all! Thanks for keeping us posted. Let Willow Mae know if you find Santa.

p.s. You didn’t let ANYBODY around here down.

thing'llscoot July 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm

i only look at the pictures. more pictures please.

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