Report #11, Final – We are home from the World Surf Kayak Championships, Portugal

by Spencer on August 11, 2009

We are now home, but I wanted to document our last couple days in Portugal and summarize the 2009 World Surf Kayak Championships with one last post.

The view of the surf from our room.  We took one last surf session outside the hotel at Praia Azul the day before we left.

A reflection of the view of the surf from our room. We took one last surf session outside the hotel at Praia Azul the day before we left and it was an excellent time.

First, we’re selling some apparel to cover the costs of our trip.  These are assorted colors, so you have to choose the size, then color will be a surprise.  Hey, they’re a bargain, so stop yelling at us.

Drug Free Lifestyle Sweatshirts (click for larger image) - Assorted colors and come hooded, zip-hooded, and hoodless.  You may only choose size.

$25.00 - DFL "Flow" Sweatshirts - Assorted colors, hooded, zip-hooded, and hoodless. You may only choose size.

These are only currently available in large sizes.  They tend to run 1 size too small, so XL should fit a LG person.

$25.00

Sizes – run 1 size too small

Drug Free Lifestyle T-Shirts (assorted colors)

$15.00 - DFL "Flow" T-Shirts - Assorted colors

$15.00

Size

Rapid Transit Snail Sweatshirts (click for larger image) - Assorted colors and come hooded, zip-hooded, and hoodless.  You may only choose size.

$25.00 Rapid Transit Snail Sweatshirts - Assorted colors, hooded, zip-hooded, and hoodless. You may only choose size.

$25.00

Size

Our team, US East, officially placed 8th.  Trophies were awarded under a moonlit sky.  Most everyone ended up in the pool after or during the awards.

US East Team Captain, Anthony Bell, shows off our 8th place trophy.  Anthony was also our highest placing man in the Senior division.  He took 9th in Long Boat (ic)

US East Team Captain, Anthony Bell, shows off our 8th place trophy. Anthony was also our highest placing man in the Senior division. He took 9th in Long Boat (ic)

Team England taking their 1st Place Trophy for Team World Champions 2009

Well deserved and earned, Team England took the 1st Place Trophy for Team World Championship 2009.

Three of my teammates walked away as World Medalist.  Two thirds and a fourth.

US East 2009 World Medalists: Russ Buskirk, Lindsay Usher & Tom May

US East 2009 World Medalists: Russ Buskirk, Lindsay Usher & Tom May

After it was all over we were hungry.

A Santa Cruz restaurant, Au Coq, served a serious chicken dinner.  The four of us devoured two birds in short order.

A Santa Cruz restaurant, Au Coq, served a serious chicken dinner. The four of us devoured two birds in very short order.

As luck would have it, Joey found Attack From Mars, one of his and my favorite pinball machines (also Mars Attacks is pretty awesome which is the one with the video screen if you ever get to play it.  Both are awesome games), the night before we left and we spent an hour and several coins enjoying it.

As luck would have it, Joey discovered Attack From Mars, one of his and my favorite pinball machines (also Mars Attacks, different machine, is pretty awesome which is the one with the video screen if you ever get to play it. Both are awesome games), the night before we left and we spent an hour and several coins enjoying it.

On our final day we decided to sightsee a bit.  I saw this site and took a picture of it too.  This windmill was just outside a tower on one of the Castle Walls of Obidos.  This castle, which is very old (enjoy my history lesson here) still stands fully intact and functions as a town, full with restaurants and shops and lodging.  It’s a tourist attraction, we were toursist, and we were attracted to it.  Job well done.

View of an old windmill from the Obidos Castle Walls

View of an old windmill from the Obidos Castle Walls

Closer view of an old windmill from the Obidos Castle Walls

Closer view of an old windmill from the Obidos Castle Walls. It's pretty cool to see how well these people harnessed natural energy long ago and are still doing it today.

Flowers at Obidos

Flowers at Obidos

Hey man!  Heeeeey!  I might suggest that it's not a good idea to sunbathe with that complexion.  The sun in Portugal is much harsher than your computer monitor back in London!

Unsuspecting European at Obidos. Hey man! Heeeeey! Don't mind me, I'm just walking on the castle wall up above your poolside slumber at your holiday bungalow! There are also hundreds of other toursists with cameras up here if you think you might want to put your pants back on! No big deal! I might suggest that it's not a good idea to sunbathe with that fair complexion of yours! The sunlight in Portugal is much harsher than that of your computer monitor back in London! While we're talking, where can I buy "man" brand underwear?!

The Agua was locked up everywhere we went.  I assume these were public waterworks, like fire hydrants or something.  Regardless, I thought they were cool looking.  Actually the drinking water was good straight from the tap.

The Agua was locked up everywhere we went. I assume these were public waterworks, like fire hydrants or something. Regardless, I thought they were cool looking. Actually the drinking water at our hotel was good straight from the tap.

No aqua for you, it's locked.

No agua for you, it's locked.

You can laugh at this if you want.  It’s not a complaint, just a record of what happened.  We (Joey, myself and other team members) got some kind of cold or flu before we left Portugal and were blessed with clogged sinuses, runny noses and throbbing headaches the whole way home.  Lovely I know.  The flight was long, around 9 hours and we sat beside some awful couple who kept bickering at one another as well as the flight attendants the entire flight.  Nothing they were served was good enough, the seat wasn’t comfortable enough, they wanted our seats (which we took great pleasure in saying “NOPE, we chose aisle seats for a reason”), and the list goes on.  There’s more to this experience but the part you need to know is that basically it was miserable.  Luckily we can look back on these type of experiences and laugh.  I guess that is if you survive.  The funny thing is that if one were to dig up any old trip reports which my friends and I may have written about these kayaking trips over the past 8-10 years you would find many similar stories.  Thumb through the blog archives of Effort.tv and you may find such stories.

Joey Snoozin on the planeride home.  We caught some Zs off and on during the 9 hour flight home.

Joey very comfortably snoozin on the plane ride home. We caught some Zs off and on during the 9 hour flight.

I’d like to give a final thanks to everyone at home who helped us get to Portugal, to the Portuguese and WSKA for a great event, and to all our friends and competitors who visited this site and read about our experiences.  We hope to see you all again at another beach or the next World Championships in 2011… wherever that may be.  Maybe OBX, Australia or an undisclosed “world class break,” tba…

*Special Thanks mentioned at bottom.
Sincerely,
Spencer Cooke
US East Surf Kayak Team 2009

Joey on left and me on right.  We were practicing what it would be like when we got lockjaw from the disease we caught in Portugal.

(Joey on left and me on right) We were practicing what it would be like when we got lockjaw from the disease we caught in Portugal. Can't ever take too much precaution. Always thinking ahead, us guys.

Special Thanks go to:
Families:
Cooke, Robins, Hall, Lavell, Sherburne, Acuff, Jenkins, Auer, Houck, Davis, Foley, Cooper, Kee
Individuals:
Shari Robins, Mason Cooke, Maria Young, Raymond Cotton, Drew & Eileen Hayes, Margaret Matthews, Jacques Lewin, Chris McMillan, Michael Pesant, Clark Cross, Paul Moreno, Andy Gates, John & Kara Weld, Roger Loughney, Craig Langford, Jonathan Nameth, Adam Motes, Jeff Rivest and Simon Martin.  (Sorry if anyone has been forgotten.)
Businesses:
Mike Byer Auto & Truck Repair, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Asheville Pizza Company, Dwellings, Drinkin’ Beanz Coffee House, Highland Door Company, Dirt Girl Design, Tomato Jam Cafe, Trout Lily Market, Troyers, The Fairview Town Crier and more.
Kayaking Sponsors:
Immersion Research, Shred Ready, Astral Buoyancy

Visit http://ESKAsurf.com for more detailed info about our team and organization.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

luis pedro August 12, 2009 at 6:26 am

Well done guys! Great reports (as usual)

Keep in touch 😉

luis pedro

Yonton August 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

8th place trophy? How big was the podium?

Spencer August 13, 2009 at 7:37 am

Correction, the other version of the pinball machine, the one with the video screen, is called Revenge From Mars, not Mars Attacks. And this game is oh so sweet. http://www.thepinballcompany.com/revengefrommarspinballmachine.aspx

admin August 13, 2009 at 7:59 am

That’s the thing about surf kayaking Yonton, even the losers win.

grayson August 16, 2009 at 7:36 pm

awesome. thanks for sharing the pics and stories.
grad yer back!

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