Today was another great day at the ISA World Stand Up and Paddleboard Championships in Wanning China. I feel so honoured to be part of a team of such incredible Individuals who have literally had each other’s backs at every turn. Part of what I love about being South African is that we really have such Geez as a country. The team spirit has been incredible.
Today was an early start again with all of us up and at breakfast by 6:15am as a united group. We have a great vibe with our Australian fellow competitors and they have been traveling with us to and from the competition venue daily. The morning trips are filled with a lot of laughs and fun banter which is so great.
We have had incredible support and assistance from both the UK and New Zealand teams in helping us with Prone boards to keep Jadon training until (God Willing) we can finally get both his and Kimon’s boards through to the comp.
I don’t know that in being involved with 2 Olympic Games, 1 Olympic Bid, 2 Soccer Worlds Cups, 1 Rugby World Cup and numerous Rock Concert tours and events, I have ever experienced anything like trying to get these boards to us.
That said the rest of the journey has been incredible. Today was the second day for our surfing athletes and they all surfed their hearts out. Matt Maxwell had a great semi final in the main round but unfortunately after a grueling 2nd Heat was knocked out by 2 former gold medalists. This being Matt’s first year out of juniors on his first World Champs he gave it his all and performed very well but was unfortunately knocked out in a very tough heat.
Tom King had a cracker of a heat and managed to score the high heat total honours with a score of 16.36 and stay alive in the repro heats. He had an incredible round with huge Geez and support from the team. The spirits were high and the day ended on a high note.
Tammy and Penny both had great first rounds with Tammy finishing top in her heat and Penny second in hers, however in the next round unfortunately both Penny and Tammy were knocked out by some fierce competition.
Tomorrow we proceed to the next round with Tom King still in with a chance with some strong competitors left in the running.
We have had a great tour with the Team and the athletes have at all times ensured a high level of ethics and conduct and have made the country proud.
Not being a SUP surfer myself I have learnt a lot from our coach on wave choice and the rules of the competition and hope to one day to give the surfing side a go. I look forward to the technical and racing days ahead as the team have trained extremely hard and it’s my personal passion within the sport.