So here I am in Orlando, Florida sitting on the couch where I’ve been sleeping the past week, writing my first blog.
Coming to America is something I’ve really wanted to do for about the past 3 years and I’m totally stoked to be here mixing it up with the world’s best. Last weekend was the first stop of the PWT (Pro Wakeboard Tour) held in Acworth, Georgia.
To be honest I wasn’t in the best frame of mind going into the competition as I hadn’t ridden boat in 6 months. In the 4 days leading up to event I’d managed to cram in about 6 sets behind the Mastercraft X-star that my friend owns. Lucky for me this is also the tournament boat.
After a 6 hour drive with Dallas Friday, we arrived at the site to check out the course. The Pro men were still qualifying and the conditions were horrible, the lake was totally blown out and the guys were falling on wake jumps. Unfortunately rough water is quite often something you have to face at competitions and this can mean a whole different ballgame.
Pro women quarterfinals were the following morning at 8am; the conditions had improved immensely and we had a total of 20 riders which I’ve been told is above average. There were 5 heats of 4, top 2 advance to the semis. I was first off the dock in heat 3 along with Emily Copeland-Durham (USA), Barrett Pearlman (USA) and Ashley Leugner (CAN).
One thing I’ve learnt about competing is how essential focus is. Its not so important who is in your heat because on the day anything can happen. I try to focus on my run and the fact that I’m here because I love it, if I’m having a good time I’m relaxed and I find it easier to get “in the groove".
After my ride I was pumped, it wasn’t my best but I was happy to stand up a good 2nd pass finishing with a heelside 360. To come off the water with a smile on my face is all I can ask for. I had covered all judging criteria and qualified for the semi-finals behind Emily (2 times women’s world champion), I can’t really explain how good that felt, inside I was jumping up and down like a crazy woman with the biggest grin on my face but I don’t always show it out of respect for the girls that haven’t made it. I’ve been there and it’s heartbreaking sometimes.
I rode ok in the semis but didn’t advance which left me in tie 9th position for the first tour event. The spectators were incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life, there must have been over 100 boats lined up watching the event, there were 1000’s of people on the shore and when I was in the water waiting to be picked up by the jetski there were 4 little girls bobbing in the water about 5meters away cheering me on, it was awesome!
I was more than happy with my result and not competing the next day meant I could party that night and get to know some of the other riders. When we arrived in historic Acworth that evening there was a live local band playing “Sweet home Alabama", I had to laugh, it was so American. I managed to brake away from the bar to view the premier of a new wakeboard flick called “Drive". What I saw was pretty good but there’s no chicks in it
The following day brought more choppy water and despite the conditions there was some amazing riding. Nicola Butler (UK) is totally kicking ass at the moment, I think this is going to be her big year to shine. As well as taking the first place she also won best trick for a Moby Dick (tantrum to blind 360). Amber Wing (AUS) came 2nd followed by Emily Copeland-Durham in 3rd. All in all it was a great weekend. My result was better than I expected and it just goes to show how important it is to believe in yourself.