Thursday, August 26, 2010

SWT Freestyle at Torhamn

Took me some time to edit since it's been fully nuking these past few days, but now I'll just proceed to give you what you need. I will not only give you a very exclusive videoblog, but also a full (well almost) video from one of my heats. How's that for an update huh?

So, here we go: We are currently in a 4 event tour, with 3 completed competitions, the last of which being the one in Torhamn. We got the confirmation that Torhamn would be the host just half a day before the actual event, so me, Johan and our other friend Erik packed ourselves into Johans' car at 6 a.m. and had a nice 5 hour drive down to the southernmost part of Sweden, where I'd never been before so it was a cool trip. When we arrived everyone had already arrived, so we were thrown into the water immediately. The weather was nice and warm, with powerful steady winds and really warm water. I can't remember the last time I sailed in conditions like this in Sweden. The spot is perfect for freestyle, and apparently has a consistent planing winds every day when the sun is out, during the summer.

I rigged my 5.2 for starters and was properly powered, as well as really focussed on going all out in the comp. We were sailing around for a while to warm up, and I was doing good, probably thanks to the previous week on Lyrön where everything was just a big mess of chop hitting you from all over. Anyways, I was feeling really safe in everything I tried, so when we headed out to the heat area I was feeling calm and collected.

After a quick announcement of the proceedings by race director Hank I was up for the first heat, going against Jakob S-1441 who was ripping. Nice Spocks and Willys, and he's the youngest in the line-up. Watch the heat in the vid below.

Erik Håkman S-1988, First heat of SWT Freestyle at Torhamn from Erik Håkman on Vimeo.

When the first heat was finished I was in a good vibe, and just kept going all through the ladder - when I reached the first final I was up against Nikke S-4444 and Emil S-62. I was totally focussed and ready to roll. I started out nicely with a Onehanded Flaka and a Double Flaka on the first run on port, and after that I landed pretty much everything I could think of except a regular stance Kono, but I didn't fall once. Some of the moves from this heat are featured in the Videoblog episode watchable below. When I finished I felt like it was in the bag, but unfortunately didn't have enough moves on port. I was happy though, just a little bit bummed that I didn't get a good gust to get that Kono. Nikke used his trademark Chachoos to take the win, and this was probably the best heat of the comp, as all three of us put on a good show.

After this I was done, but as the wind continued to push in we went for a kind of a Double elimination, where I went against Emil again; he landed Switch-Chachoos and Air-Flakas giving his definite best performance of the day. I got through and met Nikke again but didn't have all of that great focus and determination from the first final. My heat was OK, I went for three moves on the same run on the first port, not really getting the Cana Brava at the end. After that I had a few crashes and unlucky gusts going for my airmoves.

All in all I learnt a lot this event; how to keep my calm and play the heats right. It's a lot different from free-sailing, but I'm really starting to like it. With the right preparations and training I think it I'll be even more fun. Practice makes perfect, that's for sure.

To finish off I wanna thank the guys at Torhamn for a sick day, with a superb spot and just an overall fun time. Props to all the guys rocking awesome moves, all the locals representing their home spot, Johan for driving and letting me stop for beer three times on the way home, and last but certainly not least Erik for filming, taking pictures and coaching me from the sideline.

Now watch the vvvideoblog! It's true to the nature of the ones from the Philippines. Watch all of it, and yes, there is windsurfing in there. Just keep watching.

[Videoblog] The comp at Torhamn from Erik Håkman on Vimeo.


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