It was the best laid plans of mice and men: Score a noserider for Nationals and I’d be golden.
But alas! My master strategy backfired.
A challenge is why I signed up, and by golly, gee whiz, where ya from, eh? A challenge is what I got.
It took me 10-minutes to punch out the back. Not longboard conditions at all. If I hadn’t been “training” on my friends’ 10′ for the last two weeks, the shortest board possible would’ve been my choice.
I caught one gem though. That wave put me on the scoreboard.
Also got worked on the inside by a large set. Someone told me later they thought that was the one of the biggest sets they’d seen all day.
My friend Jay shared this photo he snapped of me in the white jersey. It certainly showed how unruly the conditions were. Head high closeouts to the horizon. My arms flailing for balance as I rode one in on the inside.
Who wants to paddle out into that, right? Local knowledge or not, there are plenty of excuses I could have deployed for not surfing these big waves.
But I had paid the $60 registration fee, my name was on the competitive matrix, and I was surfing in the contest. There’s no crying in baseball, and Mother’s Day weekend makes you call for your mommy.
The play-by-play over the speakers was muffled on account of the wind and heavy sets.
After changing in the parking lot, I humbly made my way back to Wickaninnish Beach with my camera bag and notepad in tow. There were junior National crowns to be handed out, after all. SUP surf titles too.
I found a vacant beach chair in front of the Corona tent and plopped myself down, ready to watch all the action from the shore, just like a spectatrice.