After finalizing everything with ISA and all payments done, I got their confirmation that the UAE was officially signed up for the ISA 50th Year anniversary world games of surfing. The comp was only 1 month away, which meant I had only 1 month to train with Sean. After the approval Sean told me that last year he had competed in the ISA masters comp or something like that, to be honest don’t remember the name of the comp as I was frothing to go surfing that day. He told me that at the comp it was massive and it is the same location where the ISA comp was in Punta Rocas Peru. He said I would need a bigger board to be able to paddle in the waves. To this point, I had only been surfing small waves and only had small boards, I mean the biggest board I rode was 5’9. I remember when I first met Sean I gave one of his boards a go, it is called the flying manta. That board after only 2 sessions became one of my favorite boards to surf with in Cali. Sean and I discussed the likelihood that we may have waves 10ft + during the comp and so we would need to change my quiver.
After discussing the comp in detail we decided to get a few von sols, ranging from 5’9 to 6’10. These board were only ready like 1 week before my travel date to Peru so I didn’t exactly have much time testing them out. Sean fed me some last minute advice and tips on what and how to do and what and what not to do. Before Flying Sean introduce me to one of his Peruvian friend Lucho Saldivar, what an amazing person, very helpful and humble so glad I have met such person and happy to have stayed in touch with him, we still in contact till date. He hooked me up with a place to stay in Punta Rocas, he organized a videographer for me in order to document the whole trip and he gave me few tips on what to eat, drink and where to surf. I was so grateful for all the help. So off to Peru I go! When I landed, my videographer Sebastian Vereau Alvarez-Calderon, I call him Sebas was waiting for me at arrivals. We went to Lucho’s house, met his beautiful, welcoming and amazing wife Micaela. I’m sooo thankful for this amazing family for welcoming me to their home, helping me and support me. Then off to Punto Rucas we go, just Sebas and myself together for the next 10 days. We arrive at my hotel, the hotel is owned by a great dude Carlos Zevallo, Carlos’s place is on the Punta Rocas point, so he would be the most knowledgeable of that wave, I was the first competitor to arrive, so team UAE were the first. We arrived late at night, so we sat outside with Carlos and had few Orange Juices and talked about the wave and other stuff.
Next day morning it was a 6ft pumping point break, so I grab my 5’9 Von Sol and paddle out to the line up, Woke up super early and there was only 4 people in the water, all local guys 3 of them guns “That absolutely scared the shit out of me!!”. While surfing I was trying to learn and improve my Spanish from the locals on the line up. Seba’s was shooting the whole time, and I remember the waves were great fun. In particular I remember my 3rd wave, because my first 2 waves I ate it on them properly!. In my head I absolutely killed it on that third wave!! And I was sooo pumped to see the footage as I thought I got a new profile pic for my facebook!. On my first session I sat out there for 2hours and only caught 4 waves, 2 of which I wiped out!. Then I paddled in and went to watch the footage of my 3rd wave, Lets say it wasn’t even close to what I thought I did. In my head I thought I did an off the lips, tail release. In the actual footage It was a crappy check turn!!. So that was a great boost to my self steam…. ”Not!”. We went for lunch at Carlos’s restaurant, I’m not big fan of raw fish, so stayed away from ceviche. Then in the afternoon Lucho and his wife, brought their son Lucca Saldivar, a shredder and gnarly surfer. So we went surfing in a spot called San Bartollo, it was small that day, around 2-3ft. It was a bit crowded and the point was full of sea urchin”my best friend”. We surfed for 2 hours, well Lucca surfed while I was watching up close and managed to catch 4 waves.
To this day I struggle in wave count. It is hard to read waves and catching them at crowded places. For the next 4 days leading up to the comp, I would surf with Lucca and try to learn from him how to read, surf and where to sit at Punta Rocas. I haven’t used my big board’s yet as the waves would vary from 4 to 6 ft. I was tracking the swell for the comp, the report showed the day 1 of the comp that it would be around 8ft and day 2 would go from 8 to 10ft. For me the biggest wave I had surfed was 6ft and that was only 2 days before, on my first day at Punto Rocas So yes, I was nervous and every time I thought about it I would end up rushing to the bathroom from the nerves. I knew I had to try out the bigger boards so I made the decision that even if the waves were small on my next surf I would take out my 6’6. Oooooh my my, I tell you it is not easy duck diving with that thing, especially if you are a surfer like me. The duckdiving wasn’t the only issue, turning the board was more than different and harder than what I was used to. Anyway I did manage to have 2 surfs with the big board. 2 more sleeps till the ISA world games of surfing 2014 kicks off.
Living the Dream