On Friday 16-AUG-02 I landed at LAX and took the train to Long Beach. John picked me up and off we went. Silvia had tostadas cooking up and after a a brief tour of Emily & John?s room we started in on dinner and Monk. A short visit to Amy?s cats, another beer and off to sleep at 10:40 or so - 1:40 Eastern time. Up at 5:20 or so and off in John?s Lexus. A quick stop at Starbucks for quad venti latte.
The drive to Oceanside to a little over an hour and I arrived at the pier around 7:11 or so. The pier is a giant walk way extending about 200 yards out into the ocean. It seems as tho the purpose is fishing an tourism.
The contest is happening on the north and south sides of the pier. There is a tent on each side with the announcer describing some the rides, but, mostly calling out the names of the people in the water and calling up the next heat. There are two tents up on the pier. Each has three judges for their respect contests. There are two groups running concurrently...
There were about four other tents, one selling T-Shirts, one selling ?Da-Fin? fins, one selling energy drinks, and a few others.
There were four large sandwich boards of 6 ft plywood with all of the info on them.
About 8Am I got on my suit and went in the water down the beach a little bit. Waves breaking in about 5 ft of water. Some were perhaps 2 ft. Most smaller. Some would barely carry one.
Get out, walk along the pier to mark my spot.
Lurking around the control tent. Finally they call us up. There are five of us. One person has some of injury to keep him out. It is a beach start, which means our heat begins at the same moment the other heat ends. We start at the shore and need to swim out to the waves. I head out. I catch a tiny wave to make sure I get something. Then I head out to my spot.
I get about 7 waves all told. None great. One of the better & bigger cuts I had was taking me straight into he pier. I don?t like pier pressure, so, I somersaulted out of it and got a bit more distance between myself and the pier. I thought I was doing OK, but, i had no idea. I tried to get some distance in the waves.
The first round I was in the 12th heat at 9:15 I got 59.5 points and was second behind Bruce. He had 80.
In the quarterfinals at 6:30 AM I was in 5th place with 54 points. The top three we 80+, 70+, 69. Fourth had 61 and sixth had 53.
A quick look at the other scores makes me think I was easily in the top 20 of our age group.
Scoring is done based on the four top waves. Tricks, waves choice, getting into the waves, getting out of the wave, length of ride and NOT getting in other peoples way.
Final Results. Also, a story about Mark Cunningham
So, now do I continue on to Pipeline? Mind you I am a little crazy, but, I did play in those ways last February.
The photos are by Bruce Robbins, the winner of my first heat. I have the 4 pix at 1600x1200 if you want them, let me know. Used with full permission.
Back to YON <> Bodysurfing <> Hawai'i in February 2002!