Yikes, I’ve forgotten to introduce my team! We are the US West Surf Kayak Team (though there is no US East team this year), the Wicked Westies.
Here they are:
First up is Kate Duncan, team manager. She’s actually an Aussie transplant to California, and she’s an EMT for a municipal fire department near Sacramento, California. She is, of course, really nice, and, important for a team manager, nicely organized.
Next is Mat Hoff, a kayak instructor from Monterrey, California. Another really nice guy. He sort of reminds me of one of my brothers.
Then there are the folks from the Portugal Worlds.
Devon Barker-Hicks, professional kayaker. She got married since Portugal. A former world champ, she lives in Idaho.
Rachel Krugman. She came in second, if I remember correctly, at the 2011 World’s in North Carolina. She is now an OT, and was married last May to James Ward (their relationship had just started when we were in Portugal), and lives in San Jose, California.
Jim Grossman. He is yet another former world champ, is an incredible athlete, and also lives in Idaho.
Finally, there are the juniors, our under-18 team members. They are Buey and Saba Grossman, Jim’s kids, aged 11 and 9 respectively. More on them later.
A meeting was held this evening that set the draw for the team competition. There are 5 teams: Us, the Basques, Jersey (the island, not the state), England and Australia. (For an explanation of how the team event works, see here.) We will have one round with 5 teams, and then the lowest team will be dropped. The second round will then have 4 teams, with the lowest team dropped again. The finals will have the top 5 teams.
On the first day, the lineup will be as follows:
4 heats of Men’s High Performance, with Mat, Buey and myself competing in three of them and no paddler in the fourth.
2 heats of Women’s HP (Rachael and Kate)
1 heat of Master’s HP (Jim)
1 heat of Junior’s HP (Buey)
1 heat of Junior International Class (Noah Bader, an American who lives locally that Jim says will be able to show up. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t show.)
1 heat of Master’s IC (Devon)
2 heats of Women’s IC (Devon and Kate)
4 heats of Men’s IC (Me, Noah, Mat and Jim)
There is an interesting catch here: except for a few minutes in Devon’s boat earlier this evening, I’ve never paddled IC. Could be interesting. Teams start bright and early again tomorrow, again at Alex Head.
Buey (left) and Saba