I get up not-so-early and load my dry gear into the car for the drive up to Moffat’s. It is a joy to be heading to the beach after sunrise! There are some showers about, resulting in some spectacular rainbows on the way. We get there, and they announce that we will be starting at 8. And today they will run…Grand Masters! Today is the day.
Moffat’s is a rocky point—we launch from a beach and paddle out to the break. It’s sort of peaky—big A frames offer steep drops and these can connect all the way to the inside.
There will be 2 heats of three, and I’m in the second heat.
My teammates convince me that, since I’m boating so well in IC, I should use an IC boat again for my heats. As the heat approaches, Jimmy helps me outfit his boat so it fits really tightly. The horn sounds, and I’m off the beach and paddling out. Kate and Devon paddle out to cheer me on from the water.
I have a blast. I catch wave after wave, getting long rides to the inside. I look up and see Ted, from Canada, and Marcus, from Brazil, getting good rides. Honestly, I don’t know how well I’m scoring, but I feel pretty good. My last ride of the heat brings me in close to the rocks, and only a few yards away, I catch an edge and flip. Upside down, the paddle catches on a rock—it’s really shallow. Ocean rocks, unlike river rocks, are covered with sharp barnacles, which means that running up onto them when upside down is going to result in torn gear or skin. So I stay calm, manage to work the paddle free, and calmly roll back up. The final horn sounds and I’m done. I paddle back to the beach, and as I’m getting out of my boat, they announce the scores. I’m second in my heat, meaning I’m through to the finals!! Totally awesome! Better yet, I’ve got the third highest score in Grand Masters, and I’m only 0.84 points behind the second-place score.
Tuesday is also Devon’s birthday, and the whole team, as well as the judges, come over to the house in Coolum for a party. We grill kebabs and make a big pot of rice, I make a big salad, and Devon bakes a cake for dessert. Saba entertains us with her eye-crossing skills, Buey falls asleep, and we all have a wonderful time. Everyone rolls home at a reasonable hour—we need to be back at the beach at 7:00. It only takes 15 minutes or so for me to do some final cleanup—everyone pitched in before leaving so things are pretty much in order already, and then it is off to bed for me.
What a great day!
Kebabs! On the barbie!
Saba crosses her eyes!