Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chapter 7 (July 14) Team Competition Day 2: USA! USA! USA!

Dawn at Alex Head

It is raining yet again this morning, but it clears up again as we get to the beach.  Team trials, round 2.

With Noah out of the picture, Jim is subbing in Saba. 

Jim, Mat and I are starting in Men’s IC, and we’ve no paddler in the 4th heat.
Devon and Kate are next in Women’s IC
Then Devon is up again in Master’s IC
Next, Saba is going to paddle Junior’s IC, then Buey is going in Junior’s HP
Jim is then up for Master’s HP, followed by Rachael and Kate in Women’s HP, and then No Paddler, Buey, Mat and I to finish off Men’s HP.

The weather turns nice, and it’s time to go. 

Jim scores a first in his heat, and then Mat scores a fourth against super-tough competition.  Time for me.

I’m not making the same mistakes as yesterday—I’m going to catch everything I can.  I feel like I’m doing well, and sure enough, I’m third!  So I feel like I’m doing enough to  keep us in it.

The scoring is tight all day, with teams moving back and forth within only a few points of each other.

The Junior IC heat is a hoot.  Both we and the Aussie’s have very young and very novice paddlers in the heat, to avoid the points, and the dads of the two paddlers plus at least one other person are hovering nearby to try and flip the paddlers upright when they capsize.  On the outside, the Basque paddler (England has nobody for the heat) is tearing it up while being generally ignored by the crowd, who are cheering wildly for the kids, and for the dads too.  Saba comes in third, which is great.

Getting Saba launched…

…while Mom looks on.

After lunch, I re-do my foot braces with foam, removing the Happy Feet that I’ve been using.  I’m just not getting enough support with the Happy Feet.  I get it all set, and I’m ready to go for the last heat.

Conditions have gotten rather small.  As I paddle out, I can tell that the foam braces are a huge improvement.  I immediately start catching waves after wave, and in the midst of this I’m really happy about all the prep time I put into this competition, because I’m feeling great.  The horn sounds and I paddle in to find…I’m again third!  Awesome.

But Team USA still scores 4th highest for the day.  We are out of the finals..

Still, I feel like I’m improving every day.  I can’t wait for the Grand Masters rounds. 

Tomorrow we get a much-needed day off.  Thank goodness.  Maybe I can dry my stuff out. 

Mat showing how it's done in IC


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