Well the 2007 World Surf Kayaking Championships are officially over. Here is a run down of what happened over the final days.
The US East team hung in with the pack throughout. We were consistantly in the 4th and 3rd spots over the first two rounds of the event. We won or got second in some crucial heats, and all of our team members were going for big drops and giving it their all. This contest was particularly difficult because there were 9 full teams from all over the world, a first for the World Championships.
We got a chance to surf Mundaka for the second round of the team event, which was a great experience for everyone. In the end we finished in 6th place, 3 points behind the US West in 5th. All in all we surfed respectibly and were glad to get a chance to compete against the World’s best. Congrats to the finalists…..1st Basque, 2nd Northern Ireland, 3rd Jersey, and 4th England.
In the individual event we had many successes. Several US East paddlers made the 2nd round, Quarter finals, or Semi finals. We had 3 paddlers in the finals, Erik Miller in the Masters Short Boat, Ross Fulcher in Grand Masters Long Boat, and Devon Barker in Womens Short Boat. Erik Miller surfed wonderfully throughout the event, earning valuable points for the US East team and moving right through the individual rounds with his signature end moves and great wave control. He surfed valiantly on a beautiful sunday final with the sun shining and the waves peeling at Bakio. He finished
4th overall and we’re all very proud of him.
Devon Barker, World Champion at the 2005 Worlds in Costa Rica, showed her skill in the much improved Women’s short boat class, making it all the way to the Short boat final. The level of surfing among the women has gotten so much more competitive, and it is inspiring to see. Devon had a tough final, with big closing waves, and she managed to surf to a 3rd place finish, something to be proud of.
And Ross Fulcher, double World Champion at the 2005 event, showed us all that old guys still rule. He surfed his way to the Grand Masters Long Boat final. The final was exciting to watch, with these old timers taking some scary late drops to prove that they deserve as much respect as the rest of the field. Ross showed his east coast experience, dropping on a big face, making a nice bottom turn, and hitting a really dynamic tail slash off the lip in the brutal closeout. He finished 1st place, making him a 3 time World Champion. Way to go Ross! (And he says he’s retiring…..riiiiggghttt).
Also of note was “honorary” Eastie Buck Johnson, finishing 2nd in the GM Long Boat class and becoming Champion in the Master’s Long Boat class….all with a “Hurricane e” on his boat, placed there by an unidentified US East paddler. Congrats Buck.
Thanks to the whole US East team for working hard, we’re already setting our sights on Portugal in 2009. Also thank you to all of our families, friends, and sponsors back home for their support.
The US East Team is sponsored by: Gath, Surf the Earth, Sea Specs, Bass Pro, Werner, Astral, Great Outdoor Provision Co. and Salt Marsh Kayak Co.