First at the Eurochallenge 2018 - Viilajoyosa

The Eurochallenge 2018 kick started the season with classic conditions;

                                       

We were only in Tenerife for one week after leaving South Africa before heading to Villajoyosa for the Eurochallenge. I really love this race. The town of Villajoyosa is not far from Alicante airport and with a beautiful stretch of beach, great harbour and the home of the famous Valor Chocolate makes an awesome venue for the race. We arrived on the 25th April, a few days before the race window, once we had dropped our bags at the hotel we walked to the race venue so I could set my boat up and go out for a light session. The next day Kenny arrived along with the wind so after a bit of lunch, Juan from Club Nautica Villajoyosa dropped us off in Benidorm for a 12km downwind. A short side wind section to get out to sea and then we had a fantastic downwind back to the club. I was feeling really good and my Carbonology Pulse was handling the conditions perfectly. 

That evening it was Pizza time, at a great restaurant (PIZZA GUSTA) near our hotel. By Friday the vibe had set in and everyone was arriving and talking about the potential conditions, the organisers had made the decision to run the race on Sunday as the forecast showed that from 12pm the wind was coming in. In our race packs we had a note that had a trailer number on it, which was then your designated trailer and the spot for your surfski for the race. When we arrived at the venue on Sunday morning to pick up our trackers the wind had already started to pick up, a really good sign. After a quick coffee we all boarded the coaches and headed to the start. By the time we were at the start the wind had increased and was now hitting 18-20 kts. The direction was the best it had been all week and it would be an almost direct line up the coast to the finish. It is an 18km course from El Compello to Villajoyosa.

A quick warm up and we all lined up ready to go, no wasting time and before I knew it we were off. The first 800m or so was a slight side wind to the turn buoy and then downwind to the finish. I turned the buoy in a big group. We (Jenna, Amaia, Judit, Aurora and myself) were all pretty close going around the turn. I decided straight away on my line and put my head down and started concentrating on catching every run. I had so much fun and with my Garmin shouting fast splits -I was loving it. I knew then that if I wasn't on for the win then there was nothing more I could've done. So I just focused on my own race, and raced my Garmin.

When I crossed the line, I wasn't sure if I had won or not as the wind was so strong that I did not hear the announcement. Then the waves were crashing on the slipway so we had to paddle around to get out on a jetty that was sheltered from the wind and waves. It took a few minutes to find out that I had won, I am still so stoked. Thanks to everyone who made it a great race. And well done to everyone who raced, it was a fantastic downwind with decent conditions. It is great to see the strength and depth in the races in Europe.


TOP 8 WOMEN 

1 3 CHLOE BUNNETT / ESPAÑA..................... MUJER SENIOR SS1.................................... 1:16:18:110
2 32 JUDIT VERGÉS XIFRA / ESPAÑA............ MUJER SENIOR SS1.................................... 1:17:45:847
3 8 AMAIA OSABA OLABERRI / ESPAÑA........ MUJER SENIOR SS1.................................... 1:17:54:181
4 52 JENNA WARD / SUD AFRICA.................. MUJER SENIOR SS1.................................... 1:19:40:601
5 20 AURORA FIGUERAS PALOMERAS / ESPAÑA...... MUJER SENIOR SS1..................... 1:20:38:790
6 6 LUCIA SERRALTA FERRER / ESPAÑA..... MUJER SUB 23 SS1...................................... 1:24:03:011
7 44 LIZELLE KEMP / ESCOCIA....................... MUJER VET C-D (1964-73) SS1.................. 1:26:01:434
8 58 MARIA VAELLO SANTAMARIA / ESPAÑA............ MUJER JUVENIL SS1....................... 1:28:15:118


As always a big shout out to  Carbonology Sport, LivingSea and Vaikobi for your continued support so excited for the rest of 2018.

Also I have been working with Hayley Nixon from @posture2paddle during the off season to add some strength and conditioning into my training and it has definitely paid off. So thank you Hayley, it has been awesome and I look forward to working with you during the rest of my season.

A big thank you to all the organisers from #Eurochallenge2018 and everyone from Club Nautico Villajoyosa who made our stay and race fantastic. See you in October for the European Championships.


😊



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