Travel report by Sarah-Quita

Monday 23 April 2018

Travel report by Sarah-Quita

The PWA Wave in Morocco was an unexpected event. It was confirmed last minute. I've always wanted to go to Morocco and this was the perfect reason to go. Before I knew it, my tickets were booked and I was on my way to Amsterdam to catch my connecting flight to Marrakech. Off on a new adventure SQ!

I arrived about one week before the event and was able to train in all sorts of conditions. From mega windy and jumping, to light wind and riding only. It was great! Before our women's only event there was another contest. I stayed at the house of Abderazaq and as the event got closer more people started pouring in. Next thing I know we're having tagine and couscous with 15 people. It was an international affair with Italians, Frenchies, Germans, and the one Aruban. We dubbed our house the ''house of champions''. It was fun to come home and hear everybody's stories and results!

Competition day

The forecast changed all the time and it looked like there was a depression nearby that would create some massive swell on that Wednesday during our contest. The head judge made a point out of it to get the first elimination done before "big Wednesday hit''. 

My issue? I have no patience - First heat PWA Wave
Moulay is known to be windy so it would have been great to have two waves and a jump to count but it was too light so only wave rides would count. Secretly that's what I wanted anyway, because I really want to improve in that aspect. My issue? I have no patience. When the wind is light you don't move around so quickly so you need to be picky with the waves. Of course I start pumping for the first ''bump'' I see and rip a hip high wave to shreds. When I float back out I see the other girls in my heat on over head high set waves hahaha. Oh man. I did it again. Patience SQ! I didn't catch the best waves in my first heat but I rode them the best I could so I advanced through to the next round.

The wind turned more side shore and the waves were cleaner; these were 30 minutes of pure joy!
For the next rounds I got into the groove of things and really did my best to be patient. Finally I advanced to the winners final alongside Iballa and Daida Moreno and Lina Erpenstein. The conditions were only getting better and this was the most fun heat of the day! The wind turned more side shore, got stronger and the waves were cleaner. This was 30 minutes of pure joy. Only 4 girls on the water and we were actually cheering each other on. This was definitely my best heat and coming off the water I was just happy to have made it to the final.
After some issues with the live scoring they finally announced the results and I finished in second, after Iballa Moreno. Ayee! I always aim for a podium finish. Especially in waves, every time I make a podium it's a huge motivation, so second is insane for me!

These waves gave me more goosebumps than Jaws in Maui
The day after, ''big Wednesday hit''. It was even bigger than we expected! Double mast high giants. I have seen jaws break a couple of times in Maui, although smaller, these waves gave me more goose bumps. There was whitewater everywhere and absolutely no channel and thus, no escape. The contest was called off for the day. We did go out for a sail on the inside, but once near the impact zone I realized the white water alone was mast high... Uff... better not go too far. Boujmaa managed to get out and tame those waves though and that was really inspiring to watch.

Satisfied with my 2nd place, but fired up to do even better!
Ultimately we only had one day of competition. The wind dropped, and the swell was just absolutely massive for days in a row. I would have loved to sail the double elimination but that's just the way it goes at contest sometimes. For now I'm really satisfied with my 2nd place, but fired up to do even better. I'll be spending some time in Aruba before making my way to my next contest in Portugal where I'll be competing in freestyle and slalom.

Catch ya laters! - Sarah Quita 

by Anouk Van Haaster