Its slowly becoming a tradition that around this time of year, most of the best windsurfers in the world gather at the local spot of Jinha Beach in Korea to battle it out at the greatly organized Ulsan PWA worldcup. This year I left Europe just to arrive the night before the event as I have been to this spot several times before and do not need further introduction. I planned it out perfectly with my sleep timing and by the time I hit the bed in Jinha beach the night before the event it did not take a long time before I was asleep and woke up fresh on the morning of the race day.
Game ready in Korea.!!
As the weather forecast had promised we got the wind in the afternoon and before we knew it we were out there ready to race. We had the wind coming in from the right side of the beach, which is the usual wind direction for this spot. This makes for flat water conditions and not much wave or swell. I was on my biggest board and sail most of the time, and it seemed to be working all well. We just managed to sail couple heats the first day, and we were released only to meet up again the next morning where the forecast again seemed to be good.
The Korean morning mist
Around afternoon the wind kicked in and we were back out on the water, which this year seemed quite cold. I was using a shorty wetsuit, and after a little while, I was actually freezing. I didnt remember this happening to me last year, but luckily I had brought a new wetsuit with long legs and long arms, which served me very well that day and for the upcoming days.
Big game opening ceremony Korean style,, as usual!
Checking out the show with my buddy Dan Ellis !
Racing wise, there was some very good elements and very bad elements. After reflecting on it for a couple of days, I know exactly what to work on and what not. Now to go into the details, I had moments where I was racing very good, and moments where I wasnt spot on on my starts and the last second decisions werent as sharp as I felt them to be last year. This is because of the lack of actual racing, and I found one race to be good and one race to be bad.
During the days that we had the wind from the right side with flatwater conditions, there were lots of people going very fast, but I always managed to make my way through the initial rounds into the quarter finals. But after that it was the end of the line for me, unfortunately.
Mid heat in one of the first days in Ulsan
The view from the equipment pit area
After a couple of days of break, the wind returned, but this time from the opposite side bringing more waves with it, and made for some more difficult racing, which favored me more as I am used to sailing in these conditions. My board speed was very good, and once I got the starts nailed down I was always in the front pack, and I occasionally had some good turns which kept me up there, but I also did have some major screw-ups which brought me right down, and by the time we ended racing I was down at 29th place which doesnt really amuse me, but gives me stuff to bring back home with me and work on for the next race. Its definitely the race routine that I need to bring back. There is no doubt that I have had a very long and relaxing winter, but I feel that I need to work extra hard the next couple weeks to get back into the racing routine for the next many races this season. Its still a long year and with the feeling I have with my new equipment, I know that there are going to be good moments out on the water for the remainder of the year.
All good spirits in Korea
Our Korean hosts were once more spot on with their organizing, and proofed that they always have what it takes to pull off a perfect event. There is no doubt that even though being the event that is the furthest away, its the most unstressful event to go to, as things have been organized to perfection and there is no competing with the Korean hospitality.
We ended the event with a little closing ceremony in Jinha Beach with all the sailors, and afterwards a couple of us did a secret mission into Busan town for some fun time partying before setting our course back to our pick-up point in Jinha, and the next day I was once more on the road, and this time back to Europe.
These girls enhanced the closing ceremony,, good looking and quite good.. More of that please!
An early morning round of pool on the way home at Turkish Air lounge in Istanbul.. fun times
Now back in Denmark, spring time has arrived, the temperature is warmer and you can really feel the happy spring time mood of Copenhagen coming up. So having a bit of time until the next event, I am actually looking forward to spending some time here, and also getting some water time with the boys until I get back on the road and down to Costa Brava in Spain where the next PWA World Cup is bound to set off.
Until then,, aloha from Denmark