Sarah Bibby from UK made it on the top spot of the podium. Congrats!
Eventual winner of the ladies division, Sarah Bibby, gives us her take on the event and sailing at the iconic wave location. Having only sailed at main break twice before the event, Sarah explains that it can be a difficult wave to read. Although her wave selection and positioning in the Open heat would have suggested otherwise. Sarah scored two great wave rides competing against the boys, finding herself deep in the pocket and timing her turns well to impress the judges. However, the lighter winds earlier on in the Ladies heat proved to be a bit tricky for all three women competing. A 10 minute heat in marginal winds made it challenging to score a decent wave ride.
Fortunately the wind and swell picked up as the day progressed and Sarah was able to take full advantage of the conditions, fitting in a heli shoot and quick tour of the region by air to top off an action packed day. Margaret River definitely has a formidable reputation; launching and landing through the reef can be daunting to new and seasoned sailors alike. But Sarah admits that her overall experience at Margs has been a positive one; the wave is more powerful in comparison to Lancelin and Coronation, but in terms of a big wave spot she believes it’s not as intimidating as its reputation would suggest. We just have to add, that Sarah prepared very well in Chile, where she spent 6 weeks in November/December. Have a look on her video!
1. Sarah Bibby
2. Liss Earle
3. Rebecca Cutter
Although local legend, Hughie Bowden, has a few stories that might make you think otherwise. In his twenty years of sailing here, Hughie has witnessed just how gnarly Main Break can be and has built up a healthy respect for the wave in that time. Standing in a converted saw mill enjoying the post-event entertainment, Hughie glances up to the roof members some 15ft-plus in the air as a reference point for a ‘classic’ Margies day, describing the conditions for the competition as relatively small. Hughie, who turned 60 this year, has been windsurfing for over 30 years after having first seen the sport in Hawaii in the late 70’s. It was his second time competing in the event, having convincingly won the Grand Master’s division last year, and he explains it was good taking part again despite being up against some younger sailors. One thing is for sure though, and that’s if you don’t quite make it out on the water here, it’s an experience in itself just watching the locals sail.
Back on the water, the Masters final consisted of Jonah Desforges, Pete Tomsett, Jason Matthews and Graham Pullen. As the starting hooter sounded, Jonah dropped in on the biggest wave of the day to set the tone for the following ten minutes of action. Graham landed a clean backloop and Jonah continued his excellent wave selection and smooth bottom turns. Ultimately, it was Pete’s aggressive wide riding and solid forwards which impressed the judges and saw him clinch the number one spot.
1. Pete Tomsett
2. Jonah Desforges
3. Graham Pullen
4. Jason Matthews