2015 has been a pretty sick year for me. I managed to retain my title as under 20’s UK wave sailing champion. I also traveled out to Tenerife to compete in the PWA youths where I finished 9th. I’m really stoked with how the year has turned out and have signed to Tabou/Gaastra for another season, which I hope will be just as good if not better than this year.
Rhosneigr was the first stop on the British Wavesailing Association tour. However being only 2 weeks before my GCSE exams I was only really able to go if the forecast looked good. Unfortunately the forecast was pretty bad and there was no wind for the competition.
In August, after a windy summer of sailing, me, my family and my mate James Arnell-Smith travelled out to Tenerife for the Professional Windurfing Association (PWA) competition. Travelling out was interesting as we all wanted to sail so we ended up with 3 triple board bags and 2 quiver bags, going through the airport was pretty entertaining! It was amazing being out their with all the top wavesailors in the world. One of the highlights for me was sailing out about 10 metres behind Ricardo Campello and watching him land a dry double forward right in front of me! Another highlight was being part of the opening ceremony and being part of a procession through the streets of El Medano. The juniors competition got underway on the first day of the competition, which was slightly annoying as the conditions weren’t epic and I’d only sailed there for 30 mins before sailing my heat. The heats were 4 man and were 14 minutes long with 2 jumps and 2 waves counting. I was put in a heat with my friend James, a Tenerife local Julian Salmon (the one who was 0.5 points away from knocking Philip Köster out of the main event!) and Alex Gran-Guillot who also got to the final. Unfortunately I came 3rd, which meant I got knocked out, however the other 2 were on fire! This left me in 9th overall in the under 25’s which I’m still really happy with.
Tiree was an amazing experience for me. The competition was excellent and the island was stunningly beautiful. RYA Scotland were running a special event alongside the BWA and attracted 20 juniors, the intention was the top six would then compete in the youth fleet but the wind and conditions prevented this. Unfortunately, there weren’t so many youths up there but I was able to compete in the amateur fleet and to my amazement finished 4th in the single elimination! We then went into the double and whilst I was waiting for my heat, my Dad and sister were competing.
Jenna, my sister, did really well in the ladies fleet and in her heats progressed extremely well finishing 5th, then 4th & 4th and finally 3rd in her last one – which is pretty impressive at the age of 14! My dad also did really well in the masters and won the single, unfortunately he ended in second after the super final in the double was run. In my heat I was up against Tris Levie, Tiree islander, who was fighting his way back after getting knocked out too early for his liking in the single. I managed to beat him which allowed me to challenge Ben page for 3rd, I felt I sailed quite well however Ben was on fire and went all the way to a super final, just missing out and ending 2nd.
This was the first time I had used the new 2016 kit from Gaastra and tabou. I was on a GA 5.4 IQ (I was using it with the 3/4 battern in, which felt really nice for lighter winds and more down the line conditions) and the 2016 Tabou Da Curve 2016. It was such a good combination and worked really well, getting me planing the majority of the time, whereas others were struggling and then being so good when on a wave with the sail de-powering in the bottom turn and feeling nice and light in the top turns. When there wasn’t any wind the paddleboarding was amazing, with really nice clean waves and clear waters most days. Off the water there was a really nice community feel with all the competitors, and fun events being held most evenings.
Cornwall was the final stop on the BWA tour. We travelled down there on the Sunday night the week before the competition. Also down early was Lucas Meldrum and we had a good windsurf at Marazion on the Monday. It was cross on and I was on my GA IQ 4.7 and Tabou Da Curve 75 (first outing!) there were some really nice ramps for jumping and I got really close to a couple of backloops, which felt weird on the opposite tack to which I’m used to. Unfortunately there wasn’t much wind, however the waves were amazing for paddleboarding!! We had another small wave session at Gwithian on Wednesday but the best conditions were on Friday whilst the pros were competing.
The waves were about logo high and we had cross off wind. The 5.4 worked really well with the 3/4 battern set-up in these conditions, also the 86 Da Curve felt absolutely amazing. There wasn’t enough wind to run a windsurf competition on Saturday so the junior fleet had a SUP competition. This was good fun and I’m really happy to win this narrowly ahead of James Arnell-Smith and then Lucas Meldrum who came third with my sister Jenna in fourth.
On the Sunday a bigger SUP competition was run with all fleets included, the waves were pumping with overhead sets coming through, just getting out was challenging enough and with 25 minute heats it was very tiring. I was so stoked to come second In the end with Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers winning and Sam Ross and Warren Rowe sharing equal third.
I’d like to say a big thanks to all my sponsors: GA Sails, Tabou, 2XS & Amiri construction. I’d also like to thank my parents for travelling around and taking me out of school! It was a big chore for Dad…. NOT 😉
Please like my page on Facebook www.facebook.com/JackPettitWindsurfing
And also follow me on Instagram @jackpettitk969 for updates and photos.