All Photos / ISA, Sean Evans, Ben Reed
I still can't believe what just happened here in El Salvador at the ISA World Championships!
After Red Bull Heavy Water I spend about 5 weeks in California really focused on my training for this event, I knew I had a good chance and I was coming into this event stronger both physically and mentally than ever.
The World Title had always been my biggest dream ever since I started and I think its everyone's dream to stand on top of the podium with a gold medal, that´s also what makes it so special and hard to achieve.
I got here a few days prior to the event and was able to get a few sessions in before it all started, the weather here is really hot and humid, but luckily I was used to a little higher temperatures than Denmark from California.
El Salvador is such a cool place and when I first heard about it I was quite skeptical, but it was way over my expectations.
Before the event, we went to visit the president of El Salvador Nayib bukele, had a really cool opening ceremony and spent some quality time on the water in El Sunzal.
Unfortunately, Casper got a bit sick on the first day and therefore wasn't able to compete in the sprint so I got the opportunity to compete in another event. I was able to finish in 7th which I was happy about considering I first knew I had to compete one hour before the race.
I made a hard decision and decided to skip out on the Long Distance race which was the day before the Technical Races, I wanted to save the energy and put all my focus into the Junior Final.
We started with qualifiers for the finals, I felt great and stayed in the front pack all the way, It was a great confidence boost to have before the big day.
Going into the final day I honestly didn't feel 100%, I had some trouble sleeping that night, but I knew from experience that feeling isn't all that important and I can still compete well in a situation like that.
My focus and confidence were still at 100% and this race was all I had on my mind.
When the horn blew I sprinted and had a great start sitting in 2nd to the first buoy.
From there the pack started splitting up, it was windy and not ideal for drafting.
A lot of upwind, sidewind, downwind and of course waves. Coming into the end of lap number 1 Rai Taguchi (Japan) and I caught a wave in front and pulled away.
From there we were 1st and 2nd the entire second lap, coming into the wave section at the second lap I looked behind me to see if there were any waves coming through and that made me lose balance and fall in. When you fall in your heart rate starts pumping and its really hard to get back into the rhythm again, I decided to set in an all-out sprint to get back up to Rai, which really hurt and took all my energy away.
Going into the last lap my pace started slowing down, I really had to dig deep to find any motivation, I wanted this win so bad and as I looked behind me Tyler Bashor (USA) and Marius Auber (France) in 3rd and 4th were getting closer.
That gave me some motivation and I found that last gear from all the training leading into this event, I got closer to Rai and as we got into the wave section I managed to just get over this wave that got me up side by side with Rai.
The adrenaline started pumping and I didn´t really feel pain at this point.
I got off the side of the wave and that gave me a little momentum that I kept going with a sprint to the second last buoy.
I made up a little lead on Rai and I started sprinting to the last buoy, I had about 500 meters to go and I gave it my all to cross the finish line in first, left nothing on the water that day.
Words can´t describe how it felt to take that win, putting everything into something and achieving your dream is such an amazing feeling.
Huge congrats to Rai and ありがとうございました for a great battle.
Also huge congrats to Marius and Tyler for taking home bronze and copper.
I have so many people to thank, its been so amazing with all your support, not just at this event but throughout my career, thank you so much.
And of course thank you to all my sponsors, family, friends, and Casper for helping me out since day one.
Without all you guys any of this wouldn't be possible.
Next stop: Paris APP World Tour