Andrew and Steve at The AWT Punta San Carlos
Essentially the AWT is the result of one person’s ( Sam Bittner) effort to re-ignite interest in wave-sailing competitions in the USA. Every year the AWT holds events in Santa Cruz, Pistol River, Peru, Punta San Carlos, Cape Hatteras and Maui. They also participate in other windsurfing events around and about, such as at the Gorge. The number of competitors ranges from 40-100 depending on location. They have divisions for Pro, Amateurs, Masters (>45), Grand Masters (>55), Women and Youth.
For those of you who don’t know what the AWT is – see http://
It was a tough week at the AWT in Punta San Carlos for both competitors and especially the organizers with a lack of consistent wind. PSC is located about 350 miles south of San Diego down Baja Hwy 1. If you do not stay at Solo Sports , which caters for all your needs , then you have to bring everything. Food , water, shade etc. The nearest town is 2 hours away down a nasty dirt road that eats tires. Typical wind is 4.2-4.7.
We had wind and ok waves for the first few days and the pros were able to run all their competition. Morgan Norieux from Maui was the stand-out and won easily. Then no wind for 2 days, and finally monster hurricane-generated surf and some light wind, but only at the end of each day for an hour or so. The amateur finals ( with two women in it) were run in conditions in the last hours of the last day that were very challenging. In several of the earlier heats boards and sails were washed up on the rocks and badly damaged.
As far as my results – I won my first amateur heat, then unfortunately came third in my second heat meaning I did not progress. However, my results were good enough to give me a win in the Grand Masters.
I had bad luck in the “expression session” to get nailed by the lip of a 8ft wave and end up swimming after my gear – that ended up badly damaged on the rocks in the ‘Chili bowl’.