It's been a great trip so far in Europe. I went straight from Virginia Beach to Spain. I was lucky to know a local named Jose who did everything he could to set me up with spot my first night and a ride to the event.
Jose was in Santa Barbara right before and I got the chance to meet him and his family . The are the coolest family and have a lot of stoke for surfing. From his place near Santiago we went to Pantin where the WSL 6000 would take place. The coastline was rugged and exposed to plenty of swell and wind. I got a room at a small hotel about 20 minutes from the comp.
The place was very quiet and with not any stores in sight. The contest went well for two heats before I had a rough heat in the evening low tide conditions with the low tide and onshores. I was still stoked I made a few difficult heats.
I meet up Aritz Aranburu and Andy Criere in Pantin and got a ride in Aritz's nice Volkswagen van. We drove all the way to Portugal and got a nice dinner before catching our flight to the Azores.
We landed on the beautiful island of Sao Miguel and got our car and drove to the other side. We rented a house with Leandro Usuna, Manuel Selman, Gony Zubbizerreta, Aritz Aranburu, Andy Criere, Nico Vargos, and Skip McCullough. It was an epic crew and we all had our sights on getting a good result in the 6000 WSL event.
The spot was called Praia De Santa Barbara just like my home town. The wave was a real fun predominantly left wedge off a cliff. The contest saw fun 2-5 foot surf for most the event. After losing a close heat to a great surfer Patrick Guadaskas.
I watched and rooted for my housemates Gony and Aritz and they did great taking home equal 5th place. After that I had to check out the island and experience it with my buddies. It just so happened to be a south swell hitting the other side and we found a very ripable left off a jetty. The architecture on the island was really nice. We also found some very nice mineral rich hot springs in the mountains.
From there it was time to head back to mainland Portugal. The swell was coming in and we had nothing on our agendas but to surf and get some video clips. We got decent Supertubos but it was a bit crowded.
Other than that we surfed the reefs of Ericiera and a few beachbreaks. We are working hard on improving our technique and heat strategy while we wait for the Cascais 10000 to start. Really excited about this next event. Keep up on The WSL site and look for my heats. The forecast is calling for waves!!