Alex headed down south for his annual pilgrimage to Baja a bit early this year. He had a couple of weeks to warm up then I joined him for the American Windsurfing Tour event. This year the Youth division looked really strong with Takara Ishi (RRD/RRD) Max Schettewi (JP/Hot Sails) Jake Schettewi (JP/Hot Sails) arriving straight from the PWA Youth event in Pozo. After 2 rounds, the final 4 were Alex plus Taka, Max and Jake. In a tight final, Jake Schettewi was the standout sailor, having already made the Pro final, and took the win. Alex caught the set wave but after that struggled to find another and had to settle for 4th.
In the Amateur event Alex used his Baja experience to notch a couple of heat wins to go straight in to the final and avoid the long road through redemption rounds. In the semifinal round he came up against Joliffe Road-veteran JP Pooley. In a youth-dominated final it was Alex, Max Schettewi, Taka and perennial Amateur finalist Jeff Albright. Jeff calculated that he was older than all the other finalists combined but he took down the young guns for the win. The other places were Max 2nd, Alex 3rd and Taka 4th.
With a day spare after the finals, the organisers ran a ProAm event with $500 prize. All the Pros were randomly drawn with an Amateur and Alex was drawn with Casey Hauser (Tabou/S2 Sails). The judges were scoring the best wave riding by both riders simultaneously riding the same wave. Alex and Casey gelled quickly and made it through to the final where they took on Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Ezzy Sails) and Carl Spiess from Canada. Alex and Casey continued their run and took the $500 prize.
Punta San Carlos (www.solosports.net) is a phenomenal wave sailing spot, as you can see from the short event video.