BKSA Wavemasters Brandon Bay 2022 Ireland
Local Legend- Neal Gent Wins BKSA Wavemasters
Just got back from another epic week in Brandon Bay. With the foils and wings there never seems to be a down day anymore!
A great week of surfing, foiling and winging, but we actually went there for the wave kiting nationals!!
Those were held over two days, and the conditions for the pros were pretty all time-30-45knts and 4-6ft surf, up at the western end of the bay at Kilcummin beach.
Even from round 1 there weren’t any easy heats, and I got narrowly knocked down into the repercharge by one of Ireland’s best riders Ryan Coote. Managed to find some gems in my heat in round two though, to squeak back into the main event having beaten Tim Harley by a hair!
The consequence of getting beaten by Ryan in the first round was me ending up on Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey’s side of the draw in the semis-only the 8 time national champ to beat then 🙂
Mind you, the other semi had Mark Shinn (2xWorld Champ), Andy Gratwick who’s a charger in the waves from his world travels running Easy Riders clinics, and Ryan Coote, a Brandon local and Ozone international rider!
Ryan took down that first semi, which left it down to me to have the first go at stopping the multiple event winner Lee! We had probably the best conditions of the event in our round, with cross shore 6m weather, and way overhead surf, but unlike our final three years ago where Lee took the win with his final wave, this year it was my turn to find the best waves, and managed to find a couple that delivered enough turns to end his event domination!
That just left local man Ryan in the all-0zone final!
The conditions actually went pretty mental for our 15 minute showdown-the wind went nuclear and cross-on, and the sets a fair bit bigger, and reckon that played into my hands riding the Reos (Ryan prefers the Ozone Alphas for their drift in cross-offshore conditions).
When the conditions get challenging i love the Ozone Reo’s ability to react/deposed/turn and let you cope with all the chop and gusts to put your turns exactly where you want them! I found a couple of bomb sets, and survived 3 to 4 turns on each, which turned out to be enough to make me Wavemasters Champion, and the UK Pro National Wavekiting Champ!
Wouldn’t be right not to mention my new ‘Flyboy’ 5’9” from JP surfboards. We’ve been working on boards for over ten years now, and this was a pretty good time to find that magic combination of outline, rocker and volume which just made dealing with variable conditions that much easier! JP has been working on a new laminate deck construction which feels so much livelier than a lot of production boards.
Neal who lives in Bracklesham is pretty handy windsurfer, sup surfer, surfer, foil surfer and big time wingfoiler. He has been the amateur British windsurf wave sailing champ, BSUPA Sup British wave champ and has been close to getting British Wave kite Champ for years – congrats Neal you deserve this win for the many hard hours you spent on the water.
Photos by Ozone Kites