Sophia in Pozo: Chill Time

The wind looks like it should be coming through very soon over in Gran Canaria, but for now the riders are relaxing and preparing for the biggest windsurfing competition of the year so far!

Whilst on Boardseeker you can follow the live stream and chat to top riders and Boardseeker reporters Robby Swift, Justyna Sniady and Amanda Beenen, here on Boards we will follow the event through the eyes of Sophia Gilje.

Sophia Gilje
Sophia Gilje

Sophia has become a regular on the BWA and now steps up to take on her first PWA event. How will she get on? What are her first impressions of Pozo and the event atmosphere? 

So another day started early, I got up, had breakfast, Jonas and me tried to wake up Gollito with not much success. Then I had to rush off to get all my kit ready and on the beach before my radio interview with italk.fm, the English and Spanish radio show. After a lovely interview with my favourite radio presenter Maurice Boland, I headed to my first PWA registration with Boujmaa, and met up with everyone there, Justyna, Ben etc etc. It was a super nice atmosphere, we were having a good old laugh, and then we filled in the paper work. Next we had a nice welcome presentation from the Moreno twins and Gran Canaria officials. It is the 25th anniversary of the Gran Canaria PWA World Cup so it is a special one this year and I’m really happy to be here. Then all us competitors put on our new pozo rashvests and had to smile for half an hour for the group picture, haha. No maybe not quite that long.

And then, all the excitement turned into chill time since there is no wind or waves (really really rare by the way for Pozo!!) so we all had lunch (which I was nicely surprised by since I was expecting sandwiches and we were given salad, fish and potatoes and lots of fruit). Healthy pros.

Then we had a free afternoon so Alice Arutkin and me went to have a massage, which is organised by PWA, THANKS!! So we were all having simultaneous massages in the same room with Klaas and Peter Volwater, it was really funny. I thought: ‘Wow – is this what goes on in the world tour, Nice!’ Haha.

We also had our skin tested for cancer at the PWA tent which was interesting and then Alice and me went for a run together and ended up talking about what our favourite deserts were. Haha. Then she came up with a good saying which is better to dream about the desert whilst running than dream about running whilst eating the desert! Hahaha. And then we went swimming, I have to say this was not at all what I imagined Pozo to be like! I was expecting full on power all day wind blowing dustbins off the street and now there we were having a nice little swim in the sea with the sun going down and music in the backgroung at the PWA tent.

They’ve put up the heat orders and I will be against Nayra Alonso when the wind finally hits back, probably on Friday. It is a real honor to have my first heat against lovely Nayra, 3rd best wave windsurfer in the world. So I think I’ll need some good luck, haha.

To put in a nutshell, this first few days have been very atypical for this competition, which usually has howling winds blowing through the little village of Pozo Izquierdo and rough seas. But I had a great time, and we had a lovely dinner again with fresh fish at La Ola Surf Bar and finished with some salsa dancing.

Fingers crossed for the wind to come soon!

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“I’m sitting writing this at La Ola Bar eating dinner with Jonas (Fanatic, North), Gollito and Boujmaa and it’s been super fun so far. So great to see everyone again and it is so amazing in the windsurfing world that we get to see the same wonderful faces all over the planet, in different conditions, different temperatures and different cultures. It is such a great community and big family so I feel very lucky to be part of this and I am loving every minute.

“I arrived yesterday at Gran Canaria airport from Barcelona and waited for Jonas from North Sails and Fanatic to arrive from Munich with all those bags full of sails and boards! There was a huge pile of them since they are for all the riders, I’m still impressed Jonas managed with all that and then it kept on getting caught in the automatic doors so it took us quite a while to just get out of the airport.

“Then we got in the big van and got lost somehow because the gps was telling us to go all over the place and so we ended up going back and forth for an hour and a half before finally arriving in the evening at POZO IZQUIERDO. Haha.

“When we arrived it was so nice, we straight away saw Klaas, Victor, Boujmaa, and lots of other riders and everyone is living right next to eachother in little bright colourful funny houses. I feel like I’m back at uni! Then we settled in to our little bedrooms and woke up today but no wind in the morning.

“We chilled until the afternoon and then went windsurfing for a couple of hours. The wind was not like I expected it since I used my 4.7 and was expecting to be only on my 3s!

“Oh and I spent a lot of time cutting up all my sail number stickers which had to have every letter and number cut out individually, and preparing all my equipment for tomorrow so I’m all ready to go! And I sticked up my new beautiful 2014 little 3.4. Never sailed on such a small sail before!

“The forecast doesn’t look great though so I’m really hoping the wind will come back stronger and we can get some good waves.

“Right now I’m staying with Jonas and Gollito in La Ola, it’s a really cosy place, the lady here is so lovely and she cooks us delicious fresh fish. Tonight we had fresh amazing Merlin.

“I’m preparing for the comp in probably not the best way since I’m having radio, newspaper, and agencies contacting me throughout the evening and so that is taking quite a bit of time right now but I hope I can get some good sleep tonight and be all set for tomorrow! Early wake up!”

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