surfing sucks dont try it
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: STEAMER LANE
First of all, the Golden Gate Park casting ponds are a magical place. In the heart of a great, vibrant city, it’s quiet and wonderfully sylvan, surrounded by giant eucalyptus and mature fir trees planted by the parks architect John McKlaren in the 1870s.
The clubhouse sits on arise overlooking the ponds and on Sunday, the day of the finals, the grass slope between the clubhouse and the ponds was thick with spectators. Flags of the nations represented fluttered in the changeable breezes. The vibe was great, spectators enjoying the spectacle and competitors working on their nerves and game faces.
I particularly enjoyed watching the women compete. I’ve been going for a number of years and it’s been fun to watch several of them improve dramatically during that time. A few of the elite stalwarts compete these days more against themselves than each other. When Whitney or Mia or Cara or some others hit the water, the crowd knows that the next cast could be a world record. We all saw Whitney unleash a cast that looked so perfect in the air that we knew it could be the one. But then an errant current of air stopped the fly cold.
The competitor I felt worst for was Catherine LeFlamme (forgive me if I spelled it wrong). She unleashed a couple of 120’ish casts during her warmup period, but then got iced for nearly 10 minutes as the judges stopped to confer about something. The time-out can’t have been good for her concentration. I believe she came in fourth or fifth, but from her practice casts, she looks like a top contender for the future.
I think the longest cast this year was 191’, and I think it was Gerald Downey, but I’m not positive. He and the other top men (Travis wasn’t there this year) also compete more against themselves than each other. It’s easy to see as a spectator that a great cast requires perfect anchor placement, perfect stick, and a perfect D loop. Anything less and the cast fails to flourish.
Despite the fact that everyone I saw competing can cast way better than me, I found comfort in one thing: even the best blow casts now and then.
If you eve get a chance, attend.