Postcard from Panama #2

Camp routine is settling down nicely. Everyone has got used to sleeping in a tent, with the steady sound of Southern Ocean swells, ending their 4000 mile journey on the beach below us every 16 seconds. The elevated site where our tents are pitched means we are up in the night breeze, keeping us cool… and the sand flies don’t reach this far other than the odd rogue. Its dry season so mozzies are non-existent… thank goodness.

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Camp Surfing GB viewed from the contest site

Wildlife encounters have been restricted to a lot of Pelicans dive bombing schools of fish in the bay, the sound of Howler monkeys in the trees over the valley, and a toad the size of a puppy which Lucy Campbell came face to face with on a night time visit to the lavatory.

Food & water are all important for morale on any camping expedition with grommets, let alone budding athletes, and we are working out how to keep up with the massive calorie intake that 12 frothing surfers and 3 coaches require, and stick to a tight budget. Barcas and Geraldine are on site, cooking eggs and chorizo for breakfast, and beans, rice, onions, tomatos with variations on chicken beef and tuna (straight off the boats) for supper.

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Barcas, and his sister Geraldine.

He’s a black belt Tae- Kwondo High Kiro. (Been keeping Miles and Paddy in order)

We leave the camp after yoga and a 7am breakfast. But lunch, which we’re getting at the beach café, starts seeming like a long way off by 10am. So now we’re going to cook pasta to take with us for a mid-morning bulker. Bananas and Pineapples are plentiful… so one way or another we’ll get it sorted.

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Beach Café… looks nice, but the $5 meal of the day is only going to cover about a fifth of the calorie requirement…and once there are 300 others queuing round the block it just aint gonna be practical to depend on this for the day’s contest supplies. We are planning not to rely on it.

The remoteness of the area means the nearest shops are a bit of a hike so a massive stock-up is in the pipeline. We’re hoping to have this nailed in time for the arrival of the rest of the teams in the next few days. .. because it doesn’t look like the infrastructure for catering on the beach will cope… we need to be prepared.
Playa Venao… it’s in the middle of nowhere!

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Yoga gets everyone going at dawn, stretching the tired muscles from the previous days and adding the flexibility and suppleness that the kids are going to need if they are to avoid injury and land those critical turns. And by the look of the international surfers now appearing in the water they are going to need to land some big turns next week if they are to have any chance of challenging for a top 10 place.

Lloyd Cole and Jo Denison are both crack coaches with tons of nutrition and physiology knowledge between them apart from their highly technical surfing ability which speaks for itself. They both rip and the kids are in good hands.

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Jo Denison taking a break from coaching duties to show the girls what they are aiming for

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Lloyd Cole flying high

Today was our third day at the comp site and things are warming up. The Argentinian team have arrived and are staying on the same site as us in some hastily constructed cabanas. At the beach the judging tower for the main podium is half completed. In the water the first signs of the quality that is going to be on display are appearing. Theres a pair of French boys in bright orange and green rash vests that have been flying around all over the waves looking like real contenders, and a quietly spoken Saffa lad who paddled out this afternoon and promptly pulled some sort of crazy aerial manoeuvre that I have no name for. A Kiwi flag went up down the beach this afternoon.

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The main Scaffold for Podium One is half built

Up and down the beach, construction of viewing platforms, accommodation and shelter is going on at a frenzied pace. I’m glad I’m not running this comp, its massive, its miles from anywhere… the logistics must be a nightmare!

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Peer review… the kids have set up their own judging area to keep each other (and the opposition) under close scrutiny
More surfing pics from todays training session… levels of performance are rising

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Taz Knight

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Tassy Swallow

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Max Payne

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Peony Knight

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Lucy Campbell

Lloyd Cole’s assessment of today’s surfing: “There were no standouts today, all the Juniors were ripping. With this team’s performance building every day the coaches have real expectations of a result to be proud of”

Thanks to all the Supporters who have thrown their weight behind the GB Junior team


  1. Another great up date. keep it up Team Manager. You are doing a great job. It’s so exciting!!!!! Love hearing the news and the building tension. Go Team GB

  2. great to read all the news and see the pix. please say hi to margaret, pete and the Harding crew!


  3. amazing – brilliant – keep it up – fab they are doing yoga – brilliant news – and the food
    keep feeding them loads !!! xxx love the ‘keeping Miles in order’ can you pls bring Barcas home!

  4. isabelle bromham

    Go Team GB, we are all behind you. Don’t worry about the French and their tricks, we know they’ve learnt them from you! Good luck to all of you, will be watching with Beau by my side 🙂

  5. This is fantastic. Well done everyone. You’re doing Great Britain proud.

  6. lovin all the updates

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