Emails from Ecuador #5

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The team woke up this morning with a great attitude. The dust had settled from yesterdays big team announcement and with a nights sleep to ponder everything, today was a new day for every team member in camp. Team Physio Lisa Piper led the early morning team stretch, ensuring that everyone was feeling fresh. The team was at the beach and preparing to paddle out by 6:15am.

The beach was a different scene this morning. Over night a lot more infrastructure had been erected, and short of all the judges and ISA officials moving in to the podiums, the contest set up was fully on show. Still not too busy, the first surf for the team was really fun. Head Coach Lloyd Cole instructed to surfers to surf the peak where they would be surfing their first heat tomorrow. Through the whole session everyone looked sharp, confident and holding their ground with all the other nations competing for the last few practice waves before the start of competition.

 

After the first session, the team had a short break to re-hydrate and get feedback from Lloyd and Assistant Coach Damon Beveridge. After a hard day yesterday, full of mixed emotions and stress, you couldn’t wish for two better coaches to guide the surfer’s focus on to the job at hand. Both Lloyd and Damo are incredible man managers and work relentlessly to make sure all members of the group are in the correct frame of mind. With Lisa on hand to back them up addressing the team’s physical preparation, the group is more than ready for competition. Like the runners on the start line of todays Grand National, fit, strong, twitching and eager to go, everyone is psyching for tomorrow.

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After a great morning on the beach, the afternoon was all about having fun as a team and representing our great country at the opening ceremony parade of nations. Walking along the promenade in the centre of Salinas with a large crowd of cheering spectators was amazing. The parade makes you feel like you are part of the Olympics and is a unique and special experience. Each nation singing their own unique chants and performing dances as they parade their nations flag into the auditorium.

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One thing that we learnt was our national anthem isn’t the best song choice with a group of teenagers. Wanting to make sure we didn’t embarrass ourselves with a poor performance, I took it upon myself to start some singing. I feel I have to apologies to everyone at Surfing GB if we looked like a bunch of hooligans walking down the street singing football songs. Looking back, the rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone might not have been the best idea.

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As I write this, the team have all been in bed for hours after another amazing team dinner. All the hard work and preparation is now over and match day is finally here. I can’t wait to get to the beach tomorrow with everyone and get this show on the road. Please follow the team by clicking on the link to the live webcast.

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LETS DO THIS!!!!!

Over and Out

John Ellis

Team Manager

 

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