• New Zealand, here we come

Blogging with Laura Crane, Team GB in New Zealand!

Tuesday and Wednesday the 12th and 13th - We drove through the night in the snow and ice to heathrow airport . I hadn't realized we were going to stop at so many places We flew with Royal Brunei from Heathrow to Dubai to Brunei to Brisbane then to Auckland.

Thursday 14th - Team GB got in to Auckland at 3am really tiered but amped to get going so we grabbed our cases and boards then got loaded into the shuttle vans and headed off to find our new home. It was light when we reached Piha so once we had all found our beds and unpacked our boards we were heading down the road to the beach to test the South Piha conditions. It was so good to be surfing in just a 3.2 wetsuit after being in a 6 mm with boots, gloves and hood back in England so I was determined to make the most of the warm water and good waves by surfing as much as possible.

Friday - All the team were up early ready to get in the water before the tide dropped too much, but then found  ourselves half asleep again by midday due to jet lag!!

Saturday - Training starts with GB coaches Mike Young and Micah Lester. To get ready for the comp we did loads of 20 minute heat drills, so we surfed all morning. In the afternoon I went to  check out the water fall. Kitekite falls was around 2k from the house, I really enjoyed the walk and made it my run train route. kitekite falls is paradise, you can stand behind the water fall and the sun bakes the rocks on the side of the falls so you can warm up after a chilly dip, bliss.

Sunday - Training again-in the afternoon we surfed the other side of Lion Rock ( a burnt out volcano in the shape of a lion that sits at South Piha) which had a really good right but was very rippy you had to keep moving all the time so that you didn't end up at the other end of the beach! In the evening we went down to the local bowling club to celebrate Laura's Birthday with dinner, another perfect day.

Monday - Girls had a lie in, while the boys did there training so that we could get a less crowded peak to train on, we did more 20 minute heats but did a little competition between us girls I won the chocolate bar!

Tuesday - we surfed most the day doing lots of heat training. The water started to get more crowded, it was getting really exiting as more and more teams arrived.

Wednesday - We all caught a bus in to Auckland's mission bay, were they held the opening ceremony. We paraded through the street trying to think of  a chant as the French team who were ahead of us were singing like crazy. I sat down on the grass to watch the opening speeches which were said in both Mari and English, then the traditional sand pouring.  All the different colours of sand from each country looked really cool together.

Thursday 21st - the first day of the contest. A big storm had come in and the loverly sunshine that we had seen in the past few days disappeared and a big swell had pushed in a  long with strong off shore winds (which reminded me of home!!) They held off the competition for the morning but by the afternoon the under 16 and 18 boys were in the water and the rest of the team were on the beach cheering.

friday - the storm continues so it is a lay day for the girls event so we cheer on the boys again

Saturday - yet another lay day for the girls so I run train and went for a surf before the boys heats started we then had another day of cheering.

Sunday - My big day. I went for a free surf before my heat started to steady my nerves. My surfing is going good which made me confident and conditions had improved  from the previous days. I worked hard and paddled like crazy but never seemed to be in the right place, damn, I had to settle for third place which was crazy!!!!

Monday - so now I'm in the reportage and more determined than ever. The surf was looking even better than yesterday I'm really exited about surfing and I make reportage round 2 but then come unstuck again. The reality of being out of the contest is harsh.

Tuesday - we cheered on the last of the team in the contest, we are all out now. In the evening I walked up Lion Rock with Gabbi and watched the evening surf it was beautiful.

Wednesday - we had to get up early for a surf to avoid the crowds that came with the contest. Without the pressure of the contest I seem to be surfing much better.

Thursday - Last day of competition, the whole team watched the semis and finals, it was really inspiring to see how the worlds best surfers compete. It makes me want to be there in years to come.

Friday - No training this morning so it's a late start. We had a long free surf then back to the house to start tiding up. I then went alone for another surf before meeting up for a few games of pool at the bowling club, then a big game of man hunt with water. I got soaked.

Saturday - got up for a quick surf in the morning then I went for a run up the other side of the valley - amazing palm trees and birds, one bird crashed into me as I was running along the path and I will never forget the bird with the big feet my best friend. But today we had to pack which was very sad.

I really enjoyed the trip i've made lots of new friends from the other teams. Now I'm back home feeling the cold and the the FREEZING Atlantic water, hoodie, boots, gloves, 6mm suit it's not fair !!!


NZ !