I’ve been a member of Pen-y-bont Surf Life Saving Club for over 30 years. In that time, I’ve represented Wales 16 times, my first cap being in 1994, and I’ve represented Great Britain 8 times, including 2 world championships.
In terms of medals, I’ve had 3 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze whilst racing for GB; my greatest achievement is definitely getting 3rd in the surf race at World championships 2000 in Manly, Australia’.
Question from Hollie: “How do you mentally prepare yourself for a big race?”
Hi Hollie, not many people know this but I am a very nervous racer, however, over the years I have come to believe that my nervousness means I’m ready to race! My preparation for any race begins before I even get to the competition – everything has to be ready the night before. This means that my craft is cleaned and polished, my drinks bottles are ready, my kit is packed including my goggles etc, and spares are all ready. Doing this means that I know everything is in perfect working order which puts my mind at ease.
On the day, I generally prepare for each race the same:
- I will swim/paddle/run the area where the event is being held prior to the race. This is a BIG MUST as it helps you get the feel for your craft in the water and to work out the best direction for you to enter and exit the race.
- Pick out land marks that may help you sight and if needed ask someone who may know the beach better than you (your coach, or maybe lifeguards working on the beach).
- Like I said, I’m a nervous racer, so I like to be around people at the start it because it helps me focus, but this is where everyone differs; you will find which way suits you to get in the Zone. Some people just prefer to be on their own.
- My final tip for you is DON’T START UNLESS YOU ARE 100% READY. If you have to hold up the race because you are not ready, then do it. You are all that matters on that line.
- Most of all, race hard and enjoy. We all have good and bad days, but that is what I love about our sport.