Elliot Drury came 2nd in last year’s Melbourne nationals, why then wouldn’t he compete aiming to go one better? We asked him this and more about what he is looking forward to as a judge of this year’s event.
FKM: So… Elliot, you’ve gone from rider to judge in this year’s nationals. Can you tell us a bit more about that came about?
Elliot Drury: It was both an easy and difficult choice. I definitely wanted to compete but at the same time it is an Australian comp and I can’t technically place being Canadian. I came second last year in the event and since I don’t have residency it didn’t mean too much. I’m happy to help make the competition successful this year by providing solid judging.
FKM: Perhaps Tony Abbot can turn the refugees into kite judges in the future… aside from the politics who do you think will be the riders challenging for this year’s title?
Elliot Drury: I think Declan is always a force. He’s got a good, powerful style. There are a lot of talented groms coming down from Queensland as well. The conditions at Kurnell are choppy and the wind can be pretty erratic in Sydney at this time of year so I think whoever can put together some solid tricks in the challenging conditions will come out on top.
FKM: What type of tricks do you think will do it?
Elliot Drury: As a judge I’m not looking for a particular trick but rather proper kite position, speed into and out of the trick, and amplitude. I want the riders to be powerful and exciting. Risk factor is always a plus. Go big and land solid!
FKM: As something of a local, what kind of conditions do you think are most likely for the clutch heats in this year’s events?
Elliot Drury: Haha it’s pretty hard to say. Choppy for sure but the wind could be anything from a gusty 15 knot average up to 35/40… Let’s just say competitors should bring all their kites!
FKM: Ok, erratic first mention now 15-40 knots. That’s a pretty clear picture. In the face of such random elements are there any specific riders you think could be favored? Are there any specific conditions which might occur which could shift the event in anyone’s favor?
Elliot Drury: If it’s a smooth 20 knots I think you should watch out for the Noosa crew but if the wind is off the chain I think that will play to the riders that have experienced a wider range of conditions. When we competed in Melbourne last year it was the same, some borderline 15 knot heats and some in 35 knots. Declan is used to bad weather I think he will take it if it’s all over the place!
FKM: Any last words advice for the competitors?
Elliot Drury: Practice your heat before hand. Remember, your best 5 tricks count and you get 12 attempts. Nail what you know you can land and go from there. There’s no point in trying tricks you can’t land until you have your 5 scoring tricks in. After that – go crazy! And above all else have FUN. This is kiteboarding after all!