The silver medal-winning SA Masters Team have just arrived back home from a successful 2013 ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Ecuador. Their performance saw them register finalists in four of the five divisions, and deliver two World Masters Champions.
Chris Knutsen claimed his fourth world title in the Grand Kahunas division, and Greg ‘The Foot’ Emslie grabbed his first Masters gold in his very first ISA World Masters Champs since retiring from the World Tour at the end of 2009.
Greg’s heat score in the final was a near-perfect 19.46pts out of a possible 20.00pts, and it was nothing short of Dream Tour class, prompting comparisons to ‘Robocop’ by commenters such as Warwick ‘Wok’ Wright.
With barely enough time to settle in back home and soak up that winning feeling, we had a quick chat with The Foot to hear his thoughts on his Gold Medal:
ZIGZAG: Well done Bigfoot, it looks like you saved the best for last with that 19.46 heat total in the final?
GREG: Ja, I am so stoked! I felt unreal the entire event actually – I started off great, maintained good scores throughout the event, and I still managed to peak in the final.
How different is it surfing in a team competition like the ISA World Masters compared to lets say competing on the world tour. Can you feel that added pressure to do well for not only yourself, but also your team and your country?
Absolutely, more pressure but with that comes the support from your team mates and fellow countrymen, and that helped me with my focus.
How good did it feel to win, and how does this gold medal at the ISA World Masters stack up against some of your other surfing achievements?
It has been my main goal since I finished the tour surfing-wise to win the World Masters. The fact that it was a stacked final is even better. That is probably the heat of my life to be honest, with the highest heat total.
How were the waves out there? From the webcast it looked like Montanita was trying to do its best impersonation of Nahoon Reef.
The wave was pretty fun. It was a bit of a mix of a few places, with some good solid sections to crack!
Those were some big names in the final, how good did it feel to beat Sunny Garcia, Kalani Robb and Magnum Martinez?
Combo’ing those guys in the final was unreal. I felt super confident, but at the same time any of those guys can turn it on, so I made sure I never gave them a gap!
What did you think about Ecuador and the ISA World Masters in general?
Ecuador was fun, super relaxed with a bit of a Bali feel. The event was really well run with a big budget. The surf over there was great, with plenty of waves around.
You looked like you were surfing better than ever. What board were you riding?
I have come down in size a little recently. I was riding a 5’10” GE01 model from Spider, with Sunny side fins and a glass K3 back fin. I found this set-up by accident, but it works great – super drivey and it doesn’t just skid out, you have to power into a slide, otherwise it holds perfectly all the way through the power turns.
Well, congrats once again Greg, you can be assured that the country is proud of you.
Awesome, thanks for the support.
For all the results and photos from the ISA World Masters Surfing Champs in Ecuador, check out the official event website here>>