The inaugural day of the 2012 Kia Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup witnessed the sailors registering for the week ahead between 10am and 11am. The official skippers meeting was held at 12:30pm and head judge Duncan Coombs wasted little time in starting to contest, as the competition started promptly at 1:20pm.
With a varying wind strength the decision was made that one jump and two waves would count. This held true until heat fifteen was reached. At this point the wind dropped back and for an hour and a half it looked as though that would be the end of the competition for the day. However, shortly after half past six, the wind swung more cross shore and the waves re-emerged, creating the best conditions of the day with two waves and no jumps to count. By the end of the first day the opening two and a half rounds have been completed.
The opening round of the first elimination went according to plan as the men that were expected to advance all did. In the first heat young Dane, Christopher Friis (Simmer) advanced against Nikodem Merlak (Tabou / MauiSails), and Leon Jamaer (Fanatic / Hot Sails) showed too much quality for Jonas Knudsen (JP / NeilPryde). Meanwhile, Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde), looked in terrific form to dispatch of Lars Gobisch (RRD / NeilPryde). The remaining sailors to advance through the first round were Omar Sanchez (Simmer), Mads Bjornaa (Fanatic / Simmer), Albert Pijoan (Starboard / Severne), Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde), Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / North / AL360), Mikey Clancy (Fanatic / North), Robert Baldyga (Quatro / MauiSails) and finally PWA veteran Lars Petersen (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins).
Into the second round and there was a big step up in the quality of both the riding and the jumping, as the big seeds entered the fray. Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) ended the hopes of Christopher Friis with an assured display, whilst Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360) showed his class in the wave riding department as he knocked out an aspiring Leon Jamaer.
Heat ten proved to be the standout heat of the second round as Antoine Martin continued his great form against Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North). Martin racked up the highest wave score of the day as he rotated his was through a perfect wave 360 to score nine points. Unfortunately for the youngster he was up against an on form Fernandez, the 2012 world champion was the only man today to land a superb double forward in the light conditions. Fernandez also looked extremely dangerous on the wave with several dynamic smacks and he escaped from a tricky heat. Britain’s Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) looked in confident move as he successfully navigated his way past Martin Ten Hoeve (Goya Windsurfing / Point-7).
The local hero Kenneth Danielsen (F2 / Simmer) featured in heat eleven as he took on Omar Sanchez. However, the Dane was unable to do enough to convince the judges that he should advance and Sanchez caused the first upset of the day by knocking out the local hero. The other side of the heat also saw a Spain versus Denmark showdown, and it was the Spanish sailor, Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra), who came out on top against Mads Bjornaa. Mussolini demonstrated exactly why he finished second at the recent event in Tenerife, as he unleashed a silky smooth backside 360 and an effortless one footed backloop to advance.
The first of the two battle of Britain’s took place in heat twelve as Phil Horrocks (Tabou / Gaastra) aimed to knock out Ben Proffitt (Simmer). However, on this occasion, it was Proffitt who advanced as he threw front and backside aerials to cap a highly accomplished display. Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) didn’t look quite as polished as he usually does in his first appearance of the contest, but the Brazilian still had enough in the tank to see off the challenge of Albert Pijoan (Starboard / Severne).
The next heat witnessed the second battle of Britain, featuring Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Jamie Hancock (Tabou / Gaastra). The contest proved to be one of the closest battles of the day and it was Hancock that had the better of the tie in the early stages. Hancock quickly landed a perfect one handed backloop before delivering a monstrous frontside smack, and this point Swift was in trouble. If it wasn’t for a great wave in the dying seconds then Swift would’ve have been looking at an early exit. However Swift pulled it out of the bag to snatch the victory from under Hancock’s nose. After advancing past the first round PWA veteran, Lars Petersen, was hoping to continue his progression through the single elimination. His opponent, Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), who finished fourth here last year, had different plans and the Frenchman dispatched ended the veteran's hopes there and then.
Heat fourteen saw John Skye (RRD / Mystic / MFC) in complete control against Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) as the Brit booked his place in round three, whilst Sebastian Kornum was unable to cause an upset against the three times world champion, Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde). The Brazilian looked in confident mood as he landed a super stylish one footed backloop, before going on to demonstrate his unique, fluid style on the wave face to set up a tie against Skye in the next round.
The fifteenth heat of the day had to be abandoned on the first attempt, due to the deteriorating wind, meaning the sailors were unable to land their one and only jump. After an hour and a half break the sailors returned to the water and Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) took full advantage of his years of training at Klitmoller to advance against the highly talented Alessio Stillrich. Meanwhile, Mikey Clancy, caused an upset as the Irishman navigated his way past Gran Canarias, Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC). Clancy looked adept in the light conditions as he claimed a clear victory after some fantastically connected waves.
The final heat of the second round witnessed the reigning world champion and the current leader of the PWA Wave Tour, Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), dispatch of Robert Baldyga. The wonder kid showed exactly why he is at the top of the rankings, with a ridiculous goiter and a beautiful, almost, air taka as he refused to let the light conditions phase him. Jules Denel (Exocet) and Adam Lewis (Patrik / Point-7) endured a ferocious battle, as the two sailors fought it out tooth and nail. Both men sailed with an unmatched aggression thus far, as the spray went flying by the bucket load after countless, huge, frontside smacks. The Frenchman finished the heat the stronger of the two, and this proved to be crucial as Denel advanced.
The waves continued to roll into Klitmoller late into the evening and so the third round began. Dany Bruch produced a rip-roaring display to leave Marcilio Browne powerless in defeat. The Brazilian landed a couple of takas, but Bruch was in irresistible form as he picked out wave after wave to defeat his opponent. Victor Fernandez continued to look lethal on the wave, and despite a fine performance by Ross Williams, the Brit couldn’t quite do enough to stop the Spaniard from marching on.
With the light fading fast the final heat of the day, heat eighteen, was completed just before darkness fell. The all Spanish affair between Omar Sanchez and Alex Mussolini, resulted in Mussolini advancing into the third round. The B-side of the heat witnessed Ricardo Campello significantly improve his performance as he quickly adapted to the conditions. The Brazilian found the pocket of the wave on numerous occasions, as well as going super vertical before unleashing a devastating top turn, which proved to be the turn of the day. Ben Proffitt rallied with Campello as he landed a slick and slidey taka, but he couldn’t find a second wave to match Campello’s efforts.
As the action drew to a close, everybody’s attention soon turned to tomorrow’s forecast. Predictions show that the best wind and waves should appear during the early morning, so with this in mind the skippers meeting has been called for 8am, with the action commencing from 08:20am.