DAY THREE: KOSTER BEATEN BUT STILL UNBEATABLE? AND AN AMAZING DAY FOR TRAVERSA
The third day of the KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup proved to be one of, if not the most dramatic day of the 2012 PWA World Tour. The sailors and the committee arrived at the beach for 7am in anticipation of the forecast wind, and unlike yesterday, the wind Gods delivered. The day saw an epic marathon, as the competitors battled it out over the duration of twelve hours, as the single elimination was completed by the early morning, which saw a maiden elimination victory for Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra). Meanwhile, in the double elimination, there is only the super final to sail, between Thomas Traversa and Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins). The biggest news of the day though, without doubt, belongs to Köster, after he came storming back through the double elimination to secure his second PWA Wave world title in a row, at the age of just eighteen.
The semi-finals saw a major upset as, Thomas Traversa, proved that the formidable, Philip Köster, is still beatable as the Frenchman became the first man since the 2011 KIA Cold Hawaii World Cup to defeat the wonder kid and in doing so, destroyed Köster’s perfect 2012 record. Traversa fought his way into the winners’ final after giving an absolute master class in onshore wave riding. Before this, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North), was able to defeat Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) to book his place in his third consecutive single elimination winners’ final of the season.
After suffering his first defeat of the season, Campello, seized the initiative to hammer the remaining nails into Köster’s coffin by also defeating him in the losers’ final. Remarkably this created a podium without Köster, which no one would have believed at the start of the week. Campello landed an amazing double forward, combined with a couple of radical waves to knock the stuffing out of the wonder kid, and claim his place on the podium.
Thomas Traversa effectively gave, Victor Fernandez, the opportunity to take control of the title race, with Köster missing from the winners’ final. If the Spaniard could defeat the Frenchman, then ‘all’ Fernandez would have to do to reclaim his 2010 world title is claim victory in Sylt. Unfortunately, for Fernandez, Traversa had a different plan in his mind, as the French maestro continued his superb form in the final. After landing a quite brilliant one-handed backloop, Traversa, went on to rip his waves to pieces with some irresistible riding. He demonstrated an unrivaled fluidity with his style and the only thing that he couldn’t quite pull off was an outrageous frontside wave 360. Fernandez sailed a superb heat, opening with a perfect double forward, before unleashing a massive backside 360 and several big, powerful backside slashes, but unfortunately this didn’t prove enough for him on this occasion. It did however, set up a mouth-watering scenario for the double elimination.
The Pinnacle Heat
After Philip Köster put an end to, Kauli Seadi’s (JP / NeilPryde), rampaging run and then exacted revenge against Ricardo Campello, he set up a clash of the titans with his long time rival, Victor Fernandez. Heat fifty held the power and potential to make or break Köster’s dream of defending his PWA wave world title. If he defeated Fernandez, then the wonder kid would claim his second successive world crown, whilst a loss would mean he would have to wait until Sylt, in nine days time, to seal his fate. Köster drew upon all of his warrior like qualities as he prepared for the battle of his life; furthermore he managed to transfer all of his previous anger and disappointment from the single elimination, into an unbeatable winning formula. Both sailors gave a display of epic proportions as Fernandez opened with a perfect double forward, before changing to a smaller board for his wave riding mission. Unfortunately for him, Köster responded with a trademark, bolt upright double forward as well as a couple of remarkable waves. The pick of the bunch saw the reigning world champion land a huge backside 360 on a logo high section, as he put everything on the line for the victory. Even an exceptional wave from Fernandez couldn’t halt Köster from marching to the title. The Spaniard scored one of the waves of the day, as he linked a couple of powerful turns, sending plumes of spray flying, before launching into an outrageous frontside aerial. After a few minutes of deliberation, the result was made official and Köster found himself on top of the world once more, after another superhuman effort.
Thomas Traversa was hoping to secure his first ever event victory in the second winners’ final of the day, and the Frenchmen set out as though he meant serious business as he threw himself into and end-over-end double forward. Unfortunately he couldn’t sail away cleanly, and perhaps worse, he thought he had landed the one jump he needed for the heat. From here, Traversa, set about solely hunting out the waves, but he wasn’t quite in the same irresistible form as earlier in the day. Meanwhile, Köster, with the pressure off him landed the jump of the contest as he rotated his way through a trademark, fully planing double forward. The landing resulted in the sacrifice of his board and with no spare on the beach he lost a couple of minutes from the heat. However, even this inconvenience couldn’t stop Köster, and the wonder kid was soon attacking the waves with more venom than ever. By the end of the heat he had landed a superb backside 360 and a simply stunning reverse as he stomped his authority over the event. It was soon revealed that Köster had won the winners’ final, however the fading light meant that the super final will have to wait until tomorrow at least.
Rippers of the Double Elimination
Leon Jamaer (Fanatic / Hot Sails Maui) enjoyed a brilliant day as he secured his best finish to date. The young German was able to win three successive heats as he dispatched of fellow countryman Michael Kleingarn (Starboard / Severne), the super talented Jules Denel (Exocet) and Ireland’s Mikey Clancy (Fanatic / North) as he secured equal ninth overall, with his super tweaked pushloops in particular proving to be a massive hit with the judges. The next battle against, Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360), though proved one hurdle too many in heat forty-five. Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) also experienced a fine day as the Dutchman fought his was from the very first round of the double elimination to claim joint ninth as well, after winning four heats in a row. At this point he met an on fire Kauli Seadi. The Brazilian was ripping right from the off today, as his no fear, radical attitude proved to be a winning formula. On several occasions the three times world champion delivered some astonishing, vertical, backside slashes, which were unrivaled. It was only the formidable figure of Philip Köster that halted, Seadi, from breaking into the top four.
Heat forty-five proved to be the closest heat of the day as Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) competed against Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra). Both sailors provided a fine account of themselves, as the level went sky high. By the end of the heat there was just 0.38 of a point in between the two sailors. Thankfully, for Voget at least, the decision was in his favor and the German secured his place in the top seven.
Wave of the Day
Dany Bruch claimed the highest scoring wave of the day in heat forty-five as he scored 8.6 points across the board. Bruch let loose against, Leon Jamaer, as he ripped a wave to shreds. To top off his super slick turns he finished the wave with a monstrous, super clean, frontside wave 360, which left the crowd and the judges in awe.
Day two: Taste the rainbow and catch the twister in Klitmoller. Expectations were high for the second morning of the 2012 PWA KIA Cold Hawaii World Cup , with the sailors and the committee arriving at the beach by 07:30am, ready for the action to commence from 08:20am onwards.
An early squall put a spanner in the works as the wind dropped below competition standards, but it returned soon afterwards and so, Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins), Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), John Skye (RRD / Mystic / MFC) and Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) were all called to the water. Unfortunately though the wind didn’t last long and heat nineteen had to be abandoned within a couple of minutes of the start.
As the day progressed it wasn’t just the wind that was ever changing, as rain, sunshine, rainbows and even a stray tornado hit the shores of Klitmoller. Despite threatening to return on several occasions, the wind never fully materialized as squall after squall interfered with the wind pattern. What wind there was, was very brief, so unfortunately it was not possible to complete any heats by the end of the second day.
After a long and frustrating day on standby the sailors were eventually released at 6:30pm. The most radical sailors in the world will now be preparing themselves for another early start tomorrow as the skippers meeting has been called for 7am, with the first possible start at 07:20am. The forecast holds the promise of twenty-five knots of wind or more combined with waves, so at the very least we are expecting to see the completion of the single elimination. Of course you’ll be able to see all of the incredible action live by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com
Day one: 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.