DAY FOUR: A GREAT DAY FOR ALBEAU BUT DISASTER STRIKES FOR DUNKERBECK IN A DRAMATIC TITLE RACE TWIST
Having spent the opening three days of the competition on the beach, the slalom sailors were finally unleashed onto the water today as they competed in winds between 8-20 knots. Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) enjoyed an excellent day as the Frenchman won back-to-back bullets to enhance his title challenge. It was a completely different story for the current leader of the slalom tour though, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz), as he missed out on the first winners’ final and then suffered an untimely catapult in the second final of the day. Tuesday will definitely go down as a day that plays an extremely influential role in determining the title race, and Dunkerbeck will be praying for a miracle to help him recover from todays racing.
The opening slalom winners’ final of the competition saw Finian Maynard (RRD / Avanti) cross the line in first place, but Antoine Albeau soon showed exactly the same blistering pace as he did in Alacati, Turkey, to take a clear lead into the first mark ahead of Maynard, Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), Ludovic Jossin (Patrik / Loft) and Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde). However, after entering the first mark in second place, Maynard, became trapped in dirty wind and was unable to accelerate, which allowed Williams, Jossin and Quentel to all bypass him. In the meantime Albeau continued to look at ease in the challenging conditions and he made no mistakes over the remainder of the course to claim the first bullet of the day. Ross Williams and Ludovic Jossin finished in second and third place respectively, whilst Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic) won the battle for fourth against Julien Quentel.
The first race certainly wasn’t without its drama as Bjorn Dunkerbeck failed to qualify for the winners’ final after exiting race one in heat twelve. The terminator executed his final gybe poorly, which presented Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) with the opportunity to snatch the final qualifying spot, and the Dutchman took the chance perfectly to knock the most decorated windsurfer in history out in the quarterfinals. To add salt to the wound, heat four indirectly affected Dunkerbeck too. As the sailors headed down the final straight Antoine Albeau found himself outside of the qualifying places in fifth. However the Frenchman received an early Christmas present, due to Chris Pressler (Starboard / Severne) crossing the finish line on the wrong side of the buoy and being disqualified as he missed the fact that a new course had been set. This resulted in Albeau moving up to fourth place, before going on to win the entire elimination.
Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra), Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck all made strong starts in the second winners’ final and the man from Cabo Verde led into the first gybe. However, both Dunkerbeck and Menegatti stalled on the exit of their gybes, which allowed Albeau to move from fourth all the way into second place. This left Angulo trying to hold off Albeau for the remainder of the course and he managed to do just that, until the exit of the fourth mark. At this point Albeau seized the chance to overtake, Angulo, as the Frenchman held more speed throughout his gybe to move into the lead. The two of them remained close on the final leg of the course, but Albeau successfully defended his lead to claim two bullets out of two. Dunkerbeck, on the other hand, endured a disastrous heat as he experienced a huge catapult, which resulted in a broken mast and thereby ended all of his hopes of salvaging the day. Completing the top four was Italian, Alberto Menegatti, and Gunnar Asmussen (Patrik / North), who performed brilliantly to prevent Ross Williams from overtaking him as the two sailors fought tooth and nail right up to the finish line.
The veteran, Bernd Flessner (JP / NeilPryde), enjoyed an excellent day as he progressed all the way to the winners’ final where he finished in sixth place. However, the flying Dutchman Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different), who currently sits third in the world, was absent from both winners’ finals today. In the second race Van Der Steen catapulted at the first mark and from here he had no chance of recovering. The first round also witnessed a couple of shock exits, which included the likes of Benoit Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer) and Andrea Cucchi (Point-7 / Patrik).
The forecast looks excellent for tomorrow with strong side to side-off winds being predicted and a swell of 2.8 meters. With the forecast in mind the skippers meeting for the wave and freestyle sailors has been called for 07:30am with the action commencing from 8am. Meanwhile, the slalom sailors’ skippers meeting will take place at 10am with the view to starting from 10:30. Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com where you’ll be able to see all of the action as it happens via the live stream.
Results after Two Eliminations: Men’s Slalom
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra)
3rd Ludovic Jossin (Patrik / Loft)
4th Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7)
5th Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails)
DAY THREE: IBALLA MORENO IS THE 2012 PWA WAVE WORLD CHAMPION
Monday saw the freestyle and wave sailors hit the water as the action on the water continued for a third day in a row. The morning saw relatively flat water and cross-shore winds, which transformed Sylt into a freestyle arena as the double elimination began. After three hours of freestyle, the fleet has been narrowed down to the top eight men in the world, at this point the decision was made to change disciplines as the waves continued to grow in size enabling the completion of the women’s wave single elimination and the start of the men’s double elimination. The real news of today though belongs to Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne), who secured the 2012 PWA Wave World Championship title and also won the women’s single elimination.
The winners’ final saw very different conditions to the previous two events in Pozo and Tenerife, as side shore winds and waves in the waist to chest high region blessed the shores of Sylt. Head judge, Duncan Coombs, made the decision to run a fifteen-minute heat with two waves and no jumps to count, meaning that the final was a pure wave riding contest. Iballa took an early lead as she combined a nice backside hit with a couple of vertical snappy top turns and she was able to maintain her lead, despite spending several minutes outside of the competition area. Daida (Starboard / Severne) also scored a couple of good waves, but she didn’t have the same fluidity and verticalness in her turns to overturn the deficit.
The losers’ final marked a massive moment for Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North), as the Swiss styler defeated her fellow countryman, Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne), for the first time. The victory saw her claim the remaining place on the podium and Treboux will now look to defend her position in the double elimination.
The opening round of the double elimination saw an incredibly close heat between Andy Chambers (JP / NeilPryde) and Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic). The Frenchman was leading the heat until the last couple of minutes until Chambers picked up a great wave, and delivered several powerful turns to steal the victory by just 0.01 points. The biggest shock of the first round involved Jamie Hancock (Tabou / Gaastra) and Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Loft / Maui Ultra Fins). The Pole is more known for his slalom sailing but today he was able to defeat a regular on the PWA wave tour with an accomplished display.
Only two rounds of the second round were completed before the wind and the waves began to deteriorate. Phil Horrocks (Tabou / Gaastra) showed off his excellent wave selection and then execution, as the Brit times several frontside smacks to perfect to defeat Justin Denel (RRD / Simmer), whilst Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) was able to knock out Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde). The final heat of the day saw two more Brits book their place in round three as John Skye (RRD / Mystic / MFC) saw off the challenge of Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) dispatched of Kevin Mevissen (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing).
The first round of the double elimination went according to the form book and all of the sailors that expected to progress did, as did much of the second. The main talking point occurred in heat thirty-seven as Max Matissek (Fanatic / North) sailed against Tony Mottus (JP / NeilPryde). The two sailors endured an extremely close heat and the result came down to a 2:1 decision in the favor of Matissek. The closest heat in the freestyle though occurred in the next round as Andy Chambers took on Maarten Van Ochten (JP / NeilPryde / MFC). The pair landed some massive moves, including an outstanding air chachoo from Van Ochten, and by the end of the heat the scoring was tied. This meant that by way of a tie break Van Ochten progressed into heat forty-five, where he would face Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks). The Canadian proved too much for Van Ochten on this occasion as Soltysiak marched into the top eight.
Heat forty-four saw Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde) advance passed an out of sorts Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra), whilst the Bonairean clash between, Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui) saw Taty Frans come out on top.
As already mentioned in heat forty-five Phil Soltysiak was able to dispatch of Maarten Van Ochten, meanwhile, the B-side of the heat saw Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne) continue his hugely impressive form as the Belgium brought an end to Davy Scheffers’ (Tabou / Gaastra) double elimination.
Dieter Van der Eyken sailed an incredible heat against Mattia Fabrizi (Fanatic / North) in heat forty-one. The Belgium maestro put together a spectacular repertoire of tricks ranging from burners on both tacks to kabikuchis. Van der Eyken even tried a regular kono into forward loop as he excelled in this morning conditions, he wasn’t able to land it, but it also didn’t look a million miles away.
Tomorrow sees lighter winds being forecast than in the opening three days of the event, this means that the slalom sailors may now gain the opportunity to steal the limelight having been beach bound thus far. Once again the skippers meeting for the wave and freestyle fleets has been called for 9am with the first possible start at 09:30. The skippers meeting for the slalom will take place at 10am with the action commencing from 10:30, if conditions allow.
Results of the Single Elimination - Women’s Wave
1st Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne)
2nd Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne)
3rd Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
4th Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
Day two of the PWA Sylt World Cup saw great conditions as more wind and big, powerful, hollow waves hit the shores of Sylt. Throughout the day the conditions continued to improve as some epic action unfolded on the water. After six and a half hours of competition, and several sets of sacrificed equipment, the top four of the women’s wave single elimination has been decided, consisting of Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne), Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne), Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North), whilst the single elimination of the men’s wave was completed and Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) reigned victorious as he managed to defeat Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North) to restore parity by putting himself back at the top of the event ranking after Denmark.
The familiar line up of Philip Köster versus Victor Fernandez was restored in the winners’ final. Both sailors opened up the final with double forwards, Fernandez’s was the higher of the two but Köster’s was more upright, which left the scores on even par. The world champion then took control of the tie as he found a pitching section to throw a radical frontside wave 360. The battle between the two sailors continued as the Spaniard landed an absolutely superb one handed, one footed, backloop, however Köster was able to respond with an even better version of the same trick to once again edge ahead.
As the heat headed into its final minutes the wonder kid threw another fantastic frontside wave 360, which happened to be just in front of Fernandez and the 2010 world champion dually responded by throwing a superb backside 360, however it wasn’t enough for him, as the man of the moment continued to grab the headlines by securing another victory. Köster may not have been at his absolute best for the entirity of today, but he did show once more his incredible competition sailing qualities, whereby he can pull any trick out of his never ending armor to overcome any obstacle (sailor) in his way.
In the battle for third and fourth, Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) was able to defeat an on fire Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra). Campello showed exactly why he is considered one of the most radical jumpers in the world throughout the day, and in losers’ final he landed an immaculate double forward and a wet, stalled, one handed, one footed forward loop as he left nothing on the line. Mussolini linked together a couple of good waves, which included a super smooth taka, but he hadn’t done enough to defeat Campello.
As previously mentioned Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra) was one of the standout sailors of the day. The Spaniard achieved perfect tens for two of his waves, the first of which occurred in the third round against Leon Jamaer (Fanatic / North). Mussolini found himself below a huge hollow section and he launched into monumental frontside wave 360, which saw him fly at least a couple of feet above the lip of the wave. As he landed, the crowd on the beach erupted into rapturous applause as they showed their appreciation for one of, if not the, move of the day. Mussolini then replicated the perfect ten in the very next round against his teammate Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), with another exceptional frontside wave 360 as he demonstrated that he really is the master of the move.
The opening round of the third round witnessed one of the closest rounds for along time, and certainly the closest of the competition. Kenneth Danielsen (Simmer) was faced against Ricardo Campello in heat seventeen, and the man from Denmark held the lead until the very last seconds of the contest. Danielsen showed off his powerful and fluid wave riding, only to have the victory snatched from under his nose by a Brazilian who didn’t know when he was beat. Campello picked up his final wave of the heat and after a couple of turns he clinched the victory by the narrowest of margins, 0.01 points, with a clean taka to leave Danielsen desperately unlucky.
Several other sailors also impressed in the single elimination including Albert Pijoan (Starboard / Severne), who negotiated his way through the opening two rounds, as he knocked out Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic), and more impressively he claimed the scalp of Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC), before Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC) halted his progress. The man on the mic, Ben Proffitt (Simmer), was also a man in form today, specifically on the wave. Proffitt managed to come out on top in the all English affair against Phil Horrocks (Tabou / Gaastra), whilst the Brit also pushed Philip Köster all the in heat twenty, however, crucially he was missing a couple of big jumps to back up his super riding and the world champion escaped unscathed.
The quarter finals saw Karin Jaggi, Daida Ruano Moreno, Laure Treboux and Iballa Ruano Moreno advance into the semi-finals. As heat twenty-three progressed it seriously looked as though there was a major upset on the cards, as the legendary Moreno twins found themselves in trouble until the dying moments of their heats against the Swiss gems of Jaggi and Treboux respectively. Unlucky lighting struck twice for Iballa as she first suffered a broken mast, but thanks to help from Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) she was swiftly back on the water. However disaster soon struck again as the current leader of the world tour encountered more problems with her boom. It seemed that the universe was against her today, but she managed to compose herself in the final minutes to put together a couple of good waves to swing the heat in her favour and book her place in the winners’ final. Likewise, her incredible twin Daida, also showed the same battling qualities to come back from the death against Jaggi to set up another all Moreno winners’ final.
With the quickly fading light the decision was made to complete the women’s winners’ and losers’ final tomorrow. This means that for the third day in a row the skippers meeting for the wave and freestyle fleets will take place at 9am with the action commencing from 09:30, whilst the slalom sailors will have their skippers meeting at 10am with the view to starting from 10:30. Of course you’ll be able to see all the incredible action live by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com.
Results After the Single Elimination - Men’s Wave
1st Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North)
3rd Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC)
4th Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra)
5th Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra)
5th Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC)
5th Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360)
DAY ONE: WET, WILD AND WINDY AS GOLLITO TRIUMPHS IN THE SINGLE ELIMINATION
The men’s freestyle single elimination was eventually completed after a number of failed attempts to begin the contest. Shortly after eleven o’clock, the first attempt was made to start the single elimination, however a squall with gusts of forty knots soon came and went, meaning the first heat was abandoned. After playing the waiting game for a few hours, the sailors patience was rewarded and Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) was able to defeat Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) In the single elimination winners’ final, and the four times world champion now has one hand on the trophy as he edges ever closer to his fifth world title.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo opened the winners’ final with a monstrous shaka, which he later bettered, whilst his opponent Kiri Thode spent the opening couple of minutes of the heat off the plane as he failed to realize that the final had begun. However, having been off the plane for the entire time, he quickly jumped up onto the plane and within seconds Thode launched into an effortless shaka 360 and a forward loop to put himself firmly back in the game. The man from Bonaire though, was up against a formidable figure in the shape of Gollito, and the King of freestyle soon unleashed his full repertoire of tricks as he landed a superb backloop and an insane burner 900 to leave the judges in no doubt who had won.
The opening round of the first elimination saw both, Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) and Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne), miss the start of their heats. Despite a big shaka and a perfect backloop, Campello was missing a move and he was eliminated from the first round as Maarten Van Ochten (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) advanced. Vrieswijk on the on the other hand faired better as he progressed into the second round, before being knocked out by fellow Bonairean Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
The third round saw a couple of extremely close heats. First off all the reigning freestyle world champion, Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde), endured a tough battle with Bryan Metcalf-Perez (JP / NeilPryde). The American sailed a fantastic heat and after much debate between the judges, it was eventually revealed that Van Broeckhoven had managed to edge to duel by way of a 2:1 decision in his favour. Heat twenty also saw a phenomenally close heat as Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne) took on Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra). By the end of the heat there was just half a point in the tie and unfortunately for the Belgium maestro, Van der Eyken, the decision went in the favour of Ruenes, who landed a massive shaka and a shuv it spock in the tricky conditions.
After the completion of the men’s freestyle single elimination, the wave fleet were unleashed onto the water at 6:30pm and the whole of the first round, bar one heat, was completed to conclude an excellent day of action on the water.
The first heat of the single elimination saw the 2009 PWA Wave World Champion, Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7), safely book his place in the next round after he managed to successfully beat Mikey Clancy (Fanatic / North). Whilst the other side of the heat saw the British freestyler, Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers (JP / NeilPryde), make his first appearance on the wave scene and he booked his place in the second round by defeating Nicola Spadea (Starboard / Gun Sails).
Heat three witnessed some controversy as Gunnar Asmussen (Patrik / North) and Fabian Weber (Fanatic / North / MFC) failed to have both their sail numbers and streamers visible, meaning that it was impossible for the judges to differentiate between the two riders. This meant that Michael Kleingarn (Starboard / Severne) and Tuomo Naalisvaara (Starboard / Severne) both advanced into round two.
Heat four saw some regular names on the PWA tour appear in a category that they are not usually associated with, as Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) defeated fellow freestyler Dieter Van der Eyken, and former PWA regular Kevin Mevissen (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing) was able to advance passed the slalom young gun Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Loft).
The final heat of the day saw another slalom giant, Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), taking part in the competition, and after the Frenchman landed a perfect backloop and linked together a couple of good waves, he was able to knockout Jan Hansen. Fifteen year old, Justin Denel (RRD / Simmer), showed that he is a name to look out for in the future as he put together an accomplished display to defeat Bryan Metcalf-Perez.
Tomorrow’s forecast promises much the same in terms of wind strength, but the direction is predicted to be more cross-shore than today, which should provide improved conditions for the wave contest. The skippers meeting for the freestyle and wave shall take place at 9am tomorrow morning, with the first possible start at 09:30. Meanwhile, the slalom fleet will have their skippers meeting at 10am with the view to starting from 10:30 onwards.