Day 4: The next generation of windsurfers take center stage at the PWA Pozo World Cup
Day 4 of the PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival finally saw some action on the water as the juniors took center stage on the biggest windsurfing platform in the world. However, a promising start to the day - with the return of the prevailing wind direction - soon deteriorated meaning that the final of the junior contest is yet to be completed, whilst both the men and women’s fleets are yet to begin.
Junior’s - Heat One:
Moritz Mauch stole the show in the first heat of the juniors with his outstanding wave riding. The seventeen year old made the most of the conditions on offer as he demonstrated both his front and backside riding. Mauch then took it to another level as he slid his way through a smooth taka, whilst also landing a reverse which was just out of time, but highlighted his potential. Mauch then went onto land 2 clean forward loops. Noah Vocker and Loick Lesauvage both produced impressive displays with perfectly executed forwards, but it wasn’t enough to stop Mauch from booking his place in the final.
Junior's - Heat Two
Seventeen year old Benjamin was able to advance into the final as he saw off competition from Marc Pare and Nicklas Herrera Mathisen. Benjamin edged out his two rivals with superior wave riding as he confidently linked together several waves combining both front and backside hits. Pare came a close second, but it could’ve so easily been a different story if he was able to hold onto his agonizingly close backloop. Thankfully for Pare, he still qualified for the final as the lucky loser. Twelve year old Herrera Mathisen can also be very proud of his performance as he landed several forward loops showing that he’s definitely one to watch in the coming years.
The final of the juniors competition was started, however, deteriorating wind conditions meant that the heat had to be canceled before its completion with none of the sailors being able to register one of the two jumps required. Despite remaining on standby for the next thirty minutes the wind and waves never returned meaning that we will have to wait until tomorrow to see the conclusion of the final.
Philip Köster in confident mood before the action kicks off:
“I’m feeling very confident with my sailing, I have been training a lot and trying to improve everything, so I’m confident I can produce my best in the heats.”
The forecast for tomorrow is similar to that of day 4, but with more east in the wind hopefully the local effect will be able to take hold with full force allowing the competition to finally begin, as well as seeing the conclusion of the junior contest. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM if conditions allow. Of course you’ll be able to follow all the thrilling action live by tuning into the PWA TV!
Day 3 of the PWA Gran Canaria Wind and Waves Festival turned out to be another frustrating affair as the howling trade winds, which usually hammer Pozo throughout the summer months continued to desert us in favor of uncharacteristically light winds. The sailors were eventually released at 4 PM as conditions failed to develop.
With the wind and wave gods still having not read the script for the PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival, we managed to catch up with one half of the legendary Moreno twins - Daida Ruano Moreno:
PWA: This is yours and Iballa’s second year organizing the event, has the second time around been easier or more difficult?
DM: “This is the second year that our club has organized the event, it is not only me and Iballa, luckily. It’s definitely been harder because last year we only had three months to organize the event, this year we had much longer and we really wanted to improve several aspects of the event. When you are trying to make things better it’s always much more work. In the end, we spent eight months organizing the event, thinking about every little detail. Overall I think the event is much better organized than last year.”
PWA: Do you think with this being the 25th anniversary of the event that the titles are more special this year, with it being a historical land mark?
DM: “Yeah, of course with it being the 25th year it is a historical and special event. I believe that every sailor who comes to sail at this spot wants to win the event title. Every year is important, but with this being the 25th anniversary and the silver wedding of the event I think it makes this year's titles even more special. For me it would be special if I could win, but if that doesn’t happen then I would also be very to see my sister come out on top. We’ll be trying our best to be in the top 3 and we also need to see how it is with the conditions. At the moment it looks as though we will have three days of competition, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
PWA: How have you found trying to organize the event and training at the same time?
DM: “Trying to train, organize the event and study at university has been my goal for the year and it’s been a bit of a nightmare trying to put it all together. It’s been a bit stressful at times, but I believe we will see a good result, and if we don’t then I still believe we have run a well organized event, now we just have to cross our fingers and hope for some good conditions.”
PWA: What are you studying at university?
DM: “I’m studying to become a physiotherapist, I have just finished my second year so I have two more years to go.”
PWA: When you were able to train this winter, were there any aspects of your sailing you were trying to work on in particular?
DM: “This winter I’ve been trying to become fitter again. I’ve been training with Dario Ojeda for a few months and have been trying to sail as much as possible. We had a slightly weird winter, but overall I’m happy with the wind and the waves and I’ve been able to train a lot. I’m trying to pull off cleaner moves and the wave with my wave riding. I’ve been trying to go more radical with my shakas and frontside wave 360s, frontside aerials and I’ve been trying goiters. Last year Iballa was able to produce some decisive moves which won the heats for her. Now I’m trying to pull those moves, but we’ll have to see what happens and I’ll try my best. With jumping I’m pretty confident that if I’m feeling happy and the conditions are good that everything will come together.”
PWA: Finally, what are your current favorite moves, both jumping and on the wave?
DM: “For jumping I love throwing my pushloop tabletops. I’ve also been really close to trying pushloop tabletop forwards this winter, but it’s a tricky move. So far I’ve only seen Dario [Ojeda] pulling those. I’ve seen many pushloop forwards which are nice, but I haven’t seen them really tweaked apart from Dario. I haven’t tried it yet as it’s a really physical move and I’m still trying to visualize it fully in my head. In the waves I’m really trying to improve my shakas - not the freestyle shakas - but the proper backside wave 360 off the lip, some of them are coming along, so we’ll see.”
PWA: Thanks for your time Daida and good luck for the contest.
The second day of the PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival proved to be a very relaxed affair as the wind and waves refused to play ball for the second day in a row. With temperatures soaring into the thirties and a very light breeze most of the sailors took the opportunity to seek cover out of the sunshine, as the waiting game continued.
At 3 PM, the voice of the PWA - Ben Proffitt - was joined by two of the biggest names in windsurfing Alex Mussolini and Ricardo Campello - who finished third and fourth respectively in 2012 - for an exclusive interview. If you missed the live interview, don’t worry as it will be re-streamed at 7 PM local time (GMT+1), as well as being repeated afterwards too.
The inaugural day of the 25th PWA Pozo World Cup saw sailors registering for the upcoming six days of competition between 10:30 AM and 11:30 AM. With a bustling atmosphere the crowd and sailors gathered for the opening ceremony before the skippers’ meeting was held at 1 PM. With the conditions being unsuitable, the sailors remained on hold until 4 PM, unfortunately at this point the wind disappeared almost entirely and as a result the day the was drawn to a close.
Although there was no official competition completed today the crowds and other sailors were treated to some super smooth freestyle wizardry from the 5x PWA Freestyle World Champion - Sarah-Quita Offringa - as the Aruban gem rotated through air flakas, Konos and culos to name a few.
As many of you will probably be aware this year will see 12 sailors competing for the remaining 6 spots in the overall 32 man draw. The opening heat will see Alessio Stillrich, Tuomo Naalisvaara, Florian Jung and Marcus Rydberg all going head-to-head for the top two places. Heat 2 will feature Jonas Ceballos, Christopher Friis, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo and Moritz Mauch. The remaining qualifying heat will see Eleazar Alonso Sanchez, Martin Ten Hoeve, Justin Denel, Kevin Mevissen all battling it out for those crucial top two places.
Tomorrow’s forecast is very similar to today’s, but as Pozo has shown in the past anything can happen here with the local effect, so we remain optimistic of starting the competition. With this in mind, the skippers’ meeting has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM, if conditions allow.
From the 9th to the 14th July, the elite of the wave sailing world will be returning to the shores of Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria, to launch the opening wave event of the 2013 PWA World Tour, as well as marking the 25th anniversary of fantastic PWA Pozo World Cup events, so you could argue that this years titles are even more special than usual.
Pozo Izquierdo is recognized throughout the windsurfing world as one of the best spots on the planet, due to its howling winds - which can reach in excess of fifty knots - and steep waves. This combination transforms Pozo into a wave sailors heaven, allowing the most radical sailors in the world to perform gravity defying stunts in order to wow both the crowds and the judges. The local effect in Pozo means that even the lightest breeze can soon be accelerated to nuclear strength, so don’t be surprised to see even the biggest guys reaching for their smallest equipment.
This year's event will also see a change in the format as this time around only the top 32 men in the world will be allowed to compete, as opposed to the usual 48 in years gone by. Not only does this mean that the standard of competition sailing will have increased yet again, but it will also improve your viewing pleasure at home as there will only be two men on the water at anyone time, meaning even better coverage of the amazing action on the water as the live stream cameras will be able to follow both sailors at the same time.
What’s the Deal:
Six days of unbelievable wave sailing action as the most radical sailors in the world prepare to begin their battle for another world title. As this is the first wave event of the season the sailors will be more eager than ever to gain as many world tour points as possible.
Ones to Watch:
All eyes will of course be on the reigning PWA Wave World Champion - Philip Köster. The nineteen year old is looking to complete an illustrious hat-trick of event victories in Pozo this year, and it would be hard to bet against him doing so, especially when you consider his performances in his latest videos. Köster explodes into trademark ankle dry double forwards, stunning pushloop forwards and irresistible reverses to show the world that he’s more than ready to defend his crown.
The 2010 PWA Wave world champion Victor Fernandez will be hoping to go one better than last year, when he finished in 2nd place. The Spaniard is one of the most stylish sailors on the tour, and he too makes double forwards look effortless. Fernandez will also be boosting his way through rocket propelled backloops and one handed goiters in his effort to knock Köster off of his perch.
Considered, by many, as one of the best jumpers in the world Ricardo Campello possesses all the necessary weapons in his artillery to rise to the top. With his no fear attitude, Campello is a sailor who constantly pushes the boundaries of the sport. Campello has been on the cusp of glory for the past three seasons having finished twice as vice world champion and 4th last year. Could this year be the one?
Dany Bruch is rated as one of the smoothest wave riders in the world as well as having the ability to excel in the air. Expect to see effortless, fluid turns and trademark one-handed, one-footed backloops. The German finished 5th here last year and he’ll be there or there abouts come the end of the event.
Iballa Ruano Moreno became the first woman in 13 years to defeat her sister - Daida Ruano Moreno - on her home turf last year, before going on to be crowned the overall PWA Wave World Champion for the 5th time in her illustrious career. The legendary Moreno Twins have dominated the top two places in Pozo for the past thirteen years, so it seems more of a question of which twin will come out on top rather than who’s going to stop them. Expect to see jumping and wave riding which would rival many of their male counterparts, and be ready to witness another epic Moreno battle.
The first wave event of the year also sees the welcome return of Gran Canaria local Nayra Alonso, who finished 3rd overall in 2011. Alonso was absent from the fleet last year after embarking on the challenge of becoming a mother for the first time, but she is raring to go again now. Similarly, Silvia Alba will also be making her return to competing on the world tour having been in the same boat as Alonso in 2012.