BTW: Wer hat's erfunden?
Celebrating 30 Fantastic Years of PWA World Cups in Pozo Izquierdo
This year's Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival marks the 30th anniversary of PWA World Cups in Pozo Izquierdo and by the look of the forecast it’s going to be one you are not going to forget about for a long time with trademark howling winds and waves predicted for the duration of the event, which kicks off tomorrow and runs until the 21st July.
Pozo Izquierdo is internationally famed in the windsurfing world due to its unrelenting wind and steep waves. The combination of these two factors creates the perfect playground for the world’s most extreme sailors to defy gravity and perform the biggest stunts on the planet. The local effects mean that even the slightest breeze can soon be accelerated to nuclear strength, with the wind peaking at around 50-60 knots and based on the current forecast that should see the guys and girls reaching for their smallest equipment.
Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) may hold the early season title race lead after claiming a stylish victory during the Morocco PWA World Cup in April, but it will be her sister Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who starts as the favourite for the second event of the year with 16 victories and a 2nd place in the last 17 years - a quite remarkable record.
However, it is Iballa who has come out on top overall in recent years, having won the world title for the last 4 years and she currently leads this year’s tour, so Daida will know it is imperative to win here if she wants to reclaim the women’s wave world title for the first time since 2013.
It is likely the Moreno twins’ biggest threat will come from either Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), who currently occupies second place in the overall rankings, or Lena Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails), who earned her first podium here in 2017 but the German has been studying, and training when possible, so it will be interesting to see if the 21-year-old can bring that same level with less practise.
Meanwhile, Offringa has the experience of beating the Moreno twins, but it would a huge ask to beat them both on home waters. However, the 14-time world champion has been spending more time in Pozo Izquierdo in order to try and become more comfortable in the extreme conditions and can never be ruled out.
Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / AL360) is reportedly feeling better than ever sailing in Pozo and the Pole comes into her first event of the season on the back of her best season yet in 2017 - where she earned 5th overall and will no doubt be gunning to go one or two places better this time around.
Last year we only saw Steffi Wahl (Sailloft Hamburg) at one event - Sylt where she finished 6th - but the German lines up in Pozo and with all of her experience and stylish approach she will be a definite threat.
Elsewhere, Marine Hunter (KA Sail) will look to build upon an excellent 5th place in Morocco, but will face a completely different set of conditions over the next 7 days, while former overall top 3 Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne Sails) will try to make her impression felt again as will youth world champion - Nicole Bandini (Fanatic / Duotone) and fellow Italian’s Greta Benvenuti (I-99 / Challenger Sails / AL360), Caterina Stenta (RRD / RRD Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) and Serena Zoia (I-99 / Loftsails).
Meanwhile, several women more known more for their freestyle exerts - Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins), Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) will also be trying to make further inroads on the wave scene.
Statistically speaking it is almost impossible to look past either current world champion - Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) or former 2-time world champion - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone / Shamal Sunglasses) - when it comes to looking at the eventual winner of the 2018 GCWWF.
Between them they have shared the event titles since 2006 - with Fernandez winning 6 events (2006, 07, 08, 10, 14, 16) and Köster winning 5 (2009, 11, 12, 15, 17) (no result in 2013) - while Fernandez boasts an incredible record of not finishing outside the top 2 since then.
Can Anyone Crack Them?
Last year’s overall top two are clearly the top seeds, however, there are a whole host of candidates hoping to rip up the history book… firstly 2013 world champion - Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) - who seems to have added the pushloop forward to his repertoire to make himself an even bigger threat, having completed the overall top 3 for the last 2 years...
while the other major threat you would have to feel is Ricardo Campello (Point-7), who seemingly has pushloop forwards on tap. Campello’s talent has never been in doubt, however, whether he is able to produce pure brilliance heat-after-heat - and under pressure - remains to be seen. If everything clicks into place though, Campello will be one of the top guns.
As you may have seen in Ben Proffitt’s (Simmer / Simmer Sails) training diaries the level seems to have gone through the roof again and therefore there are numerous other candidates - especially since the men’s fleet has been extended again to the top 48.
Antoine Martin (NeilPryde) remains one of the most radical sailors in the world, but like Campello, consistency will be key if he wants to make inroads into the top 5 and beyond. Both have been pushing ridiculously hard coming into the opening men’s wave event with both throwing themselves into double and even triple rotations.
Meanwhile, you can never rule out Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) or Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails), who have been at the top of the game for so many years, however, you would have to feel that on the current forecast the winner will come from being able to land a double and a pushloop forward in the jumping category - followed up by both rail turns and aerial manoeuvres - the latter of which is no problem for either. Having said that, the forecast looks so crazy that anything could happen and these two seem to excel the more extreme the conditions become.
Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX) enjoyed his best year to date on the world tour in 2017 and will look to build upon that over the next 7 days…. Can the Brit better a 7th place start he made here last year?
Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses) certainly didn’t perform badly last season, but after being on the wrong side of a few close calls the Australian finished outside the overall top 5 for the first time since 2015 - 7th - and will now look to bounce back.
The depth of talent on the men’s wave world tour is quite incredible at the moment so an easy run through to the latter stages no longer exists and you can expect to see - Dany Bruch (Flight Sails / AL360 / Shamal Sunglasses), Marc Paré (Simmer / Simmer Sails), Omar Sanchez (Carbon Art / KA Sail), Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX), Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde), Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) all pushing hard for the top 10, while Pozo experts Josep Pons (Simmer / Simmer Sails) and Dario Ojdeda (Flikka / Flight Sails) should also be right in the thick of the action. Don’t be surprised either to see the youthful talents of Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing), Lock Lesauvage (Goya Windsurfing / Shamal Sunglasses) or Noah Vocker (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) all enter the fray also.
Freestyle Assault On The Waves
Over the years future world class wave sailors have come from a freestyle background - namely 3-time wave world champion Kauli Seadi (I-99 / Hot Sails Maui), 3-time freestyle world champion Ricardo Campello, Marcilio Browne and Dieter van der Eyken (Severne /Severne Sails), who both won one freestyle world title each, while the Brazilian already has one wave world title to his name, as does Thomas Traversa - but there are now more freestylers waiting to take aim in the waves and cause a few upsets.
Dieter van der Eyken
Firstly, 8-time freestyle world champion - Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) - who already looked incredibly dangerous in Sylt and has been spending a fair amount of time training in Pozo ahead of the first event of the season, plus vice-world champion Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne), who is competing in his first wave event, Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing) followed by the Italian duo of Franceso Cappuzzo (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360) and Jacopo Testa (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360).
With an unbelievably good looking forecast the 2018 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival looks set to start with a bang… Don’t miss any of the incredible action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.combetween 15th-21st July.
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Schedule For Day 1: (All Times GMT+1)
- Registration 10-11am
- Skippers’ Meeting - 1pm
- First Possible Start - 1:30pm