by Chris Yates
The season long fight for the prestigious PWA World titles and heralded podium positions were not the only things that the sailors were battling it out for, as the pride of each of their respective countries was also at stake every time they entered the competition fray.
Iballa Moreno top turn - 2012 PWA Sylt World CUp
After ten grueling events, spanning the globe, the results have now been counted and verified and it is time to reveal which nation has come out on top across each of the three PWA disciplines of freestyle, slalom and wave, before unveiling which nation performed the best across all three of the aforementioned disciplines to claim the coveted 2012 PWA Nations Rankings crown.
With the legendary Moreno twins, Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) and Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne), finishing first and second in every event this year, with Iballa claiming her fifth PWA World crown, it is no surprise to reveal that Spain finished at the top of the wave rankings, especially when you consider the fact that Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North) finished as the Vice-World Champion with Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra) right behind him in third place as he earned his place on the overall podium for the first time.
Late hit from Daida - 2012 PWA Sylt World CUp
Fernandez backside - 2012 PWA Sylt World CUp
Spain also have Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC) to thank for helping them win the 2012 PWA Wave Nations Ranking, after his magnificent performance in Pozo saw him finish in third place. With such a formidable team it’s hard to see how anyone will stop them next year.
Their main rival, Germany, headed up by the man of the moment and back-to-back PWA Wave World Champion Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), along with Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) ended the season just three points behind the winners, whilst France and Venezuela claimed joint third, largely thanks to the efforts of Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) and Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) respectively.
Koster goes vertical - 2012 PWA Sylt World CUp
The slalom saw the largest margin of victory as team France dominated the proceedings to finish an impressive 22 points ahead of their closest rival Switzerland. Armed with both of the 2012 PWA Slalom World Champions, Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic), it is no surprise to see them at the top of the nations rankings. Also playing a pivotal role in helping claim the 2012 title was Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde), who finished in the top ten at four out of the six events this season. France had yet more fighting power in their line up with Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) and the 2012 PWA Youth Champion, Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde), both winning crucial points.
Quentel gybes - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
As already mentioned Switzerland finished as the runners up, thanks to the efforts of both of their Vice-World Champions, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz) and Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne). Whilst the Netherlands finished in third place, after fine performances from Ben van der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different) and Peter Bijl (Fanatic / North).
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) may have won every event this year and more importantly a fifth PWA Freestyle World crown, but he and Yoli Freites de Brendt (Fanatic / North) couldn’t prevent the Bonaire boys consisting of; Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra), Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra), Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins), Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui), from storming to the top of the rankings, as Gollito and de Brendt had to settle for second place ahead of Belgium, who completed the top three with last year’s PWA Freestyle World Champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) and fellow Belgium maestro Dieter van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne), doing the necessary damage to claim third.
Gollito taka - 2012 PWA Sylt World Cup
Taty back loop - 2012 PWA Sylt World CUp
Van Broeckhoven in action - 2012 PWA Sylt World CUp
Having won the slalom division and finished in joint third in the waves, it is perhaps no surprise to see that France have been crowned the 2012 Overall PWA Nations Ranking Champions. In the end France opened up a clear 7.8 point lead over Switzerland to claim a convincing victory, whilst the final place in the top three narrowly went to the Netherlands after they edged out Spain by a mere 0.7 of a point.
The 2012 Overall PWA Nations Ranking
6th United Kingdom
Wave PWA Nations Ranking
Slalom PWA Nations Ranking
Freestyle PWA Nations Ranking
You can see a full list of the results here, as well as being able to find out how the PWA Nations Ranking is calculated.
PWA World Tour website