by Chris Yates
The 24th edition of the PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup arrives all-new and improved to kick off the 2012 PWA Wave Tour in style. The Gran Canaria Wind and Waves Festival will take place from the 2nd-7th July at Pozo Izquierdo (Gran Canaria), and promises to be better than ever.
The Koster kid flying high - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
Event organizers, Club Moreno Twins, aim to bring a whole new dimension to the event, transforming the Windsurf World Cup into the Gran Canaria Wind and Waves Festival. The nerve center of the festival will be a huge marquee at the beach, which will provide a vast selection of leisure and sports activities during the day, alongside the main attraction of the PWA Windsurf World Cup itself, before being turned into a haven of musical entertainment with concerts at night.
The 24th edition of the PWA Pozo Izquierdo Wave World Cup will see Pozo locals, Daida Ruano (Starboard / Severne) and Phillip Koster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins); both start the defense of their respective PWA Wave World Tour Titles in Gran Canaria. In order to do so they will have to defeat some of the most radical sailors in the world.
The Cabildo (island government) of Gran Canaria, through their Tourism promotions department, and the Canary Island government, through Promotur, have remained the principal sponsors of the event, which this year is being organized by ¨Club Deportivo Moreno Twins', with Daida and Iballa Ruano heading up the team. Together with them, the county council of Santa Lucia and Volkswagen Comerciales, are the main sponsors. With further support coming from another large group of partners, mainly businesses from the Santa Lucia area, keen to show their support for the energetic new profile of the event.
As with many of the events on the PWA World Tour, the side-line activities, which often define each event, are as important as the competition itself. In Gran Canaria the action on the water is guaranteed, so for 2012, the action off the water will be guaranteed too!
The program of activities includes youth and kids workshops alongside a range of other sporting activities, as well as demonstrations from dance school Pluff Studio and Yure, a former contender from Spanish TV’s 'Fama, a bailar' showing us all his best moves on stage! The final day of the event will also see a beach clean-up to help protect the ecological well-being that a clean and green sport like windsurfing represents.
The man and woman to beat at Pozo this year will be German Philip Koster and born and bred Pozo rider, Daida Ruano Moreno. Both riders were the stand out sailors at Pozo during the 2011 contest. Last year’s event witnessed some of the most spectacular conditions in history, with winds gusting over 45 knots combined with big waves. Gran Canaria is a key event on the PWA Wave World Tour and in the World Championship Title race for both men and women. 2011 was no exception and we don’t expect 2012 to be any different either so standby for a spectacular event!
Flying high in Pozo - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
At 18 years old, Philip Koster celebrated his first PWA Wave World Title in Sylt, Germany in 2011. Koster won the event in Pozo earlier that year to set up his title charge, underlining the importance of the Gran Canaria contest. Koster bases himself in Gran Canaria and has revolutionized the sport by pulling off the most radical moves ever seen. This has driven the level on the PWA Wave World Tour (literally) sky high, as the riders continue push harder and harder to test the boundaries of the sport and increase their own phenomenal abilities.
The 2010 PWA Wave World Champion, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North) from Almeria and Gran Canaria's very own Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC), finished last year’s event in second and third place respectively. Once again this year, they will look to threaten Koster’s dominance; however, they are not the only sailors that are capable of posing a threat to Koster. Venezuela’s Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC), Brazilians Marcillo 'Brawzinho' Browne (Goya / Quatro) and Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde), Britain’s Robby Swift and finally Tenerife’s Dany Bruch all have the potential to beat the man from Vargas beach. Local riders Eleazar Alonso, José Romero (JP / NeilPryde) and Omar Sanchez, deserve a mention too, as they know the local conditions better than anybody and could provide some surprises during the event.
Wave of the day from Fernandez - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
In the girls' competition, Daida Moreno won the opening event of 2011 in Pozo, ahead of her sister Iballa in second. This initial success eventually led to World title number 21 for the Moreno Twins. The Twins are part of the legend of this sport, to which they have managed to give a new dimension, making moves and maneuvers on the waves and in the air that were only in the hands of male riders before. Iballa and Daida are undoubtedly the female favourites going in to this year’s event, but perhaps their strongest challengers, Gran Canaria local Nayra Alonso and Silvia Alba from Seville, will be absent, as they prepare for a greater challenge - to become mothers for the first time!
The level of women competitors on the PWA Wave Tour continues to increase dramatically with the influx of young blood that has come into the sport in recent years, but experience still plays a vital part meaning multiple World Champion and general all round windsurfing talent, Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) from Switzerland will again be the main threat to the Ruano sisters on their home beach.
Busy skies over Pozo -PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
The beginning of the PWA wave season will turn all eyes on Gran Canaria as the World of Windsurfing fixes its gaze on what is expected to be one of the most explosive events of the year. But, aware of how important the tourist promotion of Gran Canaria is, the organization has designed an ambitious communication plan with which they plan to bring the name of Pozo Izquierdo and Gran Canaria not only to the borders of Spain, but to the far reaches of the planet.
The objective is to make the Gran Canaria Wind and Waves Festival 2012 an event of international prestige that will do justice to the spectacular competition on the water that, year after year, has made of Pozo Izquierdo and Gran Canaria one of the most important windsurfing destinations in the world.
Stalled forward loop from Jaeger Stone - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
Alonso tweaked - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
Bail out - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
Leon Jammer - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
Mussolini 360 - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
Robby Swift back loop - PWA Pozo Gran Canaria World Cup 2011
PWA World Tour website
Grand Canaria Wind and Waves Festival website