by Chris Yates
The opening day of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup had a quiet start to proceedings as the sailors registered for the upcoming week of competition between 10:30am and 12pm. With just a light breeze gracing the shores of Alacati, the skippers’ meeting was delayed until 2:30pm, however despite the postponement, the wind remained absent on day one of the competition.
Bora Kozanoglu - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2011
In spite of the light winds there was still plenty going on, both on and off the water, with hundreds of beginners out making the most of the perfect learning conditions.
The fog rolls in - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
After the registration period closed we took the opportunity to catch up with the local man Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard / Severne), before the racing begins.
PWA: How have the last couple of months been for you?
Bora Kozanoglu: 'I’ve been very busy with my center, here in Alacati, we’re approaching the end of our season now and it’s been super tiring. It’s starting to calm down after a crazy couple of months and we can finally start to relax.'
PWA: You are a local here and you probably know the conditions here better than anyone...are you hoping to use that to your advantage over the next five or six days of the competition?
Bora Kozanoglu: 'Of course, I have been windsurfing here for the last twelve or thirteen years, so of course I know the area very well. Sometimes there are some wind shifts in the bay, so although it is flat water and it looks easy but it can be very challenging with the shifts. Having said that, all of the guys on tour are very experienced, and this is the sixth year that the competition has been held here so I don’t think I will have a massive advantage. I do think that being in my home spot is an advantage in terms of being more relaxed and having a team around that can help me.'
PWA: Do you have a caddy?
Bora Kozanoglu: 'I do here, but as this is my first year competing on the tour, and without any financial sponsors I didn’t have a caddy for the other events. However I will be taking a caddy with me to all the events next year.'
PWA: What sort of conditions can we expect for the coming week?
Bora Kozanoglu - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
Bora Kozanoglu: 'Normally in Alacati the wind isn’t particularly strong, but just like last year it looks as though we will be surprised for the event with strong winds expected. Most of the time it is fifteen to twenty knots but when the event is in town the wind seems to go full power. It looks as though we will see a whole range of conditions from very strong in the next couple of days to ‘normal’ Alacati come the end of the week. I have my 6.2 to 9.5 ready to go.'
PWA: Can you tell us a little about your fin set up and which fins you are using with different sails?
Bora Kozanoglu: 'I use different fin brands and sizes depending on the conditions. Here in Alacati I use mainly carbon fins because the water is flat and you don’t need the softer feeling G10 fins. I’m using a combination of Z and Carpenter fins for my carbon setup, but in strong winds and choppy water and switch to my Talon Fins. I expect to be using my Talon and T3 fins in the first couple of days, paired with my 6.2 and 7.0 Severne Reflex IIIs. With my 7.8 I’ll be sailing with my 46cm Carpenter and Z fins.'
PWA: How have you found your first full year on the PWA Tour?
Bora Kozanoglu: 'It’s been a very exciting experience competing on the PWA Tour surrounded by all of the best sailors in the world. So even though I have many years of windsurfing experience, I have still learned a lot this year from the top guys in terms of preparation, starts and even kit tuning. I truly believe that windsurfing is one of the hardest sports in the world and it’s a shame we don’t have more individual sponsorship. For example a runner only needs a shoe whilst a tennis player just needs a racket, whereas with windsurfing we need a lot of gear to be competitive and we are also a very high class sport. You don’t see fighting between the competitors like you do in football or something.'
The forecast for tomorrow is fantastic with strong winds being predicted for the duration of the day, which means we should see some incredible racing between the elite of the slalom world. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30.