by Chris Yates
2014 PWA Pozo World Cup - From the 14th to the 20th July the most radical sailors in the world will once again be descending upon the hallowed shores of Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria, as the curtain is raised on the 2014 PWA Wave World Tour. The week ahead promises to be one you can’t afford to miss as the elite of the wave sailing world perform gravity defying stunts to win the adulation of the crowd and the judges. The level has continued to rocket, meaning the action will be bigger and more extreme than ever before.
PWA Pozo World Cup
Pozo Izquierdo is renowned throughout the windsurfing world for it’s howling winds - which can reach in excess of fifty knots - and steep waves, which provide the perfect stunt ramps for the world’s best to throw themselves into jaw-dropping manoeuvres. 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.
Marcilio Browne - 2013 PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup
Marcilio 'Brawzinho' Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) clinched his maiden world title in 2013 meaning confidence will still be at an all time high after last year's phenomenal display and he will be desperate to make a strong start to his title defence. The Brazilian, like so many of the other top sailors, has travelled the Pozo early to accustom himself with the howling winds that Pozo is renowned for. Brawzinho's latest videos indicate that he's absolutely ripping with perfect double forwards, huge backloops and radical wave riding - including several irresistible reverses. There's no doubt that he'll be gunning for the top come the end of the week.
Brawzinho’s Pozo preparation and who’s looking good for the top: 'I arrived here two weeks ago and have been training every day since pretty much . It’s been fun most of the days, but we had one session that was hard to go straight on the 3.4m, I had a hard time hehehehe. I am just enjoying myself, it’s nice to be here and pretty much only have to eat, sail and sleep, can’t complain . I have been enjoying every minute of my trip and hope we have good conditions next week.'
'Many guys have been ripping, but the ones who got my attention the most were : Köster, Campello, Victor, Swift, Musso, Dany, Jaeger, Lewis and I saw Moritz do some crazy things on the waves, he looks really fast and fluid . Plus all the other boys are ripping too.'
Philip Koster released the fins - PWa Cold Hawaii World Cup 2013
Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) may have finished sixth overall in 2013, but there's no question that the boy wonder enters the event as the favourite having claimed victory here in 2009, 2011, 2012 - as well as winning the super session last year. The twenty year old is the most gifted port tack jumper in the world right now and it's going take a super human effort to beat him on his home patch. Köster will be rocketing into insane stalled double forwards, pushloop forwards and much, much more. The two-time world champion will be determined to win his world title back, so expect to see an explosive display as he looks to blow the rest of the competition away.
Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC) changed sponsors in the winter to Patrik and Point-7 after 11 or 12 years with JP and NeilPryde. Campello is widely considered one of the most radical and innovative sailors of all time and he may have an extra point to prove this year, making him even more dangerous as he goes in search of his first wave world title. Leading up to the event the Brazilian has been talking about triple forwards, so keep your eyes peeled on this week as we could see something extraordinary.
Big forward from Victor Fernandez - PWA Pozo World Cup 2012
Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) is always challenging for top honors and as the only person to have stopped Köster in Pozo during the 2010 Pozo PWA World Cup he certainly knows what it takes to win. The Spaniard is renowned for his super clean double forwards and his smooth and stylish execution of all of his manoeuvres - add to this that Fernandez appears to be stepping up the level with pushloop forward attempts and it’s easy to see why he is a top contender.
Just before the event last year Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) suffered a broken ankle after a one-footed backloop went badly wrong, which hindered his aspirations in 2013. However, this time around the Brit has had an injury free build up to the season opener and he’ll be looking to show everyone what he can do now that he is 100% fit. Swift’s jumping repertoire is second to none and he possesses one of the best pushloop forwards in the business. 2014 could prove to be the year that Swift truly shines.
PWA Vice-World Champion Alex Mussolini (Tabou / GA Sails) won’t be too far away from the action either. The Spaniard consistently scores the highest wave scores on the tour thanks to his unbelievable style and consistency. Mussolini will be boosting huge one-handed, one-footed backloops as well as trying to land his new move ‘The Klei’ in competition to earn even more points. The wave 360 King will certainly be challenging for top honours come the end of the week.
After a slightly disappointing year in 2013 Dany Bruch (Starboard / Challenger Sails / AL360) will be eager to bounce back to his brilliant best with a strong display in Pozo. The German is renowned as being one of the most stylish and fluid wave riders in the world and he’ll be combining powerful, gouging turns with effortless front and backside 360s to make his assault for the top of the rankings.
The level is so high on the PWA Wave World Tour right now that there’s many more sailors who could easily make a charge for the top. The likes of Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde), Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde), Adam Lewis (Fanatic / North) and of course the Red Bull Storm Chase King Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) all possess the tricks and tools to defeat anyone in the world and the week ahead promises to be extremely exciting. Of course local hero Dario Ojeda (Tabou / GA Sails) will also be a major threat as he has shown over the last few years. It really is too close to call and there are going to be agonisingly close heats.
Before the main event kicks off sixteen men will be fighting for the final eight spots in the main draw as they attempt to qualify from a loaded trials, which features the world class talents of Camille Juban (Quatro / MauiSails / MFC), Graham Ezzy (Quatro / Ezzy / MFC) and Jaeger Stone (SSD / Severne) to name just a few.
Stalled forward loop from Daida Moreno - PWA Pozo World Cup 2012
It’s hard to look past the formidable force of the legendary Moreno twins when it comes to title contenders in the women’s fleet. Not only have Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) dominated the world tour for more than a decade, but Pozo is also their home, meaning they have more local knowledge than anyone else. We can’t see anyone being able to topple the twins from the top this year, but it’s a tough one to call whether it will be Daida or Iballa at the top of the podium.
Daida comes into the opening event of the year still recovering from a foot injury which kept her off the water for five months during the winter, but with her world title to defend she won’t be taking things lightly and she’ll be unleashing amazing stalled forwards and huge backloops to make sure she’s there or there abouts come the end of the week.
All smiles for Daida Moreno - 2013 PWA Pozo World Cup
Daida speaks about her injury and looks ahead to the start of the contest: 'Yes, I was injured for five months and I couldn’t go sailing during that time. I missed great sailing action here in winter and it was really hard for me to live in Pozo and not being able to go sailing. I took my time to go to physiotherapy twice a week to recover quicker and worked hard on my university degree, did all my practices at several hospitals and passed all my exams ;-). Next year I will graduate on physiotherapy after four years, looking forward for this.'
'The other positive note is that I had more time to organise the event even better than before. Hopefully this year we will have again great action on the water. I personally haven't had much time to prepare myself as I did in previous years and I’m not feeling 100% comfortable with my foot, but I am really looking forward to go out and have fun at my home spot in front of my family and friends. Also looking forward to have a lot of audience in the first PWA wave event in 2014, with a lots of expectation and great action on the water given by the best sailors in the world.'
Meanwhile, Iballa will be determined to reclaim her place at the top of the prestigious podium having relinquished her world crown in 2013. The twins enjoy a ferocious rivalry and this week promises to be another epic battle. Iballa will be rotating through huge backloops and pushloops as well as throwing radical goiters too in an effort to regain the number one spot.
With Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) absent from proceedings the door has been thrown wide open for the women to take their shot at the Moreno twins. The likes of Justyna Sniady (Simmer) - who enjoyed a successful winter training in Western Australia - will be desperate to show her true potential by stomping clean backloops, whilst Amanda Beenen (Tabou / GA Sails), Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde) and Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) all have the ability to earn their rightful place on the hallowed podium.
The 2014 Gran Canaria Wind and Waves Festival promises to be an astonishing event with unbelievable amounts of mind blowing action, meaning this is one event you can’t afford to miss a moment of.
PWA World Tour