by Chris Yates
The PWA World Tour 2012, one of the world’s biggest and longest running event, will return for its next installment from 28th September until 7th October in Sylt. The world’s fastest, most radical and outrageous windsurfers are readying themselves to descend once again upon the North Sea, as the PWA title races reach their climax. The competitors will be competing in front of crowds in excess of 200,000 people as the biggest event on the windsurfing calendar takes place.
One handed from Gollito - PWA World Tour 2012
Westerland lies on the North Sea island of Sylt, and is Germany’s northernmost town. Located 186km northwest of Hamburg, Westerland is often referred to as the 'Beverly Hills' of Germany, due to its glamorous life style and infrastructure.
For the competitors Sylt truly does provide a test of everyone’s all round ability due to the huge variation in conditions, which can hit the island. Anything from 3-4meter waves and a ferocious shore break, to perfectly calm seas creating idyllic conditions for slalom and freestyle are not uncommon. There are also a number of rocks, which are not visible at high tide, ready to take out any unsuspecting visitors, adding yet more drama and tension to the competition scene.
A ten-day windsurfing extravaganza as the finest sailors from the world of wave, freestyle and slalom battle it out for the final time on the treacherous waters of the North Sea. The 2012 PWA Sylt World Cup will once again decide the world champions for the women’s wave, men’s slalom and men’s freestyle, after the men’s wave title was decided at the recent event in Denmark. The competition will be more fierce than ever before as the contestants battle it out for the €120,000 prize purse, as well as those critical world tour points, which now have more power than ever to make or break someone’s season.
Men’s Slalom: The battle for the PWA World Slalom title is closer than ever between Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz) and his nemesis Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), who was in scintillating form in Turkey, winning six out of the nine eliminations completed. The big Frenchman will now be hoping to continue that form as he looks to reclaim his world crown, whilst preventing Dunkerbeck from winning back-to-back titles. The final event of the year will see another epic battle between these two, hard hitting, heavy weights.
The Flying Dutchman, Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different), currently occupies third place after finishing in second place in the previous two events. Van Der Steen has demonstrated his unrivaled straight-line speed time and time again and he’ll be hoping to show, once more, why he is one of the most feared men on the tour. The Dutchman will be hoping to defend his podium finish from last year, whilst he still harbors an outside chance of breaking into the illustrious top two.
Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) has enjoyed his finest season to date so far, and he is currently sat in fourth place, on equal points with Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails). Both sailors will be hoping to produce the goods one more time as they look to secure their place in the overall top five.
Also firmly in the mix and battling it out for the top ten are Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7), who won his first elimination of the season in Alacati. The president of the PWA, Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North), Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic), Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) and Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), whilst Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra) will be hoping to force his way into the top ten, as the Italian currently sits in eleventh.
Men’s Freestyle: The four times PWA World Champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) has been back to his magnificent best in 2012, with two event victories out of two. The freestyle King will be hoping for one more outstanding performance as he looks to secure his fifth world title. Expect to see him flying through massive skopus and air chachoos to clinch the number one spot.
Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) will be desperate to win the final event of the season, and see ‘Gollito’ finish fifth or worse, in order to retain his 2011 crown. The King of Pop looked formidable in Fuerteventura and he’ll be busting out no handed burners and air shuvit spocks to wow the crowds and the judges.
The Bonaire crew of Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra), Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui) currently complete the top five, with fellow Bonairean, Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra), just behind them in seventh. However, after his second place finish in Fuerteventura, Tonky Frans will be hoping to break into the top five. Expect to see unrivaled style and flare as the Bonaire boys bring a touch of the Caribbean to the cold waters of Sylt.
Team France consisting of, Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins), will be hoping to continue their form of finishing in the top ten at both events so far, with Ruenes looking to break into the top five at a minimum, whilst Akgazciyan will be hoping to head onwards and upwards from his current eighth place.
Just behind them lie the formidable trio of Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne), the Belgium enjoyed his best finish ever at the last event as he finished in fifth place, Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra), the Dutch maestro holds enough tricks in his arsenal to cause any sailor in the world problems and Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde), who at the tender age of seventeen, currently sits in equal eleventh with the super talented Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks).
Men’s Wave: The wonder kid, Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), secured his second world title, at the age of just eighteen, with one event to spare having finished second in Denmark. Köster will be eager to return to winning ways and end the season on a real high, whilst showing everyone else who is the boss. Expect to see more trademark double forwards and outrageous backside 360s as he looks to add another event trophy to his rapidly growing collection.
Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North) is the only other person, along with Köster, to have finished on the podium at every event this season. The Spaniard already has second place wrapped up this year, but he’ll still be firing on all cylinders to secure his place in the top three again.
The final podium position sees an intriguing battle between Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra), Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360) and Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), who will be on top of the world and full of confidence after his first ever event victory at the PWA KIA Cold Hawaii World Cup. Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) still has the chance to break into the top three if he does well in Sylt and other results go his way.
Vying it out for the remaining places in the top ten will be the Brazilian duo of Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) and Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC), who currently sit in seventh and ninth place respectively. The super talented German, Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC), British powerhouse Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and his fellow countryman, Ross Williams, who is battling to finish in the top ten on both the wave and the slalom tours.
This year’s entry list also includes the 2009 PWA Wave World Champion, Josh Angulo, who will be hoping to take the field by storm. Be prepared to see big powerful turns as he destroys his waves. It’s going to be extremely interesting to see just how far Angulo can go.
Women’s Wave: Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) and Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) continue their dominance of the women’s wave scene as they occupy the top two, however this time around, it is Iballa who holds the number one spot after winning both of the events thus far in 2012. With no discard available, there is still all to play for and Daida is still hot on her sisters heal. It’s sure to be a nail-biting conclusion to an amazing season as the legendary Moreno twins look for a one, two finish again.
The Swiss gem, Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne), has been in brilliant form this far and after a solid performance in the Canaries she currently holds the final spot on the podium. Jaggi will, however, be facing some fierce competition in the form of, Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) and Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North), who are tied in joint fourth. Expect to see all three girls fighting tooth and nail as they look to clinch the remaining place on the heralded podium.
The action is not just guaranteed on the water in Sylt either as there are a multitude of activities taking place throughout the day, before the event site is transformed into a party-goers heaven by night, whilst also seeing epic tow in night sessions too.
The PWA is extremely proud to announce that even if you are not lucky enough to be at the event in person, you will still be able to get a taste of the incredible action via our live stream here. With so many crucial battles taking place over the upcoming ten days, this is guaranteed to be one of the events of the season and one that you certainly cannot afford to miss, especially when you consider the epic forecast that is currently on offer.
PWA World Tour website