by Chris Yates
The 2013 PWA Pozo World Cup is set to take place from the 9th-14th July with the elite of the wave sailing world making their return to the shores of Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria, to launch the opening wave event of the 2013 PWA World Tour, as well as marking the 25th anniversary of fantastic PWA Pozo World Cup events, so you could argue that this year’s titles are even more special than usual.
Koster back loop - PWA Pozo World Cup 2012
Pozo Izquierdo is recognized throughout the windsurfing world as one of the best spots on the planet, due to its howling winds - which can reach in excess of fifty knots - and steep waves. This combination transforms Pozo into a wave sailors heaven, allowing the most radical sailors in the world to perform gravity defying stunts in order to wow both the crowds and the judges. 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.
This year’s event will also see a change in the format as this time around only the top thirty-two men in the world will be allowed to compete, as opposed to the usual forty-eight in years gone by. Not only does this mean that the standard of competition sailing will have increased yet again, but it will also improve your viewing pleasure at home as there will only be two men on the water at any one time, meaning even better coverage of the amazing action on the water as the live stream cameras will be able to follow both sailors at the same time.
Six days of unbelievable wave sailing action as the most radical sailors in the world prepare to begin their battle for another world title. As this is the first wave event of the season the sailors will be more eager than ever to gain as many world tour points as possible.
All eyes will of course be on the reigning PWA Wave world champion - Philip Koster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins). The nineteen year old is looking to complete an illustrious hat-trick of event victories in Pozo this year, and it would be hard to bet against him doing so, especially when you consider his performances in his latest videos. Koester explodes into trademark ankle dry double forwards, stunning pushloop forwards and irresistible reverses to show the world that he’s more than ready to defend his crown.
Clinical goiter from Fernandez - PWA Pozo World Cup 2012
The 2010 PWA Wave world champion Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North) will be hoping to go one better than last year, when he finished in second place. The Spaniard is one of the most stylish sailors on the tour, and he too makes double forwards look effortless. Fernandez will also be boosting his way through rocket propelled backloops and one handed goiters in his effort to knock Koster off of his perch.
Alex Mussolini’s (Tabou / Gaastra) confidence will be at an all-time high, having finished on the heralded overall podium for the first time in his career last year. The Spaniard is without doubt one of the best wave riders in the world, which can be highlighted by the fact that he achieved several ten and eleven point scores in Pozo last year. Of course jumping will play a pivotal role, but his wave riding could prove decisive in the later rounds of the competition.
Considered, by many, as one of the best jumpers in the world Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) possesses all the necessary weapons in his artillery to rise to the top. With his no fear attitude Campello is a sailor who constantly pushes the boundaries of the sport. Campello has been on the cusp of glory for the past three seasons having finished twice as vice world champion and fourth last year. Could this year be the one?
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) is another name who has the potential to go all the way. The Brazilian has released several jaw-dropping videos during the off season and if he’s able to produce a similar performance on port tack then he will be a serious contender. With crazy pushloop forwards, perfect double forwards and brilliant frontside wave 360s the twenty-three year old is one sailor to keep a very close eye on.
Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC) excels in the harsh conditions of Pozo and is looking to finish in the top three for the third time in a row this year. The local man has reportedly been pushing himself to the limit with pushloop forwards and more consistent doubles. Ojeda will be hoping to combine his newest moves with his superior local knowledge to carve his way through the fleet.
Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360) is rated as one of the smoothest wave riders in the world as well as having the ability to excel in the air. Expect to see effortless, fluid turns and trademark one-handed, one-footed backloops. The German finished fifth here last year and he’ll be there or there abouts come the end of the event.
Having claimed his first ever PWA event victory in Klitmoeller, Denmark, last year Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) will be trying to build upon last year’s performance. The talented Frenchman is one of the few people who has successfully managed to defeat the formidable force of Koster, and that could prove pivotal come the end of the week. Expect to see super fluid wave rides and massive stalled forwards as TT aims to make a strong start to the season.
Iballa Back loop - PWA Pozo World Cup 2012
Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) became the first woman in thirteen years to defeat her sister - Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) - on her home turf last year, before going on to be crowned the overall PWA Wave world champion for the fifth time in her illustrious career. The legendary Moreno twins have dominated the top two places in Pozo for the past thirteen years, so it seems more of a question of which twin will come out on top rather than who’s going to stop them. Expect to see jumping and wave riding which would rival many of their male counterparts, and be ready to witness another epic Moreno battle.
The first wave event of the year also sees the welcome return of Gran Canaria local Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne), who finished third overall in 2011. Alonso was absent from the fleet last year after embarking on the challenge of becoming a mother for the first time, but she is raring to go again now. Similarly Silvia Alba (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing) will also be making her return to competing on the world tour having been in the same boat as Alonso in 2012.
Swiss Gem Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) will be eager to make a strong start to the season in order to maximize her chances of defending her podium finish from last year. It looks like as though she will face stern competition from the likes of Germany’s Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg), Poland’s Justyna Sniady (Quatro / Simmer / Mystic) and the six time PWA world champion Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) who will all be challenging for the prestigious top three.
With the opening PWA Wave event of the year just around the corner there’s nothing more to do other than sit back, relax and prepare for six days of epic windsurfing.
Robby Swift on form - PWA Pozo World Cup 2012
PWA World Tour website
Gran Canaria Wind and Waves Festival website