by Chris Yates
The opening day of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup saw the crowds begin to build as thousands of people took the opportunity to kick-start their weekend early, either by rubbing shoulders with their idols or simply enjoying a glass of champagne whilst absorbing the bustling atmosphere in glorious sunshine. The sailors spent today registering for the next nine days of competition between 11:30am and 1:30pm, before being presented to the enormous crowds at 4pm as the traditional opening ceremony took place.
Albeau makes it two in a row - 2012 PWA Sylt World Cup
Earlier in the day a few of the slalom sailors took advantage of the light breeze on offer as they made their final preparations before the event kicks off tomorrow, whilst the remainder of the sailors spent the day prepping their equipment.
With a significant amount of downtime today we caught up with two sailors who are in contention for their respective world titles - First Italian, Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7), who currently sits in second place behind the slalom tour leader Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde):
AM: 'I’ve been having a tough season, particularly in Turkey, but now I’m feeling a bit better and importantly I feel a lot faster, so I’m feeling very confident for the last event. It’s not all up to though so I’m just aiming to do my best and then whatever happens, happens.'
PWA: In Turkey you had both arms taped up, what was that for?
AM: 'I’ve been suffering from tendonitis in both arms, so I was forced to take 20 or more days off the water to allow the inflammation to decrease. I started sailing about five days or so before coming to Sylt and I’m feeling stronger and things are working smoother.'
PWA: Thanks Alberto and good luck for the next nine days.
We also briefly caught up with Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) who claimed his first event victory since 2011 in the last event in the Netherlands, and is currently tied on points with Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North), which should make for a scintillating finale:
'After victory in Holland, I just went and relaxed and celebrated a little bit. I’m feeling very motivated for the long week ahead here in Sylt, I’m really focused to try and come out on top again.'
Kiri takes the victory - 2013 PWA Netherlands World Cup
PWA: It’s extremely close between you and Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo at the top; do you have any special tactics in mind?
KT: 'For sure, but I don’t want to say too much. I’m really just going to concentrate on doing my best because the conditions can be really, really tough here in Sylt. Let’s just see what happens and if everything has paid off.'
PWA: Thanks Kiri and best of luck for the rest of the event.
The forecast for tomorrow looks as though we will start the contest with relatively light winds, but there is still promise for the late afternoon and evening, whilst the rest of the week looks very good with strong winds being predicted. The skippers’ meeting tomorrow for the slalom and freestyle sailors will be held at 09:30am with the first possible start at 10:30am, whilst the skippers’ meeting for the wave sailors will be at 1pm with a first possible start of 1:30pm.
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