Capricious winds in Klitmøller on day two of the 2013 KIA Cold Hawaii PWA world cup saw tears of joy on the beach, a Kiel spine surgeon enjoy a golden retirement, disconsolate trialists trudging back to Munich and an early big surprise as 17-year-old Moritz Mauch shocked the fleet.
Danny Bruch, ranked fifth in the world for the last three years, lost in the first round to fellow Canaries-based German, Mauch.
Bruch, 32, who lives in Tenerife, was visibly furious and tight-lipped as he left the beach after losing to Mauch by the narrowest of margins, just a quarter of a point.
'It was a really tight heat,' Duncan Coombs, the PWA head judge, said. 'Danny felt like he sailed a good heat and had better wave selection, but the young guy Moritz sailed better than him, he was more flowing and his timing was better, it’s as simple as that.'
Mauch, competing in the North Sea for the first time, had come through a grueling trial heat to make the final 32. The new system this year means that 12 sailors must take the risk of travelling to fight for the last six places in the main competition.
Mauch had been on the water for almost an hour already in tough conditions where some sailors were getting out of the water and running up the beach, so hard was it to get upwind.
The 0630hrs skippers’ briefing proved a false dawn as the forecast offshore winds of the over 20 knots did not arrive. When the wind swings too far south in Klitmøller it gets blocked by the land. It meant that when an inconsistent wind swung around enough just before 1500hrs the trial heats were raced over 25 minutes with only two waves counting and no jumps.
'I had a cramps in my arm at the end of last trial and very strong ones in the first heat of the competition but I got two big waves and I’m very very happy,' Mauch, who was born in Gran Canaria to German parents and lives in Telde near Pozo, said. 'The whole (trial) system was a little bit hectic for me. I had two heats cancelled but at the end it went really well so I’m super happy. From now on it will be even more difficult so if I can continue I will be even more happy if I don’t it’s still good. I came here from Gran Canaria and I hoped to make it through the trials, but I did not expect this at all.'
Despite the re-runs the first trial heat was also a golden one for the veteran 39-year-old spine surgeon from Kiel, Lars Gobisch. 'It’s my last year of competition in my career because I’ve got four kids and it’s a bit exhausting – I’ll let the younger guys play now,' Gobisch, whose younger brother Stefan had to pull out of the second trial with a back injury, said. 'I thought the waves were really good. The third heat was better for me, I got a good aerial. I shouldn’t swim so much though. My family and four kids are here and my 7-year-old boy was very proud, it matters more to him than to me I think.'
But for Fabian Weber, who lost out in the second trial heat, it was a less happy ending. 'I’m not happy with my performance, I was not in the right mood, this happens,' Weber said. 'I am disappointed about myself. I travelled 1300km from Munich. I’m going to get drunk with Mick Kleingarn because he also lost (in the third trial heat).'
In between Moritz’s re-runs of the first trial heat, Spain’s Albert Pijoan won the second trial heat and was so overcome with emotion that he put his hands to his head and fell back onto the sand with tears in his eyes.
'I flew here from Barcelona together with my friend (a Spanish photographer) Jose Piña,' the 29-year-old Pijoan said. 'It was complicated conditions I got one proper wave, I couldn’t get upwind. But I’m so happy.
'It wouldn’t be fair to criticise the trial system because that’s the game but it’s so annoying to be on hold waiting for announcement every 15 minutes. It’s 4 o’clock and I didn’t even have lunch yet! I will try my best in the main competition and hopefully there will be more power in the wind.'
Forecast: 'The wind is dropping and the swell overnight,' Duncan Coombs, the PWA head judge said. 'It looks like we’ll have three quiet days. I’m looking at the weekend for the promising conditions that will allow us to finish.'
See the elimination ladder
by Matthew Pryor
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8:51 PM Tue 17 Sep 2013GMT
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