The first day of the PWA Reno World Cup Sylt Grand Slam got off to a gentle start as competitors were witnessed chilling in the sunshine, tweaking their equipment and enjoying the pumping tunes from the resident DJ.
Golden sun beamed down over the event site for the opening day of competition, providing the perfect conditions for the masses of spectators to sit and relax on the beach but unfortunately, meant that no heats could be run. With around six knots blowing onshore throughout the day it looked unlikely that the freestyle or wave fleet would get out on to the water, but the slalom sailors remained ever hopeful that the breeze would pick up and reach the necessary seven knots for competition.
Despite the wind not increasing, the event site was buzzing with excitement as the crowds met the PWA’s windsurfing stars, gorged on the many culinary delights available, tested their skills on the surf simulator or just soaked up the sun and the stunning views on Westerland beach.
With plenty of time spent on standby, we took the opportunity to talk to top Danish slalom racer Kurosh Kiani (Angulo /Simmer) about his latest project with the PWA, to revolutionize the way in which windsurfing data is used.
PWA: So Kurosh, could you tell us a little about the project?
Kiani: 'We have been working on a historical and statistical database that will transform the way in which we use data in windsurfing. The idea is that every element of data from windsurfing competitions, whether it is heat results, weather conditions or points allocated, is stored in the database and will be made readily available for the user, to allow us to see things that we have not seen before.'
'For example, if we wanted to look up Philip Koster, we could find out exactly what heats he has competed in, if he were to face Ricardo Campello, we could see how many times he has done so and the outcome of those battles.'
PWA: When will the database be used?
'It will be a fantastic tool to use when the commentators are trying to find out certain information about a competitor and it will really bring depth to the live programs.'
PWA: How do you hope to develop the project in the future?
'In the future, we hope we will be able to see how a sailor has improved over time, what points they have received for a particular race and in the end we hope the system will be able to calculate rankings and points.
It will be a really useful tool that will provide us with the ability to make use of all the data and information we have on the sailors to promote the sport.
In order to get your daily dose of Sylt, make sure you check out the day one highlight show on the PWA website, featuring Ben Proffitt (Simmer) and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) chatting to the world’s fastest slalom sailors.
Having spent the day patiently on standby, the fleets were released at 5pm. The skippers meeting for all three fleets will kick off at 10am tomorrow morning with the first possible start to competition at 10:30am.
PWA World Tour website
PWA Reno World Cup Sylt Grand Slam website