The VW PWA Reno World Cup Sylt Grand Slam has now completed the fourth day of competition. Day four’s lack of sufficient winds prevented the slalom sailors from hitting the water however, blazing sun and peeling waves provided the ultimate conditions for the Reno world cup SUP race and a tow wave sailing session.
The high pressure lingering over Europe continued to prevent the wind from building for the fourth day of competition, however waist high waves rolling into the event site kept the sailors and the huge crowd entertained throughout the day. As soon as the sea started to pulse the world’s elite windsurfers were quick to pick up their SUPs and surf boards to show their skills off in the surf.
Wanting to put on a show for the crowds, the PWA went to work organizing the Reno world cup SUP race and as soon as the €600 prize money was announced, the competitive athletes wasted no time in signing up their teams.
The format for the competition was simple; each team would be made up of three people and the teams must be mixed gender. The racing would take place in a relay format around a three-mark course that included a run in and out of the waves. The fastest team from each heat would advance into the final to fight for the prize money. The losing team with the fastest time would also earn a position in the final.
Heat one: Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) opened up the first round with amazing power putting his team in the lead with Danny Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360) in second and Valentin Bockler (Starboard /Severne / MFC) in third. Bordes made a swift hand over to Antoine Albeau (JP /NeilPryde) who muscled his way around the course providing his team with a huge lead, next up it was Fanny Aubet’s (JP / NeilPryde) time to shine and take the team to victory, but an enormous wave knocked her off her SUP, allowing super cool Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) to overtake. Iballa remained cool, calm and collected the whole way around the course, and put the team into the final, to the applause of the crowds.
Heat two: It was a fierce battle around the first leg between Marcilio Browne (Fanatic / North / MFC) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/ Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear), Browne started fast and took the lead by the first mark, but the pressure of having the world champion behind him was too much and Browne went down. Dunkerbeck took advantage and overtook, but Browne’s speed was too much to handle and he made his way to the beach first.
Browne performed a smooth handover to Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde), who matched Browne’s pace on the SUP, putting the team significantly in the lead. It then came down Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) to fend off advances from Justyna Sniady and Eva Oude Ophuis (North / Fanatic). Alonso caught a big wave and flew into the beach to secure the team’s victory, opening up the doors to the final.
Despite not taking the win in their heat the superb team made up of Dunkerbeck, Oude Ophuis and Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC), had put in the best non-qualifying time and it was enough to put them in the dramatic final.
Final: Having battled through the surf and around the treacherous race course once already the competitors looked a little tired, but that didn’t prevent them from giving it their all. Browne delivered another exceptional lap, keeping Dunkerbeck at a safe distance the whole way around the course, whilst Bruch lost control on a wave. Seadi stole the show with his performance putting the team two legs ahead of the rest.
It then came down to Alonso to keep the lead, she stormed out to the first mark but a powerful wave caught up with her on the way in allowing Iballa and Eva Oude Ophuis to catch up, but Alonso was quickly back up and running and charging towards victory. The super-strong team made up of Browne, Seadi and Alonso were awarded their prize money on stage in front of the cheering spectators.
The Reno world cup SUP race winners:
Marcilio Browne (Fanatic / North / MFC)
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne)
Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde)
Following the competition the crowds were treated to an incredible wave tow in session featuring Campello, Seadi, Dario Ojeda(Tabou / Simmer / Dakine / MFC) and Browne being towed into the waist high waves by Albeau. The radical sailors were timing the runs to perfection to throw pushloops, backloops, huge goiters and some explosive crashes, much to the entertainment of everyone watching.
There is some breeze on the forecast for tomorrow and the PWA crew hopes to complete the final heats of elimination one in the slalom, the skippers’ meeting for all three fleets will kick off at 10am. If you missed the SUP and tow-in action today, then make sure you check out the highlights videos on the PWA website.
PWA World Tour website
PWA Reno World Cup Sylt Grand Slam website