Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 3

Daida Moreno

Daida Moreno

Danny Bruch

Danny Bruch

Daida looping over her sister

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 1

I watched the last few hours. Highlights for me were two perfect double loops by Koster (the only that I saw while I was there) and an amazing backside 360 airal he floated high over a breaking section. The best wave-riding for me was from Kauli, Danny Bruch, and Jaegger Stone.
Philip Koster

They only got a commentary going late in the afternoon and it was very hard knowing who was sailing let alone who won a heat - in fact following it from the website would have given you a much better idea of what was going on.

The buzz on the beach was great, but overall the action was a bit disappointing. The waves at Cabezo get smaller as the tide recedes (it was actually interesting to watch this happen, I've never spent two hours sitting there watching before) and so as the heats progressed the conditions got tamer - not what you really want. I was also quite surprised by how often they fall - even on ordinary stuff like tacks and cut-backs !

Perhaps it'll be better tomorrow, but a couple of hours was enough for me and made me realise how windsurfing is about doing rather than watching, even when it's watching the very best.

Naalisvaara Tuono

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PWA comes to El Medano (Day -1)

The event starts tomorrow ... so yesterdays post was 'Day -2' (minus two) and today is Day -1 ...

I've just been down to the site and the place is really starting to buzz ...

Mark ('Sparky') Hosegood is one of the PWA judges for the event. He's based here in El Medano and is very happy to be a five minute stroll from his casa instead of somewhere the other side of the world ...

Danny Bruch, one of the top wavesailors in the world, also lives in the town and has been involved in organising the event. He'll have the locals' support and perhaps some 'local knowledge' will help him to do well here ...

Danny's kit

Dario Ojeda recently quit as a pro because of the lack of financial support for professional windsurfers these days, and then went on to get a podium finish (third) at the recent event at his home beach of Pozo. The PWA judges were impressed with his fearless waveriding there, so he could have a point to prove and be one to watch here ...

Klass Voget

Klass's board

Nikki took some pics of the women windsurfers competing here ...

I watched them free-sailing for a bit (4.7m sails) and along with some very stylish stunts there were plenty of big wipeouts and visits to the rocks. This place is not easy to sail well and it doesn't take prisoners when you get it wrong !

Daida Moreno

Eva Ophuis Oude and Fanny Aubet

Karin Jaggi

Tsape Evi

Justyna Sniady

Julia Meijer

Laurie Treboux

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

PWA comes to El Medano (Day -2)

El Medano hosts the world's top wave-sailors in a PWA wave event starting this Thursday (14th - 20th of July). We're really looking forward to it. I'm currently off the water for a few days while various holes in my body heal, so some spectating will be a welcome diversion.

Cycling past the event site at Cabezo just now it was like the quiet before the storm (although the wind was blowing as usual :-) ... the flags were flying, the marquees were up, and a huge container of equipment was being unloaded.

Nikki took a few pics ...

Nayra Alonso here already with a truck load of equipment:

Graham Woods (ex OTC manager) has got an entry (good luck to him and Adam):

I think the conditions should be basically similar to Pozo but with a bit less wind (maybe they'll be on 4 - 5m instead of <4m), similar sized waves but better spaced and angled for riding - good for both backside and frontside. Maybe the riding will be prioritised a bit more and if so I'd expect Danny (Bruch) & Kauli to do better than they did in Pozo.

It will be interesting to see how they score the waveriding ... eg if the freestyle tricks are the priority or if wave selection, length / quality of the rides, turns, and classic riding moves (airials etc) are more important here - as say in Klitmoller. Both are relevant at Cabezo, so I guess it depends on how good the waves are for each heat.

The jumping will be great but not as 100% balls-out amazing as Pozo. Still expect to see lots of doubles and technical jumps - eg one / no footed / handed etc but I'm not sure if there's enough wind or steep enough ramps to get push-forwards or triple attempts. Will see ... I hope I'm watching if they do any (I know Koster said triples would be easier with a bit less wind, so who knows ...).

It's been windy pretty much every day for the last month or so, and the forecast is good, so I think they should get through the double elimination. Koster's got to be the hot favourite, but as I say I think it's a slightly more level playing field here (well not level, but you know what I mean) ... I think the heats will be closer and more tactical / technical, less purely hi-energy radical than Pozo, so perhaps more people have a chance of beating him. Vamos a ver.