Taking advantage of hammering winds that had been blowing throughout the night, the wave fleet met for their skippers meeting in darkness, howling wind, and rain, at 07.00am on competition’s final day.
Allowing just enough time for the sun to rise behind the thick banks of dark cloud, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC) were summoned to the churning North Sea to sail their semi final heat.
In far and away the toughest wave conditions of the entire 2008 season, the pair commenced their duel in driving rain and bitterly cold winds gusting 40 knots, armed with 3.3m sails. Voget started well, nailing a super technical 360 on the wave face, and a selection of towering jumps. His downfall would come when he hit a big section a split second too late, and got washed over the falls of a dumping monster. Voget emerged unscathed, but his gear didn’t survive the impact.
This left Fernandez free to execute his usual mix of perfect one handed back loops and super stalled forward loops. A late flourish from Voget on a new set of gear proved to be too little too late, as Fernandez had amassed an unreachable tally on his score sheet.
Advancing into the losers final, Voget took on Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC) to decide who’d claim third place in the event. The ensuing heat was mind blowing by anyone’s standards. Ceballos dominated the first couple of minutes with a huge pushloop and a one handed backloop, but Voget sat poised and ready to strike. When his moment came, Voget pulled into a solid, peeling wave, which he demolished with little remorse. Combining the ride with some high caliber jumping proved to be too much for Ceballos to reply to, and on the final horn, Voget had earned himself third position in waves for the event.
The heavy weight final pitched wavesailing’s hardest hitters’ head to head; Victor Fernandez versus Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC). The clash was quite simply, spectacular.
Fernandez opened his scoring with a colossal double forward loop, landing almost completely dry. In reply, Seadi launched into a textbook pushloop, exiting the move fully planing.
As expected, Seadi’s fluid and super vertical waveriding gave him a massive helping hand on his score sheet, but Fernandez fought back with some equally slick moves, including a big floaty aerial off a section most wouldn’t ever consider hitting.
The final blow came when Fernandez blasted right out the back, to pick a wave off the sandbar. Selecting a monster shoulder section, he boosted far and away the biggest backloop of the competition.
Seadi had fought hard, but when it came down to it, Fernandez had outclassed him with a near perfect selection of jumps, enough to award him victory in the heat, and first place in the event.
The ensuing hours saw the wind drop to nothing, only to return in the afternoon, allowing the most closely contested slalom battle of the season to be settled, once and for all.
Resuming elimination four, Britain’s Ross William’s (Tabou, Gaastra) held the event lead, but disaster struck when he failed to qualify for the race final. The killer blow meant that he not only lost the event title, but also dropped out of the top three, eventually finishing up in sixth position overall.
The elimination culminated with a race final loaded with no less than six sailors that could claim the event win, or make the podium should they place sufficiently high in the heat.
The nail biting heat got off to a nervous start after being cancelled once due to insufficient wind, and again, after one of the gybe marks was ripped from its mooring by a breaking wave.
Third time lucky, and Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (North) screamed to the front of the heat, isolating themselves from the chasing pack. Hungry as always, Albeau dug deep to pull away from Dunkerbeck, who chased close behind, but never threatened. On the finish line, Albeau celebrated his second race win, earning him the runner up position for the event. Behind him, Dunkerbeck placed another highly consistent result, earning him his second successive event win, and finishing off a remarkable end of season flourish.
The event reached its final destination with a heaving prize giving ceremony on the beach. As thousands of ecstatic fans looked on, the event’s victors took centre stage to claim their awards, and conclude another unforgettable event on Sylt’s famed, Westerland beach.
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Slalom Results
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (North)
2nd Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde)
3rd Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North)
4th Sylvain Moussilmani (F2, Simmer)
5th Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra)
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Men’s Wave Results
1st Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
2nd Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC)
3rd Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC)
4th Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Men’s Freestyle Results
1st Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
2nd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North, MFC)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
4th Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra)
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt –Women’s Wave Results
1st Daida Ruano Moreno (North)
1st Iballa Ruano Moreno (North)
3rd Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne)
3rd Junko Nagoshi (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine)