- 26 June 2009 | Windsurfing
The Canary Islands events are one of the most eagerly anticipated legs of the PWA World Tour; offering a fantastic combination of challenging, extreme and spectacular windsurfing. The variety of the conditions coupled with the consistency of the trade winds has made this Hispanic hideaway a world famous Mecca for windsurfing, and an integral part of the Tour.
Lanzarote has, in the past, played host to a variety of disciplines, however this year it returns as the first leg of the highly competitive PWA Freestyle circuit. Between the 30th June and 4th of July, the fleet heads back to Costa Teguise on Lanzarote’s Eastern coast - a perfect arena for the explosive amalgamation of wave and freestyle action.
This exposed sailing ground throws together a wonderful opportunity for Windsurfing’s elite, thanks to the combination of powerful swells, relentless wind, and flat water. These conditions are the strong foundations upon which freestyle has been built and has flourished, allowing sailors to mix breathtaking, aerial skill and complex, planing manoeuvrability into their repertoires.
Freestyle has had the greatest influence on modern windsurfing of all the disciplines, attracting a multitude of young, talented and inventive sailors, and offering them the chance to put their mark on the history of the Tour. The most recent moves have crossed the line between the traditional classification of ‘wave’ and ‘freestyle’ tricks, and as such, the sport has been taken in a new direction by the younger generation.
Chasing part of the €45K prize purse, the men’s fleet shows the return of last year’s winner, and 2008 PWA Freestyle World Champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic/North) - one of a handful of favourites for the event and the World Title.
After a very impressive result in the waves at Cabo Verde, last year’s runner up and 2007 World Champion Marcillo ‘Brawzhino’ Browne (Fanatic/North) returns to the island, looking to reclaim his crown.
New and exciting talent comes in the form of the youthful Kiri Thorde (Starboard/Gaastra) and Egor Popretinskiy (JP / NeilPryde / MFC), the experienced Frenchman Nicolas Akgazclayan (Starboard/Gun), and local hero Antxon Otaegul (JP/Neilpryde) also add to the excitement in the build up to the event.
All of these exceptional windsurfers will undoubtedly be keeping a keen eye the reigning World Champion, eager to win their place on the podium.
The event also signals the start of the Women’s Freestyle tour, where the incredibly talented Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard/Neilpryde) looks to reassert her dominance over the fleet.
2008 saw a huge push in the women’s event, taking freestyle to a breathtaking new level with powerful and technical displays from and Swiss belle Laure Treboux (Fanatic/North), Canarian local Daida Ruano Moreno (North/Roxy), and Japan’s Junko Nagoshi (Tabou/North). With women’s freestyle continuing to reach new and exciting heights, all expectation is on the 2009 season to flourish.
There has been a lot of movement within the industry during the off-season, and the constructors are keen to show off their new signings, and new equipment. As the waiting for the ’09 PWA Freestyle Tour comes to a close, expectation is high for the sailors to keep pushing the frontiers of the discipline.