- 15 February 2009 | Windsurfing
It was a special tough task to set up a calendar for the Speed:World:Cup this year, taking into account the world wide crisis, which is also hitting us now through missing sponsorship moneys.
All the more we are happy to announce the ISWC tour schedule today, and we hope to be able to publish the dates for the Kitespeed as well in the next days.
Four major events are scheduled up till now, which will be either open worlds, production worlds or continentals. In addition, nine national events will count towards the world ranking 2009, with some more still in the pipeline, making 2009 to the biggest speed schedule ever.
- 12 February 2009 | Windsurfing
Following a four-month break over the winter period, the PWA kick starts the 2009 World Tour season with the much-revered Cabo Verde PWA World Cup.
Commemorating the event’s third anniversary on the World Tour, the 2009 event team have been working tirelessly to ensure this year’s event exceeds the massive expectations the worldwide windsurfing community places upon it.
Running over an eight-day holding period from the 14th – 21st of February, the Cabo Verde archipelago will become the epicenter of the world’s wave sailing focus, as Sal’s exposed Atlantic beaches push the cream of the PWA’s wave fleet to their limits.
The contest adopts the innovative roving format, meaning that while the event HQ is stationed at Pont Preta, the entire PWA circus can move to anyone of Sal’s breaks to ensure the riders compete in only the very best conditions the island has to offer.
As expected, the Cabo Verde entry list reads like a windsurfing roll of honor. Elite barely begins to describe the nature of this event, with just 32 positions available in the men only fleet.
Headlining the heavyweight wave fleet is reigning World Wave Champion and defending Cabo Verde Champion, Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde / MFC / Mormaii). The Brazilian style maestro is famed for his fluid, vertical style, and outrageous ability to access parts of the wave no one else can find possible.
Sharing Seadi’s limelight is 2007 Cabo Verde victor and 2008 runner up, Josh Angulo (Angulo / MauiSails / Dakine). Native to Sal and unquestionably the king of Ponta Preta, Angulo carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, and will be more determined than ever to bring the Cabo Verde crown back to its homeland.
Bringing his unique blend of wavesailing wisdom and gung-ho bravado, Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) is always a serious contender in Cabo Verde. With 4th and 3rd place finishes to his name in 2007 and 2008 respectively, Polakow will be hell bent on securing victory. En route, watch out for impossibly late smacks, gravity defying aerials and complete disregard for personal safely.
- 12 February 2009 | Windsurfing
The International Raceboard Class, which has been in a gradual decline for many years because of the manufacturers’ reluctance to produce any longboards and because of their concentration on Formula and Hybrid boards, has now received a major shot in the arm with the appearance of the Starboard Phantom 380.
At last the industry has realised that the concept of the longboard, which probably reached a peak of technical development in the 1990’s, can provide more racing for a wider spectrum of ages, sizes and abilities in a wider range of conditions, both on the sea and inland, than anything else yet invented. A totally new board, the Starboard Phantom has been embraced by longboarders who have been patching up their old Megacats, F2s and Mistral Equipe IIs for more years than they care to remember. The first Phantoms appeared in the UK in the late summer of 2008 and their owners have started to learn how best to sail them and take advantage of their early planing characteristics and upwind capability. They have compared well with the old boards which are still around but no doubt after the owners of the Phantoms have tweaked their technique they will go even faster.
Admittedly there have been a few teething troubles - Starboard have never produced a classic raceboard design so they had a lot of learning to do - but the bugs have been ironed out and the debugged boards will explode onto the scene at the first raceboard events in 2009. However, Starboard will not have the field to themselves as Mistral have at last come out of the shadows and produced an Equipe III which is expected early in the new season and in view of Mistral’s experience with longboard design, looks certain to provide a stern challenge.
Even the sailmakers have not been idle, Tushingham, whose 9.5 Lightning has been one of the favourite sails for Raceboard use have developed a new sail which is intended to compete at the bottom end of the wind range with the hard to catch Demons, whilst retaining the incredible flexibility and “get up and go” characteristics of the Lightning range.
The new boards and sails have received some stern testing at the hands of Raceboard heroes such as Rob Kent and Chris Gibson, and even Nik Baker has been involved, displaying some fantastic longboard skills in his role in the development of the Equipe III.
This new interest from manufacturers has received a very favourable reaction from the UK longboard fraternity, and with promises of assistance and co-operation from Tushingham who also import Starboard, and Mistral themselves, a UK Raceboard Class Association has been formed under the chairmanship of Rob Kent, with LWA Chairman Paul Robinson as Secretary. The aim of the Association is of course to breathe new life into the Raceboard scene in the UK especially by encouraging and promoting the Class within the framework of the UKWA’s national and regional events. Particular targets for the new Association are youngsters who are graduating from the Techno fleet and need a board which they can sail both inland and on the sea, and former raceboarders whose kit is in the garage, but is still competitive.