- 06 October 2008 | Windsurfing
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.
- 03 October 2008 | Windsurfing
It’s time to decide who will be the windsurfer of the year.
“But how on earth do we decide? So much has been happening!” I hear you cry, well that’s right, so the UKWA bods have been hard at work, furiously whittling down the contenders into four mighty qualifiers to make it that bit easier for you.
So where do we go from here? Well, the deal is that you guys get to put your two pennies worth in and decide just who, out of the prodigal sailors displayed on this humble page, will receive the accolade of being UKWA Windsurfer of the Year.
Robby’s success and rise through the PWA ranks has been well documented, however after two foot injuries that necessitated a long period of absence from sailing and training, it has been in 2008 that Robby’s made his come back on the world tour. Scooping a surprise fourth place in Cape Verde, Robby’s transition from freestyle to slalom has not been easy, however he’s stuck at it and currently lies in 5th place overall in the PWA Wave Championship.
Never one to seize the limelight, Ross Williams has been thrust into it this year after a stunning series of international results. Competing solidly in the PWA wave tour, he pulled a 15th out of the bag at Cape Verde and has climbed irresistibly up the slalom ladder, from 16th in Costa Brava, posting a 4th and 5th in the Canaries, to reaching the podium and 3rd place in the last slalom event at Alacati. Lest you forget, a consistent formula competitor, Ross is also European Formula Champion 2008…
- 03 October 2008 | Windsurfing
After a morning that featured everything from monsoon like rain to bright sunshine, Westerland beach was finally treated to a solid 10-15 knot onshore breeze, allowing seven heats to be run before the wind died back to nothing.
After waiting patiently on standby, the slalom fleet was summoned to the water to kick off round one of race three. The first heat saw Bjorn Dunkerbeck (North) on dominant form; flawless execution of the four-gybe course left him nearly an entire reach ahead of his rivals when he crossed the finish line to take victory.
Other highlights included heat four, where Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) had to sail without a harness after tearing one of the straps before the race. Starting fast, fatigue soon kicked in and left Williams the challenge of qualifying before his arms gave up on him. Luckily, many of his rivals had fallen at the second mark, leaving him a drag race to the finish line with Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Severne, Starboard) before he muscled into third place.
After the seventh heat was completed (the most heats completed in a row thus far in Sylt), the wind backed off, placing competition back on standby,
An hour passed before a 25-knot breeze prompted the race committee to start heat 8 in some of the best conditions seen so far. However, no one could have predicted that the moment the sailors crossed the start line, the wind would, like clockwork, drop to absolutely zero.