2009 PWA Sylt

Unpredictable winds and heavy rainstorms plagued Westerland’s iconic beach on the seventh day of competition, causing havoc for the start of the second freestyle single elimination.
After a dusk ‘til dawn of wave action the previous day, a promising forecast had the freestyle fleet all set to do battle, and eager to get back on the water to strut their stuff. Unfortunately the wind didn’t quite cooperate and much of the day was spent either basking in the sun or hiding from the squalls - Sylt managed to deliver all four seasons in one day.
Strong gusts of wind kept tempting the competitors out onto the water, and eventually some of the first round heats were completed in a more constant 12-18 knots. This was however short lived. The squalls soon returned, and so did the light periods that followed.
In the heats that did take place, the young Russian, Yegor Popretinskiy (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) managed to land an array of freestyle trickery including a smooth switch chachoo, a flaka diablo, and an excellent forward loop, to take down local lad, Fabian Webber (Fanatic, North, MFC). Popretinskiy sailed extremely well in the previous round so everyone will be expecting him to perform to the same high standard this time.
Frenchman Leo Ray (Naish, Naish, MFC) also nailed numerous complex moves during his heat, but it turned out he didn’t actually need to because his rival competitor, Johannes Witte (Naish, Naish, MFC), had already gone home. Ray showed excellent sportsmanship by completing the full heat and performing many crowd-pleasing moves for those gathered on the beach.
For the rest of the heats, the conditions were so light and variable that only the 2008 World Champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North), was able to express himself fully and move through to the next round. Estredo landed his full quota of moves including lollipops, flakas, and bob’s whilst others failed to land even one move.

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Andrew Anderson

The high winds finally returned to Worthington Minnesota on Sept 27 and 28; blowing 25 to 35 knots each day.

We had a number of sailors participating.

Andrew Anderson flew in from Oakland California, logged a 32.19 knot run, and took the lead for the 2009 Midwest Speed Quest on Sunday.  Andrew also claimed the $200 Economic Stimulus CASH, by recording the first 30 knot session of the day.

Chris Lock was also on the water, and recorded a new best speed for 2009 of 31.63 knots.

Both racers were sailing the KA Koncept Sail, and the Vector Maui Fins.

On Monday, Arden Anderson  had a blazing session. He turned in a Best 10 Second Run of 33.55 knots, and a Max  2 Second Speed of 35.44 knots. These are the highest speeds ever recorded on Lake Okabena.

Adam Anderson recorded a 29.63 knot run, and David Knight recorded his best run of the year at 32.00 knots using a Koncept Sail.  Both racers were using Vector Fins.

Sessions were also entered by Delbert Carpenter, and by Wayne Anderson.

The Midwest Speed Quest closes on October 15th. We look forward to a couple more days of great Speed Sailing. October has brought us winds well over 40 mph. The most intense racing of the year is seen in these final days.

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2009 PWA Sylt

Alex Mussolini tears a pathway to the front of the fleet on day six with an awesome display of skill in a super sized Sylt spectacular.
With the skippers’ briefing taking place at the crack of dawn, the wave fleet smothered the beach with kit and hit the water from the early hours. The wind was often gusting over 40kts, a strong current was running, and plenty of North Sea growlers were hitting the shoreline, meaning kit choice was critical.
In the early rounds, many fell foul to taking gear which was too small, leaving them struggling to get planing and out past the shore break. Those more experienced with these typical Sylt conditions headed out early and played a tactical game from the word go.
12 minute heats, with 2 wave rides and 2 jumps were the order of the day. With the strong onshore wind with a slight starboard bias, this was going to be a tough call for even the best competitors out there.
With some of the old guard already in the second round, the new guys on tour went out there to show them that getting their automatic place in front, in no way meant they’d stay there. Jason Polakow (JP, NeilPryde) failed to make it through his first heat when an on form Alex Mussolini (Tabou), who was taking no prisoners today, stamped his authority on the contest.
Then came a slight reversal, first with old time racing legend Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) flying through his first heat to then meet Dany Bruch (Exocet, Severne, MFC) in his second. Bruch failed to get out the back throughout his entire heat, giving Albeau an easy ride into the next round. Then came wonder kid Philip Köster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine). Having won in Gran Canaria, we were expecting big things from the youngster. He made it through his first heat, but failed to impress the judges in the same way that he had done earlier in the year and was taken down by tour veteran Peter Volwater (F2, Maui Sails) in his second.

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