2009 PWA Cabo Verde

With the swell dropping right off the radar, day three of competition gave the sailors a chance to relax and mend their wounds after the brutal first two days of competition.

In the down time, we took the chance to chat to the 2000 PWA World Wave Champion and owner of Goya Sails, Francisco Goya (Goya Sails).

PWA: Goya Sails have just become one of the World Tour’s corporate partners; what made you decide to invest the PWA?

FG: "I’ve always backed the PWA through my career as an athlete, and it’s the same story now I have a brand with riders on tour. I’ve always believed you should back the people that are pushing the sport forward, and it’s good to give something back to the sport of windsurfing after I’ve got so much from it."

PWA: You’ve just signed Levi Siver to the Goya Sails team, are you excited to have one of professional windsurfing’s icons riding on your gear?

FG: “It’s a dream come true. Watching him grow up and seeing him sailing Hookipa at just 12, I used to wonder how good he’d get. Now I watch him pushing the boundaries of the sport every single day. He’s simply ahead of all the equipment out there. Now we’ve developed a really natural relationship, we meet everyday at the loft or office, then we go ride and do it all over again the next day. Good things usually come out of this!”

PWA: Will Levi be involved in the future development of the Goya Sails range?

“For sure, this summer we’re launching his sail range. It will be a collaboration between myself, Levi and our sail designer, Jason Diffin. Not only that, but he has ideas for promoting the sport through his projects like the Poorboyz produced, Windsurfing Movie Two.”

PWA: You’ve just put yourself firmly back on the map with regards to PWA competition, having made a dream come back in Cabo Verde. Is this a one off, or are we likely to see more of you on the World Tour?

FG: “I’m really playing it by ear, I just had this window of opportunity. Back in Maui we’ve just finished the ‘10 gear, and I had a few weeks to come ride here with a great crew: Levi, Kai and the guys from Poorboyz so I just went for it.”

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2009 PWA Cabo Verde

With Ponta Preta still receiving a healthy dose of ground swell, day two of competition wasted no time in capitalizing on the situation. Breaking smaller than the previous day, sets were anything from shoulder to logo high, making wave selection absolutely crucial.
Hitting the water to christen the double elimination were John Skye (RRD / Naish), Alex Mussolini (Tabou), Francisco Porcella (Simmer / Dakine / MFC) and Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC). From the outset Porcella and Campello took charge of the heat, selecting the best-set waves and stringing together the most technical rides.
Mussolini and Skye both looked uncharacteristically off the boil, producing only sparse glimpses of form within a somewhat disappointing heat. To the contrary, Campello excelled, delivering consistent quality in a comprehensive heat that saw him almost effortlessly advance. Joining him was Porcella, who looked to have stepped his sailing up several notches to happily outclass his rivals.
Moving onto heat 35, Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) emerged as the man to beat. The risk taking Frenchman settled on a happy compromise between his usual balls-to-the-wall approach, and solid, secure riding. Having dominated the heat from the green flag, the remaining sailor to advance came down to a challenge between Phil Horrocks (JP / NeilPryde) and Camille Juban (Gun / MFC), with the heat’s remaining sailor, Graham Ezzy (Dakine) looking largely unthreatening.  
Ultimately it was Juban that won the judges over, having produced a fluent display of wave riding that edged Horrocks out the game thanks to better wave selection, and consequently higher scoring rides.
Dropping wind and swell forced competition to be placed on standby for much of the afternoon, before the heavyweight heat 36 could commence late into the day. Pitching Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde), Danny Bruch (Exocet / Severne / MFC), Marcilio Browne (Fanatic / North) and local Titik Lopes against each other, this was always going to be a touch-and-go battle.
Excelling in the super-fluky conditions, Polakow rose up to deliver some stunning sailing that clearly separated him from his three rivals. In contrast, local sailor Lopes had some promising looking waves, but never delivered any rides that made any real impact on his score sheet.
This left Bruch and Browne in a stand-off. Looking solid, Bruch sailed well but couldn’t match the Brazilian’s fluid and technical sailing, which included two goitas. Browne and Polakow advanced.

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2009 PWA Cabo Verde

Ponta Preta will be forever compared to the legendary conditions it delivered in the pioneering Cabo Verde PWA World Cup back in 2007. Though today’s conditions didn’t exceed, nor match those infamous days, they certainly put up a good fight.

A building westerly ground swell coupled with Ponta Preta’s cross offshore winds provided logo to mast high, perfectly groomed waves for the 32 best wave sailors in the world to open the event’s competition.

Giving a taste of things to come, the first round delivered some stunning performances from the outset. Of note, heat ten, which contained both Josh Angulo (Angulo / MauiSails / Dakine) and the much-publicized return of Francisco Goya (Goya / MFC). Filling out the four-man heat were Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) and Alex Mussolini (Tabou).

With all eyes on Goya’s high profile return to the PWA, the Argentinean certainly didn’t disappoint. Cranking often beyond vertical turns combined with his super smooth top to bottom style, the veteran proved he’s still very much got skills in abundance.

Similarly, Angulo put on his usual display of seemingly effortless off the lip contortions and pinpoint accurate smacks. It was a painful wake-up call for their younger counter parts, Williams and Mussolini, who were force-fed a lesson in wave riding by two greats of the discipline.

The first major upset of round one took many by surprise, as Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) made a huge tactical blunder and failed to notch up a second wave of any magnitude on his score sheet. After pulling off numerous logo high waves in search of one of the mast high monsters, the Australian failed to even secure a mediocre wave ride to add to his score, and ultimately paid a hefty price.

Moving into the second round, Brit Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde) turned his sailing up a notch, picking off some of the biggest waves of the day. His tactical approach paid off, allowing him to links turns all the way through to the inside section of the reef, boosting his wave scores.

One unlikely candidate to fall in round two was American Levi Siver (MFC / Dakine), who looked to be firing on all cylinders during the warm-up and round one. Unfortunately, the imposing Ponta Preta rocks, which can be credited for halting many seemingly certain advances, were to claim yet another victim in Siver.

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