PWA Cabo Verde

Kauli Seadi makes a perfect start to the season with a crucial single elimination victory over Cabo Verdian favorite Josh Angulo, Jason Polakow and Robby Swift. 25-yr old Brazilian Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) thundered into the event lead with a skilled display in tricky, light wind conditions, to give an instant return on his new sponsor’s investment.

Day 2 started with smaller surf and light breeze meeting the early high tide. The head judge chose to run the early heats of the double elimination first to give the finalists the best conditions later in the morning.

Eventually he opted for a 40-minute heat duration for that final, counting the best two wave rides from each of the final four. The fluky wind truly tested the finalists’ fitness and ability to catch waves and not get caught inside on the razor sharp reef. Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) went for it with his aggressive vertical attack, but paid the price for pushing it with a couple of trips to the rocks.

Polakow’s big-wave partner Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde) pressured his teammate hard for third position with a smoother style, but in truth he also struggled in the smaller swell.

Josh Angulo (MauiSails) was always going to be a major threat here after his historic victory last season. ‘It was a total battle out there’ explained Angulo. ‘I tried to go for a really powerful and vertical attack and look for the shorter rides and big hits on the main peak where I was hanging out.

Everyone was scratching around to catch the good sets and outdo the other to lock into a decent wave. I know it was close and I didn’t even look at the scores. It’s tough you know. You always strive for first, and it kind of tastes a little strange to come second, especially after last year, but its not over yet and there’s more swell coming later in the week so we’ll see what happens.’

Seadi chose different tactics to Angulo to wrap-up the victory, including one spectacular aerial over Swift who was swimming in the impact zone. ‘I tried to go for the ones that opened-up into longer bowlier sections and do a mix of turns and connect the ride all the way down the reef’, said the 2007 World Champion.

‘It was so tricky to catch the waves out there, and I’m happy to start the season this way and take the lead. I hear there’s some more surf coming but I’m not sure what the wind will do so we’ll be waiting and watching the next few days to see how it pans out.’

After the final some early heats of the double elimination were run and there were a few big names spewed out by up-and-coming talent. Levi Siver (Quatro / NeilPryde) was the first victim of an on-form Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Simmer), and Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra), who fully made-up for a stuttering start in the single elimination.

Next to fall was Nik Baker (Mistral / North) who had a tough time in the fading conditions against light wind specialists Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) and Camille Juban (Quatro / GUN).Boujmaa Guilloul (Starboard / Severne) was also ejected in that heat despite throwing some outrageous Goytas right onto the rocks.

But Traversa scored wave of the day with perfect timing and a flowing rhythmic groove connecting all his turns together. By mid afternoon the waves were too small and breaking dangerously close to the rocks, and the head judge decided it was too unsafe to continue.

After staying on hold until the end of the day, competition was called off and skippers’ meeting was set for 10.00 tomorrow. The forecast is not that great until later in the week, but it’s likely the crew will scout around the island for some alternative spots in the morning.

Source: PWA World Tour

PWA Windsurfing Tour

Ponta Preta turns it on and the top four of the single elimination are decided. Jason Polakow, Josh Angulo, Kauli Seadi and Robby Swift all make tomorrow’s single elimination final. Sal’s legendary pointbreak delivered good-sized swell with sets breaking up to mast high fanned by a light offshore breeze.

With a limited 32-man format there were no easy heats, and nearly all today’s heats were really tight with some particularly positive performances from the trials event qualifiers.

Dany Bruch (F2 / Gaastra) sailed out of his skin to advance from his first round heat to earn a top-16 place against Vidar Jensen (North), Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde) and reigning world champ Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde).

But the best un-seeded display came from Francisco Porcella (Mistral / Simmer) who used his expert surfing knowledge to advance to the last 8. The only Italian in the line-up was visibly glowing over his day’s work. ‘I came all the way from Maui to ride this wave, and I’m so stoked to have made it this far.

My approach was to stay deep, but make that first heavy section with as powerful an aerial as I could. That’s a fine balance to keep, as you’ll pay if you get caught inside. Basically I relied on my wave reading experience to get air and make as many turns as possible’

It was business as usual for local legend and 2007 Cabo Verde winner Josh Angulo (MauiSails). This country’s national hero launched his trademark aerials and carved a variety of turns to cruise into the four-man final.

Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) survived a couple of trips to the rocks to ensure he built on last season’s strong showing here with his stylish turns in the most critical sections of Ponta Preta’s pitching lips.

Robby Swift was one of the standout sailors of the day with some heavy hitting hacks under the curl, which pleased the judges and sent giant arcs of spray above the set waves he systematically destroyed.

This was always going to be a crucial event for Swift who’s struggled with injury in recent seasons, and was determined to get back into the top flight of the wave rankings. As predicted, 2007 world champion Kauli Seadi made no mistakes and confidently showed-off the full range of turns, slides, and airs which make him a major threat for his rivals. 

Tomorrow’s forecast is positive for more swell and wind and skippers’’ meeting has been set for 08.00 to make the most of the primetime tide conditions. It’s also likely that the double elimination will be started too to maximize the conditions available.

Source: PWA World Tour

Antoine Albeau

Antoine Albeau has set a new outright sailing speed record of 49.09 knots on the canal in Saintes Maries de la Mer, France, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).

After months of waiting for the big mistral winds, the speed canal on the shores of the Mediterranean sea came to life again. Strong mistral winds with 45-50 knots hit the speed strip at a perfect angle, and although the conditions were quite gusty several riders set personal best speeds.

Early on the first runs of the "big three" Antoine Albeau (FRA), Patrik Diethelm (ITA) and defending world record holder Finian Maynard  (IVB) showed, that this day would have the potential to become historic.

At 09:30 Diethelm was the first one making waves, setting a new world production speed record with his F2 Missile XS at 46.51 knots, subject to World Sailing Speed Recorcd Council (WSSRC) ratification.

Around noon, 12:29 hours exactly, Frenchman Antoine Albeau hit a big gust and flew down the 1 km manmade canal. The scoreboard stopped at 49 knots, after extensive video checking with the observer from the WSSRC, the speed was verified at 49.09 knots, 0.4 knots faster than the old record of Maynard.

The riders then pushed for the elusive 50 knots mark, the magical barrier in speedsailing around the world, but by the end of the day no one was able to increase the previous performances.

The Record To Beat:

Record: Outright speed record
Skipper: Finian Maynard (IVB)
Dates: 2005
Speed: 48.70 knots

Source: ISAF