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

PWA Cabo Verde 2008

Around the windsurfing world, the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘Can the island of Sal can possibly repeat the epic conditions of 2007’s historic PWA wavesailing event?

And anyone who dares ask out aloud simply trembles at the mouth-watering prospect of Ponta Preta serving-up anything on the scale of what we witnessed last year.

As curtain raiser to the 2008 season, this tiny archipelago takes centre stage in the windsurfing community, as the entire planets wavesailing focus zooms in.

The groundbreaking 2007 event was won by Cabo Verde’s very own hero, Josh Angulo (MauiSails), who narrowly defeated the current world Champion, Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) of Brazil, after an all-time final, in barreling, yes barreling, mast-and-a-half high waves.

And let’s not forget that, before that jaw-dropping showdown, American Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra) shrugged-off one of the most gritty double elimination comebacks ever by Australia’s Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) to take bronze at a milestone event for the sport.

During the build-up to this contest the conditions have already shown promise, with many select riders, such as the 2007 season runner-up Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Simmer), already pinching themselves that Ponta Preta’s throwing up powerful clean surf like clockwork once again.

With €30,000 at stake and vital tour-rankings points on offer, this World Cup’s just destined to be insane.

Source: PWA World Tour

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