When every weather forecasting model North of the equator was calling for an all-time Klitmoller, the PWA’s most proficient wave heads could barely contain their excitement as the lows began tracking across the North Sea. By the end of the first day the reef showed signs of movement, and when the official contest took place - over the following three days - some mast high barrels jacked up, creating the best European wave contest seen in recent PWA history.
The conditions ranged from cross-off perfection to violent cross-on euro style storm riding, enabling only the most all-round wave warrior to be crowned after a full double elimination. With winds of 15-30 knots and plenty of stronger gusts in the squalls, the sailors had to have their full quivers rigged from 3.7s to 5.7s, and a caddy on hand to ensure they could make the most of the unpredictable conditions during their heats.
King Of Klitmoller
Three times former world champion, Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) stamped his authority on the fleet during the single elimination in Denmark with an impressive display of jumping and riding. However, with no easy runs it was hardly a stroll in the park for Seadi, who had to take the scalps off many a seasoned pro before he could stand tall on the podium.
After first seeing off German youngster, Leon Jamaer (Fanatic, HotSails), the Brazilain sensation met port tack legend Dario Ojeda (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine, MFC), who very nearly stopped him from advancing any further with an excellent taka in the jaws of a brutal North Sea monster. Unfortunately for Ojeda, the judges gave it to Seadi who went on to meet his team mate Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde). The British wave hero put up a fight, as did Seadi’s next victim, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine), but the Brazilian was on flying form and wasn’t about to let his run of glory go to waste.
In the single elimination final he met another of his JP/Pryde team mates, triple loop daredevil Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) who’d also been having a superb run of fortune on the reef in Klitmoller. It was a closely fought battle with the former wave champion having the edge in the waves, but Campello was always a threat due to his perfect doubles. Luckily for Seadi the Venezuelan couldn’t find a ramp in time, leaving the Brazilian as the champion for the first time in over a year.
Suicide In The Single
The current tour leader and event favourite Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North) sailed for just twelve minutes in the single elimination against an on form Camille Juban (Gun) who was claiming radical rides in every heat. Fernandez had the skills to match the young Frenchman from Guadeloupe, but failed to find his form and went out immediately causing a shock to the system.
On The War Path
With such a poor performance in the single, Fernandez was keen to make amends in the double. The fired up three times Pozo champion fought his way through three heats on the first day of the double elimination before the conditions deteriorated, giving him plenty of time to rest and recuperate.
Fresh faced and hungry for more, Fernandez literally sailed from dusk ‘til dawn taking down everyone in his path – a feat that hadn’t been seen for many years in PWA competition. Fernandez even went on to beat the single elimination champion, Seadi ensuring a spectacular final showdown would have to take place!
King Waves Win
After watching Fernandez demolish the entire fleet, including himself, Seadi had to hit the water to fight it out for the final time. Seadi chose to play the heat to his strengths, catching plenty of waves, and tearing them to pieces. However, with three minutes remaining, Seadi still hadn’t attempted a single jump, and when he came in to swap his gear everyone thought he’d lost it. On his first run back out he failed to find a ramp, and when something similar happened on his second he was forced to rotate round a low scoring pushloop off a piece of chop. Luckily for the Brazilian his outstanding skills on the waves had won over the judges. And with it, the first ever Cold Hawaiian crown.
1st Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
2nd Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC)
3rd Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
4th Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne, MFC)
5th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC)
6th Philip Koster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine)
Moves That Mattered
Anything short of a perfect double doesn’t really cut it anymore in PWA competition. They now have to be performed in a clinical manner with completely dry ankles, in total control, and on cue in front of the judges. This immediately gives guys such as Koster, Fernandez, and Campello a huge advantage. These three sailors seem to consistently pull them off to claim 9.5+ points, hammering anyone else that goes against them. A one handed, one footed, rocket air backloop may be impressive, but it’ll only ever score an 8.5…
The one and only move that seems to trump the perfect double is the pushloop forward. Pull one of those off in a heat, and you don’t have to leave the water on the way out ever again! None were seen during official competition, but towards the end of the first super session Canarian crazy man, Jonas Ceballos (Mistral, Simmer) spun round one to please the crowds and score bucket loads of points from the judges. With the bar raised, everyone wanted a piece of the action, and of course the points! After a morning of practising, Britain’s Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) lifted the bar further by casually hopping on his board and spinning round the biggest pushloop forward ever seen by his peers off the first wave he hit!
On the wave face there are whole host of lip smacking moves that gain bucket loads of kudos. And, the most impressive of these during the competition had to be a simple aerial from Dutch giant, Martin Ten Hoeve (Mistral). After hammering his way down a mast high face he whipped his board round to head straight for the thickest section. After hitting it as hard as he could, the lip threw him right out into the flats to gain massive respect from everyone on the beach.
Outside of the contest there was one memorable move that got the judges cheering. This was when Dany Bruch spun round the perfect wave 360 whilst warming up before his double elimination heat against Victor Fernandez. If Bruch had performed that exact same move during his heat, it would have made the difference between him advancing over his opposition.
Following a week of hardcore sailing in spectacular North Sea style, the current tour leader Victor Fernandez has strengthened his lead at the top of the fleet. Ricardo Campello’s consistent results see him move up into second. And, Philip Koster’s sixth sees him fall to third. Three times former world champion, Kauli Seadi made the biggest leap with his victory here which sees him move from ninth to fourth.
1st Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC)
2nd Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
3rd Philip Koster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine)
4th Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
5th Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne, MFC)
6th Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde)
Live Mash Up
All of the action was streamed live throughout the week, so you could watch it wherever you were in the world. If you missed it, you can check it all out by following this link HERE.