The countdown is almost over, as the 32 best wavesailors on the planet prepare to go head to head on Cabo Verde’s hallowed windsurfing breaks.
Following a four-month break over the winter period, the PWA kick starts the 2009 World Tour season with the much-revered Cabo Verde PWA World Cup.
Commemorating the event’s third anniversary on the World Tour, the 2009 event team have been working tirelessly to ensure this year’s event exceeds the massive expectations the worldwide windsurfing community places upon it.
Running over an eight-day holding period from the 14th – 21st of February, the Cabo Verde archipelago will become the epicentre of the world’s wave sailing focus, as Sal’s exposed Atlantic beaches push the cream of the PWA’s wave fleet to their limits.
The contest adopts the innovative roving format, meaning that while the event HQ is stationed at Pont Preta, the entire PWA circus can move to anyone of Sal’s breaks to ensure the riders compete in only the very best conditions the island has to offer.
As expected, the Cabo Verde entry list reads like a windsurfing roll of honour. Elite barely begins to describe the nature of this event, with just 32 positions available in the men only fleet.
Headlining the heavyweight wave fleet is reigning World Wave Champion and defending Cabo Verde Champion, Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde / MFC / Mormaii). The Brazilian style maestro is famed for his fluid, vertical riding, and outrageous ability to access parts of the wave no one else can find possible.
Sharing Seadi’s limelight is 2007 Cabo Verde victor and 2008 runner up, Josh Angulo (Angulo / MauiSails / Dakine). Native to Sal and unquestionably the king of Ponta Preta, Angulo carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, and will be more determined than ever to bring the Cabo Verde crown back to its homeland.
Brining his unique blend of wavesailing wisdom and gun-ho bravado, Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) is always a serious contender in Cabo Verde. With 4th and 3rd place finishes to his name in 2007 and 2008 respectively, Polakow will be hell bent on securing victory. En route, watch out for impossibly late smacks, gravity defying aerials and complete disregard for personal safely.
Fellow JP / NeilPryde stable mate, Robby Swift is another tough contender. After being plagued by injury, Swift has finally had solid run of full fitness. A 4th place finish in 2008 gave a taste of what this highly calculating and methodically professional Brit is capable of; if he can tap into that same form in ’09 he’ll be a tough man to beat.
Equally worth of a mention are: Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra / Dakine / MFC), who’s delivered consistent results two years running, the equally consistent Alex Mussolini (Tabou), French contortionist Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), and World Wave runner up, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC).
Only a handful of athletes have been mentioned here, however in reality when competition fires up, and the stresses and strains of sailing 30 minute heats kicks in, the Cabo Verde crown could fall to literally any of the 32 select riders on the entry list. Only time will tell.