For many of the sailors today was a fairly relaxed affair. After collecting their equipment and registering, the majority spent the afternoon rigging, and meeting up with friends. The atmosphere around the beach is fairly friendly at present, but once these guys hit the water, expect a completely different vibe. With World Championship titles at stake, attitudes on the water can change as quickly as the wind.
With a promising forecast for the week we should see some awesome action on the water throughout the disciplines of freestyle, wave, and slalom. And with the infamous crowds arriving the atmosphere will soon turn electric!
Word on the beach
Over the course of the afternoon we chatted to some of the sailors, officials, and crew to find out what they thought of the week ahead.
Duncan Coombs – Head Judge
PWA: With your wealth of experience Duncan, what do you think the week has in store for us?
DC: “With the forecast that is currently being predicted, we’re looking at the wave competition being pretty much bolt onshore and fairly windy. The guys racing in the slalom discipline will be flying round in typically rough North Sea conditions. And the guys participating in the freestyle contest will probably be going for big power moves off the large swell lines just off the beach. It will be a real challenge for these guys to find any flat water with the current forecast. However, you have to remember that anything can happen here in Sylt and it could all change in an instant…”
Current Men’s Wave Tour Leader - Josh Angulo (Angulo, MauiSails, DaKine)
PWA: What are you hoping for this week Josh?
JA: “Knowing what Sylt is capable of, I’m not really hoping for anything. I’ll try my best, do my best, and let god do the rest. Sylt can throw anything at you so I’ll just give it my all when the moment comes.”
2008 PWA Men’s Wave World Champion – Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC, Mormaii)
PWA: What do you think will happen this week in the wave competition?
KS: “Well the forecast is looking good so hopefully we’ll get out there and have a good contest. I really need the conditions to come through so that I have a chance for the overall title.”
2009 PWA Slalom World Champion – Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
PWA: With the overall title wrapped up, are you taking this event easy? And, who do you think will be standing on the podium alongside you?
AA: “I’m still going to give every race 100% - I still want to win here in Sylt. In the race for second, I think Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) is looking pretty good. After that, the final place on the overall podium looks quite open. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, DaKine), Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde), Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne), and Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) could all make it into the top 3 and have the potential to do extremely well in this event if things go their way.”
008 PWA Women’s Wave Champion – Daida Moreno (North)
PWA: What conditions would you like here in Sylt?
DM: “Nothing too brutal. It’s often very difficult sailing here because of the onshore winds and the shore break, so hopefully it won’t get too windy. But good waves and good wind would be great for the event - I don’t mind too much about the direction it comes from.”
Current Men’s freestyle tour leader – Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
PWA: Have you got any new moves up your sleeve to maintain your dominance over the fleet this week?
JE: “Not for this event. Sylt in general is a pretty tough place to compete in freestyle. I will probably be sticking to the moves I know I can do, and hope that they get me through my heats. Plus there’s loads of guys sailing really well at the moment like Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra), Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra), Marcillio Browne (North, Fanatic, MFC), and also Steven Van Broeckehoven (F2, MauiSails), he’s sailing super well at the moment and is one to watch.”
The infamous opening ceremony kick started the event in tremendous style this afternoon. The World’s best sailors are here, the spectators are arriving, and the music is pumping on the beach. With the current forecast we expect the sailors to be arriving at the event site bright and early tomorrow morning in preparation for the opening heats of this Colgate World Cup Sylt.