Kia Cold Hawaii Denmark
Day 4 - Current tour leader Victor Fernandez fights his way back to the final and takes first blood, but it’s three times former world champion, Kauli Seadi who claims the Klitmoller wave crown after a spectacular second showdown!
With the forecast calling for nuclear bolt onshore winds and pumping swells - which would make it near on impossible to run a world-class contest - it came as a relief to the sailors when they arrived early in the morning to find the wind blowing cross onshore with head high waves. During the first few heats the guys were on 4.7s, but the wind quickly backed off making 5.3s and 5.7s more the norm.
Following on from the previous day, the top 16 were scheduled to hit the water to make amends or defend their positions in the double elimination. Five sailors had already begun their charge, but many would be stopped dead in their tracks. The winner of the single elimination, Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) had been waiting patiently for 36 hours, watching his opponents closely to see who would meet him in the ultimate finale.
With a less than perfect start to the event, having been knocked out in his second heat by an on form Camille Juban (Gun, MFC), the current tour leader and three times Pozo champion, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC) had his work cut out if he was to remain in contention for the title.
The Spaniard had fought his way through three heats yesterday, but had nine more to go to steal the show. Considering it’s possible for a top seeded sailor to win a full double elimination after just six heats, this was a mountainous task, and one that hadn’t been seen since the legendary Jason Polakow (JP, NeilPryde) tore a similar path straight through the fleet in Cabo Verde some four years ago.
A fired up Fernandez hit the water in the second heat of the day, and didn’t finish until the competition was through. Perfect doubles, massive backloops, and impressive rides scored him plenty of points with the judges, whilst placing fearful thoughts in the minds of anyone that had to go against him.
Midway through the day Fernandez was looking tired, but no one could stop the port tack maestro who was on a warpath straight to the final. There were plenty of close calls, including that when he went up against his good friend and team mate, Klaas Voget (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC). But, probably the most dangerous was when he met his archrival, Philip Koster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine). Having been beaten by the young German in Pozo in 2009, and again in the first double elimination final there in 2010, Fernandez knew that his run may have ended. However, Fernandez grit his teeth, matching a trademark Koster double, whilst also adding some stylish riding to advance through and fight another heat.
From that moment on, Fernandez looked like he could go all the way, and after taking the scalps off former world champion Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC), Canarian ripper Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne, MFC), and triple loop dare devil Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC), he took down the single elimination champion, Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC). But, in accordance with PWA rules, the winner of the double elimination must beat the victor of the single twice to take the overall crown.
King Kauli Of Klitmoller
Despite taking down Seadi, Fernandez knows what it’s like to be beaten once in a double elimination final to then come back and defend the crown – it’s exactly what he did in Gran Canaria earlier this year! With that in mind, everyone knew it was far from over.
Some sports psychologists may have a theory that in this situation the person that had won the first time may be at a slight disadvantage because mentally and physically they’d already done what they were supposed to do, so wouldn’t be as fired up the second time round. Whereas, the person that had just been beaten would be gunning for revenge, and thus mentally better prepared to go into it again.
However, it’s what happens on the water that really counts, and on this occasion the psychologists theories could be correct. Seadi came back with a vengeance playing the heat to all his strengths. In the first half he racked up huge wave scores by throwing bucket loads of spray, and launching himself off lips that no one else dare hit. The tactic was semi-flawed though with a few full-on wipe-outs, but proved popular with the judges who still awarded plenty of points.
With three minutes remaining, Seadi still hadn’t attempted a single jump, and when he came in to swap his gear the crowds began to worry. 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. Luckily for the Brazilian his outstanding skills on the waves were enough to win him the heat. And with it, the first ever Klitmoller 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)
Live Mash Up
The competition was streamed live throughout the day, so you could watch the action wherever you were in the world. If you missed it, you can check it all out by following this link HERE. You’ll be able to watch the super sessions too, which are scheduled to start at midday tomorrow.