Podersdorf prepares for battle with the big guns of Freestyle lining up for the opening salvoes of the 2006 PWA Freestyle Tour
The ice has melted and this spring Freestyle windsurfing bursts into life at Podersdorf, Austria. Hot new tricks threaten to thaw any remnants of winter, as the summer gets a kick-start at modern freestyles historic home. Lining the shore of the shallow Neusiedler See Lake, the 2006 Podersdorf Surf World Cup brings the sports biggest hitters, and their latest arsenal of tricks. This landmark event in windsurfing history sees collaboration between the PWA World Tour and European Freestyle Pro Tour. With full World Cup status and an entry list to match, it opens the race for the PWA World Freestyle Title, and will also count towards the EFPT ranking.
All the promised big names have thrown down the gauntlet to compete under the noses of Austria’s action hungry crowds; who will be anxious to see what’s been cooking since the PWA last visited in 2001. Off water, the after dark action promises to equal that of windsurfing’s big guns on water displays, continuing the tradition started at the inaugural Freestyle World Cup back in ’98. A monstrous line-up of parties, promotions and DJ’s will see ‘Power Hours’ at the lakeside event village with free entry to all, and a vast array of daytime activities should the wind fail to deliver. Vienna’s vibrant holiday-weekend crowds are set to flock to Podersdorf’s Nordstrand from Friday April 28th until May 7th.
Freestyle World Champion Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil Pryde) leads a strong South American contingent, hungry for their share of the prize purse. Fellow Venezuelans, Jose ‘Golito’ Estredo, (Fanatic/North) and Douglas ‘Cheo’ Diaz (Fanatic/North), line up against legends such as world wavesailing champion Kauli Seadi (Quattro/ Naish Sails) of Brazil, and a formidable French contingent featuring front runners Anthony Ruenes (Tabou/Gaastra) and Tomas Traversa (Tabou/Gaastra).
Many names familiar to freestyles competitive scene, but relative strangers to PWA battle, also make their appearances. Homeboys Tom Hartmann (Naish) and Michi Rossmeier (Exocet) head a sizeable contingent of Austria’s surf-starved talent, eager for the support of their sizeable home crowd. Young gun Jakub Kosmowski (JP/Neil Pryde), and EFPT veteran Matteo Guazzoni, will pitch their luck against the world’s toughest competitors.
Traditionally held in flatter Mediterranean locations, EFPT riders have never dominated PWA arenas – held often in rougher waters such as the Canary Islands – where only the truly versatile triumph with power moves and smooth surface tricks alike. Blurring the battle lines will be Dutchman Kevin Mevissen (JP/Neil Pryde) and 2005 PWA Rookie of the Year Andre Paskowski (F2/North) of Germany, who bring with them experience of both EFPT and PWA competition.
With standards higher than they’ve ever been, there’ll be no easy heats and only the finest performances will be good enough. One thing is certain, the contest will be fiercely fought, with the winner taking the bragging rights as the best freestyler of 2006 – so far!
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