The Sylt PWA 2004 Labello Grand Slam – Registration Day
Everything is in place for an action packed event here in the exclusive
island hideaway on the North Sea coast of Germany. Sylt is renowned for
its rough seas and gale force winds. The forecasts are looking good and
with racing and wave sailing in the schedule we are sure to see plenty of
world class windsurfing performance.
Sylt is also renowned as one of the busiest events on the tour and with a
fully covered event village and spectators area the crowds will be packing
the beach front in Westerland (the main town on the island and home of the
All the top names are here in attendance and with everything to play for
in the wave and racing overall rankings competition will be fierce.
In the men’s wave discipline Scott McKercher (Starboard) is currently
sitting in 1st place but a title hungry Vidar Jensen (North Sails) is
close behind. Vidar has traditionally done well here in Sylt and is a
major threat to McKercher’s dominance. Also chasing hard is Bjorn
Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) who, as always is certain to put in a solid
performance. Josh Angulo the current World Wave Champion is rigged and
ready to challenge for the retention of his title, after a disappointing
result in Gran Canaria back in August he looks fired up for the win here
in Germany. Last years wave winner Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra/Starboard)
will also be gunning for another Sylt title. Pay attention to the young
guns that are emerging in the wave discipline. Victor Fernandez (Fanatic)
was on fire here in Sylt last year and seems to revel in the stormy
seas. Young Alex Mussolini (JP/Neil Pryde) is also a dynamic sailor who
has experience in a range of conditions so will also be looking to take
out a few big names. Let us not forget German professional Bernd Flessner
(F2/Neil Pryde) who was once a resident of Sylt. Bernd knows these waters
better than anybody and has shown in previous years that he is a hard nut
to crack in the cold winds of Sylt. With the home advantage we might well
see him take out a few of the young guns along the way.
In the women’s wave discipline Daida Moreno (Mistral/North) is defiantly
looking cool calm and collected in overall 1st position. See can’t relax
too much as her sister Iballa (Mistral/North) and arch rival Karin Jaggi
(F2/Arrows) are both hungry for a wave title and will be shooting to knock
down the ever consistent Daida. Nayra Alonso (Fanatic) from Gran Canaria
has made it to Sylt for her second year and having spent the last few
weeks training in England might well be on the trail of a podium
position. The women’s fleet grows stronger every year and with the likes
of Ania Ostrowska, Silvia Alba and the German sailor Anne Katherine
Stevens we could be in for a serious rankings battle here in Sylt.
With one event still to run in the PWA Nestea Racing Tour Steve Allen
(Neil Pryde/Fanatic) is going to have to put in a consistent performance
if he is to stop the chasing pack of Micah Buzianis (F2/North), Antoine
Albeau (AHD/Neil Pryde), Wojtek Brzozowski (Neil Pryde/Starboard) and Ross
Williams (Gaastra/Starboard) to name but a few from taking overall victory
from his grasp. A past Sylt winner Allen is comfortable in the rough seas
and is prepared for the challenge ahead. Huge shore breaks and rolling
North Sea Swell can sometimes make for carnage out on the racecourse as
the sailors fight for the racing line in the gnarly conditions. With huge
sails and monster wide boards the racers have to use a mix of finesse,
technique and brute force to make it around the grueling two-lap
course. Injuries and equipment breakage are a real threat.
Stay tuned for the inside line, with updates from the very heart of the competitors’
village here at the 2004 Sylt PWA Labello Grand Slam.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck has just confirmed that he WILL be competing in the
racing discipline here in Sylt. Can the big man come back firing, or will
the Formula masters prove dominant?