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 event).
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.
Stop Press 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?