The PWA London Indoor Windsurfing Championships Preview
Excel London January 14th-16th 2005
The fans are all set to roll for the second London indoor windsurfing championships, with PWA action scheduled to commence on the 14th of January and continue through to the 16th of January 2005.
Those that remember the amazing stunts and sensational maneuvers that wowed the 2004 crowds will be pleased to hear the world's top windsurfers will once again be making the Excel exhibition centre their first point of call on the 2005 PWA Tour.
Crowds Courtesy of PWA/Carter
With the stakes upped and a prize fund of $75,000 the show promises to be insane. Top international competitors all set to compete include Nik Baker (Mistral, North), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) John Skye (F2, Arrows), Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish) and Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde). Also in attendance will be Alex Mussolini (JP, Neil Pryde), Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard), Douglas Diaz (Fanatic, North), Josh Angulo, Taty Frans (Starboard, Gaastra) and Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde).
The PWA ladies will take to the London pool for the first time with the incredible Moreno twins Iballa and Daida (Mistral, North), Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) Nayra Alonso (Fanatic) and Lucy Horwood (Fanatic, North).
The program for the three days of action will include Racing, Freestyle and Jump and the challenge is set to see who will go the fastest, highest and most extreme, in the new redesigned pool arena.
On Thursday 13 January the UK Windsurfing Association (UKWA) is holding a competition featuring men’s, women’s, masters and youth categories. The riders that impress the judges will be selected to progress into the PWA competition. Already the competition is heating up with the likes of Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde), Ben Proffitt (JP, Neil Pryde), John Hibbard (Starboard), Paul Hunt (Fanatic), Mark Hosegood (Naish) all hungry to make their way into the PWA event. Last years UKWA finals will long be remembered for the magic moment when young and talented Andy Funnel (F2, Arrows) won the jump finals in front of friend’s family and cheering crowds. Andy tragically died earlier this year after a Jet Ski accident at his home beach in Seaford on the South Coast. Check out the web site set up in his memory www.andyfunnell.com
Kauli forward loop Courtesy of PWA/Carter
Those lucky enough to score a seat at the sell out show for the 2004 PWA versus UKWA grand final saw a stunning display of action with the level going through the roof as sailors raised the stakes in their bids for indoor glory. In the slalom competition, home favorite Nik Baker (Mistral, North) won a heated battle against surprise finalist Cheo Diaz (Fanatic, North) of Venezuela. Meanwhile in the freestyle the amazing trickery of, Kauli Seadi (Naish, AHD) proved too much for the rest of the competition when the Brazilian Samba sensation landed a perfect flaka in the finals. The jump show was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening with Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) taking the glory after landing a tweaked out ninja kick, a push loop and a huge stalled forward. Kauli Seadi was the overall victor after taking into account the results from the three disciplines and rode of into the night on his prize, a Honda motorbike!
Nik jumps Courtesy of PWA/Carter
NEW IMPROVED ARENA
Last years event saw stunning action despite several problems with the wind circulation in the pool and as a result the National Boat Shows team has been working flat out to improve the wind circulation and sailing conditions for the riders, as well as making some structural changes to the arena. A specialist wind flow company has been employed to help improve the wind circulation on the pool. By building a 1:50 scale model of the arena and studying in detail the wind measurements and dynamics from the 2004 event, organizers have designed an improved circulation system for 2005. The following changes will be made:
The pool width will be slightly reduced; this will allow the fans to be placed in their optimum position to increase air circulation.
The pool will be lowered; this will increase the headroom giving the air more room to re-circulate.
The pool has been moved to a more central place in the arena to make the air flow more uniform.
The angle of the fans will be altered downwards to allow better control of the wind and to stop cones of air spiraling upwards.
The majority of the seats will be moved to the jump ramp end of the pool ensuring visitors get a better view of the jumping.
A dedicated foyer area will be integrated into the layout of the arena.
The massive popularity of the 2004 event led to unavoidable queues as visitors from the UK and abroad waited to catch a glimpse of the action. To avoid disappointment this year the seating capacity of the stadium has been doubled in size to house 3,000 spectators. Tickets to the PWA events will be on sale at £6 via the ticket office on 0870 060 0246 or via the website… More Information is available from: www.schroderslondonboatshow.com