The heat is on in more ways than one here on day three of the 2001 Costa Brava,
PWA Freestyle World cup. Hot and gusty winds provided the fuel to allow eighteen
scorching heats this afternoon as spectators were treated to an afternoon of
sizzling action. Conditions for sailors were tricky however due to the wind
constantly changing direction and switching on and off in
strength throughout the day. Sailors were not held back by the tough environment
on the water and judges were left with a tough job of interpreting the latest
intricate moves and mind boggling routines.
The level here today was probably the highest standard ever scene on the freestyle
tour with both the young hotshots and the elder more experienced tour regulars
pushing the sport to new limits. Radical moves, which were completed included,
clew first spocks, the worm burner, diablos, a one handed lazy Susan and a shove-it
into a cheeseroll.
Last years winner Vidar Jensen (North, Drops) made it safely through two rounds.
Jensen, the Norwegian wild flyer had to dig deep in his second heat when Italian
sailor Raimondo Gasperini (Fanatic) pulled out all the stops. Jensen made it
through by the skin of his teeth after landing a spock in the dying seconds
of the heat, the move proved just enough to clinch the favour
of the judges in a split decision.
Britain's Richie Foster advanced through his first heat with one of the most
outstanding performances of the day. Sailing alongside Peter Vogt (North, F2)
of Switzerland and Nathon Mershon (Naish sails, Naish boards) of the USA, Foster
clocked up a multitude of complex tricks and combination manoeuvres. He will
now face Italian sailor Maurizio Gusella (Drops) in the second round.
Danish sailor Michael Viscovitch (Simmer, Proof) was responsible for the biggest
upset of the afternoon, taking out mighty German sailor Robby Seeger (Simmer,
RRD) in the second to last heat of the day. Seeger had a weight disadvantage
in the gusty winds and was obviously struggling against the conditions. Viscovitch
was more than capable of taking advantage of the
situation and happily advanced into third round.
Sixteen-year-old New Caledonian sailor, Colin Sifferman (North, Mistral) competing
at his first PWA event was partially responsible for the exit of Venezuelan
sailor Dioni Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde). Guadagnino, who is expected to do
well here, is the current holder of the King of the Lake crown was another victim
of the gusty winds and struggled to really make an impression in front of the
Other notable performances came from the World Champion Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra,
Bic) Brazilian sailor Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish sails), Web Pedrick (AHD,
North) from the USA, Britain's Chris Audsley (Sailworks) and Pieter Bijl (JP,
Neil Pryde) of Holland.Stronger winds are forecast for tomorrow! The heat is
on, that's for sure and everything is pointing towards a thrilling final two
days here in Costa Brava!
WEB PEDRICK (AHD, NORTH)
"It was a little up and down today! The wind was kind of side offshore
coming over the land and it was very gusty. I landed a couple of worm burners
today. It is a good, move, feels great and looks cool! It is a lolly spock,
that is the best definition for it. You spock but you pull the clew with you,
instead of flipping the sail. Then you backwind push against it as you come
around. The first part is a spock and the second part is a lollypop!"
ORJAN JENSEN (NORTH, PROOF)
"The wind was really fluky but sometimes there were some good gusts. We
had fun out there! There were some good moves and a few new moves. Of course
they had to cancel some heats because of gusty wind but the heats we got through
were good and that's what counts"
COLIN SIFFERLAIN (NORTH, MISTRAL)
"It was fun out there today. The wind was gusty and it was a little choppy.
I beat Dioni, which was very good for me. That is good for my first PWA contest.
I came here without stress, just to try my luck and to have fun!"