Day 10: 1st October 2001
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!
Finally the wind arrived at Sylt today, with gusts of up to 50 knots the spectators
were treated to some of the best action and wipeouts seen this year. The
strong winds pushed in logo to mast high waves that not only provided ample
ramps but also caused a multitude of kit breakages and injuries.
It was Jason Polakow (JP, Pryde) who ripped and slashed the North Sea
waves to win the Mens single elimination final against fellow Australian sailor
Scott McKercher (Starboard, Naish). This result was much needed
for Jason as he only had one result standing from the contest in Pozo after
missing the first Grand Prix at Vargas due to injury.
Jason showed why he is a previous wave world champion and was clearly on form
from the moment he first hit the water. The big waves suited Jason perfectly,
on his way to the final he took down lots of big names including Robby Swift
(JP, Pryde), Finn Noer, Vidar Jensen (North) and Anders Bringdal (RRD,
Simmer). His hardest heat was undoubtedly left for the final against
PWA veteran Scott McKercher (Starboard, Naish).
Scott or “Gramps" is one of the port tack specialists on the World Tour, haling
from Western Australia Scott found the conditions at Sylt today much like his
local spot of Scarborough in Perth WA. Scott rips in these conditions
and this is his best result for two years since his third place in Gran Canaria
in 1999. The other amazing thing about Scott’s victory was the fact he
rode a standard off the shelf production board throughout the whole event. Scott
who helps design the Starboard wave boards was so pleased with the production
board he helped shape that he now uses it at all World Tour events. On
the way to the final Scott took lots of big scalps, in particular in round three
where he took out current number one ranked sailor Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof,
Pryde). He then defeated Greg Allaway (JP, Pryde) advancing
to meet current World Champion Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra) in a hard
fought semi final. Scott was on a role and was ecstatic about making his
first Grand Prix final.
The final was a true battle of wave riding, rather than jumping. Both sailors
are renowned for their wave riding skills and the crowd were set to see the
skills honed in Hawaii and Australia by both Scott and Jason.
Jason started the heat with a huge wave that he tore apart right to the inside,
before heading out and launching into a massive back loop. Scott tried
to match Jason move for move but unfortunately was always playing catch up and
just couldn’t quite pull enough out of the bag to take out his third World Champion
of the day. Jason thoroughly deserved his win and now puts himself back
in contention for the World Title as the Tour moves to Ireland later this week.
The losers final saw Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra) meeting Anders Bringdal
(RRD, Simmer) for the final podium position. Anders has not advanced
this far in an event since Ireland last year and maybe showed his lacking in
‘pressure’ heat skills by not sailing as well in the losers final as he did
in previous heats. Kevin was on fire, he knew that a third place in Sylt
would move him into second in the wave rankings going into Ireland. So
it was Kevin who won the judges opinion and took the final podium place with
Scott and Jason.
The woman were also in action today, Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) emerged
as the well deserved winner in what many called the hardest conditions of the
day. Karin met Iballa Ruano Moreno (Mistral, North) in the final
and the two girls showed that they are an equal match to the men by looping
and riding in the heavy radical conditions. Karin won the day with a repertoire
that included forward loops, push loops and radical aerials. In the losers
final Anne Marie Reichmann (Naish) showed why she is one of the best
women wavesailors in the world by taking a well deserved third place, making
Sylt a very successful week for a certain couple!(Anne Marie and Scott McKercher
are girlfriend and boyfriend).
So it was a long wait but it eventually happened, the wind Gods had not forgotten
Sylt, and with the results from here really stirring up the Wave Title race,
Ireland now is looking like being a true nail biting climax to the PWA World
For the full men's result list from the Sylt event click
For the full women's result list from the Sylt event click
For the full men's overall 2001 ranking list click