THE IRELAND PWA 2001 WAVE GRAND PRIX - Boards Windsurfing

Windsurfing Magazine



DAY 1 – 8 October
A clear sunny day greeted the professional wave sailors today, the first day
of the PWA Ireland Wave 2001 Grand Prix, but a light breeze prevented the competitors
from getting on the water in the morning.

By mid afternoon, the skies were threatening rain and the cross-shore northerly
wind had picked up sufficiently for some of the sailors to get out on the water
and practise their moves. As the tide pushed in, the waves improved but inconsistent
winds meant the competition would not go ahead today. Nevertheless, this gave
the competitors an opportunity to acclimatise to the local conditions, check
their gear and have a blast in the Irish waters!

The atmosphere on the beach was relaxed though with competitors and spectators
mingling and swapping ideas on how they thought the weather would progress.
Nik Baker and the Moreno twins looked to be enjoying themselves taking photographs
of each other and socialising with fellow competitors and friends. Bjorn Dunkerbeck
looked calm and serious behind his sunglasses, contemplating how, if at all,
the weather may change.

Oisin Van Gelderen, one of the Irish wildcard entrants said, "I’m looking
forward to the competition beginning as I’ve got all this adrenaline pumping
and want to get going. Last year I was drawn up against Robby Naish in the first
heat of the first round, what an honour, but really I had no chance. This year
Naish isn’t here so who knows…?"

Brandon Bay on the Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland is considered
as one of the best windsurfing spots in Europe, although the weather in this
area is such that conditions can change dramatically within a very short space
of time.

With the next few days forecast as light winds, the sailors will have time
to see the real beauty of this area and check out the local bars and eateries
before making their mark on Ireland for the second year running.

DAY 2: 9 October 2001

As expected, it was another calm day today with a direct onshore westerly breeze
rolling in off the sea at Brandon Bay.

Hourly announcements to crew and the sailors kept everyone informed as to what
the current situation was, but the weather did not change much throughout the

Down at the beach, some sailors were out but mainly the locals getting in some
practise before the real extreme weather kicks in and the professionals take

The PWA sailors seemed to be making the most of having another relatively relaxing
day. Many of them congregating at Spillanes the local pub digging into hot soup
and sandwiches provided by the organisers.

Karin Jaggi, (Switzerland), currently seeded number 1 in the world, was chilling
out with her F2 crew and taking in the atmosphere. She said, "Last year’s
event here in Ireland was superb. I have never seen such good conditions. It
is one of the World Cups that we really look forward to.This event seems to
have a special atmosphere and it is the one place where everyone gets to meet
up and socialise. The main reason for this is that everything is so close together
and of course, the locals are super-friendly and make us feel so welcome."

Karin comes head to head with Daida Moreno (Spain),in the last Grand Prix of
the season. Following Daida¹s two wins in Gran Canaria at Vargas and Pozo
then Karin¹s win in Sylt, this event will be the decider between the two
of them for the overall 2001 Wave World Championship title.

Day 3 – no wind…. But the forecast is looking good.

Day 4 – 11 October 2001.

There had been no wind on day 3, but with wind forecast for day 4, an early
start was called and at 7.30am, judges and competitors made their way to Dumps
for an announcement on the day’s events. It was then decided to move to the
other beach, Gowlane, where there was a south-westerly cross-off shore and more
preferable conditions to start the competition. The sky was blue, the sun was
warm and the waves were fantastic. Ideal conditions to start the event.

The first round of the competition passed without a glitch, but by lunch time
and the start of the second round, the wind had dipped and shifted round too
far creating an almost direct offshore breeze making it a real challenge for
the sailors to get outback past the break. Kevin Pritchard who went straight
through to the second round and up against Spain’s Jonas Ceballos said "The
conditions started off really good this morning but soon got very difficult
with the direction of the wind too offshore. It is so cold out there, especially
when a heat is restarted several times…"

Heat 18 of the second round put Nik Baker up against Ian Black and Levi Siver
up against Matt Pritchard but the gusty wind and constant battering of the waves
caused the judges to postpone their heat once again.

By 5pm, a big low had come in from the South West changing the weather dramatically
from blue skies to huge sheets of rain marring everybody’s visibility and affecting
the wind, until the judges decided to call it a day.

Kevin Pritchard who after Sylt lies second behind Vidar Jensen in the overall
World Wave Championships said, "I am hoping for stronger winds with
a better direction tomorrow. The conditions at Dumps is better suited to my
sailing, more onshore winds which are better for jumping, which is my strong
Asked about his chances against Jensen he said, "It
is too early to tell how I will fair, but I am going to go out there and do
my best…"

DAY 5 – Friday 12 October:

Jason Polakow (Neil Pryde/JP) and clinched today’s competition in near perfect
down the line wave riding, on the fifth day of the Ireland Wave 2001.

After heavy rain and strong winds last night, this morning saw a lull in the
weather before it kicked in again around mid morning with a steady 15-20kts
south-westerly cross offshore. Competitors agreed today’s conditions were much
better than yesterday’s despite the initial lack of early morning breeze.

In the final, Jason Polakow was up against Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde/Proof)
which left Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra/Bic) fighting it out with Peter Volwater
(Arrows/F2) for third position in the loser’s final.  

Both Polakow and Dunkerbeck began on the same wave at the same time, which turned
out to Polakow’s best wave.  Dunkerbeck pulled out all the stops with his
technical mastery and despite catching some of the bigger waves and riding them
right up to the inside, he didn¹t use them to his best advantage. Jason’s trademark
style of aggressive vertical wave riding and his better aerials of the lip clinched
first position for him today.

Polakow said of his win, "I am absolutely thrilled with the result,
the wind was really offshore and we had real glassy waves which made for great
down the line wave riding. We usually do so many jumps in wave competition so
it made a real change to do something different. Bjorn is a tough competitor
and it was a really tight heat. I am just crossing my fingers that there will
not be any wind tomorrow so today’s single elimination results stand!"

Dunkerbeck said of today’s competition, "I can’t complain. We didn’t
expect any wind and it just got better and better, we even had sun.  I
was OK at the beginning of the heats but I concentrated on the bigger waves
and got better and better.  These conditions were not my favourite as the
wind was still light and the waves were not very powerful therefore light sailors
prefer it." 

In the women¹s final, Karin Jaggi (Arrows/ F2), up against Daida Ruano Moreno
(North/Mistral) put in a strong and very convincing performance riding as well
as some of the men had during the day. Jaggi’s more regular style and good wave
selection won her today’s event.

Karin was overjoyed with her win and said, "My first heat was easy which
gave me time to try things out and not really take any risks. I was quite nervous
going into the final but then I got my first good wave and it gave me more confidence.
I got into a flowing feeling and had a choice of waves. It all came together
and worked out perfectly…"

Peter Volwater battled it out with Kevin Pritchard to take third position and
Iballa Ruano Moreno (North/Mistral) came third in the women’s.

As the day progressed the wind remained constant allowing the competition to
progress to the double elimination, where the first quarter of the competition
was completed.

And that was it! No more wind for the event. So Polakow and Jaggi take the victories,
and the counting-up begins to see who has won the overall world series for the


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