The 2007 Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Event Preview
The 2007 Super-Season heads to Sylt on the German Island of Westerland for its Annual Autumn Festival of Windsurfing.
From September 21st through 30th the biggest hitters in Men’s and Women’s Wave sailing, Men’s Freestyle and Men’s Slalom racing will converge to take on the brutal North Sea wind and waves and fight it out for vital end-of-season rankings points and their share of the €105K prize purse.
Sylt’s hosted professional windsurfing to its sandy beaches for over 20 years, and each season faithful spectators flock in foul or fine weather to witness unparalleled action.
2006 was a record year for visitors to Westerland with 180,000 spectators making their way to the event site to watch spectacular action from the stylish hospitality area.
The final event of 2007. Last season’s winner Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) has already wrapped-up the 2007 crown, and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) has sealed second overall, but the fight for the final podium position is intense. In the frame still are Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North), 2006 runner-up Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) and Finian Maynard (F2 / NeilPryde).
The host nations hopes rest with German National Champion Bernd Flessner (F2 / NeilPryde), European youth champion Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Starboard / Naish), and top wave sailor Klaas Voget’s (Fanatic / NeilPryde) first slalom outing of the year.
The Freestyle tour also reaches it’s conclusion in Sylt. Will the current tour leader Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) take the title? Or will the winner of the last event Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) carry his form from the Canaries leg?
The race is still wide open with Frenchman Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), and Venezuelans Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo’ (Fanatic / North), the 2006 Champion, and 3 times world champion Ricardo Campello all in the running.
Young German freestylers, 22-yr old Norman Gunzlein (JP / NeilPryde), who’s ranked 10th overall right now, and Andre Paskowski (F2 / North), ranked 11th, will also be a major threat.
Just as the sun can shine for freestyle and racing, the North Sea can batter the Seafront at Sylt. This season the women will decide who’s won the wave title with an all-out display of surfing and aerial skills.
Leading the tour right now is Gran Canarian multiple world champ Daida Moreno (North) – a full-on force in pushing the women’s level beyond belief. She’s being pressured hard by runner-up Karin Jaggi of Switzerland (F2 / North), and her twin sister Iballa Moreno (North), the 2006 World Wavesailing champ.
There’s more danger in the form of Hawaiian-based Japanese pro Junko Nagoshi (F2 / Simmer) and Spanish firecracker Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) in a contest that is far from over.
Local fans will be pleased to cheer for former German youth champion Andrea Hausberg and storm chasing PWA regular Steffi Wahl (F2 / Gaastra).
Fresh from the most recent event in South America, the men’s title race is hotting up nicely as the tour hits Europe once again.
Brazilian Kauli Seadi (Quatro / Naish) leads the tour after one event discard by a narrow margin after a famous victory on his home patch in Ibiraquera.
But Spanish stylist Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Simmer) is piling the pressure on hard from second overall. The 23-yr old has won 2 events already this season and is anxious to deny Seadi, the 2005 world champion, the opportunity of a second title.
2007 has seen a lot of hype around more young sailors but the top 10 is stacked with old hands. Josh Angulo, who won the opening event of the year, Nik Baker (Mistral / North), who recently placed second in Brazil, and Kevin Pritchard, the 2006 world champion all have the podium in their sights.
There’s a strong German contingent in the waves but the form player would have to be Klaas Voget, who placed 7th in Brazil and will use his local knowledge of Westerland to make a push for this season’s top 10 overall.
Home advantage has played a massive part in this year’s tour and Voget will go all-out to exploit his intimate familiarity with the Westerland swell. One thing’s for sure – with just one event to follow Sylt, the conflict will be crazy.
For more information on all the entrants and to keep up to date with every piece of the action click on www.pwaworldtour.com