Kauli prays for good conditions before Sunday on SalThe 2008 Cabo Verde PWA World Cup Day 7
The Clock Starts Ticking and Pressure Rises As Absent Wind and Swell Leave Just Two Days to Complete the Double Elimination on Sal
A fourth straight day without suitable surf in Cabo Verde leaves only the final weekend to complete the competition.
So far we’ve completed the single elimination, which was won by Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) – the current world champion and event leader.
Josh Angulo (MauiSails) came second in that final ahead of Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde).
The double elimination now has a top 8 which includes those 4 finalists from the single, plus 4 others who’ve clawed their way back up the ladder.
Alex Mussolini (RRD / NeilPryde) is one of the fresh-faced youngsters frothing for the chance of more waves and the opportunity to take on the likes of Swift, Polakow, Angulo and Seadi.
‘I’m just cruising and waiting for wind and waves’ joked the relaxed and upbeat young Spaniard at Ponta Preta today.
‘I’m trying to concentrate on the job, and not forget we’re here for a contest as the island is so beautiful and we’re having such a great time here.
Although we’re waiting around, it could be worse as we could be somewhere freezing cold with grey skies, but luckily we’re hanging out in Cabo Verde. Life’s good!
It’s great to be back near the top again. I know I can hold my own here at this level, and if it happens by the end of the weekend I’m gonna play hard and go for it.’
French rider Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) is another entrant who punches well above his weight in the waves.
At just 61 kg, this quiet young talent poses a major threat for the top names, especially if the wind’s fluky and the waves get critical close to the rocks.
‘I’m still in it so that’s a good feeling’ commented Traversa, who tore ‘Little Ho’okipa part earlier in the week.
‘My target was to do better than last year so I’ll try to really push it and do my best if we get suitable conditions as I’ve got nothing to lose.’
The pressure’s really on for the top 4 if a clean new swell shows in time. Aged just 18, Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) has been billed as a future champion at elite level windsurfing, and has already fulfilled that expectation with a crucial world title victory in freestyle back in 2007.
Now focused on the waves, ‘Brawzinho’ is dedicated to displacing his compatriot and friend Seadi.
‘It’s been a long time since I had a good result in the waves’ reflected Browne with maturity above his years.
‘The last time I was near the top was in Portugal last year.
I’m happy because I’ve made to the last 8 through some tough heats with people like Levi Siver (Quatro / NeilPryde) and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra) to contend with.
I feel relaxed and I really want the chance to compete before the events over.
I think I’ll try and get a couple of safe waves in the bag and then go for some more radical moves like air takas, ‘cos I know Alex and Thomas will be going for Goytas and stuff, especially if it’s small.
My team manager, Nik Baker (Mistral / North) has told me to stay relaxed. He’s got so much experience and knows that pressure is the last thing I need right now, in fact all my sponsors are really cool that way which really helps me to concentrate.’
But there’s also a seasoned hand amongst the young pups. American Kai Katchadourian (Quatro / Simmer) has been visiting this island for years and knows plenty of the breaks like the back of his hand.
‘I’ve been hoping to get a chance to make all the time I’ve spent in these awesome islands pay off’ enthused Katchadourian.
‘This comp’s been great as after last year people had only really heard of Ponta Preta, but this time we’ve been able to show the world some of the other spots else Sal’s got to offer, and I’ve had a ball playing in these waves with all these guys and letting my gear do a lot of the work for me.
This event’s a major deal to this country and I’m just amped to be a part of that and to kick the season off with a top-8 finish.’
Skippers’ meeting is at 09.00 tomorrow after the early morning circuit of spot checks.
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© PWA / Brian McDowell