The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Event Summary
Nine days of reckoning bring the 2008 World Tour Season to an explosive conclusion on the white sands of Sylt’s, Westerland beach.
Marking the 25 anniversary since its birth, this milestone in the event’s history will certainly be remembered as one of the most memorable encounters to date. Over the course of the competition, in excess of 200,000 windsurf fans endured the unpredictable North Sea weather, to watch one of the greatest windsurfing shows on the planet.
Entering Sylt, the 2008 Slalom World Title had already been handed to Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde), after the Frenchman claimed three straight event victories in the Costa Brava, Pozo and Fuerteventura.
However, this left the remaining podium positions wide open for the taking, and with the top ten sailors sitting dangerously close to each other, a poor result in Sylt would carry huge implications for the 2008 overall rankings.
The slalom fleet christened the event on the first day of competition, with the start of race one. Delivering shock from the outset, no one could have predicted how the encounter would unfold over the three days it took to complete.
Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine) kicked proceedings off with a catastrophic error, when he crossed the finish line from the wrong side in his heat 3 clash. The shock mistake meant that he not only had to relinquish his victory, but also failed to qualify for the subsequent round of the race.
Next to fall was the 2008 Slalom World Champion, Antoine Albeau, who became a victim of the highly changeable Sylt conditions. After leading the heat from the outset, Albeau stalled as he exited the final gybe. Punishing his misfortune, his rivals sailed past to fill all the qualifying positions without him.
As the heats narrowed the final down to its eight-man quota, many of slalom’s big names dropped by the wayside, leaving 27 year old French race specialist, Sylvain Moussilmani (F2, Simmer) to claim the elimination victory, and early event lead.
The slalom fleet had to wait patiently until day five of competition before they got their next shot on the racecourse. After a morning of marginal conditions, the afternoon unexpectedly delivered 35-knots of wind, paving the way for some spectacular high wind surf-slalom.
The first big seed to stumble in the nuclear conditions was British Virgin Islander, Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde). The famed speedster was forced out of contention in the second round after a flat out drag race to finish line with Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) resulted in Maynard getting barged out of the qualifying positions.
With the race eventually getting narrowed down the final eight, Albeau took the opportunity to make amends for his race 1 shocker, and quickly blasted into pole position.
However, it wasn’t to be a classic show of Albeau domination that’s been witnessed so many times in the past. The stumbling block would come when Albeau fell gybing in the maxed out conditions, and seemingly handed pole position to Williams, however Angulo had other plans. A truly outstanding gybe saw him flip the rig and fly past Williams, to lay claim to competition’s second race. Close behind, William’s finished in a commendable second place, enough for him to take the event lead on day five.
Inroads were made into slalom’s third race on day six, but marginal conditions limited progress to just seven heats, before the race cold be resumed and completed on day seven.
Starting the action, Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) delivered a bullet, and arguably the best start of the event so far. Further extending his lead around the subsequent three gybes, his perfect heat was tarnished by a fall at the final mark. Fortunately for Dagan, his lead was such that he was able to waterstart away and still win the heat.
Moving into the semi finals, event leader, Williams fell victim to the changing Sylt conditions. After jostling amongst the qualifying positions on the first reach, a sudden dive in wind speed saw him drop off the plane on his 7.6m and effectively loose any hope of making the winners final. Armed with bigger sails, the rest of the competitors left Williams in their wake, and ultimately saw Albeau win his second heat on the trot.
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) upped his game in the second semi final, to take a convincing win ahead of Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) and Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North), in second and third respectively.
Taking their places in the winners final, the sailors hit the water to do battle in the strongest wind of the elimination. The heat served as stark reminder of Albeau’s dominance this season, as the Frenchman bulldozed his way into the lead and never looked back, claiming his first race victory of the event. Close behind, but never threatening, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, North) took second place, and Cyril Moussilmani third.
The losers final was won by Williams, who turned it on to cruise to a convincing victory, handing him ninth place in the third race, enough to maintain his event lead.
Slalom’s definitive race had to wait until the last two hours of the competition before it could be concluded. Entering the race, William’s held the event lead, but disaster struck when he failed to qualify for the race final. The killer blow meant that he not only lost the event title, but also dropped out of the event’s top three, eventually finishing up in sixth position overall; A tough pill to swallow for the young Brit.
The elimination culminated with a race final loaded with no less than six sailors that could claim the event win, or make the podium should they place sufficiently high in the heat.
The showdown turned out to be a classic Albeau versus Dunkerbeck showdown for first position. Ultimately, Albeau had the greater board speed, leaving Dunkerbeck to chase in second, but unable to close the gap. On the finish line, Albeau celebrated his second race win, earning him the runner up position for the event. Behind him, Dunkerbeck placed another highly consistent result, earning him his second successive event win, and finishing off a remarkable end of season flourish.
With the freestylers raring to go after three days on standby, it came as welcome news to the fleet that they’d be hitting the water for their first elimination on day four.
Head high breaking waves, chop from all angles, marginal to howling wind and the mother of all shore breaks provided a challenging backdrop for the freestylers, who’d had little if any chance to test the conditions.
After a fairly conservative first round of heats, the higher ranked sailors started to raise their games and in turn the magnitude of their moves. Highlight of the second round was Taty Frans (Starboard, North Sails) versus Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde, MFC). Otaegui threw down a comprehensive mix of sliding and aerial moves, leaving the flamboyant Frans to counter in his typically gung-ho style. A spirited performance reached its crescendo when Frans opted to attempt a move on the face of a churning monster. The gamble resulted in him being washed all the way to the feet of the on looking crowd, and effectively extinguished any hope of him advancing, despite winning over the spectators.
The quarter finals saw the lighter sailors reign supreme, with both Marcilio Browne (Mistral, Gaastra) and Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) exiting the elimination at the hands of their lighter rivals, Otaegui and Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra). This paved the way for a Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) versus Otaegui and Thode versus Jose Estredo semi final.
A huge shaka and near perfect kono from Frans still weren’t enough to topple Otaegui, who was pushing the level up with each heat he sailed. Joining Otaegui in the final was Estredo, who toppled Thode with the help of a devastating pushloop and a varied mix of switch and regular stance trickery.
Crunch time came when seasoned finalist Estredo dueled with underdog Otaegui in the elimination decider. Both sailors kicked off with a healthy quota of moves, but unpredictably, as the wind dropped it was Otaegui that made the most of the marginal conditions. The Lanzarote local bided his time, waiting for the biggest swells to execute smooth sliding moves, while Estredo wallowed the last two minutes of the heat off the plane.
In a landslide judging decision, Otaegui was awarded the victory, handing him the event title. For Estredo, his second place finish was enough to bag him his second successive Freestyle World Title.
Waiting for competition’s seventh day before suitable wind and waves arrived at Sylt’s shores, the wave fleet only had a brief window to compete, before darkness engulfed the competition area. Luckily day 8 had a promising forecast, and after a 07.30 am skippers meeting, competition hit the water.
Kevin Mevissen (RRD) kicked off the action by delivering Marcilio Browne (Mistral, Gaastra) a killer blow. Mevissen, the underdog, played a sensible game and racked up a solid base of jumps before pushing for the more technical moves. Browne on the other hand, was punished for attempting over elaborate maneuvers in unsuitable conditions, and ended up paying the ultimate price.
Mevissen went on to defeat Vidar Jensen (North) before his unprecedented run was put to a halt by Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC) in the semi finals.
In round three, a changing of the guard saw Jason Polakow (JP, NeilPryde) and Nik Baker (Mistral, North) depart the elimination by their high flying, tweaked looping rivals, Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC), and John Skye (RRD, Naish, MFC).
Other big names to exit in the third round were Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC), who failed to match the truly inspirational wave riding of Seadi. Danny Bruch (Gaastra, MFC) fell by the way side courtesy of Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC), whose precision aerial maneuvers proved too much to contend with. And Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine) also struggled with the more jumping orientated conditions, departing the elimination to local favorite, Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC).
As the day came to an end, it was left tantalizingly close to crowning a winner, with Seadi and Fernandez pitched head to head in the final, and Voget challenging Ceballos in the losers final.
Coming down to the wire, the finalists were summoned to the beach at 07.00 am on the final day of competition to compete in far and away the most extreme conditions witnessed all season.
The final commenced in driving rain and bitterly cold winds gusting 40 knots, with the sailors armed with 3.3m sails. Fernandez opened his scoring with a colossal double forward loop, landing almost completely dry. In reply, Seadi launched into a textbook pushloop, exiting the move fully planing.
As expected, Seadi’s fluid and super vertical waveriding gave him a massive helping hand on his score sheet, but Fernandez fought back with some equally slick moves, including a big floaty aerial off a section most wouldn’t ever consider hitting.
The final blow came when Fernandez blasted right out the back, to pick a wave off the sandbar. Selecting a monster shoulder section, he boosted far and away the biggest backloop of the competition.
Seadi had fought hard, but when it came down to it, Fernandez had outclassed him with a near perfect selection of jumps, enough to award him victory in the heat, first place in the event, and second overall for the 2008 season.
For Seadi, his second place was enough for him to be awarded his third Wave World Title, a hugely impressive feat.
The losers final was an equally explosive affair, but eventually awarded Voget third position thanks to a combination of powerful riding and sky high jumps. Ceballos’ fourth place marked the end of an exceptional event, and year for him, which saw him slot into third place overall for the 2008 season.
Competing on the afternoon of competition’s eighth day, the women’s wave fleet took to the water to compete in a 25 knot cross shore wind, and building waves.
Picking up the quarter finals of the elimination, Anne-Marie Reichman (Naish) was unfortunate to come up against Daida Moreno (North), who savored the jump orientated conditions and dispatched Reichman, bagging her a place in the semi final.
Also advancing from that heat was Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne), who took down local sailor, Steffi Wahl (F2, Gaastra).
The second quarter final saw Junko Nagoshi (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine) overthrow Karin Jaggi (F2, North) thanks to some powerful wave riding and big forward loops. Also, Iballa Moreno (North) was handed a clear run to the semi’s, after Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) gave up sailing the heat moments into it.
This produced an explosive semi final that ultimately resulted in the Moreno twins reigning supreme in the full on jumping conditions. Unfortunately for the women, this would be the last chance for them to compete as the conditions of the final morning were just too full-on for them to attempt to head out.
The final result saw both Morenos tied in first place, and Alonso and Nagoshi tied in third. Daida’s first in the event was enough to hand her the 2008 World Wave Title.
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Slalom Results
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, North)
2nd Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde)
3rd Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North)
4th Sylvain Moussilmani (F2, Simmer)
5th Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra)
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Men’s Wave Results
1st Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
2nd Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC)
3rd Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC)
4th Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt – Men’s Freestyle Results
1st Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
2nd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North, MFC)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
4th Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Men’s Slalom
1st Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde)
2nd Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, North)
3rd Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC)
4th Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra)
5th Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Men’s Wave
1st Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC)
2nd Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
3rd Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
4th Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine)
5th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Men’s Freestyle
1st Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North, MFC)
2nd Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Mistral, Gaastra)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
4th Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra)
5th Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt –Women’s Wave Results
1st Daida Ruano Moreno (North)
1st Iballa Ruano Moreno (North)
3rd Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne)
3rd Junko Nagoshi (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Women’s Slalom
1st Karin Jaggi (F2, North)
2nd Valérie Ghibaudo (Tabou, Loft)
3rd Sarah Hebert (Starboard, Naish)
4th Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North)
5th Lee-el Korzitz (Tabou, Gaastra)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Women’s Wave
1st Daida Moreno (North)
2nd Iballa Moreno (North)
3rd Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne)
4th Junko Nagoshi (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine)
5th Karin Jaggi (F2, North)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Women’s Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde)
2nd Daida Moreno (North)
3rd Laure Treboux (Fanatic, North)
4th Junko Nagoshi (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine)
5th Iballa Moreno (North)
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Constructors Championship, Board Brands.
The 2008 PWA World Tour Overall Results – Constructors Championship, Sail Brands.
The PWA wish to extend their thanks to all the sponsors and organizers that helped bring this exceptional event about. Thank you for tuning into The 2008 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt, we hope you’ve enjoyed another magnificent event, and season of world-class windsurfing. You can review all the season/events at www.pwaworldtour.com.