The PWA world tour has arrived on the sun-drenched beaches of Spanish
Mediterranean coastline for the 2003 Catalunya, Costa Brava, PWA freestyle
qualifier. Based in the water sports paradise, The Bay of Roses, the event
is scheduled to officially kick off tomorrow, May 21st and run through
until Sunday May 25th. Against the imposing backdrop of the Pyrenees, the
world-class fleet of sailors will be taking to the surf flecked water of
the Mediterranean to compete for the 25,000 Euro prize funds, which is up
The impressive list of entrants, who have registered today, form a mixture
of experienced tour regulars alongside several newcomers, who are here for
their first taste of PWA competition. Vidar Jensen (North), a past winner
here in Costa Brava is the top seed and will be hoping for strong winds
once action is underway. Jensen, hails from Gran Canaria and although he
is probably better know for his radical wave sailing, his freestyle skills
can also be spectacular. Other big names to watch out for here in Costa
Brava include Vidar’s brother, Orjan Jensen (North, Proof), Remko De Weerd
(Gaastra, Fanatic), Julien Taboulet (JP, Neil Pryde), Christian Sammer
(F2, Arrows) and Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic). The youngest
competitor in the fleet is local twelve-year-old Oliver Tom Schliemann
(Starboard, Naish). Oliver is better known for his racing skills but is
hoping to cause some upsets against the best in the world this week here
on his home waters.
Today has a busy time for the entrants, with time being utilized for
making their last minute preparations before going into battle tomorrow.
Sails are now rigged, boards strapped up and the correct fins for the
conditions attached. With the possibility of breezy onshore thermal winds
or howling offshore Tramontana winds sailors here in Costa Brava have to
be prepared for all eventualities and have virtually their whole quivers
of equipment on standby.
The hand selected PWA, international judging panel here in Costa Brava
will be making their decisions based on Overall Impressionduring the
heats. The judges will be noting down different moves pulled off on each
tack. At the end of the heat, they will then decide their scores for
Diversity, Technical Skill and Style. These scores will be multiplied by a
factor of 1. The judges then give a score for Overall Impression, which
are multiplied by a factor of 3. The scores are then totaled and the
sailor with the highest score will win the heat.
Although the winds were light today, the locals are calling for an
excellent forecast for the rest of the week. The Tramontana is ready to
blow and the sailors are prepared to wage war – let the show begin!
Vidar Jensen (North)
I think it is going to be windy this year. It is a nice place to visit.
Everything is right on the beach and the area is very relaxing. There are
so many new guys coming to these events who learn all the moves really
quickly. It is going to be tough – I think we have to watch out for these
up and coming guys!
Remko De Weerd (Gaastra, Fanatic)
This is my first time here in Costa Brava. I am looking forwards to a good
week of sailing. I guess Vidar and Orjan are two of the guys to watch out
for but there are lots of guys here who are not very well known yet but
could cause some upsets. Yesterday the wind was blowing and I managed to
get out on the water. Some of the French guys were ripping – who knows who
will win, we will have to wait and see!
Julien Taboulet (JP, Neil Pryde)
I have been to all the previous events here in Costa Brava. I just live
one hour from here. Sometimes when the Tramontana is blowing, I come here
because there are good waves. I think it is possible there will be some
good wind this week. There are a lot of good guys here, Vidar, Orjan,
Remko Christian Sammer and a lot of hot French sailors. I think it is
going to be good on the water!