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

for grabs.

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!