Day 6 – A dramatic day sees four more heats completed, a man in hospital, the first title contender down, and a few less urchins on the rocks of Curral Joul
After a short period on standby and with signs of the new North swell materialising, head judge, Duncan Coombs made the call for the fleet to go straight to Curral Joul today. The minute the sailors arrived, the wind increased, and the occasional set wave caused a stir. Following a frantic rigging frenzy, a third of the fleet were on the water within a few minutes, gaining vital knowledge of a spot most of them had never sailed.
No time was wasted in making the decision to begin the contest in the boom to head high waves and 8-10 knot breeze. The sailors were given thirty minutes to prove their worth in a man-on-man duel under the watchful eye of the international judging panel in which two wave rides would count towards their overall score.
It was an all-British affair in the first heat of the day with Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) and Jamie Hancock (Tabou, Vandal) battling it out for their place in the top 16. Hancock caught far more waves than Williams, but he failed to ride them to quite the same standard. Williams launched into some impressive aerials throughout the heat, and in the final few seconds caught the highest scoring wave of the entire day to see him progress with ease.
For the next heat we moved across the Atlantic for an all-Venezuelan affair with Diony Guadagnino (Hot Sails, MFC) taking on current world number two, Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC). Moments before the heat, Guadagnino was seeking medical attention with a huge gash to his arm from an earlier incident with the reef. However, fired up and on form, Guadagnino hit the water to give it a 110%. Campello’s turns looked more impressive, but Guadagnino was busting out the aerials. It was a close run heat throughout, but in the end the judges gave it to Guadagnino by the narrowest of margins – a godsend for Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC) in the race for the title, but a huge blow to the former freestyle world champion who had his sights set high.
Following Campello’s dramatic end, it was the turn of Alex Mussolini (Tabou, Gaastra) and Jules Denel (Exocet) to tiptoe their way off the rocks, and ride for their lives along the shore. Denel put up an impressive fight, but with Mussolini launching into aerials over dry sections of rock, it was always going to be tough for the Frenchman to advance. The 2009 Sylt wave champion, Mussolini won by a convincing margin to secure his spot in the final 16.
The final heat of the day saw Canarian ripper, Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne, AL3060, MFC) pass ahead of German, Florian Jung (RRD, Gun, Dakine). After Jung’s first few waves, he spent a prolonged period stuck on the inside, unable to get back out until late in the heat, whilst Bruch racked up the points with some stylish top turns and a couple of aerials. Jung eventually made it back out, but by that time the wind had begun to decrease, and the waves flattened off leaving him with an almost impossible task in the dying minutes.
The Cursed Heat
Having tried to run the heat between Josh Angulo (Angulo, Gun, Dakine) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC) quite a few times already, it came as no surprise that the minute they left the shore after Bruch and Jung, the wind completely disappeared. Lets hope the curse is lifted before tomorrow morning so that the competition can continue to a full conclusion.
The gnarly rocks of Curral Joul took their first casualty today in the form of German, Florian Jung (RRD, Gun, Dakine). Having completed his heat against Bruch, he was hotfooting it over the rocks when a wave washed in and forced his sail against his leg. At the time of going to press we do not know the extent of his injuries, just that he has sustained multiple fractures and multiple dislocations of his foot, ankle, and leg. We wish him all the best on his road to recovery.
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