Cabo Verde World Cup – Trials Event Day 1
The Cabo Verde event’s a limited 32-man contest, and with the top 22 seeds already in the mix, the remaining 10 slots are like gold dust.
Pros from all over the planet have flown in to scrap it out for a shot at the big-time, and Mr. Cabo Verde himself, the 2007 winner, Josh Angulo (MauiSails) was the perfect person to fill us in on what went down.
'The conditions turned-on today for the first day of the trials waiting period. A less than ideal forecast ended up actually delivering some solid heats at "Traz Leao " or " Little Ho’okipa" as it’s becoming more popularly known as.
Juicy 1-3 foot surf roped down the reef break with a sometimes shifty wind in the 12-18 knot range allowing 5 completed heats in round one to be fired-off.
The chosen format is a format means the first round consists of 3 sailors with the winner advancing directly to the 3rd round.
The second and third place sailors will be reseeded and than battle it out in the 2nd round to see who moves on to meet the guys waiting in the 3rd round.
Head Judge Jerome Boggio-Pasqua made the right calls at the right moment and got the heats run every time the wind shifted side-offshore.
"Little Ho’okipa" likes an east wind, and there was a battle between the thermal off the sea, and the normal east wind that funnels off the bay upwind, but nonetheless the swell hung in there and when the offshores cooperated some exciting heats were run.
Out of the 5 heats run, the winners advancing into the 3rd round so far are Kai Katchadourian (Quatro / Simmer), Jean-Baptiste Caste, Francisco Fonseca (Gaastra), Dany Bruch (F2 / Gaastra), and Dario Ojeda (Quatro / Gaastra).
Dario Ojeda pulled out the wave of the day and posted a 9.0 with a sick connection of cutback, tweaked one hand air, finished up by a judo-slide off the lip... combine that with his wave positioning and choice and he walked away with the day’s highest wave score.
The highest heat total came from Kai Katchadourian who looked like a dialled contest machine, and is likely to be a major threat not only in the trials, but the main event as well.
The upset of the day was when unknown Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Caste took apart his heat and slightly edged Maui ripper Jake Miller (Quatro).
Dany Bruch barely edged young Brazilian shredder Levi Lenz (Naish / Naish), who together with Jake Miller will be firing on all cylinders in round 2 in order to try and qualify.
Francisco Fonseca sailed with style beyond his years to advance past Cabo Verdian Locals Djo Silva and Machu.
Machu is only 13 years old and has already got timing and wave positioning instinct that most of us would long for.
Another special mention goes out to young Cabo Verdian Ze-rui, who although being mainly a port tack sailor, went and gave it his all. He’s sure to be future threat.
With 3 stacked heats still to go in the 1st round, we’re looking at a 9am skippers meeting today, with a likely move back up the coast to " little Ho’okipa" once more’
© PWA / Brian McDowell