The 2008 PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf - Day Two
The wind arrives at Podersdorf and the freestyle frenzy begins
Another sunny morning greeted competitors on day two of competition in Podersdorf. Light winds allowed the riders to kick back and relax over the course of the morning after a night of partying courtesy of Move Surfstore and Martinskeller discothèque.
As midday rolled around the breeze began to build and all eyes turned lakeside in the hope of sufficient wind to kick off competition. By 1.30 the breeze had swung cross-shore and built to a healthy 12-18 knots. Following assessment, head judge Duncan Coombs declared conditions suitable for competition and scheduled heat one for 2.30. Minutes after announcing the start time, the wind backed off forcing competition to be placed on standby until further notice.
The wind teased for around two hours, until it finally gained enough strength to compete. Heat 1 got off to a shaky start, being cancelled and then re-run almost immediately. To give the sailors the best possible chance to take advantage of the testing conditions, judges decided to run 10 minute heats with the best 3 moves on each tack counting towards the final score. Sailors were given a maximum of 6 moves per tack, allowing 3 moves to be discarded.
Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, MauiSails) worked the gusty conditions and landed a textbook burner to advance through heat one. The other side of heat one saw Ruben Petrisie (Exocet, Loft) credited for a polished selection of flakas, spocks and willy skippers in the super light conditions.
In heat two, the UK’s Andy Chambers (JP, NeilPryde) showed he’s been training hard over the winter. His selection of fully planing shakas and switch stance chachoos suitably impressed the judges, advancing him to the next round. Homeboy Michael Sumereder (RRD, North Sails) played a good tactical game in his round two heat to advance through to the next stage.
Quincy Offringa (Starboard, Severne) looked to have taken a sail slightly too small for the conditions, however he showed good competition tactics and utilized the gusts to advance ahead of Edvan De Souza Pedro (Mistral, Simmer). Russian Egor Popretinskiy (JP, NeilPryde) sailed with confidence to progress, despite the heat being stopped and restarted due to the light and shifting wind.
Round four saw local Tom Föda (Mistral, North Sails) advance along with Brazilian Levi Lenz (Naish, Naish).
Round five was to become a victim of the light and changeable wind, getting cancelled moments into the action. This didn’t seem to effect Swede Niklas Stråhlen (RRD, Simmer) who busted out the move of the day, a regular stance chachoo diablo. His talents were to be rewarded in the re-run, advancing alongside local Lorenz Forstenlechner (F2).
Heat 6 benefited from the best wind of the day, though it was still pretty shifty. Andreas Olandersson (Fanatic, Simmer) held out for the biggest gusts in the ten-minute heat, throwing down smooth switch stance chachoos and subsequently advancing to the next round. On the other side of heat 6, homeboy Christian Sammer (Mistral, North Sails) showed phenomenal consistency, performing all 6 moves on each tack without a single crash, deservedly advancing to the next round.
In his first ever PWA freestyle event, Maarten Van Ochten (JP, NeilPryde) displayed courage and consistency to advance ahead of Ian Mouro Lemos (JP, NeilPryde) who pushed hard through out the heat. The second half of heat seven was to be an all-Italian affair with Mattia Pedrani (Mistral, North Sails) taking on Nicola Spadea (Starboard, Severne). This was arguably the closest heat of round 1. Spadea threw down some great technical moves, but Pedrani gained momentum as the heat progressed and was ultimately rewarded with the victory.
Heat 8 was a fairly light wind affair, rewarding only the most tactical sailors who could take advantage of the unpredictable gusting wind. In the top half of the draw, the only two Slovenians on the tour were pitched head to head. Tine Slabe (F2, Naish) chose his equipment wisely to advance ahead of fellow countryman Milos Milosevic (Mistral, North Sails). The lower half of heat eight pitched local Max Matissek (Fanatic, North Sails) against Spaniard Rafael Cerveno Climent (Mormaii). In the fading wind the advantage fell into the hands of the local boy, Matissek who advanced through to the next round. Competition finished up well into the evening, leaving the riders to take advantage of Podersdorf’s evening entertainment.
This evening sees the official start-of-event party. Organizers have erected a huge sound stage, alongside numerous party tents, shops and bars. Both competitors and visitors are looking forward to a night of live music and partying in true Austrian style.
The skippers meeting is at 9.00am tomorrow morning.
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© PWA / Andrew Buchanan