Surazo Windsurf Cup Event 1: Matanzas
The first event in a 3-event race to decide on the Chilean entries into the PWA event to be held in Matanzas in November 2013 was completed in spectacular fashion over the weekend.
The conditions made for a fantastic first event and the level of the local sailors was extremely high, with everybody in hot pursuit those all-important PWA National Association wildcards.
The event was presented by the Hotel Surazo www.surazo.cl in collaboration with: Windsurfing Chile, Nautisport, Windsurf.cl, Windsurfer.cl, Corona, Flor de Caña Rum, Undurraga, Red Bull, Outdoors Magazine and Stoked.
The event was run with the PWA elimination format and PWA judging criteria. The three local judges had been briefed by Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and two of them will be local judges for the main PWA event.
Judge Nicolas Ramirez:
Day One - Saturday
Today was a great day for the Surazo Windsurf Cup, the first event of the Chilean National Windsurf series, an unprecedented day in which all the best Chilean wave sailors went man on man to fight for the right to compete for Chile in the PWA Matanzas World Cup in November 2013. They had the chance to sail against each other in fantastic conditions in what turned out to be a brilliant day for Chilean windsurfing.
We were able to finish the first round of competition with the following results:
1st. Felipe Wedeles
2nd Andres Tobar
3rd Nico Recordon
4th Diego Fabres.
The conditions were some of the best we have ever seen for a windsurfing contest in Matanzas. There were big sets with a 13 second period. The wind was strong and consistent. The locals from Hotel Surazo showed off their skill and consistency sailing in their back yard and advanced to the finals with huge aerials and perfect cutbacks. Nico Recordon (Tabou) proved to be the surprise of the day, advancing all the way to the semi-final with his aggressive and fluid style.
Other than the final, the best heat of the day was the quarterfinal battle between the Fabres brothers, Benjamin and Diego. Neither of them wanted to miss out on their spot in the next round and they went blow for blow throwing everything on the line to see who would advance to the semi-final. In the end the judges were extremely hard pressed to tell the difference but had to award the win to Diego by 0.5 of a point.
The low points of the day were, on one hand the bad luck that young hopeful Alex Vargas suffered after having one of his waves “dropped in on” by another competitor, a wave that could have let him advance against Eduardo Hernan (Windsurfing Chile). On the other hand the Sciaraffia brothers (Windsurfing Chile) and Mikael Buhuon Shcultz (Nautisport) were unlucky not to pass the first round.
Tomorrow there will be conditions to complete the double elimination where everybody will get the chance to do battle again and finally re-challenge the winner of the first day.
Day Two - Sunday
With Matanzas local Felipe Wedeles (Hotel Suraz / Goya Windsurfing) having dominated the single elimination with his style and fluidity, there were many fired up riders eager to get revenge in the double elimination.
The half a point that broke Benjamin Fabre’s run yesterday was clearly on his mind as he devastated the competition on his way back up through the double elimination in order to not only get revenge on his brother Diego, but also win his way all the way up to sail against Felipe Wedeles in the final and destroy him in the first super-final heat too.
Finally though, Wedeles’s experience paid off as the final heat was run at around 8pm in the fading light which is always Felipe’s favourite time of day to sail and he was able to defend his title from the first day and leave Benjamin in a very well deserved second place.
These results will be added to the 2nd event planned for September this year and the 3rd event planned for October to decide who will be able to take part in the main PWA event and who will need to qualify through the PWA trials. The top 2 sailors will be guaranteed a place in the main PWA event and the next 3 will be guaranteed a place in the PWA Trials.
Jose Manuel Perez
Juan Luis Deheckeren
TESTIMONIAL OF HEAD JUDGE JOSE MANUEL PEREZ:
Sunday, since first light, we could see that the waves were bigger and better than Saturday. The sets were perfectly lined up and the waves were around 6-8 feet. It was clear that today we were going to be even luckier with the wind and waves slowly building. We set a start time of 3pm to allow the wind to fill in completely and prepared ourselves for a long and very exciting afternoon.
Competition started at 3:30pm on the dot and the competitors, wind and the waves combined to give the spectators a great show from the terrace of the Hotel Surazo.
The sailors were impatient to get on the water in the fantastic waves and today, the winners had to go straight out into their next heat, with very little time between heats and it turned out to be a long, but very successful day for Benjamin Fabres. He was on fire, inspired by his tight loss to his brother the day before and sailing with great style while picking off the best waves in his heats, using his skill and determination to leave everybody else in his wake. Knocked out are Martin Rojas, Alex Vargas, Arnaud Frennet, Marcel Jansen and Toto… But advancing in style is Benjamin Fabres.
Yesterday’s brother on brother heat of Diego against Benjamin was repeated on Sunday and once again, neither brother wants to let the other advance but Benjamin is just too strong today, boosting huge aerials and radical turns to firmly stamp down his authority on his older brother. There is nothing Diego can do against an inspired Benjamin and after just a five minute break, he takes to the water again against Nico Recordon. Benjamin starts the heat with a huge aerial but Nico responds by picking off a huge wave and riding it all the way through to the end section where he pulls off a risky aerial but lands on the white water and breaks his mast foot, leaving Benjamin to enjoy the rest of the heat alone in the fantastic waves.
Next up, Benjamin has to face Andres Tobar who has all the pressure of being a Matanzas local and seems nervous at the threat of facing the man who has been on fire all day. The wind is dropping and the current has increased too, but the sailors are still able to ride two waves each in the 14 minutes allowed and both riders pick off big waves and ride them with style all the way to the final section. It is hard to pick a winner as both riders scored big aerials and stylish cutbacks, but to Benjamin’s delight the judges decide in his favour and he is through to face Felipe Wedeles in the super final.
It’s around 6:40pm and Benjamin is once again only allowed five minutes to rest in between heats. The riders are given ten minutes to sail out before the start of their heat, allowing them enough time to pass the waves and the current in the light evening winds. There is no longer any margin for error since the wind is so light, any mistake could be the end of the heat for either sailor. They both realize this and take their time waiting for the best set wave. Benjamin picks off the first wave and connects a couple of solid turns with an excellent aerial. Felipe goes next and matches Benjamin’s wave, turn for turn but with no aerial. Benjamin picks off the next wave and pulls of a stunning goiter, leaping ahead of Felipe on the score sheets. Felipe manages to pick off two more excellent waves but nothing that can match Benjamin’s goiter so the judges award the first super final to Benjamin, leaving a nail biting final heat with everything on the line.
By now the sun is setting and the wind has almost faded completely. The waves are still pumping but slightly less consistent. Benjamin crumbles under the pressure and picks off a small wave to begin the heat, pulling off several cutbacks but not scoring highly and ending up all the way at the end of the beach. He has to leave the water and run back up the sand while Felipe has patiently waited for a bigger set and rips the wave to pieces, leaving Benjamin Fabres with a mountain to climb, having to get back out through the current and then pick off another set wave. While he is sailing back out, Felipe picks off another set wave and pulls off several cutbacks and a couple of aerials. He is not going to let the young contender get away with a final scalp. His experience is proving to be too much. Felipe sails this spot into the sunset every good day of the year, and he is proving unstoppable in this final heat.
Benja makes it back out and picks off a decent set wave but although he rides it well, there is nothing he can do against the two high scoring waves of Felipe Wedeles. In the dying seconds of the heat, Felipe picks off one last wave and destroys it from start to finish. He smashes the first section, airs over the second section and then pulls a super stylish cutback and follows with one final smack, riding the white water all the way into the beach, his back yard, to the cheers of the other competitors and the spectators and volunteers.
FINAL RESULTS FROM SURAZO WINDSURF CUP EVENT 1:
FELIPE WEDELES (Goya Windsurfing / Hotel Surazo)
BENJAMIN FABRES (Nautisport)
ANDRES TOBAR (Hotel Surazo / Windsurfing Chile)
NICO RECORDON – (Nautisport / Tabou)
We would like to thank all the people who helped make this first event possible. Everyone who helped out on the beach, the competitors, the companies who supported the event unconditionally.
Ron Flor de Caña