2013: WAVE REVIEW
With the 2013 PWA World Tour now complete for another year we take a look back at how the best sailors in the world fared over the duration of the season on the wave tour.
The wind and wave Gods weren’t always on our side this year, but when the conditions were on, there was an abundance of epic action as the elite of the wave sailing world demonstrated their phenomenal skills, battling it out for the top honors.
This year also saw a slight change in the format as the previous 48 man fleets were reduced to just the top 32, meaning the level was even higher than before, making for action packed heats right from the word go.
As many of you will already know Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) clinched his maiden PWA Wave World Championship, as he took full advantage of the opportunity presented before him. The Brazilian finished sixth in Tenerife, narrowly being defeated by Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) in the double elimination in what was one of the tightest and most exciting heats of the year. Brawzinho was already proving that he could be a major threat in later events as he stomped perfect double forwards and some devastating wave riding. In Denmark Browne continued to sail impeccably and he was rewarded with his first ever victory on the PWA Wave World Tour, which brought him firmly into contention for the world title. When it was revealed that the PWA - in association with the AWT - would be returning to Maui for the first time in seven years, Browne quickly became one of the favorites to clinch the title. An indifferent performance in the JP Aloha Classic single elimination left him with a lot of work to do, after a shock second round exit, but credit where credit is due, Brawzinho, dug deep to produce the kind of display everyone knows he is capable of as he ultimately beat Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra) to the 2013 PWA Wave World Championship.
Alex Mussolini pushed Browne all the way in the fight for the world title, but agonizingly missed out this time around. However heartbreaking his narrow defeat was, 2013 is still a year that Mussolini can look back on very proudly. The Spaniard finished this season in second place, his best finish to date on the PWA World Tour, and he’ll be back stronger than ever for 2014. Mussolini proved throughout the year that he is without doubt one of the best wave sailors on the planet, with his fluid, yet explosive style consistently impressing the judges. The Spanish supremo also proved that the double forward is not necessarily essential if you want to mount a serious challenge for the top honors in the sport, but we are sure that it is still a priority for him, as with consistent doubles in his artillery he would be even more of a threat.
Completing this years heralded podium is the 2010 PWA Wave World Champion Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC), who has now finished in the top three for the last two years running. The Spaniard is renowned for his perfectly executed double forwards as well as his irresistible style on the wave, and we expect to see him challenging for the title again next year. Fernandez’s best performance this year came in Tenerife where he claimed second place, just behind Philip Koester (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), as he delivered huge doubles and powerful, aggressive wave rides which also included textbook goiters off the lip.
Ricardo Campello sustained his place at the very top of the sport as he finished 2013 in fifth place. Campello has now finished in the top five or better for the last five years running, and it seems only a matter of time before he gets his hands on the coveted world crown. The Brazilian showed again this year that he is one of the most fearless and radical sailors on the tour as he flew through maneuvers such as his crazy, trademark, one-handed, one-footed forward loops.
Having been crowned the PWA Wave World Champion in 2011 and 2012, Philip Koester was looking to complete an rare hat-trick of titles, unfortunately the nineteen year old couldn’t quite make that a reality this time around. Koester came into the final event of the year as the world tour leader, but didn’t quite look his usual, formidable, self due to suffering from a staff infection. However, with his unquestionable talent and competitiveness we are sure that the wonderkid will be hungrier than ever next year to regain his world title.
Onwards and upwards
2013 also proved to be the best year to date for a number of other sailors, who continue to travel onwards and upwards. Firstly, Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), wowed the crowds and the judges to earn a fantastic fourth place overall, beating his previous best of fifth in 2009. TT combined, old school top to bottom wave riding with the latest new school tricks such as frontside wave 360s and super smooth takas to see of the rest of his competitors. Next Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) achieved his first top ten finish overall as he claimed seventh place. The Frenchman has one of the most aggressive styles on the tour and at just twenty-three years old he will be an even bigger threat in the next few years as he continues to rapidly progress. John Skye (RRD / MFC) also enjoyed a fine year as the Brit claimed eighth place overall - his first top ten finish since 2004 - as well as being his highest overall finish on the PWA World Tour to date. Skye showed that he’s hungrier than ever for success this season and after rotating through radical double forwards, together with goiters and frontside wave 360s he received his just rewards. Finally Leon Jamaer (Fanatic / Hot Sails Maui) continued to go from strength to strength this year as he also earned his place in the world’s top ten for the first time in his career. The twenty-three year old impressed throughout with super tweaked pushloops and radical wave rides, with the German’s best result of the season coming at the KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup where he finished in joint fifth.
Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) is a name that has become synonymous with the world’s top ten in recent years and he delivered again this year as he placed tenth overall. The German combined unbelievable consistency with creativity and fluidity on the wave to leave his opponents in his wake.
Having overcome a potentially life threatening condition, Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne), wasn’t about to rest on her laurels, where many others may have. Instead Daida came back fitter, stronger and more determined than ever to reclaim her PWA Wave World title, having relinquished the crown to her legendary sister, Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne), and that’s exactly what she managed to do with another mesmerizing display of sailing, consisting of trademark stalled forwards and one-handed backloops, as well as some devastating wave riding. Daida now has her sights firmly set on defending her title for 2014 and continues to strive to push her level with talks of pushloop forwards in her recent interview here.
Just behind Daida this year is the 2012 PWA Wave World Champion Iballa Moreno, who narrowly missed out on back-to-back world titles. The legendary twins have provided us with some epic battles over the years and 2013 was no different. At the PWA Tenerife World Cup Iballa forced a super final - just as last year - but this time around she couldn’t quite pull it out of the bag. However, Iballa still produced outstanding wave riding, which would have made many of the guys quiver in their boots. Expect to see another colossal battle between the legendary twins next year.
Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) successfully defended her third place from last year to claim her place on the prestigious podium again for 2013. The Swiss gem continues to excel with perfectly executed pushloops and backloops and there’s no doubt that she’ll be firmly in the mix for the top three and beyond next year. However, Jaggi, will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg), who finished fourth overall, Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne), who returned to the PWA World Tour after becoming a mother for the first time in 2012 - and looked as though she was gaining confidence with every heat, before eventually finishing in fifth place overall.
Also Eva Oude Ophuis (Fanatic / North), Alice Arutkin (Fanatic / North) and Amanda Beenen (Tabou / Gaastra) all have the potential to be major threats for what is shaping up to be another nail biting year, already.
Congratulations, once more, to all the sailors for another fantastic season, especially Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne and Daida Moreno for capturing their respective world titles. Over the winter we’ll have exclusive content and interviews, so be sure to stay tuned to www.pwaworldtour.com for your windsurfing fix as we help you through the winter months, before the start of the 2014 PWA World Tour.