PWA Update and 2005 Calendar
The 2004 Tour has now come to a close and what a fantastic year it has been. We have had a total of thirteen events in seven different nations, at which we have enjoyed good results at almost all. We have had new events in Lanzarote and Croatia, along with the return of a few old favourites. Indoor events came back to the PWA calendar with events in London and Paris, PWA wave competition returned to Maui in spectacular style for the first time in four years with the PWA Hawaii pro. Women’s competition has enjoyed a particularly strong year with over forty ladies competing on the circuit and the first, women’s only Freestyle World Cup, held in the Magdalen Islands in Canada.
2004 crowned Matt Pritchard as the first PWA Super X World Champion after four enormously successful events. Other new champions included Scott McKercher who took honours in the Wave discipline, Allison Shreeve who took the PWA Women’s Race title in her rookie year on tour and the mighty Frenchman, Antoine Albeau, who had a fantastic return to glory in the Men’s racing division. Ricardo Campello held on to his Freestyle title for the second year utterly dominating the Freestyle tour as did Daida Moreno who won both the Women’s wave and Freestyle titles once again, firmly staking her claim as the number one female windsurfer.
For those of you not lucky enough to have caught the action live throughout the season, or for those who just want to enjoy it all over again, the 2004 PWA DVD will be available for purchase online on the 9th December through the following outlets: www.x-tremevideo.com and www.high.tv . The DVD will show all the highlights from the 2004 Tour plus interviews, behind the scenes footage and much more. We have also signed a Pan European exclusive deal with X-treme video (the biggest European distributor).
The coming year holds the potential to be another year of new events and the continuation of existing ones. The Schroders London Boat Show will again host the first event of the year, this time in the form of a $75,000 full blown PWA Indoor event. Competitors should now have had entry forms for London, so if you fancy your chances in the pool, you know what to do. We are also expecting to announce other indoor events later in the year and are currently working on projects on both sides of the Atlantic.
Preparations are also well underway for the Hawaii Pro which was launched very successfully in 2004. The exact details of the event are not fixed yet, but we are once again lucky enough to have the support of the Hawaiian Tourism Authority which will help to realise another truly outrageous event.
You will notice several additions to the calendar for 2005, with a few old favourites returning to the tour. Freestyle will be showcased once again in the stunning blue waters of Bonaire and we expect to be back in Guincho, Portugal, in the summer, for some spectacular wave action. As always at this time of year, we are working on a many more projects for next year and as soon as they become more concrete, you will be the first to know. Be assured that we are working hard to bring you new events in great venues, so there is much more going on than meets the eye.
2005 PWA Calendar
There will be some changes to the PWA Rulebook for 2005, so look out for the new version that will be published on www.pwaworldtour.com <http://www.pwaworldtour.com/> early in the new year. Obviously, most of these changes will affect you all at some time, but the most obvious is the change to the rules surrounding the use of sail numbers. Up until now, only Race and Super X sailors have been required to carry sail numbers, but due to mounting pressure from the worlds media, all sailors will now be required to carry sail numbers at all times whilst competing, whether in Freestyle, Wave or any Race oriented discipline. This will allow for easier identification of sailors to the media which will help improve coverage.
PWA is also in the final stages of implementing a new system of sail registration for production racing sails. This will then facilitate the use of production sails in PWA Racing, bringing an even greater level of fairness in equipment than already exists.
2004 was an extremely successful year for Super X with four counting events and excellent conditions in the first season of the new discipline. For 2005, prize money for World Cup Super X events will rise to €30,000 with Women’s Super X being introduced at €7,500. There will be other differences as well, with the fleet size at contests being increased to 40 men with 10 man heats competing on the course at any one time.
NEW PWA STAFF
As many of you will be aware, Shane Smart, PWA’s event manager for the last 6 years, has decided to move on to new ventures. Shane’s hard work, experience and exceptional patience will be undoubtedly missed on tour. Taking Shane’s place at events will be someone who is no stranger to most of you. Erik Troostheide has been on tour for some time now and from his early days caddying right through his own years as a tour regular Erik has always brought enormous amounts of energy and determination to do his best, a best that often took him into the top ten. Erik’s hard work and years of sailing experience on tour will be invaluable to the PWA in the coming years and we look forward to seeing Erik getting his teeth stuck into the management role.
During the off season the <http://www.pwaworldtour.com/> will continue to be updated on a regular basis with interviews, videos, profiles of the sailors and a new column called “Undercurrents” featuring behind the scenes happenings at the PWA as we build up to the start of the exciting 2005 season. The home page of the PWA website will also be updated in terms of the look and feel and should be ready by January 2005