PWA World Cup Guincho Wave Contest 2006 Day Six
Speculation ended and the sleeping monster woke. Magnificent Guincho on the Estoril coastline finally served up a feast of wind and waves after a weeklong high tension waiting game.
As predicted the Nortada wind arrived, slightly onshore at first allowing riders to use 5.7 sails to enjoy the solid waves, and then gradually increased and swung more cross-shore throughout the evening. Logo high sets produced clean walls for spectacular riding and outrageous jumps.
There weren’t many surprises in the early heats, although Kai Katchadourian, (US 33 / Simmer Sails) went out to Frenchman Yann Sorlut (F-60 / Simmer Sails). . Another slight surprise was the exit of Kevin Mevissen (H-79, JP/ Neil Pryde) who placed highly in the Red Bull Stormrider earlier this year. Not content with his place in the draw, un-seeded danger man Marcilio Browne (BRA-105, Naish/ Naish) flew into the second round with clean and high Air Chacho’s. Other points of note were the riding skills of Freestyle World Champion Ricardo Campello (V-111, JP/ Neil Pryde) who showed his pedigree is not confined to flat water alone
In the second round we saw Kevin Pritchard (US-3, Starboard/ MauiSails) throw some cheeky moves like a Lazy Susan and Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou/ Gaastra) showed how his time spent living in Maui has paid off by ending one of the pre-event favourites Alex Mussolini (E-30, JP/ Neil Pryde) ambitions.
Jump of the day at this stage went to Nik Baker (K-66, Mistral/ North Sails) with a huge Pushloop. He saw off Levi Siver using his time-served experience that got him standing on the 2nd overall wavesailing podium in 2005.
As the wind got up and Head judge Duncan Coombs shortened the heat durations and added extra scoring jumps, a stunt plane tried to steal the show. But, all eyes stayed on the aerial display put on by the showmen that make up the PWA World Tour such as Victor Fernandez (E-42, Fanatic / Simmer Sails). He threw Ninja kicks that would put most people in traction from such extreme twist, and Pushloop/Table tops. But it was in the his last 16 heat that the aerial effect ran dry and former wavesailing world champion Josh Angulo (CV-1) gave him a wave riding lesson he’s never likely to forget.
Another former world champ, Scott McKercher (KA-181, Starboard/ Severne) showed how he has once again stepped up a gear against the young guns. Even after many years on this tour he threw air taka’s and pushed his full rail style further, defying momentum with an exceptionally vertical attack on the punchy Guincho bowls.
Brother Kevin and Matt Pritchard were fated to meet each other in the draw of this comp. Last years Guincho victor Matt sailed as if he was at home in the southern Californian beachie's that he hails from, yet one crash saw him swim a significant portion of their heat letting sibling Kev by into the quarter finals.
Fierce battles raged for places in the last eight, and big names fell. The quarter finals had 4 former world champs and 3 progressed to the semi’s. Angulo disposed of Kauli pulling a huge Pushloop, and a massive back loop that looked certain to over-rotate only to land super softly. Kauli scored only on high point wave, but Josh had some outrageous foam climb hooks and huge backhand hacks on the backlit late evening walls. Seadi paid the price for pushing the limits of wave riding style, and ironically even Angulo's aggressive approach seemed conservative at times when a less experienced head would have wiped-out.
Kevin Pritchard beat Nik Baker in the other semi, and the final went down to the wire. The judges found it difficult with the glaring sun in the background, but a couple of falls too many from Angulo who had sailed better earlier in the day allowed consistent Kevin to claim first place. Kauli and Nik cut loose in the losers final but the free sailing approach saw Seadi through.
A specialist wave riding event such as this drew new names in the ladies ranks, especially the Maui-based girls who needed no convincing to show off their starboard tack skills after many past season dominated by onshore port-tack tour stops.
The main surprise in the first round was the elimination of Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne), who was superbly beaten by newcomer Waka Nishada (J-100). Fellow Japanese girl and Maui specialist Junko Nagoshi (J-11 F2 / Simmer) cruised past Caroline Barbeau (F-479 Mistral / North Sails).In the quarter finals a tough draw saw Annemarie Reichman (H-98, Naish/ Naish) lose out to Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2/ North Sails) and Uli Hoelzl (AUT-123) ousted by Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) in the gnarly conditions.
The semi’s were brutal, and as with the men’s, experience paid off over daring. Saying that through the girls pushed frontside riding to a level previously reserved for Hawaiian competitions, if not further. Throw in aerial skill and the judges really had their work cut out today. Karin Jaggi and Daida Moreno, who seemed to sneak into the game via hard work fighting Silvia Alba (E-67) and Junko Nagoshi, booked their places and took a rest while watching the tactics used by the men in their finals.
Iballa and Junko had a great losers final, fitting of a grander occasion, and proved the world of female competitive windsurfing is becoming a veritable cauldron of talent – one that is growing in numbers as well as stature each season.
The big match started with howling winds, more akin to vintage Guincho, and boy did they push it. So hard in fact Karin Jaggi went for a ridiculously radical snap under a hollow lip and paid the price with a long swim and destroyed rig, but not before she had thrown in a couple of huge forwards, fully end over end for good measure! Daida racked up four good forwards, and both would have thrown any number of other jumps had the ramps not been so steep and hollow. Three solid waves, two of which scored high enough saw Daida Moreno home and dry, while Karin stayed wet on her way back to the beach.
After a week of teasing and speculation, patience was rewarded in a fitting style here in Portugal. A packed beach, professional local organisers in Overpower and 76 of the worlds best windsurfers reaped the rewards. A stop like this on tour turns the screws on any wannabe windsurfing champions, and demonstrates the level required to come and compete with the best.
You can see the draws for the MENS SINGLE ELIMINATION LADDER and LADIES SINGLE ELIMINATION LADDER. here.
Also check the final MENS RESULTS and WOMENS RESULTS here.
There’s also a daily magazine movie available at high.tv
Please also scan the GUINCHO WORLD CUP 2006 EVENT GALLERY, to see all the action snaps.
Tomorrow The PWA World Tour rolls out of Guincho and onwards to Spain’s Costa Brava for the The Catalunya Costa Brava PWA World Cup Super X event. Check back throughout the event which runs from June 13th-18th right here at www.pwaworldtour.com Until then we thank our hosts for their legendary Portuguese hospitality and look forward to next year!