The 2007 Cabo Verde World Cup Day Two
Epic surf greeted competitors this morning at the early skipper’s meeting. Solid sets, well over mast high roared down the point, and the organisation wasted no time in getting the show on the road.
Even during the early heats there were huge aerials, and even bigger wipe-outs as the swell continued to build. Moments that would’ve made a normal event, faded into obscurity as move after move raised the bar beyond all previous records.
Highest scoring wave of the day came from Thomas Traversa who scored a 9.5 for his outrageously late under-the lip smack and recovery, followed by a huge aerial and a long wall ride section.
The pumping conditions and astronomical level also tested the judges, who were treated to a display beyond anything the PWA’s witnessed in recent years.
Head Judge Duncan Coombs reckoned one heat containing Levi Siver (Starboard / NeilPryde), Alex Mussolini (JP / NeilPryde) and Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) was also the closest he’d ever witnessed.
However, the standout sailors eventually shone through, as superior wave selection and variety of turns produced a four man final containing 2006 World Champion Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails), Nik Baker (Mistral / North), Cabo Verde’s Josh Angulo, and 2005 World Champion Kauli Seadi (Quatro / Naish).
Baker and Pritchard both displayed exceptional top-to-bottom styles, using power and guile to choose longer waves and launching floaty aerials that had the crowds going mad just metres away on the beach.
But Seadi and Angulo had other plans, and chose even more radical set waves, which allowed both of them to raise the stakes considerably.
Seadi’s smooth linking turns and unique style were simply inspirational, especially his mix of tail free slides, tweaked aerials and air taka attempts.
Similarly Angulo threw caution to the wind; backdooring the peak before launching his outrageous trademark airs, followed up by cutbacks, snaps, floaters and daring late hacks right under the pitching lip.
The tension rose as the scores were tabulated before the riders were presented to a sizeable gathering of tourists and local fans. The decision went to the Brazilian, Seadi Kauli, who emotionally addressed the Portuguese speaking crowd alongside runner-up Angulo. Kevin Pritchard took third position ahead of Baker.
Angulo explained how tough it was today. ‘The final was stacked full of crazy waves and strong wind. It’s a very tiring place to sail, especially during a heat where trying to connect a wave all the way through is demanding. I’m just stoked, mainly with the success of the event, although I’d have preferred to have won, but, now I have a second chance in the double to throw it all down. Kauli has been on fire since the day he got here. He, Kevin and Levi have impressed me most since they all showed up, but I’m honestly stoke to see Kauli do well here in great conditions’
An elated Kauli Seadi talked us through the final from his perspective. ‘Just before the heat started I was on the beach and felt strange as I was emotional about having even reached the final at such a special event. When they announced it was me who’d won it really was a dream come true to come and win in such perfect conditions. To me, in these waves it’s more about improvising and letting the rides flow than tactics.
If you start even thinking about falling and breaking stuff you’re kind of admitting defeat already, so I just let it come to me, and proved it’s just best to be 100% committed to what you’re doing and not worry about the risks involved. My gear is also a big part of my performance as my sails are powerful, so I can use a smaller rig than most people, plus my boards have a lot of rocker which helps me climb the face and stay right in the pocket. The twin fins also let me finish turns off that would be difficult with the extra surface area on a single fin set up’
As conditions were so good there was no delay in completing the first round of the double elimination as the tide dropped. Tomorrow’s skipper’s meeting is at 08.30 and the forecast is for another classic day of great waves and wind!
Be sure to visit www.pwaworldtour.com throughout tomorrow for news and updates, or, for more information please contact the PWA office at firstname.lastname@example.org
© PWA / Brian McDowell