The 2007 Mormaii Ibiraquera Wave Contest / PWA World Cup- Day 1
Brazil welcomed the PWA back to its shores with open arms today. Fresh new tour stop Ibiraquera laid on wind and waves to start the party in fine fashion on a day where top seeds struggled and famous names fell.
Wind between 10 and 25 knots and up to logo high surf allowed competition to commence straight after a full fleet had signed-up. A 14 minute heat duration was set to make the most of the gusty conditions and erratic sets, with the best two waves to count, and no jumps scored.
Competition was run until dark and just one heat remains until the second round is complete and the top 16 are determined.
First round jitters…unlucky for some
Irishman Timo Mullen (Starboard / Severne) sailed out of his skin in his encounter against Caribbean youngster Camille Juban (Quatro). But Juban stole victory with his last two waves despite Mullen's warnings to the regulars with his radical freesailing.
John Skye (F2 / Naish) had a close shave when his heat against Konan Lang (Starboard / Naish) had to be re-sailed due to a timing error. Local hotshot Lang pushed hard both times but Skye’s sharper heat-sailing skills allowed him to finally advance.
Second Round Slip-Ups
3 of the current top-10, and 4 of the 16 seeds to have byes into the second round fell to emerging talent from round 1. Many of the heats were close and came down to the final waves of the heat. Outside, there were fierce match-racing style battles for tactical positioning to snag the best waves going.
Julien Taboulet (F2 / Naish) was first to fall. His recent form came to an end when Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde) turned-on the pressure in a wave-scarce heat. The Englishmen coolly kept his wave count marginally higher than Taboulet, who’d done so well at the last event in Pozo, to register enough points to advance.
Brazil’s hopes suffered a big blow next when Britain’s John Skye axed Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Mistral / Gaastra). The tense clash produced the closest score of the day, using a rulebook tie break to narrowly award the win to Skye. Brawzinho must now rely on a double elimination fight back to redeem himself in front of his host nation crowds.
Alex Mussolini (JP / NeilPryde) became victim to Team mate Klaas Voget (Fanatic / NeilPryde) in yet another tight encounter. Voget worked the competition zone furiously to pick off the best waves that rolled through during their heat.
As the sun set there was tension in the day’s final heat. Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Simmer), currently ranked number 4 in the world, just didn’t have what it took to defeat Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), who’s really turned heads in the free sailing sessions so far. Traversa revelled in the lighter conditions as the day came to a close and put his light wind skills to great use against the Gran Canarian who specialises in high wind, high altitude jumping.
The remaining top seeds all look dangerous so far both in the warm-up sessions and in competition. Just one heat of the second round remains to decide the top 16. So far Kauli Seadi (Quatro / Naish), has turned the most heads along with Thomas Traversa, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Simmer) and Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde).
The best conditions of the week ahead are forecast for tomorrow, and the plan is to complete the single elimination, and make the most of the swell to start the double elimination.
The first possible start tomorrow is at 09.30
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© PWA / Brian McDowell