2001 Ireland PWA Wave Grand Prix Day 4
As wind had been forecast, an early start was imminent on the fourth day of the PWA Ireland Wave Grand Prix. At 7.30am, judges and competitors made their way to ‘Dumps’ beach for an announcement on the day’s events. It was then decided to move to the other beach, Gowlane, where there was a south-westerly cross-off shore and more preferable conditions to start the competition. The sky was blue, the sun was warm and the waves were fantastic. Ideal conditions to start the event.
The first round of the competition passed without a glitch, but by lunch time, and the start of the second round, the wind had dipped and shifted round too far creating an almost direct offshore breeze making it a real challenge for the sailors to get outback past the break. Kevin Pritchard who went straight through to the second round and up against Spain’s Jonas Ceballos said “ The conditions started off really good this morning but soon got very difficult with the direction of the wind too offshore. It is so cold out there, especially when a heat is restarted several times.”
Heat 18 of the second round put Nik Baker up against Ian Black and Levi Siver up against Matt Pritchard but the gusty wind and constant battering of the waves caused the judges to postpone their heat once again.
By 5pm, a big low had come in from the South West changing the weather dramatically from blue skies to huge sheets of rain marring everybody’s visibility and affecting the wind, until the judges decided to call it a day.
Kevin Pritchard who after Sylt lies second behind Vidar Jensen in the overall World Wave Championships said, “I am hoping for stronger winds with a better direction tomorrow. The conditions at Dumps is better suited to my sailing, more onshore winds which are better for jumping, which is my strong point.” Asked about his chances against Jensen he said, “It is too early to tell how I will fair, but I am going to go out there and do my best.”