2001 spark7.com Windsurfing World Cup Neusiedler See Day 1
After temperatures close to freezing point, the weather turned out nice just on time for the opening of the Austria SPARK 7. COM Freestyle Worldcup. It was a very warm welcome to all the competitors from 16 countries all around the world. In the 4th year of the event we see lots of new faces on the scene, including young guns like Diony Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde), Andy Pusch(JP, Neil Pryde), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) and Nathan Mershon (Naish Boards and Sails). The youngest competitor Ricardo Alvarez Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) from Venezuela is just 15 years old, but already tipped for greatness.
On the other hand all the big names like Freestyle World Champion Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde), Kevin (Bic, Gaastra) and Matt Pritchard (AHD, Gaastra), Web Pedrick (AHD, North) and finally Robby Seeger (Simmer, RRD) will try to fight back the youngsters. And of course all the lake people are here again. The austrian freestyle crowd seems to get bigger and Alex Humpel (JP, Neil Pryde), Michi Schweiger (Naish Boards and Sails) and Frank Lewisch (Bic, Gaastra) are accompanied by new guys like Chrisi Sammer (Arrows, F2), Bernie Seidl (Arrows, F2) and Markus Kienzl (Arrows, F2),. The extended 48 riders fleet has provided many newcomers the chance to get into their first PWA worldcup.
During the day everybody made their way down to Podersdorf and after registration competitors were mostly busy rigging and preparing new equipement for the new Freestyle season. Late Afternoon, the upcoming southeasterly breeze gave everybody the chance to have a first try on the still cold lake. Others used the time for a relaxing sunbathe in the warm, spring sun and for a renewing of last years relations with the local crowd.
The new season brings new deals, with some changes in sponsorship for some of the PWA riders. Web Pedrick sails now on North Sails, Michi Schweiger has moved from Mistral to Naish and newcomer Nathan Mershon is fully kitted out by Naish also.
Once more the eventsite offers most comfort to everybody, whether competitor or spectator. The array of facilities on site takes care of everybody.
By the evening, the seeding was already drawn and it seems as if we can expect a very exciting contest with high performance heats right from the beginning, with first round battles between the Pritchard brothers combined with many newcomers looking for their first taste of superstar blood. The weather forecast for the first day of competition looks pretty promising so anything could happen.
"Good to be back, can I borrow a fin screw from somebody?“
"I didn´t even had to say that I won last year, they already knew me - good party man I rule this place!“
"It is amazing I drop out of the airport into Podersdorf and the party is on. It is like coming home in a way.“