The elite of the slalom world are just a few days away from coming out of a long winter of hibernation, ready to set the world alight once again with their blistering speed and cranking gybes. Tuesday 27th May marks the day which everyone has been eagerly waiting for - the start of the 2014 PWA World Tour - and the big guns are armed and ready to make an explosive start to the season, whilst hoping to dent the armoury of their fellow rivals.
Just ahead of the event we managed to catch up with a few of last year's top ten to see how their winter of preparation has gone and what their expectations are for the first event of the season.
Reigning PWA World Champion Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde):
"I was training in Maui this winter again, I did 2 sessions, one in Feb one in April, I was really sad that the Korean event was cancelled, I was all ready to start the battle over there, so now the tour is starting in Costa Brava, I am ready!!"
"Costa Brava can be light or strong, but I know I am really competitive in all the condition like all the past years, light wind like last year and super strong like few years ago. Now I think we will have more and more people who can be able to fight for the first place, but this year will be with more events and I like this, this means that the one who will be able to win will have to be good in all the conditions, for sure we will have more events with light wind but Fuerte is coming back so this is fantastic event with normally super consistent strong wind, then we have one event in France, on the really beautiful site of La Torche in Brittany, you will be amazed when you see the place where will go, and this will be my home country, then New Caledonia to finish the year, this is the perfect arena for slalom sailing, I have been spending a lot of time in NC in the past year and the level of the local sailors is really good and I can imagine some in the top ranking. So we will have a great year this year on the tour and I am looking forward to start Costa Brava and see how it goes !!"
Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails):
"Finally it is time to do some racing again, after nearly eight months of no racing I can’t wait to get back out there. It has been a mediocre winter on Maui for wind but I have had plenty of time on the water tuning the new Maui Sails TRX and my JP slalom boards. I just hope we get some half way decent wind in Costa Brava to start off the season. I just hope I don’t go over early in my first heat since I am so excited to race again!!!!"
Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Loft Sails):
"I've spent most of the winter in Argentina training in the gym and have been training and tuning my gear in Tarifa for a couple of months now. All my gear is working really good so I am looking forward to the start of the season and to try to improve my result of last year and get into the overall top 5..."
Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails):
"I feel in great form for this season. I participated in several competitions such as Saint Barth Fun Cup, a few events of the French championship. I'm looking forward to be at the First PWA! I'm ready for this PWA in Costa Brava hoping that the wind will be there like 3 years ago. If I sign a place in the top 5, I'll be happy! We'll see what will happen..."
Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails):
"This off season has been quite motivational for me.... some good testing sessions in Cabo Verde, training in gym here in Boston with a good group of guys and more recently have had a fair amount of water time here at my local beaches in Nahant, MA. This year I've received a lot of support from a great group of people and have all the necessary tools in place as well as my level of confidence being where it needs to be so I'm looking forward to this season with enthusiasm."
Don't forget to tune into www.pwaworldtour.com from the 27th May to the 1st June to follow how all of the enthralling action unravels as it happens. Who's your money on in the season opener?