2001 spark7.com Windsurfing World Cup Neusiedler See Day 2
After a very stormy night the next morning didn`t show to much wind. Instead of sun the competitors had to face cloudy skies, temperatures close to freezing point again and light northwesterly winds. At the 9 o`clock skippers meeting the competitors were greeted with what they already expected, that competition was postponed. Slowly the gusts were getting stronger and about 10 o`clock the race director decided to start the first round of the SPARK7.COM Freestyle Grand Prix 2001.
Straight into the action. In the first heat Nathan Mershon (Naish Boards and Sails) had to face Gran Canarias Orjan Jensen (North Sails, Proof) and big dutch guy Ben van der Steen (North Sails, Fanatic). Not used to the cold air and later temperatures youngster Mershon fell aswell as high wind expert from Canada Brad Drummond (Starboard) who was fighting against Freestyle originator Alex Humpel (Neilpryde, JP) and Rich Foster (Naish Sails, Mistral).
The 3rd Heat of Round 1 was very interesting as Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) had to face his big brother Matt ( Gaastra, AHD). Both were fighting hard and in the end both advanced against Greg Allaway (Neilpryde, JP). The youngsters showed their talent today as Joshi Markthaler (Neilpryde, JP), Austria`s Chris Sammer (Arrows, F2) and venezuelan Diony Guadagnino (Neilpryde, JP) all advanced in their heats with relative ease.
The competition level has risen over the winter and Spocks are just a part of the performance which should include as many stylish moves as possible. The variety of moves has increased and is now an important factor of scoring.
15 year old Ricardo Alvarez (Neilpryde, JP) only brought his Shorty wetsuit for the competition - pretty tough as the temperatures even dropped during the heats. Somebody gave that poor kid a thick wetsuit which was way to big but that didn`t matter:
"My toes are frozen, I can`t move or feel them and actually they look blue. Do you think that`s normal?"
Another victim of the cold was Robby Seeger. After sailing and advancing to the next round he was asked how he felt. A long break of thinking brought up an answer
Close to 12 o´clock wind got gusty and lighter. Heat Number 9 had been called of twice before they postponed the competition completely. Some blue spots showed up in the sky and the wind decreased to almost calm. Time for a lunch break. Unfortunatly the wind didn`t come back again and all competitors were released at 5 o´clock.
Time to prepare for the already famous Upside Down party in the local bar Podo. Skippers meeting for the next morning is planed for 8:30