POZO PWA WORLD CUP
With just 5 days to go before the start of the 2014 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival, anticipation surrounding the event is continuing to grow daily. As the first PWA Wave event of the year, the most radical sailors in the world will be anxious and excited to make a strong start to the season as they throw themselves into gravity defying stunts in order to wow both the crowd and the judges.
Now we take a look at the top contenders for the title in Pozo Izquierdo.
First up it's non other than our reigning PWA Wave World Champion - Marcilio 'Brawzinho' Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC), who clinched his maiden world title in 2013. Confidence will still be at an all time high after last year's phenomenal display and he will be desperate to make a strong start to his title defence. The Brazilian, like so many of the other top sailors, has travelled the Pozo early to accustom himself with the howling winds that Pozo is renowned for. Brawzinho's latest videos indicate that he's absolutely ripping with perfect double forwards, huge backloops and radical wave riding - including several irresistible reverses. There's no doubt that he'll be gunning for the top come the end of the week.
Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) may have finished sixth overall in 2013, but there's no question that the boy wonder enters the event as the favourite having claimed victory here in 2009, 2011, 2012 and winning the super session last year. The twenty year old is the most gifted port tack jumper in the world right now and it's going take a super human effort to beat him on his home patch. Köster will be rocketing into insane stalled double forwards, pushloop forwards and much, much more. The two-time world champion will be determined to win his world title back, so expect to see an explosive display as he looks to blow the rest of the competition away.
Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC) changed sponsors in the winter to Patrik and Point-7 after 11 or 12 years with JP and NeilPryde. Campello is widely considered one of the most radical and innovative sailors of all time and he may have an extra point to prove this year, making him even more dangerous.
Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) is always challenging for top honors and as the only person to have stopped Köster in Pozo during the 2010 Pozo PWA World Cup he certainly knows what it takes to win. The Spaniard is renowned for his super clean double forwards and his smooth and stylish execution of all of his manoeuvres - add to this that Fernandez appears to be stepping up the level with pushloop forward attempts and it’s easy to see why he is a top contender.
Just before the event last year Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) suffered a broken ankle after a one-footed backloop went badly wrong, which hindered his aspirations last year. However, this time around the Brit has had an injury free build up to the season opener and he’ll be looking to show everyone what he can do now that he is 100% fit. Swift’s jumping repertoire is second to none and he possesses one of the best pushloop forwards in the business. 2014 could prove to be the year that Swift truly shines.
PWA Vice-World Champion Alex Mussolini (Tabou / GA Sails) won’t be too far away from the action either. The Spaniard consistently scores the highest wave scores on the tour thanks to his unbelievable style and consistency. Mussolini will be boosting huge one-handed, one-footed backloops as well as trying to land his new move ‘The Klei’ in competition to earn even more points.
Of course there are several other sailors that are in contention too, but we’ll take a look at them when the full event preview is released later this week.
It’s hard to look past the formidable force of the legendary Moreno twins when it comes to title contenders in the women’s fleet. Not only have Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) dominated the world tour for more than a decade, but Pozo is also their home, meaning they have more local knowledge than anyone else. We can’t see anyone being able to topple the twins from the top this year, but it’s a tough one to call whether it will be Daida or Iballa at the top of the podium. Daida is still recovering from a foot injury which kept her off the water for five months during the winter, but with her world title to defend she won’t be taking things lightly. Both of the twins are capable of challenging many of the guys when it comes to both jumps and wave riding and we can’t wait to see them exploding through huge backloops and push loops as well as rotating through radical frontside 360s and goiters too.
With Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) absent from proceedings the door has been thrown wide open for the women to take their shot at the Moreno twins. The likes of Justyna Sniady (Simmer), Amanda Beenen (Tabou / GA Sails), Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde) and Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) will all be chomping at the bit to break into the top three and beyond.
The 2014 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival kicks off on the 14th July and runs until the 20th July. Don’t miss any of the mind blowing action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com where you’ll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker. Who’s your money on for the first wave event of the year? Let us know by commenting on Facebook or Tweeting @pwaworldtour #pwaworldtour.