LA TORCHE PWA GRAND SLAM
The opening day of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam promised so much, with big waves and strong winds, between 20-30 knots forecast, but that isn’t quite how the day played out. Whilst, the swell was still evident - with over mast high sets rolling into the Bay of Audierne throughout the day - unfortunately the expected winds never arrived, leaving not only the sailors disappointed, but also the crowds that had gathered on the beach.
The wave fleet registered between 9:30am-10:30am with the much anticipated forecast in mind, but then spent the remainder of the day on hold, before eventually being released at 6pm. Meanwhile, the slalom sailors registered for the upcoming eight days of competition from 12:30pm until 2:30pm, after a meeting with all sailors had been held to discuss the environmental concerning this being a green event.
With the wave sailors still on standby - Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) - couldn’t resist the waves any longer and headed out for a regular surf at around 3pm, much to the joy of the crowds who had gathered, on what turned out to be a glorious sunny afternoon, with the weather proving to be more like summer than autumn.
Shortly before 5pm - Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC) - became the first, and only sailor, to attempt to windsurf. After battling in the light winds, for half an hour, to make it out the back, Campello eventually managed to catch one or two waves, but once on the wave the Brazilian simply didn’t have the power to make the most of the wave on offers. With conditions unfortunately remaining unsuitable day one drew to a, quieter than expected close.
Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) on yesterday’s conditions:
“It was fun, I got a few fun waves, but it was challenging. The wind was quite offshore, so it was quite easy to catch a wave, but it was tricky getting back out.”
Jamie Hancock - who is in the trials, making his first wave appearance since Tenerife in 2013, after suffering a broken ankle:
“Yesterday was quite tricky, it seems like you need to take bigger equipment than you think, at least in these size swells, because there is so much water moving around, so it’s difficult to keep your speed up on the wave.”
The wind is forecast to be lighter than today with 10-15 knots being predicted for much of the day, but still with a significant swell of almost 3 metres at 13 seconds. However, tomorrow’s wind is supposed to be more onshore, which could make things tricky. Skippers’ meeting for the wave fleet tomorrow has been called for 9am with the first possible start at 9:30am. Meanwhile, the skippers’ meeting for the men’s and women’s slalom will be held at 10am with the action commencing from 11am, if conditions allow. Don’t miss any of the action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com.