LA TORCHE PWA GRAND SLAM
The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just 5 degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. Even though there was no windsurfing today, the crowds continued to roll into the event area to meet the stars of the show, whilst also jumping in the water to take advantage of the, seamlessly, never ending waves.
Sailors from all fleets were eventually released at 4pm, but before then we caught up with a couple of sailors. Firstly Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde), who produced a great display of sailing yesterday:
PWA: You came fifth in single yesterday, that’s your best yourself so far isn’t it?
AM: “Errr no…not really. I came third in the indoor. Haha don’t forget it.”
PWA: Okay… but it is your best wave result?
AM: “(Laughing) okay, okay. It was my best result.”
PWA: Now that we’ve got that cleared up. How was yesterday for you?
AM: “It was pretty amazing. We had sun, wind, waves. It’s just what we wanted.”
PWA: How about windsurfing in front of such a big crowd?
AM: “It’s simply amazing. Just to feel the atmosphere on the beach with all the crowd was amazing. Sailing with all the cheering and applause felt very special and it really encouraged you to push yourself, going bigger and bigger and trying to land something better.”
PWA: What equipment were you on?
AM: “I was on a NeilPryde Fly 4.2m - 3 batten - and a 75l JP Radical Quad.”
PWA: Why did you opt for a quad?
AM: “Because the wave was kind of… gnarly you know and heavy, so I really wanted something that offered me more control on the wave and I think this was the best gear I could have for yesterday’s conditions.”
PWA: Are you always opting to use 3 batten sails now?
AM: “Actually, I’m used to sailing with both 3 and 4 batten sails. For me the whole range of NeilPryde sails is really good, so I feel happy on either a 3 or 4 batten sail to be honest, it just depends on the conditions.”
PWA: Okay… so when would you personally opt for a 3 batten sail over a 4 batten sail or vice versa?
AM: “For me I’d say in somewhere like Pozo, or say Klitmøller when it’s really strong winds, then I’d say that the 4 batten is better for me. It just offers a bit more control in the jumps. But if you are waveriding more then for sure I choose my 3 batten. It’s a new concept and a totally new feeling that I really like and it works great.”
PWA: Thanks, Antoine and congrats on your performance yesterday.
Next up, reigning world champion - Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) - who performed one of the biggest jumps of the day during the single elimination with a monstrous, stalled double forward. Browne finished third yesterday, which is the first time he has featured in the top three since the opening event of the year:
PWA: How was yesterday for you and how were the conditions?
MB: “It was a lot of fun, I love those conditions, similar to where I come from in Brasil. I had a great time and I think having these conditions made the tour a lot more complete this year."
PWA: What setup were you on?
MB: “I had all from 4.2m to 5.7m on the beach and boards - 78l, 84l, 94l and 104l. Most of the time I was on 4.5m or 4.7m paired with my 84l.”
PWA: Was that one of the biggest stalled doubles you’ve ever done?
MB: “Yes, that was probably the biggest one, i didn’t think it was going that high but the wave got really steep at the last second, and just boosted my skywards.”
PWA: Up to now this year hasn’t been the easiest competition year for you, did it feel good to move back into the top three after the last couple of events?
MB: “For sure, making into the top 4 is always nice, but I am just trying not to think about the previous events and focus on just having fun here now!”
PWA: Thanks, Brawzhi.
Tomorrow’s skippers’ meeting for all fleets will take place at 10am with the first possible start at 10:30am for the waves and 11am for the slalom fleets. The forecast for tomorrow offers a possibility of starting the slalom with 11-13 knot southwesterly winds being predicted. Stay up to date with all the action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com. Here you’ll be able to follow everything as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.