2001 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA Freestyle World Cup Day 1
The second event of the PWA Freestyle World Tour commences today here in Catalunya, Costa Brava on the beautiful Mediterranean coast of Spain. Many of the sports international elite and local challengers have gathered to compete for the $30,000 prize purse and ranking points towards the overall freestyle title. This is the third consecutive year Costa Brava has played host to the Freestyle Tour and the allure of magnificent surrounding scenery, the enduring Tramontana winds and the warm waters of the Mediterranean have combined to make it a favourite destination amongst the competitors.
Costa Brava one of Europe’s most varied and richest areas in terms of nature, history and culture all factors which attribute to its popularity as a tourist destination. The area encompasses the character of the Pyrenees and the contrasting subtlety of the Mediterranean. The event site is situated in the exquisite setting of the Bay of the Roses, one of Spain’s favourite playgrounds for windsurfing and watersports enthusiasts.
Today is registration day as sailors prepare for official competition. This is their last opportunity to fine tune their equipment before battle commences tomorrow. Last years winner, Vidar Jensen (North, Dropps) has returned to defend his title but will be facing stiff opposition from a world class fleet which includes Richie Foster (Mistral, Naish), Web Pedrick (AHD, North) Robby Seeger (RRD, Simmer) and Overall World Champion Kevin Pritchard (BIC, Gaastra).
The character and development of the Freestyle Tour has paved the way for many relatively unknown sailors to literally turn up to their first event and pose a major threat to the established world tour professionals. Several young newcomers to the tour have been tipped as possible contenders for the podium here in Costa Brava. These include sixteen-year-old Venezuelan sailor Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde), Colin Sifferlain also sixteen (North, Mistral) from New Caledonia and the nineteen-year old Spanish hot shot, Jonas Ceballos Sanchez (Proof, Neil Pryde).
Tonight sailors will get their first taste of the local Spanish hospitality and will be treated to a festive dinner at the opening ceremony in the nearby old town of La Escala. Competition is due to kick off tomorrow with skippers meeting scheduled for 10.30am. It is anybody’s guess what new manoeuvres will be revealed once official competition gets underway since many sailors have been keeping their repertoires a closely guarded secret in order to gain an advantage over their rivals. The stage is all set, tension is mounting and the contenders are ready for action!
"Obviously I would like to repeat my victory from last year but it is a really high level these days. Last year we were lucky and had strong winds, which favours me, I haven’t really sailed too much in light winds lately. Hopefully we will get some wind and if I can make the podium I will be happy with that. There are a few new young that are doing really well but we will have to see how they do in contests. There is a difference between being young and wild and having the experience. These guys are definitely sailing really well but I think they need more experience. I will be surprised to see one of these guys at the very top. It’s going to be hard. I think it is really good for the rest of us to have some new faces on the tour and the young guys pushing. It is good for everybody"