Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam

Day 2: A Look into the Women’s Wave World Title Race with the Moreno Twins

Day two of the Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam saw the men’s foil fleet in action for the first time with light offshore winds around 4-9 knots for much of the day. By the end of the day two foil races were completed so as things stand Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) and Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) are currently tied for first place on 5 points.

Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / GA Sails / Chopper Fins) won the first elimination, but the Frenchman went from hero to zero after being disqualified from the second race in the semifinals after a premature start. 

Meanwhile, Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails) held on to a tight victory in the second elimination as he just held off a storming come back from Quentel and Kornum. Vonk’s victory lifts the Dutchman into 3rd place in the current rankings ahead of former Olympic vice-world champion Julien Bontemps (JP / NeilPryde) and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins), who completes the top 5.

With the Moreno twins set to battle it out for the top places on the podium again over the coming days we caught up with Daida (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Iballa (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) to find out how they are feeling about their title race showdown as they prepare to compete in Sylt again 20 years after their first appearance here.

PWA: How are you both feeling about the title race?

Iballa: It's always exciting to be here in Sylt as it’s such a big event! For the title race, I only think about taking the two slots on the podium…I don’t care either way. I’m happy to share with Daida those two spots if possible for one more year….But you never know in Sylt!! The conditions are changing all the time and there is a lot of “incertitude”. But I guess its part of the way. So… we just have to wait and see what the conditions do here in Sylt and we try to make the best of it that we can in the water!

Daida: I actually try not to think about it and just go with the flow. I don’t have many good memories of Sylt from the last 20 years, as I only won here in 2003 and 2008. It’s a bit of a lottery here and you need to be lucky that’s all. Things always happen for a reason, so I will try my best and if conditions allow, try to enjoy my windsurfing, even though I haven’t sailed at all after Tenerife.

PWA: Daida, obviously you were injured in Tenerife, which ruled you out of the rest of the event but you still finished 3rd there - how disappointing was that for you and how is the injury now?

Daida: “I was feeling pretty strong, I had trained hard physically all last winter and spring and was starting to pull some new moves. Three weeks before Tenerife I cut my foot with the fin and had 8 stitches which didn’t allow me to go sailing between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. After I had my stitches removed I tried to go sailing and after 30 seconds the cut was wide open again and needed to have three more stitches. So I went to Tenerife with three stitches in my foot and three weeks without windsurfing. I also had all the stress of the post event organisation in GC, lots of paper work and so I lost my physical form. Once in Tenerife, we sailed in really strong wind and I went out, landed a pretty high backloop a bit short, so I tried to pull out of it and my rib cracked, breaking also some muscular tissue and spraining ligaments. I have been out of the water now for 7-8 weeks, so once again so far it looks like everything is happening for me not to win the world title. At the moment I stand in second place, after my sister, which is an honour after all the bad luck I had this summer. Who knows when I will win a world title again, last time was back in 2013. I still feel that I am a lucky women who can compete, and be alive after all I have been through.”

PWA: Iballa, you lead the world rankings after winning in Tenerife - what have you been up to since then?

Iballa: I’ve been traveling a lot: North Spain, Denmark, Fuerteventura and Tarifa (south of Spain). I was focusing on SUP Training as I had the ISA World’s in Denmark where I finished 7th with best SUP Surfers around the globe. I wanted to record a better result but competitions are, like I said before, part of the game! Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But I had a great season with SUP - becoming Spanish and European SUP Champion. Now I’m focusing on the last stop of the windsurfing tour. I’m happy I can compete in two sports at a high level (SUP and Windsurfing). Windsurfing is still my No.1 sport. Next year more!

PWA: It looks as though the Moreno twins are on course to win their 27th world title - what does that mean to you both and did you ever imagine winning that many titles between you when you first started competing?

Iballa: It’s still up in the air as this result is very important and anything can still happen, but if we win the 27th it will be amazing. Our first year in Sylt was in 1997, so we are celebrating our 20th anniversary at this event (even though we missed one of two editions due to injuries). For sure it will be a dream come true to be up on the podium again.

Daida: That’s always our main goal - to finish first and second, either way. There are other girls sailing good like Lina [Erpenstein, Justyna [Sniady] and Sarah-Quita [Offringa]. We will see what Sylt brings us. I always believe the most important thing it’s to try your best in this type of conditions and hope for a good result. Maths will do the rest.

The first time we came to Sylt was back in 1997, so it is our 20th anniversary now, and I could never imagine myself winning up to 48 PWA events so far in my life and have 18 world titles. This is something you can never imagine, and it’s always thanks to the sponsors who support you during your career path, to the proof or work, training, which allows you to invest your time and money in windsurfing.

Do you still get nervous before competing?

Iballa: I wouldn’t say nervous but as there is so much “uncertainty” because of the conditions, judging etc and depending what you can do in those 15 minutes decides your chances, so there’s always a lot of factors. But I try to centre my attention on the heat and perform the best I can be in the conditions we have.

Daida: I don’t think many people like to sail in ice cold water and rain with death onshore winds.. more than nervous I think it’s a bit stressful with the uncertainty of what could happen heat after heat.

PWA: Obviously it’s great that you will probably add another world title to your Moreno twins tally, but both of you must want to win the title - how would you describe the rivalry between yourselves?

Iballa: As I said before I’m happy either way with 1st or 2nd. The most important thing is that we are both there and add title No.27 if possible.

Daida: We are different people, so obviously we would both like to win the world title. Iballa has been winning the wave title for the last 3 years in a row, and she is really motivated and fit thanks to the SUP discipline, she will always be the hardest woman to beat. We are a team though and either way we are happy if we always get the top 1 and 2 places on the podium. We do not have incentives or anything, just our own motivation to continue learning, training and having fun. Thanks for the interview.

PWA: Thanks, Daida & Iballa - all the best for the contest.

You can stay up to date with all of the Moreno twins latest adventures and news via their Social Media Networks:

Facebook: @morenotwins 

Instagram: @morenotwins 

Twitter: @morenotwins 

The forecast looks as though there will be more action on the water tomorrow with the southerly winds expected to increase throughout the day from 11 knots up to 20 knots by the evening. Skippers’ meeting times for tomorrow: *All times (GMT+2)

Slalom & Foil Skippers' Meeting: 9:30am - first possible start 10:30am

Wave Skippers' Meeting - 11am - first possible start 11:30am

Freestyle Skippers' Meeting - 11:15am - first possible start 11:45am 

To stay up to date with all the latest developments from Germany — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Current Ranking Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam - Men’s Foil

1st= Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)

1st= Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde)

3rd Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails)