PWA announces 2005 Rookies of the Year
German freestyler Andre Paskowski (G-2, F2/ North Sails) and Japanese all-rounder Junko Nagoshi (J-11) awarded 2005 PWA Rookie of the Year.
<PHOTO1>In another high paced PWA world tour, two newcomers stood out like no other this year. In the men’s freestyle division, Andre Paskowski (G-2, F2/ North Sails) showed the international windsurfing community that he has what it takes to make the jump from the European freestyle scene to the international stage and mix it up with the world’s best riders on the PWA Tour. Technically Paskowski didn’t make his PWA debut in 2005, as he participated in the Tarifa freestyle qualifier back in 2003. Just before the 2004 tour started however, Paskowski broke his hand and was grounded for the entire season. Determined to take the PWA rankings by storm in 2005, the young German trained hard during the winter and made his comeback in May at the Bonaire King of the Caribbean. While an uninvited guest in the form of hurricane Adrian left the event without sufficient wind for competition, Paskowski did get a chance to test his skills against the elite in some action packed freesailing sessions.
Several weeks later on Gran Canaria the blonde freestyler did remarkably well with a thirteenth place considering the superstrong winds and given his relatively light weight. On Lanzarote, Paskowski really got into the swing of things. In the first single elimination of the event he particularly stood out as he waltzed over big names like Kauli Seadi, Kevin Mevissen, Douglas Diaz and Thomas Traversa to nail an impressive third place. Ultimately ending up ninth in Lanzarote, G-2 secured a respectable eleventh place in the overall 2005 freestyle rankings. Next year we’ll undoubtedly see a lot more of Germany’s most talented freestyler and 2005 PWA Rookie of the Year.
No one knows the art of freestyle better than three times world champion Ricardo Campello. At his homebreak of Isla Margarita he has watched Paskowski work his way to the top;
“I met Andre in El Yaque when he came over to train for a few months. I got to know him as a really cool guy; very open and very funny. I remember when he just arrived he wasn’t right up there with the top guys yet, but when I came back from traveling for a month he was doing all the moves the major players were doing. He’s an extremely talented sailor.”
<PHOTO2>In the women’s department Junko Nagoshi (J-11) made a very strong impression as a newcomer in wave performance, freestyle and Super X. Starting off on Maui at the Jeep Hawaii Pro, Nagoshi set the tone for things to come with a solid fifth place at Hookipa’s holy windsurfing grounds. Next in Pozo’s radically different conditions, Nagoshi kept up the pace by taking another fifth place overall in waves and as the wave contest in Sylt could unfortunately not be finished, her fifth place in the 2005 overall wave rankings was a firmly established fact. In freestyle Japan’s leading PWA lady scored another fifth place in Pozo’s wild winds, while in Lanzarote she proved she knows how to handle lighter winds as well by taking seventh place overall. In the process she managed to take down Iballa Moreno in the second round double elimination. These two event results brought her a fifth place in the overall 2005 freestyle ranking list.
Nagoshi’s big breakthrough came at the Super X competition on Lanzarote where her racing experience really came into play. With incredible speed and skills around the obstacle course, J-11 was well on her way to winning the first ever women’s Super X world title by winning two out of six finals and performing very well in the remaining heats. While she just missed out on the gold in the very last race, Nagoshi sailed away an amazing second place overall, setting the tone for her years to come on the PWA world tour.
Daida Moreno has been at the top of the game in women’s windsurfing for several years and has been closely watching Nagoshi’s rise to fame; “I’ve known Junko for quite a few years now. It has taken me a while to convince her to join the PWA, but she finally did after training really hard on freestyle and waves as she used to do only racing before. Junko is a great role model; she’s the most organized girl I’ve ever met with a never dying “go for it” attitude. She’s funny, super focused and highly consistent. She has definitely shown all the girls what they can achieve at the top level by being prepared, determined and motivated. Her second place in Super X is nothing compared to what she is about to achieve soon, so congratulations to her for winning the Rookie of the Year award. Keep it up.”
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