The inaugural day of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam saw the men’s and women’s single eliminations begin in extremely challenging conditions, as the wind swung bolt onshore throughout the afternoon, whilst gradually dropping in strength, eventually bringing day one to a close shortly after 7pm. Earlier in the day the sailors from all three fleets – wave, slalom and freestyle – registered for the upcoming nine days of contest
First priority today was the men’s trials, which began before 2pm. Albert Pijoan (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) were able to qualify from the first heat, Aleix Sanllehy (Goya Windsurfing / MFC), Nicolas Akgazciyan (99 International / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins / AL360), Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Point-7), Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne), Kenneth Danielsen (F2 / Simmer) and Pablo Ramirez (Patrik / Loft Sails) all managed to successfully navigate their way into the main draw.
The first heat of the single elimination was kicked off in style as Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC) produced the performance of the day in the difficult, onshore conditions. The Brazilian opened his best scoring wave – which proved to be the highest scoring wave of the day, 9.575 points – with a sick, tweaked backside aerial, before backing it up with a perfectly executed taka to defeat Maciek Rutkowski. Meanwhile, Jaeger Stone (SSD / Severne), returned to winning ways after Denmark as he took down Omar Sanchez (Patrik / Loft Sails / Dunkerbeck Eyewear).
Into heat two and Moritz Mauch (Starboard / Severne / MFC) advanced against Ben Proffitt (Simmer), whilst two-time world champion – Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) – navigated his way past Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) in what could easily have been a tricky heat for the twenty-year old. The highlight was without doubt Köster’s fluid reverse, which earned him 8.5 points.
Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) looked in impressive form again today as he made the most of the conditions on offer. The German combined more aggressive hacks to dispatch of Aleix Sanllehy. The b-side featured Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails), who won the PWA Wave World Tour in 2003 and 2009, but the ex-champion couldn’t end Klaas Voget’s (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) hopes as the German marched into round two.
Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) and Martin ten Hoeve (Goya Windsurfing / Point-7) endured a hard fought battle in heat 4a, but the Frenchman was just able to edge the battle to advance into heat ten, where he will face the reigning world champion – Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) – after the Brazilian dispatched of Dieter Van der Eyken, who produced a good display and came agonisingly close to landing a smooth backside 360.
The penultimate heat of the day saw the closest battle as Dany Bruch (Starboard / Challenger Sails / AL360) and Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / North) proved almost inseparable. Both sailors finished the heat tied on 10.12 points with identical first and second wave scores, meaning the verdict would come down to the third highest wave. Unfortunately for Stillrich, Bruch advanced with a third wave score of 4.375 compared to the nineteen year olds 4 points.
The final heat of the day featured Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) – who won the last event in Cold Hawaii – and the Frenchman looked equally as dangerous today as he continued to effortlessly link turns and spin through fluid takas to defeat fellow countryman Nicolas Akgazciyan. Meanwhile, Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) was able to progress into round two after beating Kenneth Danielsen
In the first round of the women’s single elimination Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins) and Lina Erpenstein (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) progressed after knocking out Chantelle Pöttgens (Patrik / Hot Sails Maui) and Josine Schmitz (KA Sail), respectively.
In the only women’s heat of the day Eva Oude Ophuis (Fanatic / North) received a bye into round three, with Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic) absent from the single elimination. In the next round Oude Ophuis will face Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg / SWOX) after the German produced a good display to stop Sara Sommer (Severne) in her tracks.
Numerous attempts were made to complete heat 7 and 8 but unfortunately the conditions weren’t suitable for a result to stand.
The forecast for tomorrow predicts winds ranging from 14-20 knots so the freestyle and wave sailors will meet at 8:30am tomorrow morning for the skippers’ meeting, with the first possible start at 9am. Meanwhile, the skippers’ meeting for the slalom sailors will take place at 10am with the action commencing from 10:30am. Check out www.pwa-worldtour.com for more
Text: Chris Yates / PWA - all pics by JC / PWA