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Cabo Verde PWA - Tag 1

Ponta Preta produziert einige goldene Momente zu Beginn der Single Elimination.

Die Entscheidung, ein frühes Skippers' Meeting für den ersten Tag des 2022 SOMWR 10x Cabo Verde PWA World Cups einzuberufen, zahlte sich aus, da die Single Elimination fast unmittelbar begann. Mit einer langen Zeitspanne zwischen den Sets hatten die Windsurfer 45 Minuten Zeit, um ihre besten zwei Wellen zu surfen, so dass Geduld und Wellenauswahl für den Erfolg unerlässlich waren. Die Wellengröße reichte von hüftbreit bis hin zu gelegentlichem Logo-High-Set. Ponta Preta zeigte, wie gut es sein kann, und mit seinem perfekten Shape war viel spektakuläre Action an der Tagesordnung.


Single Elimination 

Takara Ishii (RRD / RRD Sails) missed out on a place in the next round despite earning the highest single wave score in the first heat of the day. The Japanese sailor earned 6.5 points with his 5th wave, but was left ruing having to count a 2.12 point wave as his backup. In the end, Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) and Camille Juban (AV Boards / S2Maui) booked their place in the next round with both sailors showing off their wave riding prowess with perfectly timed aerials over the infamous Ponta Preta rocks.

Heat 2 featured local legend - Josh Angulo (Angulo) - and the two-time world champion, who also won here in 2007 & ‘09, survived the opening round unscathed as he used his extensive local knowledge to book himself a place in the top 16. It was world title hopeful - Ricardo Campello (Naish / Naish Sails) - who really caught the eye though as the 36-year-old earned the first excellent wave score - 8.12 points - of the contest, which saw Campello open with a radical aerial before unleashing a searing full rail turn.

Maui Boys - Graham Ezzy (Tabou / GA Sails) and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX) - looked right at home in Ponta Preta as they both produced solid performances to successfully book their place in the next round at the expense of Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing) and Adam Warchol (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing), who will now have to wait for the Double Elimination for their chance to stage a comeback. 

The vice-world champion from 2019 - Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) - was involved in Heat 4 and the Brazilian looked to be in impressive form as he showed off a variety of stylish turns and aerials, whilst he also came incredibly close to landing a radical air taka. Based on his early form here Browne should have a deep run as he looks to get another title challenge up and running. Meanwhile, Morgan Noireaux (JP / NeilPryde / Black Project Fins) also looked in tune with Ponta Preta and the former two-time Aloha Classic Champion is safely through to the second round alongside Browne.

Heat 5 produced arguably the biggest, but not the only upset of the day, as 3-time world champion - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX) - crashed out in the opening round. This was always a potential banana skin heat against 3 of the next generation of sailors - Jake Schettewi (JP / NeilPryde / Black Project), 21, Liam Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Black Project), 18, & Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing), 19, who had nothing to lose and everything to gain, but everyone would’ve still thought Fernandez would prevail. Take nothing away from the young guns though as they brought the fight to the Spaniard. Schettewi and Dunkerbeck junior both made quick starts to put Fernandez under the cosh with Schettewi dropping a 6.5 point wave, whilst Dunkerbeck opened with a 6.38 point ride. Fernandez responded late on, but unfortunately, his two highest scoring waves, which were his last two waves, just proved too little too late as he missed out by just quarter of a point. Schettewi and Dunkerbeck march on after claiming the biggest scalp of their careers.

Antoine Martin (Starboard / North Sails), who won the 2019 Aloha Classic, made a confident start to proceedings and never really looked in danger of not advancing from Heat 6. This heat quickly turned into a fight for second place and it couldn’t have been much closer with just 1.24 points eventually separating 2nd-4th. In the end, Boujmaa Guilloul (Goya Windsurfing) managed to secure that all important second place, whilst Loïck Lesauvage (Goya Windsurfing) and Josep Pons (I-99 / Point-7 / Black Project) agonisingly just missed out.

Heat 7 proved to be the heat of the day as the French duo of Baptiste Cloarec (RRD / RRD Sails) & Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) both linked waves going into the excellent range. 21-year-old Cloarec read the wave beautifully and walks away from the opening day with the highest scoring heat of the day - 14.62 points - after combining perfectly executed aerials with stylish turns, whilst Denel equals the highest single wave score - 8.12 points - after managing to land 4 aerials on one wave.

The last heat of the day - Heat 8 - produced the other major upset as reigning world champion - Philip Köster (Severne / Severne Sails / Black Project) - also suffered a loss in the opening round. The 5-time world champion looked like he struggled in the fading wind and only really had one wave of note - earning 5.12 points for a well-timed aerial. However, Bernd Roediger (Flikka / Hot Sails Maui / Black Project) and Takuma Sugi (Tabou / GA Sails / Black Project) both lit up the stage with brilliant performances to progress into the top 16. Roediger in particular exuded phenomenal flow with the wave and made things look easy and he looks a real threat moving forwards. The 25-year-old equaled the highest scoring wave of Campello and Denel - 8.12 points - after tacking on to a set wave and expertly riding it all the way down the point. Sugi also looked in fine form and was the only sailor to land an air taka back into the wave. 

With the wind and waves expected to continue into Monday the skippers’ meeting has been called for 8am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 8:30am (GMT-1) onwards. The swell is expected to increase to 2.6 metres @ 11 seconds, but turn slightly more northerly, so we will just have to see how that hits the reef at Ponta Preta.

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