Windsurf Addicts The biggest collection of up to date windsurf news

21Dec/15Off

PWA POZO 2015

PWA POZO 2015

POZO 2015

Words  FINN MULLEN // Photos  JOHN CARTER 

‘The best competition at Pozo we have ever had’ – Duncan Coombs. 

Duncan Coombs is the head judge of the PWA; his accolades don’t come without reasoned consideration. Duncan has been coming to Pozo for 25 years but even he struggled to process the seismic shift in the level of wave sailing on show. To put this in context, in the trials for the main event, sailors were doing push loop forwards. Until very recently, this was the sort of move you’d normally expect to see in the finals. From the moment the green flag was raised on day 1 of the event, it was like the pressure cooker of 7 months of training for the first wave event of the year was unleashed all at once. What made the contest so special wasn’t just the level on show but the brutality of the conditions themselves. Pozo is windy, in summer it’s probably the windiest beach in the world, but this was another level with winds gusting well over 50 knots at times. Just getting in and out of the water was a struggle let alone sail and compete. ‘’I’m rigging my 3.0, I last used a 3.0 10 years ago’’ said an excited but clearly nervous Iballa Moreno, Pozo local and 2014 women’s world wave champion. And there was waves, logo to over mast high at times. Last year Pozo was becalmed for the PWA, this year it was in danger of being engulfed! Make no mistake; this was windsurfing at its very limit by sailors going beyond their limits.

KOESTERED
Contests normally have a natural momentum, like a band warming up to the crescendo of the final crowd jumping kerrang, the first rounds are normally just to sort the wheat from the chafe. Not at Pozo on the 12 July, 2015. Right from the first heat horn; sailors, staff and press scrambled to process the pace of what was happening before their eyes with the level so insanely high. First round knockouts left the beach dazed at having not only been knocked out by their opponent but battered by the relentless winds – ‘’The sailors were challenged more by the conditions than beating the other guy’’ – Duncan Coombs.

The margins of difference in heats were some of the slightest I have ever seen, which only made the judge’s pen seem even crueller to the loser. There were two notable exceptions, Philip Koester and Ricardo Campello. From the get go, these two were keen to send a message as to who was going to rule the air. The decision would come sooner than expected with the pair meeting early on in round 3 of the single elimination. The much anticipated match up turned out to be a rather one sided affair, as one seasoned observer put it. ‘Ricardo was Koestered’. You had to feel for Ricardo, prior to the heat and the event, he looked a strong contender. Social media was awash with videos of him sailing like a man possessed and in the crazy style that has made him such a crowd favourite. Koester had other ideas though. Campello has been one of the few sailors to challenge Koester in his prime but on home soil Philip was keen to set the record straight with a devastating display of jumping and riding excellence to take the win from an unlucky and visibly shaken Campello who had suffered a nasty crash warming up for the heat. Being ‘Koestered’ did not look a pleasant experience.

Quietly moving up through the other side of the draw was Alex Mussolini, new sponsors and watching your best friend, Thomas Traversa, win a world championship had lit a fire in Alex’s sailing and by the end of day 1, it would be his wave riding and Koester’s insane jumping that would vie for the money in the final. Alex had earned his spot against Koester but Philip was in a league of his own. A huge planing double forward, followed by a technically perfect push loop forward, finished off with that much watched and talked about fearless triple forward were just some of the highlights of a performance that not only saw him take the win but the respect of every sailor, man, woman and child on the beach. It was a clear statement of intent and no doubt it was a sleepless night for the rest of the fleet as Koester’s performance had set a scarily high bar. Duncan Coombs commented  ‘’Koester messes our scales up a little bit because he just seems to be in a class of his own and we are trying to fit everyone else’s scores to suit his’’

DAY 2
An early skipper’s meeting on day 2 saw the double elimination continue at a frenetic pace. Most people sail with a heat plan but the violence of the wind strength and level required to advance saw any semblance of plans quickly abandoned. The only reasonable course of action in a heat was to be unreasonable and lay it right on the very fine line between lunatic and lunacy.

Notable performances came from Thomas Traversa, Antoine Martin, Dany Bruch, Marcilio Browne, Jaeger Stone and Robby Swift. From Jaeger’s massive delayed forward to Robby Swift’s first ever delayed double forward, they and the rest of the notables were all pushing their own personal boundaries and while heat results may not have reflected the effort they put in, the results certainly didn’t lessen the commitment being shown. The come back story was of one man though – Victor Fernandez. Victor’s clinical approach has seen him in the final of every Pozo contest over the last 10 years. Day one had seen Victor look decidedly un-Victor like. For whatever reasons, the man still with the most wins at Pozo had been off form but not today. Fernandez was back and the passionate Spanish crowds on the beach were cheering the return of their favourite countryman.

After the fireworks of Koester’s colossal performance on day one, all eyes were on the wounded winner to see if he could reproduce his form in the super final. The triple loop crash had clearly rang Koester’s bell with a hard blow to his head. But even in pain, Koester wasn’t letting up. A proud dad hugged his son on the shore after another decisive victory. Victor proved again what a danger man he is at Pozo or any conditions for that matter and a second at Pozo had him smiling the smile of a man who knows a world title comes from a foundation of top tier results. Mussolini, Bruch and Traversa rounded out the top five with results they too will gladly carry to the title battle for the long year ahead.

Winning at Pozo is ‘’still about waveridng’’ as Robby Swift sagely observed, noting that he, Marcilio and Ricardo can sometimes spend too long looking for the perfect jump ramps while those sailors who don’t have their explosive jump armoury rack up valuable wave riding points. Regardless of your style preference what is common throughout the fleet is that to do well you have to make the effort to come early and hunker down for the long haul in Pozo. The likes of Victor and Marcilio spend up to 6 weeks training here prior to the event to try and dial into the unique conditions. The prudent sailors make sure they practice and sail at all stages of the tide and not just in the best conditions as the nature of competition and the venue means that conditions throughout the day and heat to heat can vary greatly. For Victor his results have come from years of lengthy and methodical training at Pozo, they are not an accident. Thomas Traversa while not spending the same length of time in Pozo training, is one of those sailors who thrives on extreme conditions and the thrust of competition which makes him push harder and display his crazy style we all know and love.

THE BRITS
For the Brits it was a mixed bag of results but that really didn’t tell the whole picture – Skyeboy (17th) was extremely unlucky in his heats. Probably the only father of two in the world consistently banging out double loops, in this competition he wasn’t just banging them out more like firing them off at every opportunity. Those opportunities just didn’t come at the right time though with ramps or waves not lining up when he needed them and his progression was halted by an on form local, Josep Pons, who Duncan Coombs rightly named as one of the top 5 jumpers in the world right now. Ben Proffitt (17th) ran into some similar bad luck with his heats and was extremely unlucky not to advance against Simmer team mate Klass Voget but could hold his head high with some strong sailing in the double elimination and certainly being the online crowd’s favourite as he continues to bring windsurfing to life across the internet as the well versed voice of the PWA live webcasts.

Adam Lewis continued to show his port tack prowess in his adopted home away from home in the Canaries with an 11th place finish.  In his own words on the event, ‘’We always talk about how windy Pozo is but this year really took the biscuit! It was ballistic; I didn’t use a sail other than 3.4 in any of my heats. I guess the main difference compared to pretty much every other time I’ve sailed Pozo was the waves! It was pumping, it didn’t even feel like sailing Pozo, all the little line ups you have to get a good section were totally different and a few sets came through you could have even described as solid logo high! From a personal point of view, I was pretty gutted with the result. It was conditions I’d normally really enjoy; I guess a few key moments just didn’t quite go my way. I also can’t ignore Philip’s triple either! I mean wow! It was so freaking high and so so close, I mean he water started straight out of it…I think he was feeling the impact after, I know he had to have someone drive him home because he was so dizzy! Good effort!’’

Robby Swift (9th) is world class and at this year’s Pozo he showed why neither new fatherhood nor the legacy of past injuries will slow him down this year. Robby went out to Jaeger Stone in one of the closest and most radical heats of the day. A solid push forward and incredible tweaked out aerial was backed up by a perfect stalled double forward but without a high scoring second wave he took his loss with sanguine sportsmanship and will no doubt look to the rest of the year with increased motivation to put his hands back on a deserved trophy place finish.

THE LADIES
And what about the ladies?. Well, the ladies were looking very un-lady like. With most of the fleet on 3.0’s, this was no time for feminine finesse and the ladies were throwing caution to the wind with equal abandon to the men. Justyna Sniady, Alice Arutkin and Waka Nishida of Japan all suffered some heavy wipe-outs but shrugged them off with a courage representative of the women’s fleet as a whole. For the Moreno twins it was business as usual. With Pozo firing on all cylinders, experience counts and Iballa and Daida have experience at their home spot of Pozo that is hard to count against! Iballa had suffered a nasty ankle sprain prior to the comp. and hadn’t sailed for over 2 months, not that you could tell. It was Daida’s time to shine though and leave the windsurfing world wondering just what it will take to depose her and Philip from Pozo’s throne. The most likely contender apart from her sister looks like coming from the all round talent of Sarah Quita but it won’t be an easy task as Daida was landing doubles in the expression session later in the week. Sarah turned heads of her own with her push loops being perfected heat to heat as she practiced under the pressure of the flags and horns to bag a third behind Iballa in second and Daida first. Stefi Wahl flowed into fourth position with some of the most stylish turns of the event while a spirited and typically gutsy performance by Amanda Beenen rewarded her with fifth, showing that 6 months in Maui hadn’t dampened her port tack skills.

LEGACY
With the main event wrapped, it was the turn of the juniors to take centre stage. Anyone concerned at the future of windsurfing need not worry. The only concern is just how the pro fleet, will cope with the influx of Koester wannabes in the not too distant future. When 12 year olds are doing perfect table top forwards you suspect even Koester might be looking over his shoulder. It’s worth mentioning at this point just how much effort the Moreno twins put into organising this event and in particular a gateway for the local youths into windsurfing. As well as numerous competitions for the juniors, they also bussed in at their own expense hundreds of local school children to educate them in the world of windsurfing and just what is available on their doorstep. From learning to tie knots to meeting the pros, the emphasis was on the next generation. For two athletes with such a great legacy already established it’s clear their intention is for the island to continue breeding champions. Perhaps the most surprising admission from Daida was that having lived all her life in Pozo she didn’t know until the age of 15 that a round of the world windsurfing championships took place on her doorstep. It’s clear they are resolute to not let that happen again. Their mission goes some way to convey the community feel of the event the Moreno twins aptly title as a festival of wind and waves. As a spectator, it’s hard to think of a more fan orientated event. Run a competition anywhere in the world in 50 knots plus of wind and you would be lucky to coax anyone out of their house let alone to the beach. But at Pozo, perversely 50 knots at sea is comparatively pleasant on land.

Anything that was going to blow away at Pozo has long since blown away so the worry of being hit by low flying animals is nonexistent. A shaded area (from sun and wind) is situated right by the beach, ample parking is 50m from the beach, 50m from that is a marquee streaming the event and windsurf videos by day and live entertainment at night. Further in the marquee you can imbibe fresh smoothies or icy cervezas while watching the prize givings on stage or indulge in gelato ice creams or filling bocadillos before or after going outside to watch the best men and women in the world attempt to sail into the nearest accident and emergency department. My top tip, head down to the infamous bunker and watch the mad men and women of the PWA hurl over head at spitting distance from the shore while you top up your suntan. I challenge anyone to find a more spectacular view in windsurfing to watch the world’s elite rotate through double loops and the rest of their aerial antics, in fact from a spectator point of view, few sports can compete with the view on offer. When conditions aren’t good enough for competition and you’ve had your fill of rubbing shoulders with the great and the good of the PWA, then why not take part in some sailing of your own. Outside of heats I witnessed Pozo with only one or sometimes no sailors on the water in perfectly fun conditions of small waves and force 6 winds – a mere splash by Pozo standards but above average for most people’s definition for anywhere else! This year’s PWA contest will go down as the best ever, where Philip Koester set new standards for the level of wave sailing and Pozo delivered conditions above and beyond extreme but let’s not forget that whether it’s the sailors it produces or the conditions it delivers, Pozo has never been about the normal. As they say, ‘Windsurfing is King but Pozo is King Kong!’.

Click here to read more: Windsurf Magazine

13Jan/15Off

OCEAN ELEMENTS HOLIDAY COMPETITION

OCEAN ELEMENTS HOLIDAY COMPETITION

Ocean Elements Win Featured

PRESS RELEASE

WIN A BEACH CLUB HOLIDAY FOR TWO IN GREECE, PLUS OTHER GREAT PRIZES!

To enter the chance to win an Ocean Elements active beach club holiday for 2 in Greece, fill out your name and email address in the competition box HERE 

The prize includes flights, transfers, half-board catered accommodation, free use of equipment and RYA tuition at our Leda Beach Club in Pelion, Greece. Inclusive activities include dinghy sailing, windsurfing, mountain biking, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and more! 

Ocean Elements WS 480

Find out more about our Leda beach Club here: http://www.alpineelements.co.uk/beach-holidays/horto-pelion/leda-beach-club.html

For more information about the competition:  http://www.alpineelements.co.uk/beach-holidays/showcompetition.html

Check out this video of what you could win with an Ocean Elements Holiday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f207_o-Tlqc

<END>

The post OCEAN ELEMENTS HOLIDAY COMPETITION appeared first on Windsurf Magazine.

Click here to read more: Windsurf Magazine

3Oct/14Off

Kasper Juul Larsen crowned Danish Slalom Champion 2014

Another great year for Loft Sails in Denmark. For the second year in a row Kasper Juul Larsen, DEN-11, won the Danish Slalom Championship, with Danni Jakobsen, DEN-64, finishing 4th;  they have dominated all the races this year with Loft Sails.
In the Grandmaster division, Vagn Jakobsen, DEN-25, finished as well 3rd overall in Slalom.
It will be very exciting to follow the danish Loftsails team next year and to see if Kasper can take the 3rd consecutive title.

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

10Sep/14Off

Nicolas Warembourg Defi Wind HD video

A look back to Nico’s great performance at the 2014 Defi Wind in this great HD video feature by Kariba productions.

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

15Aug/14Off

WIN a 3 night stay and flights for 2 to Alacati

That’s right, one lucky winner will have the chance to fly at a moments notice to Alacati courtesy of Pegasus Airlines, from any of their 54 popular European destinations outside of Turkey. On top of that there’s a three-night stay thrown in thanks to the Asma Han boutique hotel and Explore Alacati. But wait there’s […]

Click here to read more: Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine

4Jul/14Off

Raceboard European Championship – Patrik on the podium

Patrik Pollak reports from his great performance on the Raceboard European Championship with his new Loft Sails Raceboard Blade.

 

I received my new loft raceboard blade only a week before the Europeans and off course the first thing I did is drive to the lake to test it.When I unrolled it from the bag I had that positive feeling about it which turned into excitement the moment I rigged it up. Monty did it again !!!Our aim from day one was to make the sail that can get you around the course fast in any conditions. And this sail looks exactly like it.

 

In Sopot we had anything and everything from 2-28 knots (flat water, waves) even a long distance which took and hour to finish and during which conditions changed from around 20 knot to maybe 8 at the very end. Bad sail choice in these condition mean and hour, or more of pure pain or sure discard.
While many were running very often to the beach to switch between light and strong wind sail I do not have to worry about that.

 

We sailed 14 races and the sail worked very very good in variety of conditions we had during the event. You can trim it flat for upwind legs in strong wind which allowed me to sail high and fast without wasting too much energy (hey I am 41 so power is nothing without control and I have to plan exactly where to spend it) and when you want that “power on the back hard” which not only Robby Naish prefers when reaching downwind you can just release the outhaul and the quite “turbo charged engine” reveals an V8 beast. If you race on upwind downwind course speed is not the most important aspect. Angle is. And this sail goes upwind with great angle, but it is nothing compared to downwind leg angles.   Conditions were very often shifty but the Loft Raceboard Blade makes the downwind tactics a piece of cake. Same speed but better angle downwind makes it easy to dig deeper, get on inside of you opponents, jibe 50 or 100 meters sooner because their lay line does not apply to you, and get to the bottom mark before them. This is what I did few times cllimbing up from late teens to 5th or even top 3 in one downwind leg.   Both outhaul and downhaul systems are necessary to get maximum out of this sail and still searching for that sweet spot, finding the balance between angle and speed is ongoing. That is fine because that search is what I love about windsurfing and I hope it never ends.But the search for that one and only raceboard sail is over. If you want to forget about rigging derigging, tuning the battens, finding the mast and all that make sure you get the new Raceboard Blade from Loft Sails, rig it up in the recommended mast and all you have to worry about is your sailing.   You have a weapon which can win you a race in any conditions. No excuses anymore, it is time to work on your technique and physical and play the shifts.

Air to breathe wind to live

PATRIK POLLAK
More info on the Racebaord Blade here

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

27Jun/14Off

Lena Erdil at the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge

The Dunkerbeck speed challenge has been one of the most fun, but at the same time challenging events I have taken part in the recent years.

 
It was so fun because it had a really relaxed atmosphere with a lot of people from really different backgrounds and a lot more amateurs then Pro’s, aswell as some amazing kids all competing together on the same course! But it was also challenging for me as it was despite all my Lüderitz experience my first real speed competition and it took me a little time to figure out the tricks of it. I feel like I learned a lot within only a few days of speed sailing and would like to share my experiences with you .
 
At the beginning I tried to make up for my lack of experience in competition speed sailing by going through the course as many times as possible within one hour, choosing my 87l slalom board to make it easier to sail upwind and get through the lulls in the starting area, but I soon realised that even though i would be more likely to get better gusts by going down the course more times, the race format was only looking at the 2 best 250m runs within 1 hour.
 
So on the second day I changed my tactics and started using my small Patrik Speed board even with my 6,3 Loftsails racing blade and increased my speed by 2-3 knots eventhough I was doing less runs because I was spending more time swimming in the places where the wind wasn’t strong enough in the starting area. It also took a while to get a good fin, as I dont really own any speed fins and was mainly trying my small slalom fins I had a lot of spinouts on the first day. But was really lucky to have Anders Bringdal borrow me one of his new Assymetrical Gasoil speed fins on the second day, which turned out to be the perfect combination with my kit. No spin outs, really comfortable to push against and excellent acceleration. (Thank you Anders!)
 
Another very important aspect of improving speeds during the challenge in Matas Blancas was choosing the right 250m route to take within the 500 m course. Being a GPS challenge, the riders were given quite a lot of freedom in choosing the course they believed was fastest for them the 3 most popolar ones were:

  • 1 – to go more across the wind and try to catch some rolling swell to give you a little bit of extra accelerations,
  • 2 – to go streight down along the beach where it was flattest or,
  • 3 – to start at the beach and then bear off down wind to where the wind was strongest most the time.

 
For me personally a combination of 1 and 2 worked best, my goal on the run was to get some nice acceleration from the swell, aswell as looking for stronger gusts to bear off into. On my best run (36knots 250m average with 38.5knots top speed) i was using my 5.6 Speed edition racing blade with my 43 Patrik Speed board and the 24cm Gasoil Fin from Anders. The kit felt really comfortable, but what was really special about the best two runs was the wind; I could see the flat water glistering in front of me, it was as white-capped as really flat water can be and I could trust my equipment to keep accelerating the more I pushed against the fin in the strongest parts of the gusts.
 
The great thing about GPS and speed sailing is that you can compete within a large group of people of different abilities while at the same time you are actually only competing against yourself, trying to go faster and faster every time. All in all it was a great event we sailed 3 days, 9 hours in 20+ knots and I think everyone was happy with their own personal achievement. I hope to be able to go back again next year.
 
Aloha
 
Lena
 
Pics by Armin Walcher

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

26Jun/14Off

Nicolas Goyard – IFCA Youth Slalom World Champion 2014

Nicolas Goyard was crowned IFCA Youth Champion after three straight wins, dominating his category from start to finish. Nico prepared the event by arriving earlier and having some days to test the spot and the conditions, and it really paid off.

IFCA JYM Worlds - Nicolas Goyard Youth World Champ

Nico and his Racing Blade 8.6 World Champs

Nicolas Goyard, just 18 years old dominated the IFCA Youth Slalom Worlds from start to finish taking all three slalom races and wining all but one of his heats. Nicolas is competing in both RSX and Slalom as well as in Raceboard class ocasionally. Last year he was already French RRD120 Champion, a very popular class for the young windsurfers in France. Find out more about him at https://sites.google.com/site/nicolasgoyardwindsurfer/

On top of Nicolas Goyard’s victory, Rob Hofmann was competing in Master category and mNicolas Goyard was crowned IFCA Slalom Youth World Champion last week in Costa Brava, but also Rob Hofmann won the Grand Master title and Jimmy Van Someren was first U15 in the Junior category, so that is three Loft World Champions altogether ¡¡¡ Read the report and interview with Nicolas Goyard Windsurfing his chances of stepping on the podium until the very last race to finally finish 6th but taking the Grand Masters Victory. And Jim van Someren, competing in the Junior category was first U15, so that is 3 Loft World Champions altogether.

Interview with Nicolas Goyard:

Q: So Nico, what is it like to be IFCA World Champion?

A: Honestly,  being world champion, of course is a great joy that you indeed feel when you win the last race of the championship and when you step on the podium and your receive the trophy; however afterwards everything stays the same. You have to continue training hard and progressing to the next level. Of course you want to win to confirm that your efforts are paying off.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the spot and the conditions during the competition in Costa Brava?

A: We went a couple of days before the start of the competition and trained with our coach, Aurélien Le Metayer, luckily I was using the same gear I finally used during competition, Racing Blade 8,6 and a 80cm Slalom board. I was really fast compared to the guys in my age category but also compared to the Masters. During the first days there was a light tramontana that avoided the local summer breeze to kick in, and we also had thunderstorms at night. From Thursday on, the local breeze blew a bit stronger, but not too much, around 12 knots.

Q: You managed to win all three races of the championship; can you tell us how you did it?

A: Apart from and early mistake due to stress in the first quarter final where I finished fourth, I won all other heats I was in. I won the first two finals with big advantage over the second; it was a good start… On the last day the race director announced that he would only finish the third race, so I was already World Champion. We had stronger winds, around 16 knots, and I also won the last final, but with a bit more competition.

Q: Which sail quiver have you used during competition? How did you feel on your rigs compared to your competitors? What was your strong point?

A: I used the Racing Blade 8,6 during all the competition, I am really getting used to this size, it gave me the extra speed I needed in order to win. The sail is very powerfull perfectly oriented and is always tracking forward. It allows me to foil the board sooner, accelerating faster and getting me on the plane very quick after the jibes.
Q: What is your program for the rest of the season?

A: Now I have to lose some weight to compete in the RS:X 8.5 French Championship as well as the Frenc Slalom 31 Championship (3 sails + 1 monotype board). I will also try to get an invitation for the PWA La Torche, which would be my first ever PWA competition.

IFCA JYM Worlds – Nicolas Goyard Youth World Champ

Nicolas jibing towards victory

IFCA JYM Worlds - Jimmy Van Someren U15 World Champ

Jimmy and his Racing Blade 2012

IFCA JYM Worlds – Rob Hofmann GrandMaster Champion

Rob at full speed with his Racing Blade

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

12Jun/14Off

The Loft Team at Defi Wind 2014

Defi Wind is one of the most spectacular and demanding sailing events worldwide. The expectation is very high year after year, as the number of participants keeps increasing. This year was a record breaking, as the inscriptions raised up to 1.000 windsurfers and a great forecast ahead. As the dates where the same as PWA Costa Brava most of the pro-windsurfers following the tour were missing.

Defi Wind - Day 1 - Nico Jibes to victory

Defi Wind – Day 1 – Nico Jibes to victory

Nicolas Warembourg was really expecting the race as last year he fought really hard and was just off the podium, his goal for this edition obviosly was to jump on the podium, and so he did. He was able to win two out of six races and the one raced in the hardest conditions, and had the chance to win the overall until the very last race. Delphine, on her side had the pressure of  being double World Champion,

Defi Wind - Delphine Cousin womens winner

Defi Wind – Delphine Cousin womens winner

PWA Slalom 2013 and her recent IFCA Slalom World title. She had to fight back a strong contendant, as she was unable to win the first two races, but after taking the third one it was all straight wins to take the final women title.

Nico tells us his day a day races and experiences:

Day 1: Happiness ¡¡ I was feeling the pressure before the race started, a mixed feeling of fear and excitement, as I have been waiting a whole year to come back and improve my results. For Race 1 I used my Racing Blade 6.3 and a 92l Slalom board. The goal of course is to do a good start, right after the boat, I am on time and already fighting my way to the first mark with Pascal Boulanger and Patrice Belbeoch, arriving third to the first mark and catching up to second at the third mark, I see that Patrice has gone to much downwind and has to tack to get back on track … Race 1 is mine ¡¡¡

Day 2: Bad starts ¡¡ I was still on the same equipment for Race 2, but had a bad start this time and had to fight my way back up the fleet, to arrive 5th to the first mark, but  a boat from the organization closed in while gybing and I fell down, meaning I had yet again to fight back with the added pressure to finally finish 9th. Wind was raising and decided to go one size down to Racing Blade 5.6 and 87l, but a wind drop 20 second before the start made me fall …hard to believe when there were 30 to 40 knots ¡¡¡  Again I had to speed up the fleet to arrive 8th to the first mark and 3rd at the finish lie, not too bad after all.

Day 3: Recognition ¡¡ On saturday the wind was very strong, so strong I thought we would not be able to race, but the race was on, so I rigged my smallest Racing Blade 4.9, 87l and a 27 cm fin. There is strong chop all over but I was determined to fight for this epic race. A good start and I find myself in the leading fleet, but having to hold on to my boom in order not to crash down, as some riders are doing around me … 3rd or 4th at the first mark, 2nd behind Pierre Moretti near the second mark, I see him gybing smoothly as the wind drops next to the organization boat, I decide to skip a tight gybe and go deeper past the boar looking for the wind gust which proved to be a good move as I find myself in the lead after the gybe. Despite starting to be tired I went on to increse the distance with the chasing group. I could hear the people shouting from the beach and also my coach and the Loft Sails manager received me on the beach to celebrate this great victory that I will always remember.

Defi Wind - Day 3 - Nico wins and epic Race 4

Defi Wind – Day 3 – Nico wins and epic Race 4

Day 4: Bitter victory ¡¡ The pressure builds as we prepare for the last race of the Defi, I can stop visualizing the course in my head before the start, while my coach tries to calm me down and give me the last advices. I score a good start and after some miles, Patrice is chasing me, while Andrea and Anders are in front and near the shore. I pass the first mark in 7th or 8th position but know that I have to finish within the first six to win the Race, so I battle hard with Pierre Moretti and Denis Standhart during the rest of the legs to finally cross the finish line on sixth position thinking that I won the overall …just to realize when arriving to the beach that Andrea finished first and I was finally second. It took me 20 minutes to digest the news … I was so close … no regrets however as I did my best on this last race. Once on the podium I realised what I achived, as my initial goal was a podium position.  I will come back in 2015 with even more motivation ¡¡¡

Defi Wind - Price giving - Nico celebrating on the podium

Defi Wind – Price giving – Nico celebrating on the podium

Click here to read more: The Loftsails

16May/14Off

Delphine Cousin – IFCA Slalom World Champion

With the cancellation of the PWA in Ulsan – Korea, many PWA regulars took the chance to go down to the Azores and compete for the IFCA Slalom Championship, right after the Formula Worlds. Wind only showed up during one day, and the organization was able to complete one full men Slalom round and three women rounds.

Delphine Cousin - IFCA Slalom World champion

Delphine Cousin – IFCA Slalom World champion

Despite a bad start in the firs slalom, Delphine managed to come back and take all next two in a row, discarting her first race and securing this way the title, showing great preparation for the PWA season: “After the cancellation of the world cup in Korea, I decided to go to the World Championship IFCA wich took place in Azores on Terceira Island. Competition has finished on saturday night after a week with few wind. Indeed, on 4 days of races, wind has been present just for one afternoon but for womens fleet we have done 3 races. During this races, wind was enough irregular between 12 to 25 knots. The choice of the gear was really hard. After a disastrous first round in wich I did a bag choice of gear, I make it up by winning the next tow races. And finally, I am first and I won the title of WORLD CHAMPION SLALOM IFCA 2014!

I am really happy because it permits me to begin the season in a good way before the first step of the World Cup PWA in Turkmenistan at the beginning of July.My next competition will be the Defi Wind on 29th May to 1st june, the biggest windsurfing meeting in the world ( 1000 competitors).”
Lena Erdil, on his side, managed to lead the competition until the very last race due to a bad gybe and lost the title by just one point. Winter training in South Africa proved to be a good way to prepare the season.
Lena Erdil - IFCA Slalom Vice Champion

Lena Erdil – IFCA Slalom Vice Champion

“I’m back Home in Ortakent now with a nice second place trophy from this years IFCA World championships in my suitcase! Although second place is still a solid result I’m still a little disappointed not to get first and wanted to let you know that i lost out on first place by just one point and mainly because I managed to fall in one of my jibes eventhough i was leading :( We got to race only one day, but managed to make 3 finals within that day, I finished first in one and second in both the others. However on the up side it was a good training race for the coming PWA races, I got to test all my equipment in racing conditions and against last years champion Delphine Cousine and am now feeling confident for this years PWA racing season. I have 6 weeks now until the first slalom race in Turkmenistan, so I will go back into full power training mode.” All in all a good result for the Loft Sails women team, taking the first two spots in the IFCA Slalom Worlds 2014 and a great start of the season for the Racing Blade.

Delphine and Lena on the Podium

Delphine and Lena on the Podium

On the mens side, Gonzalo managed to enter the final and was fighting for podium positions until the very first mark, when his boom got stuck in the water during the gybe and was finally 8th. Antoine Questel won the losers final, Ludo was just off the top ten, 11th and Nico Warembourg 13th. Well done to all ¡¡¡   Video recap of the event:    

Click here to read more: The Loftsails