Jason Polakow and Karin Jaggi won the last PWA World Tour event of the year in Ireland. Overall Wave Champions for the year are Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Daida Moreno, both second in Ireland.
The wind refused to play ball here on the final day of the 2001 PWA Irish Wave Grand Prix, which means Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde) and Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) are the winners in their men's and women's respective single elimination's.
In the dramatic men's final yesterday, Polakow thwarted a determined challenge from Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde) of Spain. Battling it out in almost perfect cross-offshore wave riding conditions the Aussie wave guru was awarded victory over Dunkerbeck with a 4-1 decision from the judges. On his road to the final Polakow's explosive vertical top to bottom wave riding style was the key factor in taking down opposition Mikko Merve (North), Orjan Jensen (North, Proof), Scott Fenton (Gaastra) and Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra). Dunkerbeck meanwhile used his years of competition experience and tactics to help him advance over Matt Pearch (Neil Pryde, JP) Scott Carvill (Naish Boards, Naish sails) Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish sails) and Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows).
"I am stoked. I saw Bjorn had some set waves in the final and didn't feel that I had the best waves. I rode the waves as well as I could for what I had. I am just stoked, that is two wins in a row. I could not ask for anymore. I am really motivated now, I have been working hard with Scott Sanchez and the MPG Team, hopefully I can come back next year and win the world title"
"The wind has been a little light for my tastes. I am happy we had the conditions. The weather forecast said there was going to be nothing at all. We had sunshine decent waves and some OK winds. That pretty well wraps up a good year for me again so I am pretty stoked about that. The final was pretty close. I am going to check out the score sheets to see if I can learn anything. I felt like I had good waves and my friends thought that I had won the heat. I guess the judges saw it differently!"
In the battle for third and fourth Peter Volwater of Holland scooped third place in a heated clash against Kevin Pritchard of the USA.
"It was a super good competition. It is a beach break here so it is not like a perfect Fiji mechanical wave sort of thing but every now and then you get a wave that sets up perfectly and reels off. You can get twelve bottom turns on one wave. I would of loved to be in the final. I feel like I am getting closer now. My results have been getting a lot better every year. I am a lot more experienced now and feel that I am very close at breaking through to make into the finals. I keep on getting third place. I had fun sailing against Bjorn and Cisco today. It is wonderful just to be out there with just four guys sharing waves.
"These are not my ideal conditions. I had some tough heats along the way and was pretty pleased to reach the semi finals. I beat Tristan Boxford and Nik Baker, which were both difficult heats. The scenery is stunning here and we have had some awesome waves. I think I am second overall after this event so I am reasonably pleased with that."
In the women's final Karin Jaggi of Switzerland emerged as the winner after taking victory over Daida Moreno of Spain. Jaggi had made it through to the final after a tough battle in the semi's against a spirited performance from Daida's twin sister, Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North). Iballa managed to take third place after defeating Tony Frey (RRD) of Greece in the losers final.
"I am super happy to win here in Ireland. For me it is the best event to win, I love it here. I am very stocked to win a wave riding competition. I think Daida has won the world title though. We both won two events but she did better in the competitions she did not win. It was a super tight year and I actually think she deserved to win. I am just very happy I got back into the right track"
"It was hard to get out through the waves because the wind was light and quite offshore. The waves were really nice, I was on a 4.7, which I needed to get out, but it was sometimes too much on the wave. I am pretty happy, I thought I had a good heat in the final. I thought I may of won but I was wrong"
This year's event in Ireland will long be remembered for its epic down the line wave riding conditions. In front of a beautiful backdrop of lush green patchwork farmlands, the competition had kicked off in dramatic style on Thursday at Gowlane beach in smooth, mast high peeling waves. The forecast for Friday had been poor and many decided to party the night away in a wild night at Spillanes pub, the spiritual home of the event. As we all know, one thing about Ireland you can never predict is the weather and Friday surprised everyone with another day of epic conditions at Gowlane. With cranking waves and more sideshore winds the PWA season concluded in spectacular style.
Young gun, Kauli Seadi of Brazil who went down to Dunkerbeck in the quarterfinals was one of the most impressive talents to be seen here in Ireland. His speed down the line and snappy vertical top turns have revealed a definite force to be reckoned with over the coming years on the PWA World Tour. Francisco Goya (F2, Arrows) failed to repeat the performances which gave him victory here last year but nevertheless he did come up with several moments of brilliance. The Argentinean wave guru who is known for his fluid style in the waves unleashed his latest manoeuvre in two of his heats…the frontside back loop off the lip. Goya was eventually beaten by Peter Volwater who has firmly established himself this season as a one of the big guns in all disciplines on the PWA World Tour.
2001 PWA WAVE OVERALL RANKINGS
The results here in Ireland have made an important impact on the overall wave rankings for the year. Second place here in Ireland was enough for Bjorn Dunkerbeck to secure the Overall wave title. Kevin Pritchard did enough to remain in second overall whilst Jason Polakow who missed the first event of the year due to injury moved up into in third. Vidar Jensen (Dropps, North) who came into the event in pole position in the rankings suffered disappointment after being beaten by Robby Swift (JP Neil Pryde) of England in the second round. The defeat meant that he dropped from first down to fourth overall.
Second place here in Ireland was also enough for Daida Moreno to clinch the women's overall wave title with Karen Jaggi hot on her heals in second and Iballa Moreno taking third.
2001 PWA FREESTYLE OVERALL RANKINGS
The 2001 PWA Men's Freestyle Tour which was decided over three competitions held in Lake Garda Italy, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura was won by Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France. Last years winner Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde) had to settle for second with Matt Pritchard (AHD, Gaastra) finishing in third. The Women's Freestyle Tour was won by Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) of Venezuela with Iballa Moreno grabbing second place ahead of Karin Jaggi in third.
The tour will no doubt finish with a bang tonight at the closing ceremony here in Brandon Bay Ireland. The Irish hospitality has been well appreciated by the sailors during the past week and after an epic event it seems a fitting place to wind up the season.