On the Island of Westerland it has traditionally been the all rounders that excel, as the widest range of conditions continually test the best, with the North Sea beaches regularly serving up a variety of conditions, from flat calm to storm force winds. From 22 September-1 October, the regular annual crowds of up to 100,000 are set to show up and see the world's elite of windsurfing in action, often willing to brave all weathers to meet their heroes. The night time schedule is guaranteed to go off as the legendary after dark scene of Sylt's hotspots accommodate the riders and spectators for an extravaganza of year end partying!
This end of season atmosphere has seen some of the greatest rivalries in windsurfing's history settled, and world titles won or lost. This time round Sylt sees a new discipline, with the finale of the Men's Freestyle competition to be fought. Throw in the decider of the Men's Slalom 42 Tour, and mix in full on wave action as both the men's and women's title races hot up, and you have a recipe for the one of most spectacular finishes to a season ever!
The Men's Wave Tour is currently led by Kevin PRITCHARD (USA), who won the title in Sylt back in 2002. He leads big time threats, Kauli SEADI (BRA) and Josh ANGULO (CPV), the 2005 and 2003 Wave Champions respectively. However many say the man to beat is Victor FERNANDEZ (ESP) who cleaned up at the last event in Pozo.
The Women's Wave fleet is led by Daida MORENO (ESP), followed by her ever present rivals Karin JAGGI (SUI), and twin sister Iballa MORENO (ESP). The odds are spread evenly at this event as the conditions can vary so much, and the famously gnarly shore break is the biggest leveller of them all, and has regularly prevented riders from making it out to their heats.
In the Slalom 42 division Antoine ALBEAU (FRA) has dominated the season so far. His ruthless display has put a lot of distance between himself and Kevin PRITCHARD in the runner up slot. Lying in third and always a danger is the current world speed record holder, and winner of the last event in Turkey, Finian MAYNARD (IVB). The battle for the constructors' titles is also intensifying as the top brands teams vie for podium positions.
The grand finale of the Men's Freestyle will see teenage tour leader and hot title favourite Jose 'Gollito' ESTREDO (VEN) take on the most talented set of front-runners ever. 2006 is likely to see a new champion crowned after three-time World Champion Ricardo CAMPELLO (VEN) has surprisingly placed just sixth this season, highlighting exactly how much the standard of performance has shot through the ceiling. Bonaire's Taty FRANS (NED) is in second place eager to take his first ever title, and Lanzarote's radical trick master Antxon OTAEGUI (ESP) has shown huge ambition and talent, on this just his second year on tour, to go to Germany ranked third.
You can check the full entry list out at www.pwaworldtour.com and follow all the action with live web casts, results, daily summaries and more.
The event also has its own German language website www.worldcupsylt.de. A positive long range forecast could see competition starting immediately after the show opens.
Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) Events are designated as ISAF Special Events. There are five main disciplines that are held on the PWA World Tour: Wave, Freestyle, Race (Slalom 42), Super X and Indoor. Competitors at each World Tour event score points towards the PWA Annual Ranking list. At the end of the season, the sailor with the highest total score in each discipline is the PWA World Champion for that year. For more information on the PWA, the events and the sailors visit the PWA website - www.pwaworldtour.com.
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