Next stop on the PWA World Tour is on the isthmus of Westerland, Northern Germany known as Sylt. This year the event is celebrating its XX anniversary and is one of the longest running and most respected stopovers on the PWA tour.
Sylt can be a truly radical venue with the rapidly changing weather conditions in Europe at this time of the year can serving up anything from light winds and 30 degrees to 50 knots, 8 feet waves and temperatures threatening 0 degrees!
Due to the unpredictable conditions in Germany the wind in Sylt can come from all directions although the wave events are generally held in cross onshore winds, generally from port tack. The waves in Sylt break on several different sand bars and if the wind is blowing it doesn't take long for the faces to reach 2 meters.
The quality of the organization in Germany is second to none and the event attracts huge crowds who brave all weathers to line the beach to see some of the most radical performances in Northern Europe. Sylt is also infamous as an incredible party venue and the bars and huge nightclub known as the Hangar are full to the brim every night during competition time.
This years event will effectively see the crowning of both men's and women's race and wave world champions. In the men's wave Norwegian jump specialist, Vidar JENSEN (North) leads the rankings after winning in Gran Canaria earlier in the season. Hot on his heals are fellow Canarians Jonas CEBALLOS (Gaastra, Fanatic) and Bjorn DUNKERBECK (Neil Pryde) with Josh ANGULO of USA fourth in the rankings. The last winner in Sylt was ex world champion Jason POLAKOW (JP, Neil Pryde) who cleaned up back in 2001 after winning an intense final against fellow Aussie Scottie MCKERCHER (Starboard).
Expect to see breathtaking performances if the conditions co-operate since the level of wave sailing this season has struck an all time high. Double loops, which were once a rarity, are now a common occurrence and it seems only a matter of time before we see the first triple attempts during official competition.
In the women's wave rankings Daida MORENO (Mistral, North) is in pole position ahead of Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland and Iballa MORENO (Mistral, North). With Sylts ever changing conditions anything can happen in the waves and no doubt the PWA wave season is going to finish in explosive style.
In the Men's PWA Formula Racing Micah BUZIANIS (Mistral, North) is currently in pole position in the rankings after a thrilling victory ahead of Wojtek BRZOZOWSKI (Starboard, Neil Pryde) and Kevin PRITCHARD (Gaastra, Starboard) in Polish, ERA, PWA World Cup. In the women's racing Dorota STASZEWSKA (Gaastra, Starboard) won convincingly in Poland to head the rankings ahead of Verena FAUSTER (Gaastra, Starboard) of Italy and Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland.
With over 100,000 spectators expected daily in Germany to come and see the best windsurfers in the world in action Sylt promises to be one of the most exciting events of the season. With world titles up for grabs the pressure will be on the leaders to maintain their positions although as we have seen in previous seasons anything can happen when it comes down to the wire.