With a promising outlook, the world-class racers arrived at the beach full of enthusiasm and ready to hit the slalom course hard today. And, after a short spell on standby the south-easterly breeze began to build, and the sailors were put on frequent announcements in an effort to get the competition moving.
However, despite race director, Juan Antonio Aragon and his team making every effort to get the racing underway, after three further hours sitting on the edge of their seats, the wind had merely teased the competitors leaving them to battle it out another day.
Whilst the sailors were on standby, we took the opportunity to talk to one of the most experienced and consistent sailors in the fleet, former overall world champion, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine) about how he copes with days like today.
PWA: What do usually get up to on days when the competition’s on hold?
KP: “I try to stay calm and relaxed, and keep my mind active by working on other little projects like my videos. It’s during days like today that I often find inspiration for little features. Yesterday when we were on standby I began to film Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) for an upcoming release. Other than that, I generally just try to keep busy.”
PWA: What does it feel like being on fifteen minute announcements for an entire afternoon?
KP: “When the conditions are so close to being sufficient for racing it’s actually really annoying because you’re tensed up all day, or at least I am anyway, and you’re always on edge because you want to perform at your best. Obviously you can’t leave the event site when the announcements are so close together, and you have to be ready at all times. I prefer it if it’s either all on, or called off completely!”
PWA: Does all this waiting around have a big impact on your mental state?
KP: “I think it does a little bit, and I tend to stress out somewhat, but I’m sort of getting used to it after fifteen years of following the tour!”
PWA: Do you find it more difficult to sleep the night before if you know you’ll be playing the waiting game the next day?
KP: “I only ever find it easy to sleep if there’s no competition at all! Even though I’ve been on the tour for so long, you know what, I still get butterflies in my stomach, and I still get really nervous before every start! No matter how much competition you do, I don’t think that you can ever shake that feeling off.”
PWA: Is there anyone in particular who breaks down on days like today?
KP: “It’s hard to tell. If there is, they hide it really well.”
PWA: Do you ever find yourself fiddling with your gear? Tweaking your sails or sanding your fins?
KP: “That’s one thing you won’t see many people doing on days like today, mainly because all of the preparation is done pre-season so there’s no need to do it now. We spend about four months before the tour starts, endlessly tweaking, and if you didn’t do it then you shouldn’t really be here.”
PWA: What advice would you give to the younger and less experienced sailors in the fleet for days like today?
KP: “The main thing I would say is, if the boats are heading out to set a course, you should at least have your gear at the water’s edge and be ready to pull your wetsuit on as soon as the call is made. If the race director had signalled that the racing was about to begin today, a lot of guys would have been caught out.”
Eye On The Horizon
The wind forecast for the following few days looks much stronger than today, so hopefully the world’s best windsurfers will return to the water for some more action packed competition soon!
Official Competition Results
Freestyle After The Single Elimination
1st Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
2nd Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic)
3rd Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
4th Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
Slalom After One Race
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic)
2nd Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
3rd Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North)
4th Alberto Menegatti (Starboard, Simmer)