The first round of the PWA wavesailing world cup kicks off today in Guincho, Portugal. As yet there is little sign of the infamous nuclear Guincho winds. The waves and wind are forecast to make an appearance this weekend, although as anybody who has been to Gunicho knows, the forecast can be decieving.
The main talking point is the absence of ex-wave world champions Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Jason Polakow. Maybe they saw the forecast, took their chances and paid up the fine. Dunkerbeck hinted to us last year that he may not do all the wave events in 2006 if they looked light. The 110kg Terminator struggles to get going in the lighter winds. In Sylt last year he was on a 6.4m Sail and a 105 litre custom wave board and struggled to get the height in the jumps. Polakow has also become a bit more fussy about the conditions during contests.
Aside from the above, all usual suspects are in attendance. Reigning world champion Kauli Seadi has been training hard over the winter, and after a brief stopover in Ireland last week is keen to get on the water and stamp out his authority. The chasing pack include Robbie Swift, now fit from injury, Victor Fernandez Lopez, Alex Moussolini, Nik Baker, The Pritchards, John Skye, Scott Mckercher and Josh Angulo.
Even with the abundance of talent above, all eyes will be on 3 times world champion Ricardo Campello who is making his first serious assault on the wave title. Ricardo is well known for his amazing jumping ability, but what about his wave riding? One thing is for sure though, the established names will want to avoid the South American wonder boy at all costs.
Right now the beach is full of the usual bronzed Portugese ladies, but is looking good for a small surfing session later on.
Photo Credit: PWA/Carter