It is going to be full throttle in Pozo from tomorrow. The world tour moves from Lanzarote to the windiest place on the tour yet – Pozo.
This time there is going to be one difference. Slalom racing, or Slalom 42. Not only is this the first time we will see Slalom racing in heavy nucleaic conditions since the late 90\’s, the return is also on the undisputed king of slalom\’s home turf – Bjorn Dunkerbeck.
Before slalom caved in, his dominance was waining slightly, mainly due to the efforts of Kevin Pritchard and the Team. Last year he was pushed all the way by Micah Buzianis to takes his joing title and 24th overall world title.
There is one thing that has changed since the last PWA slalom racing. The format only allows for 4 registered sails, which begs the question of just what do you register? 4 sails to cover 15 – 50knots that is possible, and then the 2 boards? Previously you could have 10!
This year all the brands will have upped their game with slalom boards with the 42 rule in mind, and it will be a real test to also see who is on the best gear out there. The same gear that you can buy at your local windsurfing shop.
The sheer presence of Dunkerbeck is enough to make him favourite for the title, he lives there and has probably been training everyday. He is now Norths main man for slalom now that Buzianis has moved to Pryde. Fellow Pryde team mate and Super X world champion Antoine Albeau will be one of his main threats, but Antoine has rarely beaten Bjorn and this must play on his mind. Kevin Pritchard, the last overall world champion and wave tour leader will also be racing. He is no slouch. It looks to be a battle of the old guard again, but keep your eyes on Ross Williams, Dan Ellis, Cyril Mousilmani and Arnon Dagen to cause an upset.
Pozo is also the second round of the mens and womens wave and the first round of womens freestyle (note – no mens freestyle, that is at Fuerteventura). Kevin Pritchards leads the way so far, and has previous top 3 placings at Pozo. His gritted determination and natural all round ability will make him a favourite for the waves. Our main tip for the mens waves though is Ricardo Campello. He tore the fleet apart last year in the double elimination and is still learning his way in the wave discipline. Like Dunkerbeck he is most dangerous when coming from behind! Keep one eye open for Kauli Seadi, Nik Baker, Robby Swift, Bjorn, Vidar Jensen, Alex Mousilini and Victor Fernandez Lopez.
There is also one underdog we should mention, British windsurfer, Phil Horrocks. If he has a bit of competition luck on his side he has all the new skool moves for Pozo waves.
As to the womens, there is a long list of entries, but only kit breakage will stop Daida Rueno Moreno, oh and maybe her sister Iballa..
The womens freestyle could be closer. We interviewed Laure Treboux earlier this year and tipped her for the top. Whilst the choppy nuclear pozo might not suit her style, we expect her to make some lasting impressions.
Check here daily for up to date reports from the riders…
Photo Credit: PWA/Carter