For Denmark's best wave windsurfer Kenneth Danielsen (D-38) this year's KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup in Klitmøller can be boiled down to one thing: washing away last year's disappointment.
After finishing 6th in Klitmøller in 2011 and 17th in 2012, the Dane was aiming at surprising the world in 2013. That didn’t happen. After losing in the first heat to Omar Sanchez (E-33) in a last-minute single elimination, it was game over for Danielsen. Which has nagged him ever since.
According to the 30-year-old, who live part time in Klitmøller, part time in Aalborg, where he study Sports Technology at Aalborg University this year will be different. So far preliminary preparations have been perfect prior to the fifth KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup.
“Lately we’ve had a lot of wind. The good conditions have allowed me to sail a lot. Now it looks as if we’re heading for a period with less wind, so for the next week or so I’ll focus on cardio and fitness training before we – hopefully – get a lot of wind again," says Kenneth Danielsen.
The season's beginning has been a mixed experience for Danielsen, who is currently ranked number 21 in the world. The PWA competition rules have been changed. Before the changes, last year's top 20 sailors would have automatically qualified for the main event. This is no longer the case.
As a result Kenneth Danielsen - even though he finished number 20 in 2013 - had to go through pre-event competitive rounds in Poso, Gran Canaria to qualify for the main event, putting the otherwise highly experienced sailor under unexpected pressure.
At the 2014 KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup in Klitmøller, the 1 meter 88 centimeters tall, 86-kilo giant of a wave-sailer is hoping for the strong Cold Hawaii wind to kick in and give him wings to fly all the way to a top ranking.
"Of course, I’ll do everything in my power to produce a good result. This is my home turf and thus extra important to me" says Kenneth Danielsen.
But it won't be an easy ride. Due to his low seeding, Danielsen will have strong competition right from the first heat in the single elimination. For that reason there is a risk that he will be eliminated from the competition relatively early.
"I won’t be sad if we get weather conditions that’ll allow us to proceed to the double elimination. Once we’re in the double elimination my chances are much greater. Under the right conditions I should be able to finish top 10 in Klitmøller. I’ve done it before, I can do it again," says Kenneth Danielsen.