The world’s best wave windsurfers are only gearing up for the 2014 KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup in Klitmøller, Denmark from September 15-21 after the kind of stirring local support that is the stuff of windsurfing lore and Hollywood scripts. The world cup event in Klitmøller has always had a touch of the Field of Dreams “build it and he will come” since being started by local windsurfers in 2010, but the past year has seen a cocklewarming rescue and phoenix-like rise.
With four different champions in four years the Cold Hawaii world cup had already established itself as the most exciting and unpredictable event on the tour, even without the drama of the last year.
The competition will doubtless be epic again with a star-studded entry list with the champion, Brazil’s Daniel “Brawzinho” Browne, looking to retain his crown and Philip Köster, Germany’s double world champion wunderkind, who was sensationally beaten in the final last year, looking for revenge.
But the real story is that Cold Hawaii 5 is happening at all. That the 2014 event exists is because of a groundswell of support from the community.
“A fifth anniversary is kind of jubilee, so even for that reason it’s special,” Robert Sand, the Cold Hawaii World Cup event manager, said. “After the first event, back in 2010, there was a lot of talk about whether a small community like ours could make it happen again. We could and we’re still going strong. It makes me extremely proud. This year has been exceptionally tough though. After trying what we thought were all options we did in fact cancel the event. At that time it was a 100% sure that it wasn’t going to happen in 2014. Fortunately, a group of sponsors and a number of local companies saw things differently. With their help we turned things around.”
Increased volunteer support from Klitmøller and the Cold Hawaii coastal region has been underpinned by a three-year agreement with Thisted Forsikring, a local Danish insurance company, and a significant contribution from hy-Mors HF & VUC, a local education body.
Sand, the Danish wave champion 2003-05 and a Klitmøller windsurfer for 25 years, is one of core group who have made this event and sweated blood and tears to save it. Kevin Costner’s Dreams and Waterworld days are behind him now, but what price Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassbender as the appropriately-named Sand in a forthcoming feature film?
The rescuing of Cold Hawaii 5 is also important to the wider world of windsurfing. “We are ecstatic to be able to announce that the Cold Hawaii World Cup is back on for 2014,” Rich Page, the PWA tour manager, said. “I know that our friends in Denmark have been working tirelessly trying to resuscitate the event and they deserve every recognition for their successful efforts. The event is important, not just for windsurfing and for the pro riders who compete there, but for Klitmøller and Thisted and everyone who enjoys the beaches of the region. With Klitmøller back on the calendar, we are looking forward to a great PWA Wave Tour and are set for some of the most explosive action ever seen.”
Cold Hawaii 5 looks more open than ever with the Spaniard Victor Fernández-López, the 2010 world champion (when he was second in Cold Hawaii) leading the tour after winning in Gran Canaria and coming second in Tenerife. Fernández-López will need little motivation after his shock early exit last year. Jaeger Stone, the Australian rider who is lying 3rd on the tour after two great comeback events, will also be trying to prove he is man enough for Cold Hawaii at his first attempt in Klitmøller.
“Cold Hawaii is known for changing conditions - we have it all and get it all,” Sand said. “There’s no one who has a big advantage over the others here. We may have perfect logo-high peeling waves and cross offshore winds, as we had in 2010, but we can also have onshore really difficult conditions as we had in 2013, or a storm, like we had in 2011. There's something for all types and styles here. I think that's the reason why we have had different winners every year.”
Download image of winner in 2010 (Kauli Seadi) - here.
Download image of winner in 2011 (Philip Köster) - here.
Download image of winner in 2012 (Thomas Traversa) - here.
Download image of winner in 2013 (Marcilio Browne) - here.
In 2014 everyone can have Cold Hawaii dreams.
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