The best 48 professional windsurfers in the world will arrive in Klitmøller in Denmark this weekend for the KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup in what promises to be a competition of strong sideshore winds and stronger competition. The second round of the Professional Windsurfers Association World Cup, which will run between Monday September 13 and Sunday September 19, is a first for Denmark, which has never hosted a PWA event. Klitmøller is recognised by the riders as the perfect venue for the Wave class of windsurfing and is the unofficial capital of this area of North Jutland justly dubbed ‘Cold Hawaii’. The tiny fishing village has become a favourite training and holiday destination for European windsurfers and will have seen some of the carves, backloops and 360s like the ones coming. Victor Fernandez Lopez, the Spaniard, who tops the leader board after winning the first round of the World Cup in Pozo, Gran Canaria in July, has just made his third visit and is on the crest of the wave. He has also beaten many of his top 10 rivals in two Spanish championships in Gran Canaria and Tenerife this summer.
“I feel very confident after winning in Pozo,” Fernandez Lopez said. “I’m first in the ranking this year and it’s the first time for me and I’ve been training really hard all the summer. After Pozo I competed in the Spanish championships and I won both of them. We had six really good riders, so it was almost like a World Cup. I did many heats and I got more experience in competition. I had the last two weeks in Klitmøller, I arrived on August 30, it is one of the best spots in Europe. But I know it’s going to be really tough because all the riders are really strong on the PWA tour.”
With conditions likely to be similar to Pozo, the 26-year-old Spaniard, Fernandez Lopez may be duelling it out with the 16-year-old German prodigy, Philip Köster, who was second in Pozo after beating Fernandez Lopez in 2009. The only major absentee will be Josh Angulo, the 35-year-old American, who retired after becoming the Wave world champion last year. But there are at least ten riders capable of winning the event, so close is the competition. The 48 competitors will go head-to-head in a knockout system, with judges marking their skills in tricks and wave riding, culminating in a final.
“The best guys are probably coming from Gran Canaria because the conditions are quite similar; winds southwest, the waves from left most of the time and good jumping,” Fernandez Lopez said. “Obviously, Phillip (Köster), Dario (Ojeda), Jonas Ceballos, Ricardo Campello and Marcos Pérez, these guys are really good jumpers. Also Klaas (Voget) can do pretty well and the local guys because they are used to the cold conditions and I think the cold can be a problem for some of the guys from Gran Canaria and Brazil because they are not used to it. We only had one competition so far, so it’s not so many points from the tenth to the first place at the moment.”
Klaas, the experienced 31-year-old German rider, is practically a local, zooming up from his home in Hamburg if the weather looks good, as it usually does. Fernandez Lopez has been travelling with Klass to Klitmøller in the last fortnight underlining the camaraderie that exists on the PWA tour.
“I’ve been going to Klitmøller since I think ’95 and I was always waiting for something like this to happen, finally somebody took it in his hands and organised a world cup there so I’m pretty stoked” Klaas, who was fourth overall in the World Cup last year, said. “For Germany this is our little Hawaii we drive up there when we get a good forecast. For Europe and especially north of Europe it’s probably one of the best windsurfing destinations. It deserves the name Cold Hawaii.”
“I think it is a little bit of an advantage for sure when you know the place, but Klitmøller is not super difficult to sail, it’s not like Sylt (the World Cup venue in Germany), Sylt is really difficult, special, but difficult. Klitmøller, when the wind is south-west, that is the forecast right now, then it’s not so difficult, it gets more difficult when it’s more onshore but a lot of the guys who are competing against me or with me have been in Klitmøller one, two or three times so there’s a few guys who can do really well.”
“I think jumping wise there’s some guys a little bit ahead of me for sure and surfing, there are some guys who are really, really good in those wave tricks. I’m just trying to push a really good overall performance.”
The early forecasts are that Klitmøller will blow as normal. “Klitmøller is quite exposed to westerly wind which is what we need. According to the most recent weather forecasts look like westerlies and there will be enough wind - about 15 to 20 knots,” Robert Sand, the event project manager, said. Sand should know, he was brought up and still lives in Klitmøller and is a former Danish Wave champion.
Klass concurs from Hamburg, where he and Fernandez Lopez will be checking the weather five times a day, at least. “The weather for Tuesday is looking like southwest for two days which is perfect wind for the point at Klitmøller, its not going to be too onshore its going to sideshore,” Klass said. “The waves are going to be two and a half, three metres, so it’s pretty much the best forecast you can get for this contest.”
With live video and scoring the event promises to be the most technologically advanced ever and fans will be able to follow the competition across multiple web and social media platforms. “There is a dynamic scoreboard, the heats usually last eight minutes, two minute break and then the next one starts. As soon as the heat is over, the scores are going to be tabulated so you can see what the deciding moves have been. That is something that has never been used in windsurfing at all,” Sand said. For more details please visit http://vps.incendium.dk/~coldhawa
Editor's notes The KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup is one of many major international sailing events to be held in Denmark in recent years. This summer, Denmark has already hosted the SAP 505 World Championship and the 2010 RS:X World Championships. Denmark is bidding for the ISAF Sailing World Championship 2014, which will be the World Championship for all Olympic classes and the most important qualification event for the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janiero. Denmark's official bid for the ISAF Sailing World Championship 2014 will be made this autumn.