The world’s best wave windsurfers are gearing up for the 2013 KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup in Klitmøller, Denmark from September 16-22 and the spotlight will be even brighter with HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark attending as the new patron of the event. The Crown Prince, a former Danish Navy Seal, accomplished sailor and iron man triathlete, will try his hand at windsurfing on Sunday September 15, before the pros take over. The new format of a 32-man field will be as strong as ever with 2012 champion, Thomas Traversa, from France, defending his title. The man he beat in the final, Philip Köster, windsurfing’s wunderkind, will start as favourite though, especially if the wind is up. Köster, the 19-year-old double world champion, started the defence of his crown by winning in Tenerife in August. He showed his all-round skills in beating arch-rival Viktor Fernandez Lopez, the 2010 world champion, in the final with an astonishing stalled double forward and super smooth taka. With the first round in July lost in an unusually windless and waveless Pozo, Gran Canaria, the heat is on in Cold Hawaii to make every move count.
“With only three events, if the ones after Sylt don’t happen, there is no discard and people are committed to coming. Everyone will be there,” Rich Page, the PWA tour manager, said. The PWA have been working to expand the wave calendar but nothing is guaranteed yet.
“Quite feasibly we are looking at a Maui event and there is an outside chance of another event in either Venezuela or Brazil and then also the Chile event at the end of the year,” he said. “ We will probably have an idea about Maui and possibly Brazil or Venezuela before Denmark is up. We’re not 100 per cent sure about Chile yet but it looks reasonably positive.”
As it prepares to host its fourth world cup, Klitmøller, for decades a place of pilgrimage for windsurfers in the know, is an established part of the professional tour. “It creates a focus of windsurfing in northern Europe and for people to come and watch and, compared to some venues, be very close-up and personal with what’s going on,” Page said.
The presence of the Crown Prince is another stage in the organic growth of this event out of the passion of the local windsurfing community. “We are proud and honoured that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik finds the KIA Cold Hawaii PWA World Cup worth supporting,” Finn Jorsal, the president of the Friends of Cold Hawaii, the association behind the event, said. “It’s a boost, that gives us national as well as international status. That can make it possible for us, to make this event even bigger.”
In its young history the Cold Hawaii world cup has driven forward the evolution of windsurfing with the introduction of live streaming on the internet in 2010 and live scoring in 2012. The effects of that have been rippling through the sport and this season the field has been reduced to the best 32, rather than 48, partly to allow for two sailor heats, rather than having four sailors on the water as was the case in previous years. “We launched live scoring for the wave events in Klitmøller last year and it’s been pretty successful,” Page said. “Putting that alongside the new format with just two guys on the water, improves that whole experience for people watching, on the internet particularly.”