2013 KIA Cold Hawaii PWA world cup, day 3 With a lack of wind leaving the windsurfers in a state of suspended animation on Wednesday, Moritz Mauch, the 17-year-old star of Tuesday and latest off the Pozo production line was basking in sun and reflecting on how he managed to beat the world number 5, Danny Bruch. Having come through a grueling pre-qualification minutes before to make the main world cup field of 32, Mauch revealed why he gave up and came in before his heat with Bruch, the 32-year-old Tenerife-based German, had finished. “I went out and tried to do a good heat, but sadly I had really strong cramps and I had to get out of the water five minutes before it had finished,” Mauch said. “Somebody said to me: ‘what are you doing? you’re winning the heat, you’ve got to get out there.’ But I couldn’t move. I sat on the beach and then somebody told me that I’d won and I jumped up and couldn’t believe it.” The judges scored Mauch’s best two waves combined as 9.5 to Bruch’s 8.75.
But it was not a shock to many of his fellow riders. Alex Mussolini, the world no.3, who also lives in Tenerife, knew Mauch would be dangerous in the wave-riding conditions. “I didn’t think it was an upset, if you’re inside the windsurfing world we all know him and we all know how much potential he has,” Mussolini said. “He had a great heat. Danny is really good, but Moritz is really good and in these kind of conditions, with no jumps and waves here and there. He’s a good rider and we know when you’re 17 you have a lot of fire in your blood and a lot to show, a lot to win and nothing to lose.”
John Skye, the British rider based in Gran Canaria has seen Mauch emerge in Pozo. “When everyone else is out there jumping he’s riding, riding all day long,” Skye said. “I’ve got to be honest, Moritz grew up always together with Alessio (Stillrich), whose here and Pablito, whose not – they were known as the three amigos - and if I’d put money on anyone doing something like that at a world cup it would have been Alessio. But with the weather conditions at the moment and not having jumps it couldn’t have been more Moritz’s day. But at the same time Danny is a great wave rider, if there had been one person I wouldn’t have wanted to face yesterday it was Danny.”
Mauch has German parents but was born and raised in Telde near Pozo, Gran Canaria. “I was born in Gran Canaria but my parents are German, I’m not Spanish, I’m not German, I would say I’m Canarian.” His father, Claus, owns a windsurf school in Bahia Feliz and Mauch, who is also German SUP champion, started windsurfing at the age of six.
He has also broken the Pozo mould, which normally produces jumpers, like Philip Köster, the 19-year-old double world champion, another Gran Canarian with German parents.
“In Pozo it’s perfect conditions for jumping, but I don’t like to jump, I like to surf, now it paid off,” Mauch, who counts wave guru Kauli Seadi as one of his heroes, said. “Four years ago I broke my ankle and a bone in my foot. I was four months out of windsurf. It happened on a jump, so maybe that is why I’m not jumping. I am going to start jumping now though, if not, it’s going to be really difficult to live as a pro.”
In his first world competition out of the Canaries, Tuesday’s was the biggest of Mauch ‘s life and with 20-knot plus onshore conditions forecast for Saturday – the same wave-riding conditions which saw Thomas Traversa beat Köster last year, Mauch could go much further.
Bruch has not given up though and he enjoyed some small revenge as the impromptu SUP contest yesterday saw them both reach the final, which Bruch won. “It was good to win, I probably had an extra bit of energy after feeling a bit down after what happened yesterday,” Bruch said. “I didn’t really agree with the judges scoring but it’s tough and lot of times you think you’ve done well but you don’t really see what the other person has done. We’re good friends and we’ve done a lot of surfing, sailing and SUPing together. So it’s all good. If we get the weather I can make it back for sure.”