Sunday’s final of the 2013 KIA Cold Hawaii PWA world cup will see classic Klitmøller conditions with winds gusting towards 40 knots and the riders jumping like popcorn on the North Sea. There will be the perfect conditions to showcase the keen rivalry of Philip Köster and Victor Fernandez Lopez. Victor Fernandez Lopez, the 29-year-old world number 2 will be first on the water in the first heat of the day against German qualifier, Lars Gobisch. Fernandez, the 2010 world champion, is hungry to get his title back from Philip Köster, the 19-year-old wunderkind, who has taken the windsurfing world by storm. Köster goes in the bottom of the draw of the 32 best wave windsurfers in the world. The soulsurfer Frenchman who beat him in the final here last year, Thomas Traversa, goes in the third heat of the day.
“I would say my hardest competitors are Fernandez, Mussolini and Traversa,” Koster, the 2011 and 2012 world champion, said.
“I like the forecast for tomorrow, it’s good when you see the forecast in red,” Fernandez said. “It’s strong and I like strong winds. I am in the first heat so I will be ready.”
World cup weather watch: Duncan Coombs, PWA head judge: “Conditions improved enough for the guys to freesail but not for competition (on Saturday). The skippers’ briefing is at 0800hrs for a first possible start of 0830hrs. The forecast has remained constant throughout the day with a south-west wind veering northwest providing great side-onshore jumping conditions. We will have a winner.”
Victor Fernandez Lopez (Spain, world no.2 and 2010 world champion): “I like the forecast for tomorrow, it’s good when you see the forecast in red. It’s strong and I like strong winds. I am in the first heat so I will be ready. I’ll have everything ready from 4m up to 5.6m sails. I don’t think it’s going to be stronger than 4.0 (metre sail). The wind is going to be cross-onshore and with a lot of current it means I’ll have to be on a bigger sail than normal (to get back upwind). I think it’s pretty open conditions for everyone.”
Alex Mussolini (Spain, world no.3): “Tomorrow is going to be windy and everybody wants to sail after sitting around for one week. I brought seven sails with me from 3.7 to 5.0 and two boards, size 75 and 82 litres. I’m still happy with that choice. To prepare myself I visualise the wind inside my head and how I can preform in those conditions.”
Philip Köster (Germany, 2011 and 2012 world champion, 2011 Cold Hawaii champion): “In the last few years we have had great conditions here in Klitmøller. Twice I got my world title here. I think it’s a cool place.Everyone sails really good but I would say my hardest competitors are Fernandez, Mussolini and Traversa.
I know the conditions here from the last years world cups in Cold Hawaii so I feel prepared.”
Thomas Traversa (France, 2012 Cold Hawaii champion):
“I’m in the third heat and that might be a bit tricky in the beginning. In my first heat I think I just have to sail solid and not try too much. Before the heat I know pretty much which jumps and manoeuvres I can make. There are a lot of talented sailors here but my biggest competitors are for sure Fernandez and Köster. I still count on Mussolini’s help like last year (Mussolini acted as Traversa’s caddy in the final rounds) but hopefully we’ll both get through to the final heats and then off course we can’t help one another anymore. I’ve brought three sails with me 4.0, 4.2 and 4.5 and three boards; a 70 litres and two 65 litres in case something happens to one of them. It’s nice to be back to Cold Hawaii.”