Day 4 at the Oxbow IFCA 2008 Worlds in Big Bay, Capetown, SA
Today, finally, the wind was there and it looks promising for the next 2 days. 3 Slaloms were sailed in 15-20 knots of wind. Most sailors were on 7 and 7.6 sails fully powered. For the first time ever a slalom event was held at Witsands and it was a spectacle. Every 20 minutes a wave set up to 3 meters high rolled in the bay causing some problems for the sailors at the inside gibing mark (ask Klaas Voget in slalom 1!). Surf Slalom is the right word.
After 2 slaloms the heat was on since Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) and Ben Van der Steen (Exocet/Simmer) both had one first and a second place. Alberto Menegatti (Starboard/Point 7) was strong in 3rd place.
On the first mark of slalom 3 Alberto was leading but missed totally his gybe and Ross and Ben took the lead. All the way to the finish Ross was leading thanks to superior gibing and a little bit more speed. Chris Pressler (Starboard/Severne) broke a mast in the shorebreak coming in and the first local is Peter Lumley (Starboard/Neil Pryde) on 12th place who made it to the final of Slalom 3. Youth sailor Daniel Domancie (Lorch/Neil Pryde) is fighting hard but Lena Aylin Erdal (JP?Loft) from Turkey-Bodrum, the only girl present, is still in front of him.
Tomorrow the wavers are expected at 8 o'clock at Big Bay and at 10 we expect also the Slalom sailors. Stay tuned!
Day 5 at the Oxbow IFCA 2008 Worlds in Big Bay, Capetown, SA
Witsand again, with still the unusual North West wind (sideshore from right) blowing Olaf decided to go back to Witsand where this wind could work. And it did. Initially the first heat wave started at 10h30 but had to be cancelled due to lack of wind but the sun came and with it the wind. 2 waverides were scored and the waves were up to mast high. I specially remember the waves in heat 4 where Phil Horrocks attacked the highest wave of the day (over mast high) as if they were only 3 feet high - incredible.
For the rest no surprises in the first round. Thanks to the help of a Belgian caddy Kevin Mevissen made it through the second round after breaking his mast at the end of a nice waveride in the middle of his heat. Also his fellow countryman Ben Van der Steen needed some luck to set in the last minute of the 12 minute heat a 2nd scoring waveride after being washed for about 7 minutes. Then clouds came back and the wind dropped.
The best surfers on the water in this "Guincho/Hookipa" wind during training and in the extremely low wind conditions were Klaas Voget, Ross Williams, Ben Profitt and Andrea Rosati. It is just fantastic how these surfers make their way out again totally underpowered and then rip the big waves coming in.
Last Day at the Oxbow IFCA 2008 Worlds in Big Bay, Capetown, SA
This morning the competitors learned that we would start with one or two slaloms and then finalise the Wave event. Wind was predicted to be the 'normal' south-easterly growing during the day up to 35 knots with 2.5 metre swell.
By 11 the wind was 15-20 knots and a 3 mark slalom was set. In slalom 4 Ben Van der Steen had the inside on the finish line and finished milliseconds in front of Ross Williams. The heat was on, both had 2 first and 2 second places so it would all be decided in the last race slalom 5.
In slalom 5 Ross had bad starts in both the semi-finals and the finals due to timing problems. In the final Ross (Tabou/Gaastra) finished only 4th behind a surprising Chris Pressler (Starboard/Severne) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic Neil Pryde). The win was for Ben Van der Steen (Exocet/Simmer) securing the World Title slalom 2008.
Meanwhile the wind increased and Olaf Van Tol (NED) decided to stop slaloming and start heat 10B of the wave performance. First surprise came in heat 11B when local Matthew Swart took out Ross Williams. In the quarter finals we lost Andrea Rosati, Andreas Oleandersson, Ben Van der Steen and Matthew Swart.
Semi-finals between Kevin Mevissen, who won the event last year, and Phil Horrocks and Klaas Voget and Ben Profit. Phil and Klaas came out winning despite some freestyle tricks from Kevin and the 2 attempts of Ben for double forward.
In the losers' final Kevin got the better of Ben and in the winners' final it was very tight until the last jump where Phil Horrocks set a double forward and took the event home.
A Girls heat was run with Natasha Petersmann from South Africa taking the win.
The famous Cape Docor wind took 4 days to come but when he came it was full on spectacle on the beach of Big Bay. 2 speakers, a good sound system and a lot of spectators enjoyed together a spectacular final of a beautiful 5 day event.
Oxbow, Glider sunglasses, Bestlife, Westkaap Kultuursake en sport, Kenings (car rental), Bay sands Lodge, http://www.4beaches.de/ guesthouse, Cinnabon were the sponsors and hosts of this event. http://www.windsurfingafrica.org/ and Steven Rhodes the organisers and the Big Bay Surf Life Saving Club the hosts. Olaf, Penny, Wendy, Piet, Vincent, Dirk, Liz Metcalfe from http://www.capesessions.com/ and yours truly were the workers.
See you next year for another Big Bay Classic!!!
Bruno De Wannemaeker
Results Slalom Final Results Wave Final Results Girls Wave Final
Report back from the Oxbow Big Bay Classic from the 09 BBC team
The last few months' hard work have certainly gone by quickly, and somehow, we managed to pull off this event with minimal time, resources and, so we thought, wind . . .
Of course when we looked at the forecast at the start of the week the worst thoughts entered out minds. Light NW winds scattered the week, which made it nearly 3 weeks the Cape was without its windsurf-friendly south-easter. Looking back though, I have no doubt that we were actually super lucky to get what we did; two disciplines each competing on two different tacks at two venues.
The NW and SE-Cape Doctor each took their turn to deliver us perfect windsurfing conditions for each of the disciplines. Witsands and Big Bay also each gave us great conditions that are now being witnessed by the rest of the world through the amazing pictures and reports busy surfacing. What's more, we had world class riders of the highest level fighting it out in both the slalom and the wave, with the final results only determined in the final heat on the final day - a close championship and a great battle!
Following the event, the two bands were excellent and got a very good reception. The pro-DJ really kicked ass and had hands in the air within seconds of his epic entro. We definitely look forward to working with these guys in the future! The rest of the party vibe was great - the bar reported record sales, even though the cops shut us down a bit early. But on to Cubana and on with the party.
A big shout-out must go to all the sponsors that helped put this event together;
Oxbow surf wear
Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Best Life magazine
Cinnabon world famous cinnamon buns
Bay Sands Lodge
A special mention must also go to all those people who made great personal sacrifices for the good of the event;
Tom, Fred, Lyndal and the rest of the Oxbow team
Petra Gnad (just a star)
Olaf van Tol (race director)
Bruno De Wannemaeker (IWA/IFCA)
Penny Allison (wing-lady)
Piet Streicher (judge and Witsands weather guru)
Vince Domancie (judge)
Tahke Wijt (judge)
Jeff Marting (judge)
Brad Symington (MC and commentary)
Paul Wagstaff (commentary)
Wendy Adams (SA Sailing)
Len Davies (SA Sailing)
Roger Bartholomew (SA Sailing)
Sue McWha (SA Sailing)
Peter and Derrick (Big Bay Surf Lifesaving Club)
Dave Syce (DCAS)
Liz Metcalfe (Cape Sessions)
Tyrone, Ivan, Barend, Waggles, Jason, Rob, Olaf (for the SUP race)
Nungarin (1st band)
Miltary Road (2nd band)}
. . . and all those riders and people that contributed content to the media:
The battle between Ben and Ross goes on . . .
But not to let the battle end there; Benny, Ross, Alberto and Klaas decided to duke it out again this last weekend at the Langebaan Downwind Dash (recently sanctioned by IFCA). The gruelling 20km race pushed rider, board and sail to the max as the wind reached 40 knots at points in the race. At just over 320 windsurfers and kitesurfers, our pro-BBC riders were determined to take victory back from kiters who had won it the previous two years. But with the kite division also sanctioned by the international kitesurfing association, even more top riders found their way to Langebaan.
Unfortunately Alberto broke his boom at half race distance, and Benny picked up a foot cramp on the rough 8km leg from Club Mykonos to Saldanha. He was still lightning fast; but our money is on Ross for the win now. The final results are being held back till the prize giving tomorrow night (21 Jan), 7pm at Doodles . . . we wait to see how all the boys did this year.
So from the '09 BBC team, till next year.