Whilst there was much focus on the men's fleet during the AWT stop in Cabo Verde there was a another, equally as important, battle taking place. The ladies had shown up in force and were ready to tak eon one of the best wave spots in the world, albeit with a slightly smaller swell then most had hoped for.
With a fun and exhilarating competition the ladies were certainly seen to be having a good time. In the end the results came through and it was Katie McAnena who managed to constantly deliver the goods to take the top spot. We caught up with the elated Irish wave sailor to hear how the event went and why you should get involved next time.
Scroll through the images to see the finishing order then find McAnena's answers on the final few pages.
All photos by SIC - Si Crowther
In fourth place - Nicole Bandini
In third place, event organiser - Vicky Abbott
In second place and the AWT Director herself - Sam Bittner
In first place - Katie McAnena.
BS: Can you tell us a little about the event, the conditions and what equipment you used whilst competing?
The event was EPIC!! It's the first time a wave sailing event has been brought back to Cabo Verde for years. Tour director Sam Bittner and event organiser Vickey Abbott work tirelessly and selflessly in the face of much obstruction and obstacles to bring the event to reality. It was so incredible to see the local community so stoked to have the AWT there and to share their natural resources with us. There was such an open, friendly, welcome vibe and that really made the comp special. What also made it unique was the fact that the AWT also includes an amateur fleet so for the first time ever local rippers could enter a windsurfing event. I think that openness and the quality of the pros who attended really took the event to the next level! The ladies fleet consisted of 4 riders, Sam Bittner (2nd) Vickey Abbott (3rd) Nicole Bandini (4th) and myself. I couldn't believe I took the win! It wasn't classic Ponta Preta conditions but it was still super fun. We competed at "little Ho'okipa" and were all stacked because it was super windy and all the girls had packed for more float-and-ride conditions. I was on my 74L Starboard Quad and my 4.3m Hot Sails Maui Firelight. It felt so good to be on gear that is reliable and also has a degree if variability and diversity for all possible conditions.
BS: Can you tell us why you choose to do the AWT Tour and what it is you enjoy about it?
I don't know how to put it into words how much I love the AWT. Sam and the crew are literally like family at this stage. I admire and respect what the AWT stands for, how they compose themselves and brand themselves and most importantly how they include all riders of any level. From the top pros like Kevin Pritchard and Kauli Seadi to young guns and amateurs and women there is a place for everyone. The tour has given up and coming riders who are now household names like Bernd Roediger, Mogan Noireaux and Fiona Wylde a platform to cut their teeth and make a name for themselves in the perfect competitive environment and then progress to world-class status. With the AWT I get the ideal combo of sick locations, the best waves in the world, the best riders female and male in the world and all encased in a family of people who want to support and promote our sport. I cannot express enough how everyone should try at least one AWT event..... You won't regret it!
BS: Lastly, congrats on your result, could you give us a small statement on your win, about your feelings and also if you plan to attend all the events this year and why others should join in?
Thank you! I am absolutely over the moon with my result. I did not expect to win, especially sailing in a brand new spot and starboard tack which I never train in at home. I've also been on a gruelling work schedule as a doctor slaving and saving to be able to travel and compete so I wasn't expecting to be on top form. But that's the way it goes sometimes, the more relaxed you are about a contest is often the best. I feel so confident in my sailing since joining the Starboard Team a few months ago. The boards just work, simple as! And that's what matters in contests, reliability and performance of equipment. Same goes for my Hot Sails Maui Firelights, they just feel amazing and give me a relaxed confidence because I trust their performance. The win meant more to me than I can express. Winning the inaugural AWT Goya Cabo Verde Pro is a very special title and one I will cherish forever. It is the first time woman have competed on the island which makes it even more special. Also to win while sailing with your best friends in a perfect mix of happiness and competitiveness is magic. The efforts made by Sam and Vickey and most importantly the local officials and community were mind blowing and I am forever grateful to them for this once in a lifetime experience.