On an incredible day for windsurfing, 25,000 people came from far and wide to watch the wave sailors take to the water. With ideal conditions for both jumping and riding, the best in the world charged through competition without fault. The spectators got to witness all the best moves in the current wave sailors repertoire, including epic 360s from the likes of Traversa, huge stalled doubles from Marcilio Browne and even a pushloop forward from Robby Swift, the only rider to pull that move yesterday.
However, the consistent, powerful and progressive charge of Ricardo Campello finally rewarded him with his first wave event victory.
Click through the pages to read our interview with Campello.
BS: Ricardo, how was it to win here?
RC: "I'm so stoked, winning here in front of such a large crowd is just amazing. There were so many people, I signed more autographs and had more photos with people then at any event this year. The people here really seem to know the sport and know what it is about, I can't believe how many people showed up during the middle of the week like this. The crowd were really cheering and they seem much more involved then at Sylt, I think mainly because they all seem to be windsurfers here, whereas in Sylt a lot of people come over because it is also the holidays, which is great but here the feeling is also really amazing.
BS: You really seem to feed off the crowd, you do better when more people are watching?
RC: Haha, yeah I don't know, I think it was amazign to have so many people here, for sure it is motivating to see them but I think all windsurfers are the same, the love a crowd. Well all competitive windsurfers, right??
BS: Everyone was talking about that huge stalled double crash?
RC: I'm completely stoked with my result, yeah I had a huge crash from a stalled double, the wave was pretty big and during the heat it felt like the wind swung much more onshore, which made it especially hard to ride but I wanted to go for this double and I just got thrown too high up with a bit of a kick from the lip that I did not expect, it ended up being more like a killer loop. I even lost track of where I was when I hit the water, I swam out to find my gear but then realised it was behind me.
BS: It looked like it was hard to ride, with the waves changing a lot?
RC: During the competition the conditions changed a lot, during my earlier heat it was actually much easier to sail, as we progressed further through the rounds it became harder to ride, I felt like I was losing a lot of power on that inside bottom turn and I had to really adapt for each wave. Sometimes it was hard to know where each one would peak as sections appeared all over the place, once you were throwing the top turn it was then difficult to read the wind. But actually these are little things and if we had more time to practice at this spot I think it would be less to think about, it is really providing great conditions. We've had such diversity in the last week, it's incredible!
BS: You seem to have a new fire in your belly after changing to Patrik and Point-7?
RC: Yeah, I really have to thank Patrik and Point-7, this change has been a big motivation and these guys are really supporting me. I had Patrik at the beach supporting me in Pozo and being my caddy, I have Andrea Cucchi being my caddy here. They are both super great I also have to say that Powerex are really providing me with great masts, these new Bamboo masts are incredibly strong, I haven't broken a single one yet and Maui Fins are a great help with the fins and harness also. I think I really have to say that this new sponsorship change has actually made me more relaxed than fired up and by being more relaxed I become more fired up. Both of them were like 'hey, it's not all about results, we know you can do well but it's more about the person you are' and this is what I really think sponsorship is about. Unfortunately I really think many of the brands in our sport are totally focused on results and I don't really like this philosophy you know. I think the more relaxed you are the better you are going to do, pressure, from sponsors, from yourself or even your mum doesn't help, sometimes I tell her to stop talking to me during a competition because I don't want that pressure, haha.
BS: Starboard tack, it's been a while since we saw a starboard tack with this much jumping and wave-riding in one event, tell us more?
RC: It's really epic, the tour this year has become much more rounded. We are seeing a lot of changes and you know we had such a port tack biased tour in recent years. Now with Maui coming into play things were already changing and with this event it was nice to get these conditions. For me, I really like to jump on port tack and ride on starboard, but for the first time today I felt really comfortable on starboard, it's really one of the first times I've felt good about moves like double forwards on this side.
BS: This year it looks like the winner of the PWA World Tour may really be the most all rounded wave windsurfer in the world?
RC: Yeah totally, the tour has everything this year, thanks to this event, we now have two starboard tack events, two port tack with a mix of onshore, side-onshore and side-offshore.
BS: So let's be honest, you'd rather the double wasn't complete now?
RC: No, I mean of course that would be nice for my result, to win my first PWA wave event would be a dream but to be second, which is the worst I can do now, wouldn't be so bad, but for sure I want to win, haha. Anyway, let's see, for now I am so stoked, super happy and have to thank my sponsors again, they are offering me a lot of support.
Photos - Carter / pwaworldtour.com