With Sylt being the last event of the year for all disciplines there was a lot at stake on the last weekend in Sylt. From the sounds of things it has been hard work for all the sailors with gusty squally conditions all week. The racers in particular have been in their wetsuits almost all week.
However this weekend saw it all kick off as the storm of storms passed through the contest on the final weekend. Waves were up and with the wind increasing every second, conditions got very extreme, very quickly. In the end it was 3.3 weather and probably the most difficult conditions in PWA history.
Big early round upsets were Brawzinho and Swift. Both went into the event in the top 5 and finished outside the top 10 after losing in the second round. Both were desperate for a double elimination but time ran out in the end.
Round 3 saw Voget beat Angulo and with it went Josh\'s chances of getting to the top of the ranking. However with all those losses, there was always going to be someone coming out on top and this year it was Jonas Ceballos who jumped from 6th overall, straight onto the podium in 3rd. Another mover was Klass who finished 3rd here and rocketed up from 12th to 6th overall.
At the top of the fleet however it was the, now usual, suspects of Victor and Kauli. By the time they met in the final, the overall positions were decided with Kauli already winning his 3rd world title. Victor was 2nd overall for the second year running, but had a point to prove by nailing a perfect double in the final to take the event win. Pretty impressive considering the really extreme conditions.
In the womens things were equally tough. The early knockout of Karin Jaggi meant suddenly all 3 podium positions were up for grabs. In the winners final were the twins and the losers final were Junko Nagoshi and Nayra Alonso. Basically whatever order they finished in Sylt would determine their overall for the year. Unfortunately conditions were considered too difficult. With all the guys overpowered on their smallest sails there was little hope for the women and the event organiser didn\'t allow them to compete. That meant Daida took back her world wave title after 2 years, Iballa had to settle for 2nd and a very happy Nayra took 3rd place, making a clean sweep for the GC girls.
Freestylers have been waiting all week for their double but were denied the opportunity. Here in sylt it seems its either howling for waves, or light for racing, and therefore the freestylers get left a bit in the middle. For Anxton though I am sure he didn\'t mind, winning his first PWA event outright. Also very happy was Gollito who takes his 2nd world title. Last years champ Brawzinho had to settle for 2nd this year. In 3rd place was Kiri who once again was knocking on the champions doors.
The poor racers however were left until last. With only 3 rounds completed throughout the week, the race director was desperate to get the 4th round done and give everyone a discard. For the last 3 days they averaged 3 or 4 heats a day, slowly cruising through the crucial 4th round.
Poor Ross lead the whole event until the final hour of the final day when they finally finished the important 4th round and a discard was brought into the equation. An over early in the semi final meant he dropped to 6th whilst Bjorn jumped into first, Antoine leapfrogged up the ranking into 2nd and Cyril took the final position. With Antoine already winning the overall, the Sylt result meant Bjorn took 2nd overall and Kevin Pritchard took the remaining slot in 3rd.
Despite losing the event win, Ross had still done enough to finish a very impressive 4th overall. Its the first time a newer generation sailor has made it into the top 5 overall and shows what he can really do. A massive well done and expect to see Ross flying next year.
Photo Credit: jc/pwa