Boardseeker caught up with PWA tour manager Rich Page to clarify all the details of entry places in Pozo.
Riders taking part in the trials released! Awesome to see Gollito's name in there, plus with any number of these riders capable of a top ten finish in the main event we wouldn't like to call it! Who do you think will make it through?
F-541 Justin DENEL
G-213 Flo JUNG
G-950 Alessio STILLRICH
E-40 Jonas CEBALLOS
G-103 Moritz MAUCH
E-41 Eleazar ALONSO
DEN-36 Christopher FRIIS
V-10 Gollito ESTREDO
H-999 Martin TEN HOEVE
FIN-3 Tuomo NAALISVAARA
PL-18 Robert BALDYGA
S-313 Markus RYDBERG
The entry structure is as follows:
CATEGORY - 32 MAN
Previous years PWA Wave Ranking 1-12
Current PWA Wave Ranking 13-22
Organiser Wildcards 23-24
National Association Wildcard 25-26
"The first 12 places at the event go to the 12 applicants with the highest ranking from the previous year. This is not necessarily the top 12 as some of them may not have entered as with Kauli this year.
"The next 10 places are allocated to the 10 highest ranked sailors from the current ranking, who do not already have a place based on the condition above. However, if it is the first event of the year, then these places will revert to the previous year’s ranking, meaning that, at Pozo 2013, the top 22 places would be awarded to the 22 highest ranked sailors from the 2012 ranking.
"There are then 2 places that can be awarded by the Local Organisers at their discretion. This might be to local rippers or other sailors that add value to them or the event sponsors, it really is entirely up to them.
"The following 2 places are allocated by the National Federation of the country in question, usually according to their wave ranking (assuming that there is a National Federation of some kind in that nation, otherwise places revert to the PWA)
"That leaves 6 places that are allocated to trials / wildcards.
"The trials themselves are not an open ended contest as this is simply impractical for time and cost reasons. We would love to have the time and resources to give all comers an opportunity to get into the event, but under the current economic climate, we are trying to do everything we can to reduce event budgets, so this is just not possible. In reality, the trials are just a more detailed wildcard selection process, designed to ensure that riders have both the commitment and ability to deserve a place in the main event.
"Entries into the qualification heats are limited to 12 sailors and the qualification will take the form of 3 heats at the start of the main event, with the top 2 sailors advancing from each heat of 4. This limits the costs and liabilities to the main event whilst still maintaining the opportunity for sailors to prove their ability.
"In the past, wildcard sailors were just selected in advance and all got a place in the main event. This selection was largely based on written testimony from the riders themselves with little possibility to ratify the information supplied, meaning that the process could often reward better marketers as opposed to better sailors. Although places in the trials are still selected using a wildcard process, the sailors still have to prove their ability in the qualification heats and also their commitment to competition by travelling to the venue to take part with no guarantee of a place in the main event. IF they manage to sell a fictitious representation of their abilities to the committee, they will most likely not qualify through the trials heats, meaning they have spent time and money for very little, and will probably not be given another opportunity.
"With regard to injuries, the PWA has always reserved the right to allocate wildcards at its discretion if it is felt to be in the interests of the event and the sport as a whole. Sailors who cannot compete due to injury have their seeding protected for a period of 12 months. This, in effect, means that their position is frozen from the point that they could not enter an event due to injury and will apply again at the next event that they participate in.
"In Boujmaa’s case in particular, although he was injured late in 2011, he was still unable to compete in the Canaries in 2012 and that was his reason for not taking part then. His ranking at that point (not prior to injury which was much higher still), was still high enough to qualify him directly into the main event in 2013, despite having not competed at the final event in 2011, and it was that ranking that was taken into consideration when awarding him a place in the main event under the conditions of his injury.
"The rule is interpreted and implemented in that way as taking the specific point a sailor is injured does not give them fair consideration as event dates and schedules change each year, so the date point in each instance is taken as the start of the same event the following year in order to give the injured competitor a chance. Otherwise the change of event dates by just a few days could rule out a competitor solely through a schedule change that was entirely out of their control or just a natural calendar adjustment to stay in line with the weekend. If you imagine a sailor being injured in March, they could miss all events that year and be outside the 12 months before the start of the first event the following year, so we base it on the event they cannot compete in.
"If a sailor only misses one event in the year and has been able to compete at the others, then the situation is more complicated as you would need to look at the specific circumstances of when the injury was, their ranking at the time based on the other events and what the realistic impact was of missing that event. Just being injured does not mean you get a free ride, you have to have achieved enough outside of it. This is also something that riders would need to be careful to point out to the selection committee in their wildcard application as it is not always obvious if a mid fleet competitor has not competed at all events.
"As you can see from the entry structure above, if a sailor comes through the trials heats and does well in the main event then, assuming they do well enough, their ranking after the event should be high enough to qualify them through the second category of the entry structure (which is exactly why this category exists).
So with the full story now available, do you still agree?
And who do you think will and won't make it through the trials?