Chris Friis will be taking part in the trials in Pozo, once the wind comes through that is (it's looking very light today!) Boardseeker caught up with the Simmer rider to get his views on the trials, what it's like to be in them and who could progress.
Chris will also be on our live stream on the homepage, so any questions regarding the trials please ask!
Name: Christopher Friis
Sail number: D36
2011 PWA Pozo – 25th
2011 PWA Tenerife – 33rd
2011 PWA Klitmøller – 17th
2011 PWA Sylt – NS
2012 PWA Pozo – 25th
2012 PWA Tenerife – 33rd
2012 PWA Klitmøller – 33rd
Favourite move: Wave360 and Tweaked Pushloop
Equipment used in Pozo: 69 Quantum used as twin and Simmer Halo sail range.
Favourite rider to watch in Pozo: Philip Köster
Heat 1: Alessio Stillrich vs Tuomo Naalisvaara vs Florian Jung vs Marcus Rydberg
Heat 2: Jonas Ceballos vs Christopher Friis vs Gollito Estredo vs Moritz Mauch
Heat 3: Eleazar Alonso Sanchez vs Martin Ten Hoeve vs Justin Denel vs Kevin Mevissen
Basically the reason we now have a trials system is because of a general wish among the riders to make the PWA wave tour more elite. As a result of that, the elimination ladder has been cut down from 48 men to 32 men competing in the main event. The trials is an extension of the 32 man elimination allowing new sailors to fight against each other and make their way into the tour. The heats will be run as heats number 1, 2 and 3 after which the first heat of the main event begins.
The trial heats consists of three four man heats with all guys in their respective heats competing against each other. The top two in each heat advances into the main event.
With such a big cut down from 48 to 32 men there isn’t space for everyone who wants to do the events anymore. This means that the guys who don’t have a ranking from doing the full tour, not finishing in top 22 and didn’t get an direct entry wildcard from either the organiser or the national association has to fight it out in the trials. That’s why you see big names like Jonas Ceballos, Martin Ten Hoeve and Alessio Stillrich in it.
There are definitely some big names in the trials and some of the heats will probably be harder than some of the heats in the main event this time, but you have to remember that this is the first time this system has been taken into use and I think it’s going to self adjust so that the level evens out a bit in the trials for the next event and we will probably start seeing who actually want to do the tour and not.