Look Who The Wind Blew In

I don’t know a tweaked pushloop from a goiter or a tabletop forward but I could still appreciate the courage and talent of the worlds best windsurfers as they strutted their stuff at El Cabezo beach in El Medano for the PWA World Cup.

The white caps on the waves as I passed through Golf del Sur and the straining palm trees as my bus drove down into El Medano was enough to ensure me that this fourth day of competition was going to be a real rip roarer. As I turned the corner and approached the pits area and launch zone the wind boxed my ears and slapped a little tune on my face, apparently it was near 40 knots. There didn’t seem as many spectators as previous years but the riders were busy, some fine tuning their boards, others dragging their boards out into the waves, and others flipping and popping between the peaks and troughs of the Atlantic.

To the west kite surfers were doing their thing but all eyes were on the 32 men and 16 women with the sails. The hooter sounded the start of each 12 minute routine as they set out to catch the judges eyes, back on almost dry sand I was just about managing to stand upright and take a few photos between constant wipes to remove the spray from my lens.

There’s always a great social side to the sea based sport of El Medano and a mini village had sprung up with a large marquee and a bar keeping the contestants and fans well watered. I managed to catch a few words with Adam Lewis who I had interviewed the previous week for The Tenerife Weekly, he finished 9th but had a satisfying Tuesday with the best round of the day. The female riders looked good in their official tournament tops, I found three of them relaxing between races. Eva Oude Ophuis (left) from Hungary, Alice Aruntkin from France, and Fanny Aubet also from France looked relaxed and at ease with the prospect of battling nature in front of spectators, cameras, and video coverage.

It all came to a head on Wednesday with the top five male and female battling it out. Congratulations to Philip Koster of Germany for winning and maintaining his stranglehold on the World title, and well done to Daida Ruano from Gran Canaria who shrugged off the challenge of her sister Iballa to win the ladies title. If I ignore anyone in the next few weeks please excuse me I’m still extracting sand from my ears. Big respect to all the windsurfers for putting on a tremendous free show for Tenerife.