|Guincho Wave 2006|
|From the 6th to the 11th of
June, the finest wave sailors in the world descended upon the beautiful Praia do Guincho
in Portugal to face each other in competition. Now in the second year since its rebirth,
the Guincho World Cup will be the first chance for the world to see just who is in the
running for the 2006 Wave Crown. Whilst last years competition was a "men only"
event (Karin Jaggi had commented: ..."What made the barrel overflow was the PWA
management board decision to pay part of the price money in Guincho but for "men
only". That was a blow to our heads."...), 2006 saw all PWA
sailors get involved.
After almost a week waiting for wind, speculation ended on the last day of competition and the sleeping monster woke. Magnificent Guincho on the Estoril coastline finally served up a feast of wind and waves after a weeklong high-tension waiting game. As predicted the Nortada wind arrived, slightly onshore at first allowing riders to use 5.7 sails to enjoy the solid waves, and then gradually increased and swung more cross-shore throughout the evening. Logo high sets produced clean walls for spectacular riding and outrageous jumps. A specialist wave riding event such as this drew new names in the ladies ranks, especially the Maui-based girls who needed no convincing to show off their starboard tack skills after many past season dominated by onshore port-tack tour stops.
The main surprise in the first round was the elimination of Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/Severne), who was superbly beaten by newcomer Waka Nishada (J-100). Fellow Japanese girl and Maui specialist Junko Nagoshi (J-11 F2/Simmer) cruised past Caroline Barbeau (F-479 Mistral/North Sails). In the quarterfinals a tough draw saw Anné-Marie Reichman (H-98, Naish/Naish) lose out to Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2/North Sails) and Uli Hölzl (AUT-123, F2/NeilPryde) ousted by Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/North Sails) in the gnarly conditions.
The semis were brutal,
and as with the mens, experience paid off over daring. Saying that though the girls
pushed front side riding to a level previously reserved for Hawaiian competitions, if not
further. Throw in aerial skill and the judges really had their work cut out today. Karin
Jaggi and Daida Moreno, who seemed to sneak into the game via hard work fighting Silvia
Alba (E-67) and Junko Nagoshi, booked their places and took a rest while watching the
tactics used by the men in their finals.
photos: PWA/John Carter © windgirls 2006