Starboard team riders Kevin Pritchard and Boujmaa Guilloul went first and second place respectively at the Wind-NC Hatteras Wave Jam
The Wave Jam was completed with a few days of solid conditions, alternating between head high side off shore waves and some windy side onshore drainers. Pritch took it once again in the Pro division leaving Boujmaa, and Morgan trailing behind in the sand. In the Amateurs, Casey Treichler took the win while also getting amongst the Pros and finishing 4th. Using a caddy to get out past the pounding shore break, tour director Samantha Bittner took the win riding some solid waves ahead of Sara Flowe. Jake won the Youth, narrowly beating his brother Max with a clutch last second wave. The Italian Stallion Ferdinando won the Masters, and Scott Shoemaker won the Grand Masters.
2013 was an interesting year at the Sylt PWA Grand Slam. The final event of the year on the tour, adding a possible discard for the overall rankings, meant a lot of overall positions were on the line.
Luckily my situation was not so bad, as I already had some good results in the bag from Spain (6th) and Holland (9th). My goal was to finish again within the top 10, and that meant that I had to finish better than 13th position, which was my worst result of the year in Austria.
The wind during the week of Sylt was straight offshore every day, meaning that to compete the judges had to be based off a boat further out at sea. The two mornings of competition were also really cold, with a measured temperature on the boat of 6 degrees, not including wind chill. None of the riders could feel their hands, and everybody was in pain when warming back up at the beach. Some riders from the warmer climates were even claiming that it was the coldest they’ve ever windsurfed.
Luckily the wind was pretty strong, so for my first heats I could use my favourite set up of 4.6 Sailworks Revolution on the 91 Starboard Flare. Due to my seed I was already in the 2nd round in the single elimination, and it was my friend from the US Bryan Metcalf-Perez who advanced to compete against me. Bryan was sailing well, but I still managed to advance to the 3rd round, and was now up against Dieter Van Der Eyken from Belgium. Dieter is a tough competitor, and he took me down leaving me in 9th place after the single.
The double elimination was held the following morning, once again in beautiful 6 degree temperatures. Luckily I had a 2nd dry wetsuit to get inside! In the double elimination I had to advance 2 rounds in order to defend my 9th place. The wind was a bit lighter, but I was more on form this day and knocked out Julien Mas (France) and Bjorn Saragoza (Bonaire) only to get stopped by Taty Frans (Bonaire).
So to summarize I finished 9th in the event in Sylt, and 10 overall for the 2013 PWA season.
I’ve been nominated for the 2013 AWSI Windsurfer of the Year award. I had to make a 90 second highlight clip for the year, so if you have a minute check it out for some action. If you want to vote for me, or just check out my video and the others, you have to go to this link and press like below my video: Windsport AWSI Voting Page
I spent the last couple of weeks training in the San Francisco area. I had quite a few good days in places like 3rd Avenue, Candlestick, Davenport and in the Delta. I also had a couple good surf sessions on my new 8’2 Starboard Widepoint SUP. It was really easy to catch and ride waves with it, so I can’t wait for my next session on that board.
Thanks to Brendon Quinn for the photos below from windsurfing in Sherman Island last week.
On Wednesday I start driving back towards Toronto with my brother, and fly out of Chicago to Europe in time for the PWA World Tour stop in Holland.
Canadian professional windsurfer Phil Soltysiak stopped by at the Toronto Windsurfing Club on Sunday June 2nd to host a free freestyle clinic open to the club’s members and public. The morning’s torrential downpours seemed as if they would dampen the turn‐out, but luckily just minutes before the clinic began the weather cleared. Around 25 participants showed up as Soltysiak covered all types of freestyle windsurfing, from entry‐level light wind tricks onto advanced planning manoeuvres. Phil also discussed and answered questions about board choices for various levels of sailing and freestyle in different locations.
As if it was requested, just as the clinic was winding down around 20 minutes of decent wind blew in from the South‐West. Phil quickly hit the water on his Starboard Flare 101 and Sailworks Revolution 5.4 to put on a show of his latest freestyle tricks; loops, shakas, skopus, culo’s and more.
So I finished my 6 week stint in Dahab. In the end it was a great time. We had tonnes of wind as well as good and some bad times. I had a minor injury in the middle of the trip, but luckily I quickly recovered and only missed 10 days of windsurfing. I will probably skip the tow-in events in Podersdorf and in Eysk, to avoid hurting myself again, but I feel fully ready and fully prepared for competing first PWA stop of the year in Podersdorf, Austria, starting on April 26th.
From Dahab, Egypt, you can shortly expect a video produced by my friend Max Matissek. It will feature Steven Van Broeckhoven, Max himself, and me. Trust me, this will be one to watch. Some other highlights from the trip in Egypt besides the windsurfing included: big breakfasts, making scare crows, an Easter egg hunt, chef Sveta, lavish toilets, and a really cool view out the window on the flight home. Check out the gallery below.
Now it’s only a few days until the event in Austria begins. In the past this event has had some ups and downs for me, I finished everywhere from last place up to 6th. The weather is also completely all over the place. Last year we competed in South winds and 30 degrees, while other years we were on the beach at sunrise with only 5 degrees outside and North-West winds. Generally the NW flow is colder, but with much stronger wind. I will bring everything from 3.8 to 5.4 to the event. The contest lasts for 5 days, and it’s one of those waiting-game events, where if we are lucky we get enough wind to finish a full double elimination. If you want to keep up-to-date from this event make sure to follow me on twitter, I will be posting what’s going on there. There’s normally no live streaming from this event.
I also uploaded another move clip from the fall in Jeri, this time a more freestyle style pushloop from there. Click the link to watch it on Vimeo:Freestyle Style Pushloop
That’s it for now, check back soon; the next update will be a summary from the first PWA Tour stop of 2013, the Podersdorf Surf World Cup!
Starboard: Congratulations for being one of the 6 surviving Storm Chasers! How was it?
Daniel Bruch: It was gnarly… I never expected to have so much wind! This was by far the windiest I have ever sailed in!
Starboard: What were the conditions like? What were you sailing on and why did you chose that setup?
Daniel Bruch: It was windy, really windy…There were gusts up to 76 knots…incredible! And waves up to mast and half high! I was sailing on my 3.7 Severne Blade and on the Starboard Quad 74. I knew that the board could handle the chaos as I sailed totally overpowered with my 4.2 on it just a few days before the Storm Chase and it worked awesome. The sail was quite big, but to be honest, when the gusts would hit you, any sail size was too much! I might get a 3.3 for the next mission… Just in case!
Starboard: From Black Box conditions to Storm Chasing conditions, there’s quite a big difference. Which one do you prefer?
Daniel Bruch: Hehehe… To be honest, I prefer lighter winds and waves to ride better than conditions were you’re hoping to survive…! But when you have to go for it, you go!
Starboard: How do you train for such conditions? How hard is it to land a simple backloop or forward with this kind of wind?
Daniel Bruch: I don’t think there is any special way to train for this except sailing in these kind of conditions. I had lots of windy days in my life with maybe 50 knots and that experience helped for sure. But yeah… a simple high jump was hard to land, so imagine a backy or a forward…!
With five consecutive event victories in a row since winning the last PWA event in Sylt (2010), Bjoern is unstoppable on his REFLEX II and Enigma rig components.
According to Bjoern himself, the inconsistent wind in Korea and difficult race conditions prove the performance of the REFELX program. This proven performance leaves him comfortably leading the world rankings.
Baja, Mexico- Fantastic winds came blowing down the Sea of Cortez for the
big Lord of the Wind Showdown. The competition was to take the fastest
kiters in the world against the fastest windsurfers in the world and have an
all out duel for $3500 in cash! It was a three mile upwind and downwind
course, and the fastest man, woman, or child could take a stab at winning
During the pre race riders meeting, there was already a preheated battle
when the organizers were talking about dividing up the prize money into the
different classes. The overall winner would take $2000 and the winnner of
the division that didn’t win, being kiteboards or windsurfing, would get
$1000.The kiteboards spoke up and said nope, we want to take all the money
and beat down the windsurfers. So it was off to the water to settle the
At the start of the race, the kiteboards opened up with all the confidence
in the world, with John Hieneken out in front. Kevin Pritchard was the
windsurfers ace card and had a reasonably safe start but gave up some
distance. As the kites battled against the windsurfers, inch by inch, the
crafty Pritchard started turning up the speed. With a bit of an extra drive
from the earlier riders meeting, Pritchard was holding down his board and
sail as best he could to prove to the world who still could make it around a
And who made it to the top first, non other than Kevin Pritchard, flying his
new Ezzy two cam Infinity sails, mounted to his Isonic Slalom board. Knowing
that the kites could make up some time on the downwind, Pritchard put the
hammer down and went flying off the wind. It was three miles down wind to
the finish. At the end Pritchard claimed victory over some of the worlds
best kiteboarders by around a minute faster. In fact the first kiteboarder
pumped his fist going across the line in stoke for his victory, not even
being able to see the young Pritchard, cause he was so far out in front!
“This was a memorable victory. The kiters were so confident that they were
going to win, it put a fire under me. I really was just down in Baja to hang
out with my brother and his family and do some windsurfing. When they
started talking it up, I was like ok, lets do this. I went, got my 8.5 two
cam sail, and my slalom board and put it down. The wind was perfect, and
they must feel pretty bad getting beat by not even a race sail! It was
great, the whole beach was cheering for me, and i think they had heard
enough of the kiteboarders talking it up. Even some of the kiters were
stoked to see the windsurf still hold the edge! It was really fun in the
end, especially since the windsurfing took the victory. I felt like it was a
victory for all windsurfers, not just for myself. It felt great!” – Kevin Pritchard
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