Tomorrow starts the 5th PWA event of the 2019 season in the Costa Brava (Spain), and it will be a foil-only event!
We are looking forward to this event. The wind forecasts are promising with both strong and medium winds from different directions. This should give us lots of action.
The first foiling competition of the year in Japan has left us slightly frustrated. The wind was too light for the “big boys” , and with only 3 eliminations, it was not possible to get any discard (Discard only possible after 4 eliminations).
However, there has been 3 races done and even if it's not possible to conclude anything yet, here are some observations :
A lot of new faces from RS:X sailing entered the PWA tour this year. It’s really exciting to get all contenders unified under the new foiling platform. We’ll also happy to announce that Dorian van Rijsselberghe, double Olympic gold medallist in 2012 and 2016, will participate to the Costa Brava event which is his first PWA event since Sylt 2006!
Both Thomas Goyard and Kiran Badloe (former RS:X riders) have shown some impressive skills and control in 2 out of the 3 eliminations, but they were both disqualified in one elimination and finished 10th and 12th.
Pierre Mortefon, Sebastian Kördel, and Alexandre Cousin, all experienced PWA riders, showed better regularity and finished on the podium in Japan. So even PWA or RS:X experiences may have a role to play, It will for sure be a tough battle on the water and almost impossible to determine a clear favorite for this event.
The level of the riders has raised a lot. Foiling jibes, light wind planning and overall control of the board is sky high for all riders.
The equipment has also evolved a lot since last year. Most of the sails have a high aspect ratio with a long and stiff mast. These sails are ideal for foiling as there is chop in foiling. The foils are also getting better. Phantom, Lokefoil, and Starboard seem to have had the best performance in the light Japanese wind. We’ll see what happens with the fleet when the winds pick up.
Before the start of the PWA foiling event in the Costa Brava, we have asked some of the riders what they are most looking forward to during the coming event. You’ll find their answers below, the riders are obviously eager to get some stronger winds!
It’s super cool that the RS:X and PWA guys are finally competing on the same platform. Really fun to see how everybody appreciate each other. RS:X guys have probably more of a race style approach, while PWA boys have more experience in high wind venues.
Personally, I have 0 expectations here. I haven’t foiled a lot and I got all new gear so it will be a big surprise. But I will have a good time for sure!
I'm looking forward to some close battles with all the guys there. The level is high and it will be fun to race on the foil again!
I’m just looking forward to competing in stronger wind than in Japan! It will be fun for sure. We are going to get a lot of racing and the level will be really high!
I look forward to getting some foil racing done in a little bit more wind. I love foiling when it's windy and without slalom races at Costa Brava, the probabilities are high that we will get some high wind races!
I’m looking forward to many races in a big variety of conditions. Costa Brava is a very consistent place for foiling, so I think we are going to get a lot of races. The forecast shows some light Tramontana as well as some thermal light wind. Gonna be interesting to see who is on top!
Tristan Algret GPE-44 (Starboard, Severne Sails)
Costa Brava will be challenging as the forecast show many different wind conditions... We will probably do some new course formats, more downwind oriented. Let's see and enjoy every race!
I'm looking forward to racing in stronger wind and see how that goes. We didn't compete in strong wind since Korea last year, so it will be exciting to see how equipment and riders have developed. I think it will be fun racing!
I am looking forward to competing in the first only foil PWA event of thee year. This means we will not only race in light winds but in all conditions. The fleet will be super strong, with many world champions in many different diciplines and olympic medalists.
Antoine Questel FRA-99 (I-99, S2Maui, Starboard Foil)
Something different this time: strong wind!
I’m looking for strong (sailable) wind and a lot of races!
Luka Mratovic CRO-751 (RRD)
I am really looking forward to foiling in all conditions because this is the first PWA foil-only event. After the last event in Japan, I really want to race more, get some experience with my new fuselage and wings. I hope we will have many races in different conditions in the Costa Brava, and we’ll see how it goes!
Ben Profitt (PWA commentator)
PWA Costa Brava: From May 28th to June 2nd. First possible start Tuesday 28th at 1pm.