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The 2007 Colgate World Cup Sylt â€“ Day 4
A narrow window of wind and waves allowed the women a valuable chance to complete their wave sailing single elimination this morning.
It was apparent from the early heats that careful wave selection would prove critical for success.
Cross to cross onshore wind from the left and punchy head high shore break waves gave the ladies the perfect canvass to showcase their skills.
RIght from the start it became apparent that Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) was revelling in the conditions and that Steffi Wahl (F2 / Gaastra) would also be a threat.
The early heats progressed without drama until Wahl caused a major upset when she defeated tour leader Daida Moreno (North) in round 2.
Wahl displayed superior timing and rhythm to tear the chunky swell to pieces and take a critical victory to make the German crowds truly proud.
The second round also saw Alonso take her first major scalp in the form of Karin Jaggi (F2 / North). Jaggi sailed to her normal high standards but on this occasion was simply outclassed by Alonso who looked untouchable with her aggressive approach.
To maximise time in the fading conditions, the organisers opted for a 4-women final between Junk Nagoshi (F2 /Simmer) - who’d accounted for experienced competitor Anne-Marie Reichmann (Naish / Naish) in the semi’s - the 2006 world champion Iballa Moreno (North), Alonso, and local favorite Wahl.
Alonso, aged 28, continued her good form in the final along with her fellow Gran Canarian rival Iballa Moreno.
Wahl was also looking dangerous but like Nagoshi her work rate was lower, and after Moreno fell a couple of times it wasn’t long before the onlookers were convinced they were seeing a well deserved victory.
Alonso’s vertical, destructive attack was unequalled and she took the win by a 6-1 verdict amongst the judges.
‘It was like a dream come true for me’ explained Alonso who arrived here ranked 5th overall. ‘It’s everyone’s ambition to win a PWA event and I am so emotional that I have finally won an elimination – in fact it’s the first time I even made a final. The forecasts look like we won’t be sailing waves again so I’ll be celebrating anyway as it’s my best result ever. Basically I tried to stay upwind and really work the peak which a lot of the other girls didn’t. It really reminded me of my home break in Vargas and so I felt comfortable to really push my sailing as a result. I’m glad it was wave riding only as if there had been jumping I’m sure Iballa would’ve beaten me’
If there are no more suitable wind and waves for the women it looks likely that Iballa Moreno will take the world title for a second successive season.
But despite the forecasts the event is not over yet, and at Sylt anything can happen.
Tomorrow’s forecast gives hope for racing or perhaps even freestyle, and the first possible start has been set at 10.30
© PWA / Brian McDowell