The PWA Freestyle tour began in
style today in Podersdorf, on the shores of Neusiedler See in
Austria. After the riotous celebrations of the opening ceremony
the previous evening, sailors from sixteen countries arrived
at the beach to be greeted by sunshine, burning blue skies and
just a gentle south easterly breeze.
the brilliant weather came the crowds and by noon the event
site was packed with sun worshipping windsurf fans, who had
travelled from all over Europe to see their favourite stars
perform in what is widely regarded as the most exciting and
entertaining discipline on the tour. Now in its third year,
the Neusiedler See event is well known for it's wild parties
and excellent Freestyle conditions and never fails to provide
a fantastic week for windsurfers of all levels.
The fleet spent
the morning relaxing in the exceptionally warm Austrian weather,
eagerly awaiting an opportunity to demonstrate what is new in
Freestyle this year. Early in the afternoon they got their first
chance to sample the warm inland waters as the wind picked up
just enough to entice competitors on to the lake. Although not
quite consistent enough for official competition, the wind was
strong enough to allow the PWA fleet to shake off the cobwebs
and start to get tuned in to the conditions, all the time entertaining
the massive crowds.
four o'clock it was clear that the wind was not going to build
any more and Head Freestyle Judge, Klaus Michel, called a halt
to competition. The party machine immediately began to warm
up as the fans mingled with the stars and, as the sun eventually
began to set, the public and competitors alike all began to
head for the massive party tent to rage the night away.
Some of the biggest
names in windsurfing are in town to strut their stuff including
current Freestyle World Champion Josh Stone, Matt Pritchard,
Antoine Albeau and "Irie Man" Brian Talma.
We spoke to them
to here what they had to say about Neusiedler See.
the energy, it's going off, everyone is here to have fun and
party and it really encompasses the whole feeling of what freestyle
is and the crowd is totally getting into it. I got some new
moves, we'll see, it depends on how good the wind gets. I have
a lot of new gear, some of my secret weapons are working, I've
just tested them, and we are definitely gonna see a lot more
slidey slidey stuff."
the event started out nice and sunny and it's been a real beautiful
day down at the lake and the festivity and everything's started,
started out good, good feeling, good festive feeling, and yeah
man, the organisation is superb, and everything is irie!"
out there playing around, had the big stuff out and I'm just
getting tuned up and ready for when we get a little bit more
breeze going." Stronger South Easterly winds are forecast
for tomorrow and with seven days still remaining anything is