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Cape Verde Wave Surfing Championship

Report on February 2007 event at Ponta Preta

Surf of 8-10 foot , perfectly piled up by the offshore wind, excited the riders arriving at the beach, setting the stage for completing the double elimination.

Mast after mast was snapped on the rocks as the entire fleet pushed the level higher in their last chance at glory. Early on it looked as if Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) was set to stage a miraculous comeback..

The Australian worked up to 5th place after Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) eventually dashed his hopes. ‘I think I trashed 5 or 6 entire rigs on the rocks today’ said an exhausted Polakow who’d swum in and dealt with the horrendous shorebreak several times during the day.

Of all the standouts Polakow leapfrogged, Levi Siver (Starboard / NeilPryde) and Alex Mussolini were the unlucky ones, who threw caution to the wind with extreme displays of power, daring and style.

Pritchard then had to beat Josh Angulo for a shot at the final. However, superior wave selection and one amazing wave including a stupendous back arch aerial and several incredible turns helped Josh Angulo quash Kevin’s spirited challenge.

Josh had then to sail against the previous day`s single elimination winner Kauli Seadi (Quatro / Naish) in the hope of forcing a re-sail for the event win.

Angulo gained the re-match easily after a one-way heat when Kauli Seadi riskily chose a 4.0 (Angulo selected a 5.8) and got washed onto the rocks and struggled to get back outside. A few masterful late rides were not enough for him to defend his position, meaning the double elimination's second bite of the cherry set up an all-time finale.

Bang on cue, looming set waves, well up to mast-and-a-half high, thundered onto the point, many connecting the full length of the speedway track past the judge’s tower.

It was almost impossible to separate these two outstanding athlete’s performances after the final whistle. Two long rides each were counted. Kauli’s standout wave started when he bashed a massive aerial off the lip from the peak, before making several turns tight in the pocket, perilously close to the rocks.

Josh’s crucial scoring wave also started by back-dooring the peak, late and fully under the lip, followed by one-handed cutbacks, snaps and two aerials on the final inside section.

4 judges to 3 voted Angulo the victor, his power and finishing just edging the Brazilian`s flare.

Hoards of excited onlookers rushed from their viewpoints on the rocks to the waters edge as Angulo landed at the beach. Waves of fans swept their idol to his feet and carried him to the on-stage podium before they even knew the result.

Although winning iced the cake for Sal`s most important sporting event ever, just having their flag represented at the last meant everything to the locals.

This national hero’s event win marked a massive personal achievement, a crucial moment for Cape Verde, and a landmark day for windsurfing.

It was a super session capitalizing on the awesome conditions the Island of Sal offers.