Extreme Windsurfing at the Gran Canaria World Cup

20-metre-high jumps with gale-force wind against an urban backdrop – that’s the World Cup in Gran Canaria. Willingly advertised as the “European Hawaii” by tourism experts, the Canary Islands meet this reputation especially in the summer months.

Atemberaubende Moves gab es beim PWA Grand Slam häufiger zu sehen.  Foto: www.pwaworldtour.comThree of the seven islands of the atlantic archipelago which belongs to Spain are venues of a PWA World Cup: Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. As the island almost has the shape of a perfect circle and the stormy North-East-trade wind only affects the island’s East Coast, you won’t notice much of the storm within the Bay of Pozo in the South of the island. However, those taking a trip to the coastal village near the airport should hold their sun hats tight. The short trip pays off for sure because here you can watch windsurfers fly, and that is by no means an exaggeration.

Pozo Izquierdo is world famous for these stormy conditions, at least among windsurfers. Legends like Björn Dunkerbeck or the x times world champions Daida and Iballa Moreno live and train here for good reason. Nevertheless, a new generation of professional surfers is growing up here alongside the world stars of the scene, among them the two Spaniards Jonas Ceballos and Victor Fernandez, but also the just 14-year-old German Philip Köster who is predictably facing a great future as a pro surfer.

Every year in the beginning of July when the trade wind is blowing with full force, the World Cup circuit of the professional windsurfers arrives in Pozo and provides the frame for the probably most challenging event of the year. On no other place in the world is the wind this strong, are the conditions that rough or is there such a top-class starting field. Whoever wins in Gran Canaria will at the same time immediately belong to the favourites for the world championship title, the overall tour win.

In 2008, the top windsurfing event took place from July 3rd to 12th. Windsurfers from all over the globe matched in all three official disciplines of the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA): Wave, Freestyle and Slalom. Unbelievable wind speeds of about 90 km/h and up to 4 metre atlantic waves that provide perfect launch pads will again make possible indescribable high jumps, breath-taking wave rides and enthralling slalom races this year.   

Pozo Wave:
1. Victor Fernandez                                          
2. Ricardo Campello                                             
3. Danny Bruch                                      
4. Kauli Seadi   

Pozo Slalom:
1. Antoine Albeau
2. Kevin Pritchard
3. Björn Dunkerbeck
4. Ross Williams                                               
Pozo Wave:
1. Daida Moreno
2. Iballa Moreno
3. Karin Jaggi
4. Silvia Alba Orozco
Pozo Freestyle:
1. Sarah-Quita Offringa
2. Daida Moreno
3. Junko Nagoshi
4. Laure Treboux 

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