Jimmy Diaz, the president and actually oldest rider, who competes on the whole tour at the age of 46 (Pic: Carter/PWA)
7. Big names were missing
Ross Williams (GBR-83) did not compete there, but kept his 10th place overall. Steve Allen (AUS-0) did not compete either and lost a few places and slipped out of the top 16. Steve Allen: “I had too many injuries this year affecting my results, so my ranking is not that great. It is also a very expensive trip where you need to be top 3 to not loose money. Great place, I love to compete there, I just hope they can get more price money and better conditions for the competitors to get more sailors there in the future. For me this event would be much better in the start of the season rather than so late.” Just the top 24 get cash, the 10th men a bit more than 1100 €. It’s just for a few riders a win win situation, who get paid by the industry or have extra sponsors.
Only 21 of all men competitors in New Caledonia were regular PWA riders. The rest of the fleet were competitors, who did one event in 2014 and most of them were locals from New Caledonia or the Oceanic region. Who was not there? Jossin, Reuscher, Vonk, Yilmazer, Bouman, Lang, Malina, Marotti, Ferin, Larsen, Westera,… and some of the big names retired from the season earlier like Alberto Menegatti, Finian Maynard, Peter Volwater, Sylvain and Benoit Moussilmani, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Pieter Bijl or Kurosh Kiani. In the ladies fleet just seven international riders travelled to Noumea this year.
8. Kids race at Noumea
The PWA and the local organizers ran a kids elimination on the penultimate day. None of the participating kids were older than 16. They were racing on exactly the same course as their older idols. Unfortunately the two leading kids passed the finishing mark on the wrong side and 12 year old Thoma with his 32 kilogramms and a 3,6 m big Naish wave sail made it on the podium. Wow, respect! Would be great to see more
9. Local power
New Caledonia has a big windsurfing scene nowadays. A few years ago Laurent Gauzere or Colin Sifferlein were famous names in the ranks of international events. Current stars are Sarah Hauser or Antoine Albert. These days the Slalom scene obviously dominates the sport as the wind conditions are ideal. Noumea offers a huge lagoon. 5 women and 27 men from New Caledonia were competing in the PWA worldcup event. Fred Morin (NC-5), who was competing at many Slalom World Cups during his career, was the best placed local man in 19th overall. Fred made it three times into a losers final during the 9 eliminations. Well done! Sébastien Pouillet (NC-76) and Laurent Cali (NC-3), former Raceboarder and Olympic windsurfer, followed in 22nd and 23rd place. Océane Lescadieu (NC-815) was the best placed local female racer. Behind her were 4 other girls from New Caledonia. Océane has a bright future in front of her as she is just 18 years old.
Star guest Robert Teriitheau (46) finished his comeback event in 35th position. Not bad after many year of absence from the racing scene!