Fiona Wylde and Morgan Noireaux win the AWT Quatro Desert Showdown – Punta San Carlos, Baja 

 

“I am so incredibly happy for Fiona and Morgan. They have both grown up on the tour and have been improving so much over the years. I have loved watching them grow up on the AWT family and for them to both win on the same event for the first time is so satisfying. I am a happy mama!” — Sam Bittner, AWT director

 

 

The 4th event of the American Windsurfing Tour 2014 season started on August 16th and Baja delivered. The conditions during the summer months at Baja are very consistent in terms of wind and waves and the temperatures are the warmest of the entire year. 15 to 20 knots and shoulder high waves are “normal” Baja conditions. The main spot on Baja’s west coast, Punta San Carlos, is located 290 miles south from San Diego, California and 410 miles from LAX. 40 riders made it down to remote Punta San Carlos, such as 2013 Aloha Classic winner and current AWT tour leader Levi Siver, former wave world champ Kevin Pritchard, Morgan Noireaux or Bernd Roediger. 

 

DAY 1

After an introduction to all the crew and competitors at the camp it was time to head to the point where the first heat of the day got under way. With two open spots available in the pro fleet the decision was made to run a trial heat to determine which of the amateurs would have their chance to cut their teeth among the top ranked sailors on the AWT. Ingrid Larouche and Joey Sanchez finished first and second advancing into the pro bracket.

 

Kevin Pritchard, Morgan Noireaux, Sarah Hauser & Bernd Roediger at Punta San Carlos (Pic: SImon Crowther).

Kevin Pritchard, Morgan Noireaux, Sarah Hauser & Bernd Roediger at Punta San Carlos (Pic: SImon Crowther).

 

 

Pro Division – a new name on top 

The pro heats were stacked with many top pros making the long trip down to enjoy the incredible Punta San Carlos conditions. The first heat saw Bernd Roediger edging out Ferdinando Loffreda and Larouche. Next up Casey Hauser put together a strong performance taking down Kevin Pritchard and Bryan Metcalf Perez. Heat 3 saw Morgan Noireaux lay down the two biggest wave scores of the pros so far to advance over Russ Faurot and Josh Steele. The final heat saw Levi Siver move past Kevin McGillivray and Joey Sanchez.

 

However, the AWT bracket system (dingle system) gives all the second and third place finishers of the first round a second chance in round two to get back in the competition. Taking advantage with strong performances were Kevin Pritchard, Brian Metcalf-Perez, Russ Faurot and Kevin McGillvray.

 

Morgan Noireaux takes the victory at Baja (Pic: Simon Crowther)

Morgan Noireaux takes the victory at Baja (Pic: Simon Crowther)

 

Round three started with Bernd Roediger putting up big scores with his head-dip aerials and impressive riding. Kevin Pritchard exacted revenge from round one with a much better heat to advance to the semi-final. Levi Siver took heat two with a strong riding performance. Morgan Noireaux also advanced with a solid performance lining up and incredibly strong semi-final featuring Levi Siver, Bernd Roediger, Kevin Pritchard and Morgan Noireaux. 

Pressure was on with the top two riders advancing to go head-to-head in the final. Exactly the same 4 names, who made it to the finals at the Pacasmayo Classic a week ago, made it into the top 4 of the pro category again. Bernd and Levi sailed well, but couldn’t match the performances put in by Kevin and Morgan. The final matchup was set!

The final was extended to 25-minutes and the conditions were firing. Both riders, Morgan and Kevin, put on strong performances with aggressive powerful turns and huge aerials, but in the end Morgan Noireaux found the best set waves giving him his first AWT tour win. Congrats Morgan!

 

“After a string of fourths I finally managed to win an event. A lot of times I’ll sail great heats up until the final, and then I’ll try too hard, and lose. It’s nice to finally get the monkey off my back. The event went well. The waves were fun but inconsistent, which made it tough. Wave choice played a huge part. I thought I had lost my semi-final heat but ended up winning, so when I was in the final and felt like I got a few good waves and I was a lot more confident.” Morgan Noireaux, pro division champion

 

RESULT

1. Morgan Noireaux

2. Kevin Pritchard

3. Levi Siver

4. Bernd Roediger

 

 

Womens Division

 

The wind was insanely strong and the waves were firing when the women were sent out at the point. The first round saw Fiona Wylde and Sarah Hauser putting in strong performances to guarantee their places in the final. With diminishing conditions at the point the contest was move down to SoloSports, where the second chance round saw Katie McAnena and Ingrid Larouche secure their places in the final against the first round winners.

The final was an intense battle with all competitors scoring some nice waves. Earning her first tour win was Fiona Wylde scoring two incredible set waves. Up next was Sarah Hauser followed closely behind by Ingrid Larouche and Katie McAnena.

 

Fiona Wylde wins for the first time on the AWT tour (Pic: Simon Crowther)

Fiona Wylde wins for the first time on the AWT tour (Pic: Simon Crowther)

 

“I’ve been competing a lot recently, both in windsurfing and stand up. There are times when a heat comes together and I feel confident with my performance, but even then sometimes the results don’t come my way. In the final of the women’s today, I feel like I checked all the boxes… wave selection, turns and airs. And even then when I check all the boxes and am proud with my performance, sometimes a results doesn’t come… But today it did! Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose, but when you feel like you earned it, that when the win matters. And that’s how I feel right now. Big thank you to all the crew for putting on this event and making it fun for everybody! And big congrats to the Pro Men, Morgan, Kevin, Levi, and Bernd! You guys inspire me to become a better wave sailor! Thank you!”  Fiona Wylde, women division champion

 

RESULT

1. Fiona Wylde

2. Sarah Hauser

3. Ingrid Larouche

4.Katie McAnena

 

Amateur Division

The pro riders were drooling watching the semi-finals and finals of the amateurs go down in over-mast-high conditions.

The final of the amateurs was featuring Joey Sanchez, Vickie Abbott, Jeff Albright and Sarah Hauser. These four riders really represented the rippers of the week. Abbott found a couple sick rides early but ended her heat a little early with a ride taking her into the rocks. Albright scored one of the heats highest scoring rides, but failed to duplicate it with a decent second score putting him in third position. The battle for the top spot came down to where the action happened on the wave. Sarah Hauser scored the biggest waves of the heat and hit some very critical moves just after Punta San Carlos’ famous Chili Bowl. Joey Sanchez picked off some amazing set waves and pulled some incredibly tight turns at the most critical sections giving him the victory. Congrats to Sanchez on the victory and Hauser on a well earned second place.

Great conditions at Baja California

Great conditions at Baja California

 

“Usually when I compete, my goal is to go through the next heat. That’s what gets you a good ranking. But today during my semi final and my final in the amateur division of the AWT, all I was thinking was, I’m so stoked to be one of the 4 people on the spot right now, charging the bomb from the Chili bowl far far outside and riding down for 6 turns of roller coaster on mast high open faces. Thank you!!! Thank you to the AWT for those moments!” Sarah Hauser, amateur 2nd place

 

RESULT 

1. Joey Sanchez

2. Sarah Hauser

3. Jeff Albright

 

“I really do have the best job in the world, being a part of the AWT is a dream come true. Working alongside a great team of judges and watching these amazing riders perform to such incredible heights gives me more happiness than I can explain in words. Today was the day that many knew would come, we had watched the eventual winners tear waves apart in Peru but they had fallen short but today both Morgan and Fiona held poll position and were not backing down to their older and more experienced counterparts. In the Men’s final Morgan held his nerve picking off the set waves with ease enjoying the light winds linked his turns and airs to take down multiple world champion Kevin Pritchard. In the Women’s final 17- year-old Fiona, who had decided to fly down only 24 hours before hit the biggest sections and gracefully curved her way to victory. Congratulations to all but especially to our two champions, names you will see in lights for years to come.“ Chris Freeman, AWT Head Judge

 

The AWT will see two more events, the Hatteras Wave Jam at Cape Hatteras in the middle of September and the final on Maui at the Aloha Classic at the end of October. Levi Siver and Ingrid Larouche still keep the lead in the 2014 overall tour ranking.

©Americanwindsurfingtour 2014