The last day of the contest window for the 2017 Pistol River Wave Bash (June 7-11) brought success. Pistol River delivered suitable wave and wind conditions to start with the competition. Jennifer Carlisle, Boujmaa Guilloul, Tom Soltysiak, Sean Aiken and Dwight Bode made it on top of the podium in the five categories of the event.
IWT Pistol River Wave Bash Gallery
(Photos: ©Luckybeanz/IWT 2017)
The final day at the Pistol River Wave Bash 2017
On the final day Pistol River delivered with starboard tack conditions when it counted for the 8th year in a row! Head Judge Simeon Glasson called an early skippers meeting of 8am at hosting hotel Inn of the Beachcomber. Riders were bright eyed and bushy tailed eager to get on the water.
The wind built throughout the morning hours with the first heat of amateurs hitting the water at noon. The stage was set for the Amateur final as conditions continued to build. Drawing first blood was Tom Soltysiak flowing through his first wave with deep stylish bottom turn to top turn combo, and an aggressive hack off the top to finish. Jeff Albright, Simeon Glasson and Jesse Cohen were battling it out as well, each trading strong wave rides, but could not quite match Tom’s speed power and flow.
Intermixed with the Amateur heats, the ladies got a chance to show off their skills. Canadian Jennifer Carlisle’s training paid off. She was able to choose the larger set waves of the heat and used the waves to their full potential with critical turns under the lip winning the women’s division. Sam Bittner was not far behind also picking up her game with crisp bottom turns and well timed top turns. Mandi Sinclair debuted her competitive windsurfing career sailing into 3rd place.
Clear talent shown through the Masters divisions with 3 rounds of the four men over the age of 45. Results were quite mixed through the rounds. Ferdinando Loffreda proved his hunger taking the win in round 1. Sean Aiken battled back in rounds 2 and 3 beating out Dr. Jeff Albright, Ferdinando L, and Simeon Glasson. The final round of the day sealed the win for Sean Aiken with a clean Back loop and strong wave riding, picking off the biggest set waves of the heat and riding them with drive and determination.
The Grand Masters division saw three local legends battling it out at The Rock. Dwight Bode took the win while Dana Miller impressed the crowds with his strong riding and massive forwards. James Lundin rounded out the top three talented sailors over the age of 55 in the grand masters division.
Before the pros had a chance to hit the water, a small squall blew through Pistol River State Park. A short 2 heat break allowed time for the wind to pick back up proving strong enough to add a jump and the pros re-rigged to 4.2m and 4.5 me sails.
To start off, Ferdinando threw a massive late hit to take the lead in heat 1 ahead of Boujmaa Guilloul and Russ Faurot. In the dying seconds of the heat, Boujmaa managed to nail a wave 360 stealing the heat win and securing his spot in the final. In the second pro heat of the day, coming straight off his win in Barbados, Morgan Noireaux narrowly beat out Phil Soltysiak and Sean Aiken. The repechage round of the pro division, IWT Co-Founder Russ Faurot got in tune with conditions blasting a big areal off his first wave and immediately backing it up with some powerful turns on his second wave pulling away from his competitors. Phil Soltysiak gained confidence as the heat progressed booking his place in the final leaving behind Sean Aiken and Ferdinando Loffreda.
The Pro division final featured Soltysiak, Faurot, Noireaux, and Guilloul in a tight battle for the win. The beach filled with spectators as the pros exploded into a dizzying display of Back loops, one-footed Back loops and tweaked Push loops. Morgan Noireaux kicked things off with a huge Back loop just as the green flag went up. Boujmaa countered with a slightly lower one-foot Back loop. Russ threw his hat into the ring with a clean Back loop of his own. After a slow start, Phil landed a Back loop, followed by a tweaked Push loop in the closing minutes. The results were incredibly close, with Boujmaa Guilloul sneaking out a win on a tiebreaker, with his well-timed wave 360 proving to be the difference.
Next up will the Rio Vista event with freestyle and slalom action.