The wave fleet only had a brief window to compete, before darkness engulfed the competition area. Luckily day 8 had a promising forecast, and after a 07.30 am skippers meeting, competition hit the water.
Kevin Mevissen (RRD) kicked off the action by delivering Marcilio Browne (Mistral, Gaastra) a killer blow. Mevissen, the underdog, played a sensible game and racked up a solid base of jumps before pushing for the more technical moves. Browne on the other hand, was punished for attempting over elaborate maneuvers in unsuitable conditions, and ended up paying the ultimate price.
Mevissen went on to defeat Vidar Jensen (North) before his unprecedented run was put to a halt by Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC) in the semi finals.
In round three, a changing of the guard saw Jason Polakow (JP, NeilPryde) and Nik Baker (Mistral, North) depart the elimination by their high flying, tweaked looping rivals, Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC), and John Skye (RRD, Naish, MFC).
Other big names to exit in the third round were Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC), who failed to match the truly inspirational wave riding of Seadi. Danny Bruch (Gaastra, MFC) fell by the way side courtesy of Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC), whose precision aerial maneuvers proved too much to contend with. And Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine) also struggled with the more jumping orientated conditions, departing the elimination to local favorite, Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC).
As the day came to an end, it was left tantalizingly close to crowning a winner, with Seadi and Fernandez pitched head to head in the final, and Voget challenging Ceballos in the losers final.
Coming down to the wire, the finalists were summoned to the beach at 07.00 am on the final day of competition to compete in far and away the most extreme conditions witnessed all season.
The final commenced in driving rain and bitterly cold winds gusting 40 knots, with the sailors armed with 3.3m sails. Fernandez opened his scoring with a colossal double forward loop, landing almost completely dry. In reply, Seadi launched into a textbook pushloop, exiting the move fully planing.
As expected, Seadi’s fluid and super vertical waveriding gave him a massive helping hand on his score sheet, but Fernandez fought back with some equally slick moves, including a big floaty aerial off a section most wouldn’t ever consider hitting.
The final blow came when Fernandez blasted right out the back, to pick a wave off the sandbar. Selecting a monster shoulder section, he boosted far and away the biggest backloop of the competition.
Seadi had fought hard, but when it came down to it, Fernandez had outclassed him with a near perfect selection of jumps, enough to award him victory in the heat, first place in the event, and second overall for the 2008 season.
The losers final was an equally explosive affair, but eventually awarded Voget third position thanks to a combination of powerful riding and sky high jumps. Ceballos’ fourth place marked the end of an exceptional event, and year for him, which saw him slot into third place overall for the 2008 season.
Competing on the afternoon of competition’s eighth day, the women’s wave fleet took to the water to compete in a 25 knot cross shore wind, and building waves.
Picking up the quarter finals of the elimination, Anne-Marie Reichman (Naish) was unfortunate to come up against Daida Moreno (North), who savored the jump orientated conditions and dispatched Reichman, bagging her a place in the semi final.
Also advancing from that heat was Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne), who took down local sailor, Steffi Wahl (F2, Gaastra).
The second quarter final saw Junko Nagoshi (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine) overthrow Karin Jaggi (F2, North) thanks to some powerful wave riding and big forward loops. Also, Iballa Moreno (North) was handed a clear run to the semi’s, after Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) gave up sailing the heat moments into it.
This produced an explosive semi final that ultimately resulted in the Moreno twins reigning supreme in the full on jumping conditions. Unfortunately for the women, this would be the last chance for them to compete as the conditions of the final morning were just too full-on for them to attempt to head out.
The final result saw both Morenos tied in first place, and Alonso and Nagoshi tied in third. Daida’s first in the event was enough to hand her the 2008 World Wave Title.
1. Victor Fernandez
2. Kauli Seadi
3. Klaas Voget
4. Jonas Ceballos
5. John Skye, Kevin Pritchard, Kevin Mevissen, Julien Taboulet
1. Daida Ruano Moreno
1. Iballa Ruano Moreno
3. Nayra Alonso
3. Junko Nagoshi