The opening day of the Surf World Cup was blessed with scorching sunshine and a gentle refreshing breeze, as temperatures hit 30 degrees. Sailors spent the morning registering for the upcoming competition, whilst the afternoon proved to be a relaxing affair, as sailors and spectators both took the opportunity to soak up some rays.
Although no heats could be sailed today, the atmosphere surrounding the event was buzzing with excitement. With plenty on offer to keep everyone on the event site entertained, from Stand Up Paddle boarding to windsurfing clinics with Colin Dixon and Marco Wedele, or simply just enjoying a glass of champagne in the sunshine.
With ample time on standby and the fantastic weather all day long, we went out and about to catch up with a few people. First up we talked to the radical Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra);
PWA: You performed extremely well here last year, finishing third, are you happy to be back and are you feeling confident going into the new season?
Davy Scheffers: "Of course I'm happy to be back, last year was an amazing event, i totally didn't expect to finish where I did. I feel really confident but everyone else is also training, so no-one stands still. Some of the guys are ripping really hard on the water, it's going to be interesting to see the new level of everyone. As I said last year was unexpected, and hopefully this year will be the same or even better. All the doors are open right now."
PWA : Where did you go for your winter training in the close season?
Davy Scheffers: "First of all I went to Egypt, then France and Brazil, where we tested the new boards. For Christmas and New Year I stayed at home and that was pretty cool. Afterwards I went to South Africa, Cape Town, for training. Here I had some amazing times and I sailed in the waves. I then returned to Egypt, which is good but not so special. The last 3 weeks at home were the best."
PWA: Today's been quite a relaxed day, what have you been up to?
Davy Scheffers: 'Today we've been filming for Chasing The Dream. We will bring out our first broadcast video tonight. We've also been hanging out on the beach, watching the amazing lifestyle, there's so many chicks now, I like it. I love it here because there's always something to do, it feels like home."
With the sun gleaming, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk to the man behind Different, Tine Slabe (RRD / Challenger Sails), who is also in Austria after being in Italy for the PWA Reggio Calabria slalom event.
PWA : Can you tell us a little bit about the Different brand?
Tine Slabe: ""Me and my friend came up with idea that we should connect all the different people on those crisis days, when everyone is just complaining about everything. We are looking for people with passion, whether that be in music, sport, art or anything else. When we find someone who is different in this kind of way, we have a jury of 5 people deciding if they are right for Different or not. We then go to the design studio and design a pair of sunglasses for the guy and we offer them a royalty. We think that this inspires other people to try and do something. We think that people who have a passion for something are capable of transferring it to something else. We started out with sunglasses, then we have introduced long boards and ski goggles as well. All of our products have a story and meaning behind them."
PWA : Can you tell us about your new model of sunglasses?
Tine Slabe: "We are revealing those right now at the Surf World Cup Podersdorf in our Different stand. They are purely made from wood. Our reason for this is that we believe that you recharge yourself from nature, so we think that by having wooden sunglasses, we create the connection between ourselves and nature. These sunglasses are completely unique."
We also went to find out about the aforementioned Colin Dixon and Marco Wedele's latest project. They are currently in Austria to host clinics during the day. Wedele shall also be competing.
PWA: Can you tell us about your latest project.
CD and MW: "We are releasing a coaching DVD, it's different because it's much more interactive. We have focused on shooting from completely new angles and we've also included all the wipeouts, so you can see exactly what is causing the crashes. We shot it all out in Dahab, and now we are just trying to promote it as much as possible. We are working with Continent7 because we both wanted to do something new, so that's cool. We'll be providing clinics out here after agreeing it with the organizers. Find us at the the Continent7 tent. Once we've developed a bit we want to branch out into clinics in locations such as tarifa and Cape Verde."
PWA: Is it just going to be available on DVD?
CD and MW: "Initially it will be, we've done it on a low budget so the first thing to do is just get it out there and prove to people that it works. We'd then really be looking to try and make it into a downloadable app for iPhones and Android. That way we can sell it cheaper and it would be perfect for when people are down at the beach and they quickly want to find out what they are doing wrong with a carve/duck gybe or whatever."
The forecast for the weekends looks promising, with the perfect weather set to continue combined with thermal winds which are expected on both Saturday and Sunday. It's shaping up to be an epic weekend, packed with explosive and spectacular moves from the world's best sailors. The skippers meeting has been called for 9am tomorrow morning, with action commencing from 9:30am.
Tonight at 8:30pm, the first heat of the tow in windsurfing competition will take place. It is the first of a total of 4 heats, the remaining heats will be run on the following nights, with the final taking place on Monday. It's sure to be a crowd pleaser and you'll be able to follow it all on the live ticker.
For information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, navigate to www.pwaworldtour.com
? Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
? Check live elimination ladders
? Read daily news summaries
? Browse awesome action photo galleries
There's also a dedicated event website which can be found @ www.surfworldcup.at/index.php
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org