In the Double Elimination of the Colgate World Cup on Sylt, Fanatic´s Klaas Voget (G-4) surfs the contest of his lifetime (so far) and fights his way to place 2 in the wave ranking. Klaas won eight heats in a row, accompanied by the exultations of the beach crowds at Brandenburger Strand. Former world champs like Kevin Pritchard and Kauli Seadi as well as 2009 world champ Josh Angulo hahance against Klaas. Klaas explains his personal K-Day, find his story hereafter:
Colgate Worldcup Sylt, Westerland, 3.10.2009 (by Klaas Voget):
6:45 am: My clock rings and I have to wake up. It´s still dark outside, the wind blows at the window and while I get dressed a big rain storm hits against my window in the Dorfhotel Rantum.
7:15 am: I´m the first at breakfast and eat my muesli. Outside I can see clowds, rain & sun exchanging.
8:01 am: Arrival at the team parking on Brandenburger Strand. At the moment I walk over the dunes the green flag is up for the first girls heat. My heat is the 14th in the mens round, so I still have some time. The wind comes from west-southwest like forecasted and is getting stronger every minute.
8:36 am: I pull my sail out of the rig bag, which I pulled behind the Fanatic tent the day before to save it from the upcoming storm. 4.2m², 3.9m² and 3.6m² are on the beach a few minutes later, next to them my NewWave 69 & 76 production boards.
11:37 am: Surisingly Phil Horrocks, who I expected as my rival fo the next heat is eliminated by Frenchman Jules Denel.
11:40 am: Together with Victor Fernandez I get ready for a warm-up session. The wind is stronger now so I take my 4.2m² and out I go. I feel powerful and have a good feeling. The 4.2m² is quickly too big and also Victor is heading back to the beach.
11:48 am: Bernd Flessner comes to the beach to check my equipment and helps me to carry my stuff to the event site.
2:35 pm: The red flag for my heat is up. I go out with 3.9 and my NewWave 69, a perfect combination for this conditions.
2:37 pm: The green flag is up, I´m fully into action and hit my first ramp. The lip breaks exactly underneath by board and I fly 7-8m up the sky and do a clean backloop. Just back planing the next ramp is in front of me. I can hear the speaker and the people on the beach screaming while I do a Pushloop. After 30 more meters I´m rotating my third jump in this run, a high delayed frontloop. I can clearly hear the crowd at the beach. So the jumps I had within 30 seconds, so 11:30 minutes left for waverides.
2:50 pm: I come to the beach, Bernd grabs my equipment and is really sure that I won.
2:57 pm: A World Cup employee writes G-4 in the next box of the seeding. I grab my flag for my next heat against Kevin Pritchard and go to Bernd, who is waiting at the beach next to my equipment.
2:20 pm: The green flag in my heat against Pritchard is up and I´m on the water with my 3.6m². After a good wave, a backloop and a pushloop I got eaten by a monster wave and had to swim. The current pulls my equipment out of the contest area, so I have to sail far out to get back in. In the last minute I do another one handed backloop and ride in with another good wave. Bernd: Your jumps where much better, but his rides were good. I still think you have it…”
2:38 pm: The releasing news over the speaker: „Advancing from the last heat are Voget and Volwater” Puuh!
2:49 pm: My third heat starts. My rival Kauli Seadi is on the water with 3.2m². I start with a good wave and 3 backside turns. My 3.6m² feels pretty big. I find a small ramp for jumping , also backside I can see the perfect section for a Wave 360 and think “now or never”. I turn free, come out clean and can hear the crowd on the beach screaming. I can´t help smiling. After another backside turn I´m back at the beach and Bernd screams: “Jumps!!!” And I hit two more ramps and do a backloop and pushloop-tabletop.
3:08 pm: Kauli stands next to me under the judge tower, it´s raining and we wait for the results. I hear that Kauli had a good double loop. The door opens and Rich Page the PWA Tour Manager points at me. Excited I grab my flag for my next heat. The speaker informs the crowds about the result and everybody is screaming loud again. I feel like I´m in a soccer stadium!
3:17 pm: I start my next heat with a high pushloop against Peter Volwater. Then I look desperately for waves, but nothing good. With a high backloop I score my 2nd jump, but my wave score is not comparable with the heats before. In the end I get two good waves, however got washed out of the contest area with the 2nd one.
3:30 pm: Back at the beach I don´t have such a great feeling. I leave my equipment where I came out the water and walk to the PWA container. Peter says his heat was also not great, so I hope…
3:35 pm: „G4 and G1181 advance!“ I hear over the speaker. Just a few minutes till the next heat. I walk to Bernd, who carried my equipment up the beach in the meantime. Dani Bruch is my next rival. He already has 2 heats more then me. I eat a quick Powerbar and drink a bottle of water. I think that I now should be 6th place for sure, but Bernd is shouting at me: “You can beat them all! If you carry on like that you will be on the podium for sure! You are sailing tactical absolutely super!“ I had to go out again already, so no time for thinking about it.
3:45 pm: A massive rain storm with 40knot gusts is going on during my heat. I can hardly see what happens around me. I crash a few times, but also have some clean moves and get two waves and two jumps. The heat costs a lot of strength. At the end of the heat I can´t see Dani anymore, probably he got washed out the contest area.
3:57 pm: Bernd expects me at the beach: „That´s yours for sure, now you also make the rest! This is your chance!“ He hands me a bottle of water & my neoprene coat and grabs my equipment.
3:59 pm: „Voget advance!“ The people on the beach and on the promenade applaud super loud when I run up the beach. The next heat starts in a few minutes and John Skye is on the sandbank already. I can feel my strength releasing, but the happiness and the crowds of people on the beach are pushing me. I get congratulations and claps from all sides.
4:12 pm: The heat has started and I see John jumping outside the sandbank and riding some waves. I stay around the beach and get some good waves. While tacking I fall in the water and can feel my lags starting to cramp. Nevertheless a good heat, I have a good feeling.
4:26 pm: I won again – crazy! Everybody around want to give me something – bananas, Coke, Powerbar, water - I take it all. I go with Bernd upwind. He massages my muscles and talk to me: “Albeau you beat easily and Josh too, he´s scared already! You can win here today if you carry on like this!” The weather gets better and the beach is getting more crowded.
4:40 pm: I can´t find a good ramp at the beginning of the heat and start with a few waves. A good ride gives me motivation. Then the first ramp With a high pushloop I land a good jump! Next is a good backloop and then a wave with a backside and frontside air and clew first turn. I can see Bernd and the others celebrating at the beach and inbetween I can hear the crowds screaming. Antoine is out of sight, he must have lost his equipment. I´m not sure if I won this heat. The crowd on the beach cheers and so do I as I am announced as the winner. Now I´m at least third.
4:54 pm: An extra heat break, so not 12 minutes but 24 until the next heat. I put on my shoes and my neoprene coat. Around me all my friends and lots of camera people. I eat another Powerbar and drink something. Then I go up again together with Flessi. 6 minutes to go. Flessi: „Angulo is scared! I just told him that you are on fire! This her is not sunny Cabo Verde, that´s our North Sea! Our territory. And that you show him now!” I go out and think: what a day!
5:20 pm: The heat starts. The sun comes out and everything looks gold. I sail like in trance. The light, the jubilation on the beach, I can hardly believe this.
5:35 pm: I`m in the final! The news comes right after the heat. Obviously Josh didn´t have a good run, but I had close to my best heat of the day.
5:51 pm: I take all my power and land a few jumps. Also my waves are good, however I´m not strong enough anymore to do any extraordinary moves or jumps. The last waves grabs me and I loose my equipment. My left leg cramps while I get washed. I hold it and try to stretch it and then my left arm starts to cramp too. I let the wave take me to the beach. There the crowd is rocking and cheers for me. I let myself drift right to the beach, to my gear and meet Alex.
6:03 pm: Alex Mussolini jubilates. He hugs me and says he had a really good heat. I believe I´m 2nd now. What a success. Lots of people streaming towards Alex and me.
6:08 pm: Alex is announced as the winner.
6:57 pm: All packed and I go to the „Riders Lounge“ to get something to drink. As soon as I get in all riders jumped towards me and applaud. I get drink vouchers from all sides and the party started.
2:48 pm: Dead tired and overjoyed I lie in bed. What a day!
1. With place 3 you are the best German wave rider on Sylt, how does that feel?
Feels great. Standing on the podium in front of the home crowd is amazing. I was looking for a place in the top 10, but then it all came together… I’m super stoked!
2. Are you used to sailing in this kind of conditions?
I’m sailing a lot in the north sea, but not much on Sylt. The spot is really tricky and one of most difficult places. I think Victor and I did good in training in Klitmöller few weeks before the event.
3. What board did you use during the competition and which one do you use normally?
I was using a new NewWave69 Prototype. We are in R&D-process for the 2010 line. This board has the latest changes we made and Sebastian sent it a day before the event. I tried it first time in my heats and it feels great. We will test it a bit more in different conditions and compare to other boards, but when it goes as good as on Sylt, it’s approved for production!!!
4. How was your heat against your team mate Victor?
I started good with a nice backloop and a good wave with Wave 360. Afterwards I had another wave and a forward, but then I got nailed into the sand by a solid Sylt-Shorebreak Monster and my mast broke. By the time I reached the shore to sail back out with my spare gear I had 15 seconds left on my watch and hit the ramp for my final pushloop just 3 seconds too late to get my third jump in… So I was missing a jumpscore in the end.
5. What are your plans for the next weeks?
I will go to a Fanatic Dealer meeting to Tarifa now and then wait for a good forecast for the RedBull Big Days, my last contest of the season. In November I will go to Chile with Victor and then to South Africa in December/January for more training/testing.
Fanatic congratulates Klaas to his great success on Sylt!!!
By Windsurfjounal.com, November 2007:
Windsurfjournal.com: How and when did you get into windsurfing ?
Klaas Voget: My parents had an old Tencate windsurfer that my brothers and I tried when I was 12 or 13. After a couple of runs I was infected by the sport.
WJ: Why made you decide to only train and compete in waveriding ?
KV: Wave is the discipline that I love, and for sure I practice this the most. I was always fascinated by waves. In the beginning I did all the disciplines. But when they all got more and more specialised, I focused on what I like most. Slalom and Freestyle are fun too, but for Slalom I’m a bit light and for freestyle I’m too old now !
WJ: OK, but last year we saw you at Sylt event competing in Slalom 42… Was it just for fun or do you plan to do more Slalom 42 events in the future ?
KV: I did it this year again for Sylt. I’m only doing that for a few German events and the World Cup in Sylt. For most of the other Slalom stops on the world tour I’m just a bit too light at 71 kg. Sylt is light and choppy, also I know the place, so last year I managed to finish 15th.
WJ: Is the Red Bull Storm Chase the most extreme windsurfing you have experienced ?
KV: For sure one of the most extreme. The wind was blowing up to 156 km/h on that day on Norderney (a German island in the North Sea). I was very overpowered with my 3.5. Once I was out sailing for 15 minutes and there was still white water all over. The waves were breaking everywhere. It was cold and hailing. You don’t want to get lost in this conditions…
WJ: All year long you travel a lot, do you have a favourite place and why?
KV: My favourite places are Klitmöller and Hanstholm in Denmark. It’s nice to travel and sail the best places on the planet, but driving up to Klitmöller with my friends and having a good day on the North Sea is still the best for me.
WJ: What are your plans for the next few months, and next few years?
KV: Next month I finish university in Kiel, so I’ll be home for a while, just two weeks of testing in South Africa in December. In February/March I’ll go to Chile and in March/April to Maui. In the coming years I’ll be focussing on wave competitions on the one side and on developing the best boards possible for Fanatic on the other.