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Brandon Bay, Ireland 2002

World Class Competitors sign Up to Catch First Waves

The glorious County Kerry sunshine proved a perfect setting for the opening of the PWA Irish Wave Grand Prix, Presented by Bord Fáilte. Competitors spent the day settling in and registering for the coming weeks competition - the climax of the wave season on the World Tour. Seven more days of competition will decide who will become PWA Wave World Champion for the year - and who will split the prize money of 65,000 Euro.

This year 68 professional windsurfers from 15 countries have descended upon Brandon Bay to strut their stuff. Included in the elite fleet is the 12-time World Champion and current defending Champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde, Proof) of Andorra and current championship leader Californian Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, BIC). Local favorites include brothers Timo and Fin Mullen (Arrows, F2), current Irish Wave Surfing Champion Oisin Van Gelderen (Neil Pryde, JP) and Peter Nunan. Among others being tipped as ones to watch are Aussie competitors Ty Bodycoat (Starboard) and Luke Walmsley (Starboard) who are both making a big impression on this, their first ever tour.

It’s looking very tight at the top of the World Tour tables with Kevin holding a fragile lead. And Bjorn’s challenge may have suffered a setback with his late arrival in Ireland - after all the other competitors. It’s not the lateness of his arrival that threatens his prospects - but the reason. The PWA rumor mill has it that Bjorn is suffering from a puncture wound to one of his feet - it appears Bjorn shot himself in the foot with a spear gun. Doubtless we’ll be able to confirm exactly what happened over the coming days.

Registration Office
The opening night was held at the renowned Spillane’s Bar with a fine spread and plenty of the black stuff. Peter Hart was on hand to announce the first round draw to an eager crowd and the forecast for tomorrow is mixed - but the local "experts" predict there’ll be competition by 11 a.m.

21-Year-Old Levi Sever (North, F2) described the mood in Ireland as one of the best on the circuit "This is great. The welcome we get in Ireland is the best and the conditions here can be awesome, everyone’s just ready to go. We’re all looking forward to getting out on those waves."

The Irish Wave Grand Prix is presented by Bord Fáilte and organized by Proteus Sports Limited. Sponsors include Jamie Knox Watersports, SPAR, Stena Line Ferries, Red Bull, Fitzgerald's, Spillane's Restaurant and Bar, Jimmy Fitzgerald's and Kerry County Council. Official Magazine is Boards Magazine.

Autor: pwa - Pix: PWA/Williams

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