Sean O'Brien Reports from PWA Costa Brava

After the light winds of Korea and Italy, the PWA slalom racers now head to Costa Brava for what could be some slightly more high octane racing. In previous years Costa Brava has delivered 50knots plus, with the guys struggling to hold onto even their smallest sails.

In PWA Korea out reporter on the ground was Dan Ellis, unfortunately Dan misses out on this event while he is back in Maui, but stepping into his shoes is seasoned slalom and formula racer Sean O’Brien.

We kick off with some more background on Sean and his thoughts on who to look out for on the race course this week, following this Sean will treating us to a full report from the action every day, so stay tuned!

This morning sailors are registering, there will then be a skippers meeting at 1pm and the first possible start at 2pm.

Check out Dan’s reporting from PWA Korea, featuring Sean. 

Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien

Name:   Sean O’Brien

Nickname: Hansel (on account of how many pairs of sunglasses I own!)

Sail Number: AUS-120

DOB:       06/01/84

Website:               www.seanobrien.com.au

Years Windsurfing:  23!

Disciplines:          Formula, Slalom

Home  town:       Brisbane, Australia

Current Residence:          Nago-Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy

Sponsors:              Starboard, Point-7, GetWindsurfFit.com, SuperFit Training, VMG Blades

On the PWA Tour since, and best result:

I did World Cup in 2006 with one board and 2 sails in Fuerteventura and came 21st having never done any slalom before at that level, then after another 5 year hiatus I started doing the full tour last year and have been in the prize money once or twice J

How well prepared are you for Costa Brava?

Funnily enough I am probably the LEAST prepared person here. I was only able to pick my sails up on the weekend, so my first sail on them was yesterday (luckily they are easy to use and working straight out of the bag). My boards I’ve had dialled in back home since Christmas, however I had to send them to Europe from Korea without me and opening the bags yesterday I discovered quite a few holes from the plane-ride, so I’ve been repairing more than sailing the past day I’ve been in Costa Brava! That being said there’s more to this game than just equipment and one thing I have been doing all winter is a TON of racing in Australia and Asia, so my mind is in the right place.

How do you think you could do?

I’m still one of the newest sailors on the tour so my concentration is really just to see if I can get to some finals, then with that confidence boost I can look to stringing together a whole event over the coming seasons.

PWA Costa Brava
The high wind action at PWA Costa Brava 2011. Image credit PWA/JC.

Names to watch out for:

After missing out in Korea, I’m sure Bjorn will be back and hungry for the win. Antoine is currently leading, but is yet to win an event with his new board sponsor, so I’m sure RRD and he will both be out for blood this event and if we get any of that crazy +60 knots like last year, Antoine is usually the quickest in those conditions.

Lots of new blood up the front this season, so we also need to watch out for Ross Williams and Antoine Questel, and of course the regulars at the top like Ben Van Der Steen, Julien Quentel and Josh Angulo.

Who could bring a surprise result?

From what we saw in Korea, Antoine Questel, who is currently 2nd in the rankings is definitely the one to watch on this front! Also never rule out the young guns like Pierre Montefon and Pascal Toselli who live not too far from here in France and are used to these conditions.

How are the conditions looking?

To be honest, the forecast looks fairly up and down for most of the week. However we had 9-13 knots forecast yesterday, but it blew up to 25 knots most of the day, then 55 knots in a storm front later in the evening. So I’m thinking to not even check the forecast anymore; anything is possible!

  1. mark

    Sean, how did you get on with the Severne wide tail boom?

    1. Sean O'Brien

      I think it’s the most amazing development in slalom right now. I can’t go back! I’m using a 210-260cm Severne boom which has the same shape as the 240-290cm boom in width (has the kinked back back part of the boom). You get a really different stance on the board which is really nice and comfortable and it actually makes gybing much easier… I put a MauiSails front end on the boom though as the Severne front end was rubbish… I’m only using it on my biggest sail (8.6m), i don’t know how it would be on smaller sails…

      Steve, Bjorn, Bora, Wojtek and a few other guys were using these wide booms on their big slalom kit at the contest also.

      1. mark

        Thanks Sean:)

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Andy King

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