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The Siam Park wave pool in Tenerife hosted the world’s first ever jump contest on an artificial wave. Competitors were towed out towards the 4ft breaking wave by jet-ski, launching themselves into big air with spectators just a few meters from the action. The final results were – 1st: Alex Mussolini. 2nd: Iban Hernandez. 3rd: Dany Bruch.
Immediately after the event Alex was quoted as saying: “It was a great event, with loads of people watching, it was a big show as we jumped two meters away from the crowd! That was something new for windsurfing so this was perfect for the sport. We also had the Discovery Channel there filming so it will be good to see windsurfing in the international media! Thanks to the event organiser, to the jet-ski driver (Vilayta) he was really important for us to make the jumps possible. Also thanks to Dany Bruch and the Siam Park for making this possible and for the fantastic wave!”
Alex’s sponsors Gaastra / Tabou wasted no time in asking him a few questions either. Here’s Matt Pritchard’s interview with Mussolini:
MP: Alex, nice work out there – tell us how it feels to be out there on a man-made wave with no wind. Is it hard?
AM: It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in windsurfing! It’s incredible to see how man can make such a perfect wave. Plus with no wind to get thrown by the jet-ski and hit the ramp, it’s super-hard!
MP: Have you been able to do any practice in the pool since you are a local?
AM: It was the first time I tried it, we had three days for training, the first day the jet-ski came a bit late and I had to leave because I was there with my kid. The second day I only had the chance to try it for a bit, as my kid was with a friend of mine, I didn’t have much time, and then the day of the contest I had the chance to jump twice! Anyway I was lucky enough to make my moves.
MP: What was the most difficult thing about the event?
AM: To get towed by the ski, and have the timing to hit the ramp!
MP: Was it scary looping in no wind?
AM: I think it’s scarier to jump in Pozo with 50 knots!
MP: Besides yourself, who was doing the coolest moves and what were they?
AM: Iban Hernandez, Dany Bruch and Eleazar Alonso for me were the best out there, but it was very hard for everyone to make a good jump, I think that all the riders had a good time and put on a good show!
MP: What was the move that put you in to first place?
AM: The pushloop. I wanted to try different moves but I knew that the pushloop was the move to land if I wanted to win.
MP: Do you think there will be more of these contests happening around the globe after the success of this one?
AM: I think Siam Park will keep pushing for more events on the years to come, but I am not so sure around the globe. I hope it will happen again!
MP: Thanks Alex – keep it rolling out there!
And here’s Scott McKercher’s movie of the event…