Reigning women's world freestyle champion, Daida MORENO (Mistral, North) has taken the first victory on the opening day after defeating her twin sister Iballa (Mistral, North) in an action packed first single elimination final.
World number two, Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland had to settle for third place today after defeating Sylvia ALBA (JP, Neil Pryde) of Spain in the losers final
Today's competition kicked off at 11 am and took place in flat-water conditions in the Lagune du Havre aux Basques in northwesterly winds gusting between 12 and 18 knots. The first round battles saw impressive performances from Colette GUADAGNINO, Junko NAGOSHI, Motoko SATO, Silvia ALBA (JP, Neil Pryde) and Tanja EMIG who all advanced comfortably into the last eight.
In the first heat of the second round, Japanese sailor, Junko NAGOSHI went on to face Iballa MORENO but was unable to match the skate style spocks, flakas and more loaded repertoire of spins and tacks. In the other half of the draw Collette GUADAGNINO gave Karin JAGGI a run for her money pulling some aggressive flakas, forcing Jaggi to pull out all the stops and use all of her artillery of tricks to overcome the challenge. On the lower side of the ladder Motoko SATO showed the crowds she is not just a formidable wave sailor after fighting a brave battle against Spanish sailor Sylvia ALBA. Sato, who usually sails down the line conditions in Hawaii nailed spocks, tacks and willy skippers but was outclassed by Silvia who was on red-hot form today pulling off consistent push tacks, smooth spocks and radical vulcans. In the final conflict of the round Tanja EMIG of Austria fought bravely against Daida MORENO (Mistral, North) but failed to match the formidable sailing of the women's world champion who was on red hot form today and advanced with ease
Despite an overcast sky, the heat was on in the semi finals with Iballa MORENO facing Karin JAGGI and Sylvia ALBA head to head with Daida MORENO. Although both Jaggi and Alba fought bravely, both sailors failed to match the slick style of both Moreno sisters who both advanced comfortably through to face each other in the opening final. After Jaggi disposed of Silvia ALBA in the battle for third place with her best heat of the day, Daida MORENO started shakily in the first final of the series, sailing below the level we had seen her performing in her opening heats. Iballa seemed to rise above the pressure and pulled off an impressive string of moves including a stylish spock 540, a flat water forward and a faultless push tack. In the closing stages of the heat Daida showed the crowds why she is the women's world champion clawing her way back into the winning position with a one handed spock, a willy skipper and a flat water forward. After the final the wind subsided and became way too gusty to continue with any further official competition and racing was eventually abandoned at 5 pm.
Last night saw some crazy antics in the Chez Gaspard with Tiffany WARD (Gaastra, Starboard), Kana SUZUKI and Ania OSTROWSKA all getting involved in the body painting session in the downstairs bar. American sailor, Tiffany WARD seemed to be prepared for the situation sporting a patriotic stars and stripes bikini top especially for the occasion.
The forecast here in the beautiful Magdalene Islands is for 20-25 knots tomorrow morning with gales forecast for the weekend. The battle of the women has only just begun in Canada so stay tuned to the PWA website for all the news, results and pictures as the story unfolds.