With ballistic 40 knot plus winds screaming across the course area yesterday the name of the game was all about survival in the relentless conditions. Routines were all about radical high wind freestyle with double loops, goitas, huge back loops and massive delayed forwards featuring heavily. Conditions were considered too radical and dangerous to hold any women's competition so Daida (Mistral, North) remains in first place overall ahead of her twin sister Iballa (Mistral, North) after one complete double elimination.
Ricardo CAMPELLO has gone to Gran Canaria this year having increased his level of freestyle to a standard, which as yet, not one sailor has been able to match. His wide variety of moves and highly technical repertoire has been too deep and too solid for anybody to touch him. Three victories after three rounds means he has already sealed the deal and already has the event title in the bag. The battle here in Pozo is now all about the fight for the remaining podium positions.
After yesterday's performance Kauli SEADI one of Ricardo's main training partners has moved into second place overall. Seadi had to fight his way through heats against Rick FIDDICKE (Fanatic), Christopher FERRARETTO (AHD), Antoine ALBEAU (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Victor FERNANDEZ (Fanatic) on route to the final. The battle between Campello and Seadi saw both sailors on their smallest sails and out of control, fighting the screaming winds. In a loaded heat Campello managed to hang on to more moves completing his clean sweep of total domination here in Gran Canaria.
Antoine ALBEAU (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France remains in the remaining podium position after finishing in fifth place today. Albeau is a fierce competitor especially in strongest winds and is a past winner in Pozo after taking victory back in 2001. Albeau who has had his sail number F192 shaved out of the back of his hair for this event won heats against Peter VOLWATER (F2, Arrows) and Vidar JENSEN (North) before going out to Kauli SEADI in the quarter finals.
It was a disastrous day for American sailor Matt PRITCHARD (Gaastra) who landed heavily from a high aerial manoeuvre and pushed his lower leg up into the meniscus of his knee joint. The injury not only means the end of his freestyle campaign here in Gran Canaria but he has also been forced to pull out of the wave double elimination. Matt was one of the six remaining sailors in with a shot at winning the title here in Pozo and his retirement now means that Jonas CEBALLOS (Fanatic, Gaastra) will get a by into the next round.
Other hot moves yesterday included some incredible tweaked out table top forwards from French sailor Julien TABOULET (JP, Neil Pryde), insanely tweaked ninja kicks and a sixty foot back loop from Jonas CEBALLOS (Gaastra, Fanatic) and a sick double forward loop from Dutch wild man Peter VOLWATER (F2, Arrows).
Competition was put on hold after the men's freestyle finals while the race crew waited patiently for suitable wave conditions. Despite the screaming winds, the waves failed to co-operate but it looks like we will almost certainly be on for tomorrow. The forecast could not be better...a new swell is due to hit Gran Canarias north east shores pushed in by screaming 50 knot plus winds.
So far it has been a spectacular show here on the penultimate day of the PWA, Gran Canaria, Grand Slam. With the winds currently screaming outside and it looks like we are going to finish the competition in explosive style when both the men's and women's double elimination wave finals are decided.
RICARDO CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde) commented "I am really happy that I have already won this event. The final was a bit strange with really hard conditions. I was on a 3.4 overpowered. I was over, over, over powered! Kauli was on a 3m overpowered, it was fun. I am really stoked! "
KAULI SEADI (AHD, Naish) said "It was pretty strong out there. I was on a 3m fully overpowered in the end. It was hard sailing. It was hard to and to do the right things at the right time. It was fun freestyle!"
|4||FERNANDEZ LOPEZ Victor||E-42||12.5||2.0||3.0||0.0||17.5||17.5||2001|
|10||DE WEERD Remko||H-23||24.5||12.5||12.5||0.0||49.5||49.5||1721|