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19 August 2004, 09:54 am
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PWA Gran Canaria Super Grand Slam
Pozo, Gran Canaria

Scott MCKERCHER, Daida MORENO and Kauli SEADI take the honors in Pozo. While Campello and Daida take the overall 2004 world freestyle titles.
After eight solid days of extreme windsurfing here at the legendary beach of Pozo Izquierdo we have a result in wave and freestyle competition and the "100% Wind" tag line promoted by the event organizers has proved to be true, as we have seen wind and competition everyday so far.

Today saw the smile on Scott MCKERCHER'S (Starboard) face grow even bigger as the morning low tide revealed a drop in swell beyond what is deemed suitable so the possibilities of finishing off the wave double elimination seemed slim. You never know what might happen here in Pozo so there were still a few nerves in the air. The wave sailors were put on hold and the freestylers were brought back in to the picture with the start of their third double elimination.

This gave a final chance for the sailors to improve on their rankings but at the same time it also presented a chance for Kauli SEADI (AHD/Naish Sails) to lose his event rankings lead. He needed to advance through to the later stages of the double elimination in order for him to have a comfortable margin over his fellow contenders.

As the heats progressed Kauli watched as Taty FRANS (Starboard/Gaastra) turned on the style and started to cruise through his heats. Beating Thomas TRAVERSA (Tabou/North Sails), Kevin MEVISSEN (JP/Neil Pryde) and then Diony GUADAGNINO (Neil Pryde). If Kauli was to hold on to his event title ranking then he too was going to do mirror Taty's progress. His first heat against Jose ESTREDO (Fanatic/North Sails) went well and he used a mix of switch stance moves on both tacks to advance. Next he had to go up against French freestyle whiz kid Anthony Ruenes (Naish/Naish Sails) who has been winning some big heat battles this summer.

Kauli knew that this could be a tough heat and wasted no time in nailing some superb tricks in the now dropping wind (McKercher's grin widened!). After advancing he then had to take on the talents of Cheo DIAZ (Fanatic/North Sails), who weighing in at under 70 kgs was going to be a major threat in the light breeze. This was Cheo's first heat of the day though and Kauli was in full freestyle flow by this point and slid and spun his way through the 6-minute heat to advance to meet Taty FRANS. With no time to check the overall scores Kauli headed out not really knowing if he had to win this heat to claim event victory. Taty, who had also sailed through a number of heats to get to this stage, was loving the light wind conditions, which were more like those he is used to back home in Bonaire. Both sailors went for it and pumped their sails to gain maximum power for their tricks. Taty looked a bit more comfortable than Kauli and used his stylish spock technique to full effect. After the 6-minute heat both sailors headed up to the judge's tower to get the result. The heat went in Taty's favor, allowing him to advance to the next heat - a semi final against Robby SWIFT (JP/Neil Pryde).

This left Kauli wondering if he had done enough to hold on to his first place. He hotfooted it to the PWA office to check the scores. The news was good - he had done enough and was still in first place for the event. A happy Kauli retired to the beach with a big smile.

Within five minutes of Kauli receiving the good news the wind died down below suitable competing levels, which meant the final few heats of the 3rd double elimination could not be completed until the wind picked up.

The ladies fleet saw action early afternoon but they too had to face the lack of wind and didn't progress through enough heats to affect the rankings.

By mid afternoon it was clear that the wind was not picking up and after a nervous wait the wave and freestyle leg of the Gran Canaria Super Grand Slam was over.

A very happy Scott MCKERCHER, Kauli SEADI and Daida MORENO (Mistral/North) breathed a collective sigh of relief, their hard work had paid off and the event titles were theirs and for Daida it also meant that she claims the ladies 2004 Freestyle World Champion. There was one other happy face and that was Ricardo CAMPELLO'S (JP/Neil Pryde) who after a bitter fight to stay inside the top six in the event rankings had done enough here in Pozo to secure his second world title - The 2004 Men's Freestyle World Champion as well as third overall for this event.
Vivienne Masters (As Amended by ISAF)
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