Allen and Shreeve consolidate Aussie dominance in Gran Canaria, as light winds bring a relaxed finish to the first stop of the 2004 Nestea PWA World Windsurf Racing Tour and the end of the 2004 PWA Gran Canaria Grand Slam.
Following on from another beautifully calm start to the day, the thermal Southerly breeze built throughout the morning, once again providing enough wind to just about tempt the sailors on to the water. By 15.00 however, the marginal wind was not consistent enough in either direction or strength to allow for championship racing and competition was cancelled for the day and indeed, the event.
The results of the first days racing would stand with Australia taking honors in both the men's and women's divisions in the form of the ever consistent Steve ALLEN (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) and PWA newcomer Allison SHREEVE (F2) who has shown great potential in her first PWA Racing contest.
Antoine ALBEAU (AHD, Neil Pryde) was unlucky not consolidate his position further after winning the first race, finally finishing third behind 2003 PWA Racing World Champion Micah BUZIANIS (F2, North Sails). Buzianis made up considerable distance after winning race 2 by nearly a minute ahead of the competition. Former World Champion Kevin PRITCHARD (Starboard, Gaastra) dominated the final two races winning clearly, but could only make it to fourth after disappointing early results.
None of the chasing sailors managed to hold it together enough to topple Allen though, who took the event win with three second places, despite not actually winning an individual race.
In the Women's division, the strongest challenge to Shreeve came from Lucy HORWOOD (Fanatic, North Sails) just ahead of PWA veteran Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows), with all of the top three having won a race each. The big surprise in the women's fleet was the less than expected performance from 2003 PWA Racing World Champion, Dorota STASZEWSKA (Starboard, Gaastra) who only finished fourth after retiring from two of four races, despite finishing first and second in the remaining two.
Allen and Shreeve's success has added to the amazing Australian success story here in Gran Canaria with three of the six winners trophies heading down under. Apart from the racers, wave guru Scott MCKERCHER (Starboard) will also be returning home, to the land of the Wallaby, in glory, following his triumph at Pozo last week.
This years Gran Canaria Super Grand Slam is the biggest event on the PWA calendar and is the biggest event in Gran Canaria to date. All three disciplines - Wave, Freestyle and Racing - have enjoyed good conditions and produced good results.
In Freestyle, Kauli SEADI (AHD, Naish) enjoyed a return to form winning the event ahead of Taty FRANS (Starboard, Gaastra) and Ricardo CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde) who retains his PWA Freestyle World Championship Title for the second year in succession.
Daida MORENO (Mistral, North Sails) has demonstrated her absolute dominance in Women's Freestyle winning every round at Pozo with a standard of sailing that is clear ahead of her closest competition. Karin JAGGI once again clung on to second ahead of a hard fighting Iballa MORENO (Mistral, North Sails) looking to reassert her own position in the Pozo hierarchy.
The Wave contest saw a much deserved victory for Scott MCKERCHER proving once more that he is not just a big wave gouger, but also a true competition all-rounder. Pozo locals Vidar JENSEN (North Sails) and Bjorn DUNKERBECK (Neil Pryde) maintained their bragging rights in second and third respectively, with rank outsider Alex MUSSOLINI (JP, Neil Pryde) narrowly missing out on a podium position in fourth.
In the Ladies Wave contest, once again it as Daida MORENO who laid down the law, landing table top forward loops, double forward loops and one handed forward loops (moves that none of the other girls are making) to show why she truly is the queen of Pozo. The second step on the podium was rightfully filled by the other Moreno, Iballa putting herself firmly back in the title race ahead of Karin JAGGI in third.
2004 is the first time that Gran Canaria has hosted a three discipline event and it has been a great success in every respect. The PWA tour now moves on to the Nestea PWA Hungary Racing World Cup and then immediately on to Canada for the first Ladies only Freestyle World Cup.