With a less than perfect start to the event, having been knocked out in his second heat by an on form Camille Juban, the current tour leader and three times Pozo champion, Victor Fernandez had his work cut out to stay in contention.
Having fought through three heats on Wednesday, the Spaniard had nine more to go to steal the show, a mountainous task the like of which has not been seen since the legendary Jason Polakow achieved a similar path straight through the fleet in Cabo Verde some four years ago.
A fired up Fernandez hit the water in the second heat of the day, and did not finish until the competition was through. Perfect doubles, massive backloops, and impressive rides scored him plenty of points with the judges.
Midway through the day Fernandez was looking tired, but no one could stop the port tack maestro who had the final firmly in his sights. There were plenty of narrow escapes, especially when he met his archrival, Philip Koster. Having been beaten by the young German in Pozo in 2009, and again in the first double elimination final there in 2010, Fernandez knew that his run might end. However, Fernandez grit his teeth, matching a trademark Koster double, whilst also adding some stylish riding to advance through and fight another heat.
From that moment on, Fernandez looked like he could go all the way, and after beating former world champion Kevin Pritchard, Canarian ripper Dany Bruch and triple loop dare devil Ricardo Campello, he also took down the single elimination champion, Kauli Seadi. But, in accordance with PWA rules, the winner of the double elimination must beat the victor of the single twice to take the overall crown.
Despite having already overcome Seadi, Fernandez knows what it is like to be beaten once in a double elimination final to then come back and defend the crown. It is exactly what he did in Gran Canaria earlier this year. With that in mind, everyone knew it was far from over.
Seadi came back with a vengeance playing the heat to all his strengths. In the first half he racked up huge wave scores by throwing bucket loads of spray, and launching himself off lips that no one else dare hit. The tactic was semi-flawed though with a few full-on wipe-outs, but proved popular with the judges who still awarded plenty of points.
With three minutes remaining, Seadi still had not attempted a single jump, and when he came in to swap his gear the crowds began to worry. On his first run back out he failed to find a ramp, and when something similar happened on his second he was forced to rotate round a low scoring pushloop. Luckily for the Brazilian, his outstanding skills on the waves were enough to win him the heat And with it, the first ever Klitmoller crown.
1st Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
2nd Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC)
3rd Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
4th Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne, MFC)
5th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC)
6th Philip Koster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine)
7th= Klaas Voget (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC)
7th= Alex Mussolini (Tabou, Vandal)
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