In a radical display of women's freestyle, Daida MORENO proved once again to be the superior force in Pozo Izquierdo. In a sizzling final, she successfully fought off her sister Iballa MORENO. In the men's freestyle, Ricardo CAMPELLO showed the world he's the reigning freestyle champion for a reason by winning the single elimination of the men's second freestyle round by beating Anthony RUENES in the final.
As Pozo was windy as ever but without significant waves in the morning, it was ladies freestyle time in the form of the single elimination of the second round. In winds gusting up to 40 knots, the women put up a formidable show with daring moves considering the hardcore conditions. After the smoke from round one cleared, the first quarter final featured Uli HÖLZL (AUT-123, F2/Neil Pryde) vs Iballa MORENO (E-63, Mistral/North) and Yolanda Freites de BRENDT (V-26, Fanatic/North) vs Karin JAGGI (Z-14, F2). MORENO knocked out HÖLZL with a clean clew first spock, while Jaggi deployed her shove its and shaka attempts to take out Freites De BRENDT, moving on into the semi final to meet Iballa MORENO. In the second quarter final Silvia ALBA (E-67, Tabou/Gaastra) came out superior to Junko NAGOSHI (J-11) and Daida MORENO (E-64, Mistral/North) went all out against Ania OSTROWSKA (POL-00, Fanatic) and advanced to the semi with forwards, backloops, spocks and going for a clew first spock at the horn.
In the semi final, the MORENO twins called the shots. Iballa was sticking multiple spocks, including a clew first one to claim her spot in the final. Her semi-final opponent Karin JAGGI went big with her trademark shove it and a spock coming in, but MORENO wouldn't allow JAGGI to beat her on her home spot and went on to the final where she would either meet her sister Daida or Silvia ALBA. Daida MORENO set the tone with a spectacular clew first forward attempt. If ALBA was impressed, she didn't show it and landed a clean spock coming in and went for a big backloop, but couldn't keep it together at the landing. MORENO finished ALBA off with a radical T-bone at the horn and advanced to the final to meet her sister in a classic MORENO showdown.
In the final, both MORENO'S launched into a full speed forward coming in, Daida sticking it, Iballa flying out of the straps and going down hard. She quickly recovered with a clean forward and a backloop, which she didn't quite land. Daida touched down ankles dry from a solid backloop and then went for an aggressive ponch coming in, nearly landing it clean. Iballa was getting down to business going for a grubby and an amazing clew first forward. But it was Daida who took it with a perfect big backloop at the end of the heat.
Third place went to Karin JAGGI, who laid down an impressive arsenal of moves in the losers' final including big shove its and a fluent flaka. Fourth place went to Silvia ALBA, who pulled off a silky smooth spock right in front of the spectators, but had to bow to JAGGI in the end.
Day 6 of the Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam 2005 also saw the start of the second round of freestyle for the men in the afternoon. In solid 30-40 winds the first two rounds were wrapped up quickly with heats being completed back to back. In the first quarter final Anthony RUENES (F-85, Tabou/Gaastra) disposed off Victor FERNANDEZ (E-42, Fanatic) with a spectacular shaka into flaka among many moves and Kauli SEADI (BRA-253, Quatro/Naish) kept up his form by beating Colin SIFFERLEN (NC-4, Starboard). In the second quarterfinal Nick WARMUTH (US-36, Starboard/Gaastra) was simply dancing on the water and knocked out Jose ESTREDO (V-01, Fanatic/North), advancing into the semifinal.
In the semi it was Kauli SEADI (BRA-253, Quatro/Naish) vs Anthony RUENES (F-85, Tabou/Gaastra) and Nick WARMUTH (US-36, Starboard/Gaastra) vs Ricardo CAMPELLO (V-111, JP/Neil Pryde). RUENES got the party started with a shaka into flaka, followed by a huge shaka. SEADI ponched his way into the heat and stuck several high-end moves including a gozada and a funnel. But RUENES wouldn't be intimidated and made all the right moves to take the heat at the cost of the Brazilian. At the other end of the heat, CAMPELLO was fired up as usual and pulled out an air flaka to impress the judges. Combined with moves like a switch chacho, a funnel and a switch spock into flaka, the Venezuelan super trickster was just too much for Nick WARMUTH, who impressed jury and crowd alike by charging the reigning freestyle champion head on.
As the final between Ricardo CAMPELLO (V-111, JP/Neil Pryde) and Anthony RUENES (F-85, Tabou/Gaastra) got underway, the wind seemed to increase a notch for extra effect. CAMPELLO started his heat with his customary ponch coming in, but didn't clear it like he normally does. RUENES' first move was a forward coming in, turning with a perfect spock 540. CAMPELLO was back up and landed a pushloop and a ponch before sticking his first shaka of the final. Meanwhile shaka king RUENES was ripping with a shakas, forwards, shove its and nearly making a switch spock into flaka. CAMPELLO was paying attention and went for the switch spock into flaka himself and completed it perfectly. Up until then, RUENES kept the score leveled with a gozada, a switch spock, another shaka and a flaka. But then CAMPELLO had played around enough and launched into an overwhelming final assault; a full speed flaka, a textbook spock 540, a gozada and a switch chacho. RUENES kept the tension up with a monster shaka, but crashed it. CAMPELLO was right behind him and as a wave built up, he went for the kill with a perfect big shaka virtually flying over RUENES who was still down in the water. At the sound of the horn, CAMPELLO nailed it and won the single elimination of the second round.
In the battle for third place, Nick WARMUTH (US-36, Starboard/Gaastra) pulled out all the stops to claim his spot in the top three against Kauli SEADI (BRA-253, Quatro/Naish). But the Brazilian was not going to give it away. SEADI landed full powered ponchs coming in and going out, while WARMUTH was going for his high-speed double flaka, but failed to complete it. Both sailors pulled off a clean clew first spock. Warmuth went big with a shaka, but went down hard in Pozo's hammering wind, as SEADI added a puneta and a switch spock to his score sheet. The Hawaiian fought hard, but it was SEADI who come out victorious, taking third place.
As if all the freestyle action wasn't enough already, there were also several more men's wave heats completed in the double elimination, which is now well into the third round. With one more heat to go in that round, the contest was postponed due to lack of waves. Heats to be sailed in the fourth round so far are Victor FERNANDEZ (E-42, Fanatic) vs Xavier HUART (F-33, Mistral/North), Robby SWIFT (K-89, JP/Neil Pryde) vs John SKYE (K-57, F2), Dario OJEDA (E-211, Quatro/Gaastra) vs Orjan JENSEN (E-19, North), Greg ALLAWAY (KA-38, Mistral/North) vs Marcos PEREZ (E-7), Diony GUADAGNINO (V-69, Neil Pryde) vs Kristoffer LIVING (S-80) and Ricardo CAMPELLO (V-111, JP/Neil Pryde) vs Jonas CEBALLOS (E-40, Fanatic). Most striking move of the day was a monster backloop from Jonas CEBALLOS (E-40, Fanatic), who just seemed to keep going up to about 40 ft before turning into the wind and dropping down back to the water, landing it perfectly.
The wavesailors are eager to complete the double elimination to give single elimination winner Kauli SEADI (BRA-253, Quatro/Naish) a run for his money and as both the men and women have started the second round of freestyle and there is still a possible women's double elimination wave lined up, the Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam 2005 is far from over yet.