Day four of the PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival finally saw some action on the water as the juniors took centre stage on the biggest windsurfing platform in the world. However, a promising start to the day - with the return of the prevailing wind direction - soon deteriorated meaning that the final of the junior contest is yet to be completed, whilst both the men and women's fleets are yet to begin.
Moritz Mauch (Starboard / North) stole the show in the first heat of the juniors with his outstanding wave riding. The seventeen year old made the most of the conditions on offer as he demonstrated both his front and backside riding. Mauch then took it to another level as he slid his way through a smooth taka, whilst also landing a reverse, which was just out of time, but highlighted his potential. Mauch then went onto land two clean forward loops. Noah Roche-Vocker (Fanatic / North) and Loick Lesauvage (Goya Windsurfing) both produced impressive displays with perfectly executed forwards, but it wasn't enough to stop Mauch from booking his place in the final.
Seventeen year old Benjamin (Goya Windsurfing) was able to advance into the final as he saw off competition from Marc Pare (RRD / Simmer) and Nicklas Herrera Mathisen (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing). Benjamin edged out his two rivals with superior wave riding as he confidently linked together several waves combining both front and backside hits. Pare came a close second, but it could've so easily been a different story if he was able to hold onto his agonizingly close backloop.
Thankfully for Pare, he still qualified for the final as the lucky loser. Twelve year old Herrera Mathisen can also be very proud of his performance as he landed several forward loops showing that he's definitely one to watch in the coming years.
The final of the juniors competition was started, however, deteriorating wind conditions meant that the heat had to be cancelled before its completion with none of the sailors being able to register one of the two jumps required. Despite remaining on standby for the next thirty minutes the wind and waves never returned meaning that we will have to wait until tomorrow to see the conclusion of the final.
Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) in confident mood before the action kicks off, "I'm feeling very confident with my sailing, I have been training a lot and trying to improve everything, so I'm confident I can produce my best in the heats."
Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra) discusses his view on the importance of double forwards, "Last year I finished on the podium landing just on double in Tenerife. Of course doubles are important, but I think that my wave riding will help me. The fact that Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) won in Denmark mainly due to his riding rather than his doubles shows that it's something to think about. It's much better to land all of your jumps correctly rather than trying to go for doubles and crashing because you can't advance through your heats if you are only crashing."
The forecast for tomorrow is similar to that of day four, but with more east in the wind hopefully the local effect will be able to take hold with full force allowing the competition to finally begin, as well as seeing the conclusion of the junior contest. The skippers' meeting for tomorrow has been called for 10am with the action commencing from 10:30am if conditions allow. Of course you'll be able to follow all the thrilling action live by tuning into the PWA TV at www.pwaworldtour.com.