With just the top five sailors in both the men's and women's fleets remaining, the fifth day of the PWA Tenerife World Cup saw a scintillating conclusion of the double eliminations.
The event came to a fitting end as a big, powerful south swell and winds of 25-35 knots graced El Medano, which resulted in some of the best jumping and wave riding of the entire competition. In the end Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) successfully defended his single elimination victory after a big battle against Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC), whilst Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) dug deep to claim her first event victory since July 2011, by defeating her sister Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) in the super final.
The first heat of the day saw Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) improve on his overnight fifth place as he defeated Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) to move into fourth place. The Brazilian started slowly after failing to land his first two jumps - a double forward and pushloop forward attempt - but he managed to keep his composure to fight back with a perfectly executed double earning him tens across the board, before adding a clean one-footed backloop. Traversa didn't enjoy his best heat, but the Frenchman still produced a brilliantly frontside 360 as he finished in fifth place overall.
Next up for Campello was Victor Fernandez, and unfortunately for Campello the Spaniard was in inspired form as he racked up the highest score of the day thus far with thirty-four points. Fernandez opened with a stunning double forward, and then unleashed some of the best riding of the day, which included a superb goiter off the lip combined with numerous fluid, aggressive, vertical frontside gauges. Campello tried to respond with a huge pushloop forward attempt but he couldn't quite pull it off and so it was Fernandez who advanced into the battle for second and third place.
Awaiting for Fernandez in heat thirty-four was local boy Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra), but it was the 2010 world champion who excelled once again to progress into the winners' final. Fernandez continued to impress as he launched himself into a big double forward and yet more brilliant wave riding. Mussolini did have his moments but missed his biggest opportunity after landing a great frontside 360, but he couldn't quite back it up when trying to make a second frontside 3 on the same wave.
A mouthwatering final was set up between longtime rivals Victor Fernandez - who was in sensational form - and the reigning world champion Philip Köster and the final certainly didn't disappoint, as both sailors pushed their limits. Fernandez was leading for a while as he demonstrated his excellent wave selection and outstanding execution again, before landing a massive double forward right in front of Köster. At this point the wonderkid stormed upwind and found himself the perfect ramp for an outstanding stalled double forward. From here Köster landed a huge frontside wave 360 before adding a super stylish taka. Before the heat was finished the nineteen year old also launched himself into an extremely stylish one-handed, one-footed backloop to score the highest score of the week - 35.43 points - and in doing so deservedly claim the event title as he makes the perfect start to the season.
Words from the Winner Philip Köster: "I saw Victor's big double and with it being the final I knew I had to go big, especially because Victor was sailing so well. I wanted to go for a pushloop forward but I couldn't find the right ramp for it, but I was really happy with my stalled forward, I went higher than I was expecting and I'm really stoked to win the event
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) faced Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) in the first women's heat of the day in a rerun of their single elimination duel. As in the single Wahl was able to come out on top to progress into the next round. The two women were almost inseparable in the air, but Wahl just had the edge in the waves to set up a tie against Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne). Unfortunately for the German she couldn't find a way to defeat Jaggi, despite scoring the best wave of the heat in the dying moments.
Wave of the Day
Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) produced the wave of the day in heat thirty-four against Jaggi to set up another all Moreno winners' final once more. Iballa delivered a gauging frontside hit in the critical section of the wave as well as backing it up with three vertical frontside snaps to earn perfect tens from the judges. Jaggi landed a big backloop and a pushloop but it wasn't enough as the Swiss gem finished in third place.
Just like last year Iballa Ruano Moreno was able to defeat her sister - Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) in the winners' final to force a super final. Iballa landed a technically perfect backloop only for Daida to land a higher backloop, but Iballa made the better of the waves to set up the second battle for first place.
With Iballa looking to storm back and take the victory in exactly the same circumstances as last year, Daida stepped up her performance to claim her first victory since July 2011. Iballa opened the super final with a big forward loop, but she couldn't quite hold onto a huge backloop after just failing to hold it on the landing. At this point Daida responded with a beautifully controlled big backloop to take control of the heat. Iballa linked together a solid wave consisting of a frontside air and a powerful frontside hit, but this time around it wasn't enough to stop Daida from climbing to the top of the podium as she stomped a big stalled forward and showed better wave selection than in the winners' final to put together several great waves consisting some big front and backside slashes. Daida also went for broke as she attempted a frontside wave 360 and a goiter. It wasn't long until the results were announced and she will leave Tenerife at the top of the overall rankings after a terrific display.
Daida Ruano Moreno speaking after claiming victory: "I knew against Iballa I just had to go higher and more powerful. You all saw what Iballa can do in the final. In the warm-up I damaged my 74ltr board and had to take a smaller board in the final, which made things a bit more difficult, but overall I'm super stoked. Also I'd like to thank all our sponsors as without them it wouldn't be possible for us to do what we are doing!
With the official contest finished here in Tenerife, tomorrow will see the next generation of windsurfers hit the water as the junior contest takes place. The skippers' meeting will take place at 11:00 with the first possible start at 11:30. Of course you'll be able to follow all the action live by tuning into The Website
Scope The Action for information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, navigate to The Website