Friday saw a Pritchard double at the Gran Canaria, 2002, PWA Grand Slam.
The wind failed to blow, meaning Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) has been confirmed as the winner of the men's wave competition and Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) has taken the number one slot in men's freestyle. No competition also meant a double victory for Pozo local Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) who won the women's wave and freestyle disciplines.
Despite a lack of wind during the closing days of the event the conditions last week brought wild winds and spectacular competition. Gran Canaria rarely fails to deliver the conditions and has once again asserted itself as high performance windsurfing capitol of Europe.
In the men's freestyle Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) had to battle his way through three rounds of hi-wind action in order to earn his title here in Pozo. Second place in freestyle went to Nik Baker (Mistral, North) of England whilst seventeen-year-old Venezuelan sailor Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) took the remaining podium position. Last years Champion Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France had to settle for seventh place overall following a disastrous third round result, which ruined his chances.
"I am pretty relieved. I have been on edge for the last twelve hours. I was awake at 3 a.m. this morning looking out to see what the wind was up to. I am stoked to win…it feels pretty good! I am just starting to get it into my head"
"I am very pleased. I would have liked to have been in first place but you can't have it all. I have done well here in the freestyle before so I knew in the windy stuff I could do OK. This year there were a lot of new young kids and a lot of new tricks. I tried to keep consistent and I think that's the reason why Matt won it, he was very consistent and sailed very well. In the waves, to be honest, I did better than I thought I might do. Even then I was a bit disappointed after I lost in the semis to Bjorn. It was a split decision but still…I am stoked!"
"I am kind of happy. I wanted to have some more wind because I thought that I could do better. I should be really happy with third. Now we will go to Fuerte and see what happens there!"
Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic)), the younger of the two brothers earned his victory in the waves after defeating Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde, Proof) of Spain in the men's single elimination final. Held in 35 knots of wind and 3-4 feet waves Pritchard landed an explosive one armed, one-legged back loop, which in the end proved to be the deciding factor. The battle for the final podium position was won by Nik Baker (Mistral, North) who defeated American wave specialist Josh Angulo in the men's losers final.
"I am pretty stoked! To win here in port tack Gran Canaria and beat Dunks is pretty special. I think I might be celebrating a little bit tonight. It is definitely one of my dreams to win here in GC. It is actually so far fetched it wasn't even a dream. I usually come here to do my best but to win it is very satisfying"
"I'm not happy with second, definitely not but under the circumstances it was a tight heat and I did not sail as good as I know I can. He only just beat me so at least I can feel that if I sailed the way I know I can sail, I would have had no problem winning. I have been hoping for a double elimination to come back and get Kevin back but it never happened. What can I say, of course I am not happy with second but it is better than third in the end. I am glad we had we got a result, conditions were not as good as they have been in previous years but that is the way it goes sometimes. Next time I hope it will be better.
Now I am married I am not planning on slowing down at all. If anything I am going to step up. It is a step up in life to get married. We are having a little girl at the end of the year as well so that is also going to be a change for sure. I am not planning on stopping any of my wave sailing competition side or the 'Search' but will definitely have to organize myself a bit better"
Twenty five year old Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) who finished the event with a clean sweep in both women's disciplines has dedicated her victories to her twin sister Iballa (Mistral, North). Iballa had to pull out of the event after breaking her foot during training on the opening day of action. Daida Moreno sealed the deal in the women's wave final by after narrowly defeating archrival Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland. In the losers final Dutch sailor Anne Marie Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails) clinched third place after defeating Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) of Venezuela.
The women's freestyle saw three completed rounds which Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) won with a convincing margin ahead of Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) in second and Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) third. In the second of the three finals Moreno landed an amazing clew first spock 540 in 35 knots of wind!
" I am very happy although I am sad my sister was unable to compete. The operation went well and she is back home now. The wind for the freestyle was super strong…I was overpowered on a 3.3m. The wave event was fun although during the final it was hard to find the right ramps. We have a week to recover now and then it's back to back to business next week in Fuerte!"
The PWA tour now moves over to the neighboring island of Fuerteventura for a 65,000 Euros men's and women's freestyle Grand Prix, which kicks off on the 26th July.