The wind has finally taken a breather here in Gran Canaria. After five days of hectic conditions and radical action sailors arrived at the beach this morning to the scene of a light breeze and glassy waves.
Many sailors were welcoming a day off and taking the opportunity to relax aching muscles, surf or retune their equipment.
Competing at the highest level of PWA competition can take its toll. Several sailors have been forced to retire from the competition due to injury. Pozo favorite, Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North) broke three bones in her foot during training on the opening day of competition and will be out of action until at least September. Argentinean wave guru, Francisco Goya, (Fanatic, Arrows) is also out of action after hurting his foot during training prior to the event. Our best wishes go out to Iballa and Francisco for a speedy recovery.
Yesterday the men¹s wave competition reached its final stages but as it stands Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) is still holding the number one slot. Pritchard defeated current overall wave champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde) in the thrilling final of the men¹s single elimination two days ago. Many sailors are still talking about the 30-foot high one handed, one-legged back loop Pritchard pulled off in the final. The incredible move narrowly gave Pritchard the edge over Dunkerbeck who rarely loses here on his home waters. Pozo has once again has proved itself as a location which inspires innovative moves!
Kevin Pritchard "I don't think its good to have a day off. If we are going to do it lets do it! Hopefully for me it will be one more heat and then pack it up. I have had the one handed, one legged back loop in the bag for a while. I think it was definitely a big help in the final. I have another move I have held back for the next one if it needs to come out!"
In the men's freestyle, Kevin's older brother Matt (Gaastra, AHD) is also holding pole position after three rounds. A further round brings discards into the equation so Pritchard will need to stay on guard when competition resumes. The likes of Nik Baker (Mistral North), Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde), Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic) are all in the chasing pack and will be out to snatch victory when if the opportunity arises.
Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) is currently on top of the leader board in both women's disciplines and will be determined to consolidate her position when the wind returns. Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows), Anne Marie Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails) and Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) will have different ideas and are all in the running for the podium places.
The forecast is for lighter winds over the next few days but in here Gran Canaria the wind can make its own rules and we could easily be back in action tomorrow!