We are down to the final stages of the mens double elimination wave competition here at the Gran Canaria PWA 2002 Gran Slam.
The wind and waves were excellent for most of the day but competition was eventually abandoned at heat 61 when the high tide late this afternoon killed off the surf. The sailors who are still in the running to face Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) in the ultimate final of the competition are Levi Siver (F2, Arrows) Tristan Boxford (North, Fanatic), Scott Mckercher (Starboard, Naish), Andy Wolf (Neil Pryde, RRD) Orjan Jensen (Proof, North) Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic) Josh Angulo, Nik Baker (North, Mistral) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck Proof, Neil Pryde).
In the top half of the draw Britain¹s Tristan Boxford had an excellent afternoon at the office and managed to advance through two heavy duty heats defeating Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France and Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) of the USA. Boxford who is sailing with six stitches in his left foot will now face Levi Siver (North, F2) in his next heat. Siver only had to sail one heat today but faced a monster battle against Norwegian high flyer Vidar Jensen (North). Jensen pulled out his usual trumps cards including the one handed forward and Crazy Pete but Siver found better waves and matched Jensens jumping with a huge back loop and a super tweaked table top.
On the opposite side of the ladder there were key performances from Andy Wolf of Germany and local sailor Jonas Ceballos. Wolf, who advanced though heats against Xavier Huart (Mistral ,North) of France and Eric Troostheide (Mistral, North) of Holland now faces Aussie wave guru Scott McKercher in his next heat. Jonas Ceballos pulled off some of the biggest back loops of the day as he advanced through heats against Tenerife sailor Daniel Bruch (Arrows) and Pozo sailor Victor Fenandez (Fanatic). Ceballos who is tipped by many to cause some major upsets here now faces Orjan Jensen in his next confrontation.
With five days remaining here at the PWA Gran Canaria Grand Slam the stage is all set now for a thrilling climax to both the wave and freestyle competitions. As it stands the Pritchard brothers are holding all the aces with Matt currently holding first overall after three rounds of freestyle and younger brother Kevin in the top slot of the waves after winning the men's single elimination yesterday. In the women's competition Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) is holding first in both disciplines but is well aware that the likes of Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows), Anne Marie Reicham (Naish boards, Naish sails) and Colette Gaudagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) are all hot on her heels.