The wind was too light for official competition on the final day of the 2003, PWA freestyle finals but three complete doubles and a complete single elimination were completed in both men's and women's categories.
The action in Bonaire has been sensational with the level of performance spiralling to new dizzy heights throughout the fleet.
Crystal clear water, wall-to-wall sunshine and consistent trades have all combined to make the perfect setting to close out this year PWA world tour and the crowning of the 2003 PWA freestyle champions.
Winning in style, eighteen-year-old Ricardo CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde) of Brazil has wrapped up the King of the Caribbean and the 2003 PWA Overall title. Runner up in the King of Caribbean battle was local sailor Taty FRANS (Gaastra, AHD) with Douglas DIAZ (Fanatic, North) of Venezuela taking the remaining podium position.
In the Overall Men's Title Race, Kauli SEADI (Naish, AHD) of Brazil moved up into second place behind Ricardo CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde) with Robby SWIFT (JP, Neil Pryde) dropping down to third after a disappointing finish to the season in Bonaire.
The seesaw battle in the women's event was eventually won by Daida MORENO (Mistral, North) who finished narrowly ahead of Swiss sailor Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows), with Iballa MORENO (Mistral, North) of Spain hot on their heels in third. Moreno joined Campello in a double celebration by taking the Queen of the Caribbean and the Women's 2003 Overall freestyle title. In the overall women's title race the top five placings for the season were Daida MORENO (Mistral, North) first, Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) second, Iballa MORENO (Mistral, North) third, Sylva ALBA fourth and Nayra ALONSO (Fanatic) in fifth.
The official end of year prize giving ceremony will took place in the City Café in town last night where Ricardo and Daida and other podium finishers received their trophies. No doubt many sailors will be out to party tonight to celebrate yet another superb year on the PWA word tour.
Stay tuned to the PWA web site for all the windsurfing news and details of the 2004 PWA world tour calendar over the coming months.
I am definitely very happy I won the world title and the King of the Caribbean. I had a tough battle against Taty who was sailing brilliantly. I am really stoked; I hope I can keep this up for the next few years. I am maybe going to put some of the prize money into a house or something instead of wasting it all.
For sure second overall is great for me. I was not expecting to move up anymore in the rankings and I was stoked to be third already. Second position is really nice with the level the standard it is on the tour right now. I feel sorry for Robby SWIFT, but at the same time I feel good for me, that's the way competition works sometimes!
I would have been happy at the start of the year if you had said I was going to be third overall but coming here and having a chance of getting first, I was a bit bummed the way it turned out. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, there was no wind training, I hurt my foot and then I was bitten by a shark today! Actually it was a dead shark but Ricardo closed its teeth on my finger and it cut through to the bone. I stayed in apartment F13 which I reckon was some sort of Friday the 13th bad luck omen! I am stoked with third and hopefully next year I will be first or second.
I am stoked; the event was really good for me. I stayed on top right through the event, and was happy to keep it that way especially with the level of competition being so high. Karin was right there all the way, she was sailing incredibly also Iballa and Tanya. Karin was pushing me really hard all the week and she demonstrated her intelligent sailing and her experience.
King and Queen of the Caribbean
Images © PWA/Carter