The 2004 Gran Canaria PWA Super Grand Slam Day 2
The morning started cloudy here in Pozo on the second day of the 2004 PWA Gran Canaria Super Grand Slam, but it didn’t take long for the sun to start shining. After a short delay to wait for the conditions to improve the day’s heats started.
Today saw the start of the Double Elimination in men’s and ladies fleets. A chance for the sailors that were eliminated early in the single elimination to climb up the rankings. A notable standout was Ben Proffitt (JP/Neil Pryde) from the U.K who won through 3 heats before going down to New Caledonian freestyle guru Colin Sifferlin (Starboard). Ben was showing good skills landing some of the most difficult tricks and was just unlucky to drop a few key moves in his heat against Colin, this elevated Ben to 9th in the rankings. Not having the best of days was Tonky Frans who failed to advance out of the third round in the double elimination and went down to Margarita young gun Jose Estredo (Fanatic/North Sails).
Robby Swift (JP/Neil Pryde) was sailing well and advanced all the way to a heat against the 4th place sailor from the single elimination Kauli Seadi (AHD/Naish). Swift was using his power and skill to muscle through some tough moves and landed a number of switch stance clew first moves during the 6 minute heat. Seadi though was on a mission to redress his 4th from yesterday and was taking no prisoners as he swept Swift aside and went on to take on Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil Pryde).
Campello is renowned for his ability to come back strong after a defeat and anything less than 1st is a defeat for young Campello. So we were sure to see a manoeuvre packed heat against Seadi. Shakas, Switch Stance Grubbys, Clew First Swicth Stance Flakas and smooth Gonzadas were all witnessed by the crowds that packed the beach front here in Pozo. Seadi was not going to let a confrontation with the current world champion get in the way of his crusade to the final. He pulled off more moves than Campello and did them with a little more style. His biggest move was a huge air Chacho, which he landed cleanly securing his place in the final against the single elimination winner from yesterday Taty Frans (Starboard/Gaastra).
In the Ladies fleet we saw a solid challenge from some of the lower ranked girls, namely Steffi Wahl (Mistral/North) from Germany who was using her super speedy body drags and smooth style to win through some tough heats. It wasn’t enough though and eventually she lost to Iballa Moreno (Mistral/North Sails) in the 4th round of the double. Next up was Iballa v Nayra Alonso who beat Firda Wiraeus from Sweden. Nayra Alonso (Fanatic) sailed a strong heat against Iballa but it was Iballa who won through to the semi final against Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows). Jaggi v I Moreno was always going to be a close fight. The winner would advance to challenge Daida Moreno (Mistral/North Sails) for the overall lead here in Pozo. Jaggi did well and was given the ticket into the final. D Moreno v Jaggi is becoming a well known final but what isn’t always well known his who will win. Today it was Moreno who stole the show with smooth clew first Spocks and nice forward loops. So Daida holds on to her overall 1st place her in Pozo.
The men’s final – Seadi v Taty Frans was going to be the highlight of an already action packed day. Seconds before the beginning of the heat Taty managed to snap his board which left him swimming. Kauli was now the only sailor up and sailing and pulled off three perfect moves in the first 20 seconds. What the sailors hadn’t noticed was the lack of a green flag. There had been a problem with the flags so the rules state that the heat must be restarted. Taty had a reprieve and managed to get on to his spare equipment and was up and riding by the time the heat was restarted. It was a close dual all the way through the 6 minute final and neither sailor was going to give an inch. Taty looked to be edging ahead mid way through the heat and his earlier board issues weren’t holding him back and he was on fire. Kauli fought hard but Taty had the final in the bag and with a final planing switch stance Spock took the win and secured his 1st place.
With 6 more days still to go the competition is far from over. This event is also the final leg of the 2004 PWA Freestyle Tour so the world championship will be decided by the middle of next week. With Ricardo 1st overall in the world rankings but 3rd in this event he is still going to have to sail good to keep his world title.
The forecast for Friday is for more wind and more swell so we could be in for some wave discipline action. An 8am skippers meeting has been called by Competition Director, Klaus Michel in order to make the most out of any waves rolling into the bay at the morning low tide. If the waves turn up watch out for some radical pictures in the gallery as Jonas Ceballos, Dario Ojeda (Neil Pryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) go for it in an all out aerial battle here in Pozo.