It's smokin' here on the beach at the Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam. Relentless
winds have been blowing throughout the day gusting at times over 45 knots. Nineteen
ballistic heats of the men's double elimination were completed before competition
was abandoned when the waves dropped on the outgoing tide.
The advancing pack of sailors who have survived through the double elimination
today were local Jonas Ceballos (Proof, Gaastra) Orjan Jensen (Proof, North)
Josh stone (JP, Neil Pryde) Tristan Boxford (Fanatic, North) Julian Taboulet
(AHD, Neil Pryde) and Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde). Two more heats remain
undecided in the third round, France's Thierry Belbeoch (Naish) versus Dutch
sailor Eric Troosthiede (Mistral, North) and Diony Gaudagnino (JP, Neil Pryde)
from Venezuela against local Spaniard Juan Enrique (Simmer). These sailors will
be facing the big guns tomorrow when action continues. The likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck
(Proof, Neil Pryde), Nik Baker (Mistral, North) and Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows)
are all on standby to defend their positions when the time arises!
The fight back through the double elimination can be tough! Especially when
you have to battle your way through heat after heat maxed out on your smallest
sail. Today it was all about staying in control and nailing those landings.
Several sailors busted out enormous jumps only to have the sail ripped from
their hands upon impact. Judges score lowly for uncompleted moves! Nuking, smoking,
out of control, ballistic...you can call it what you like but the conditions
today were brutal and as tough as they get for windsurfing!
Local hot shot Jonas Cabellos is rated as one of the most naturally talented
sailors to emerge from the cauldron of talent here in Pozo. Cabellos suffered
an early exit in the single elimination at the hands of Pierrick Wattez (Neil
Pryde, Bic) of France. He nearly went down again in his first heat toady against
Italian sailor, Danielle Saglietti. Upon landing a back loop in the early seconds
of his heat, the outhaul broke on his sail leaving Cabellos in dire trouble.
The young Spaniard was forced to make emergency repairs on the beach and recovered
in time to salvage the situation. Cabellos went on to take out Australian sailor
Steve Allen, (Gaastra, Fanatic) and Cyril Moussilmani (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France.
He now has a chance of revenge when he faces Pierrick Wattez in the next round
of the double.
The Stone brothers had to go head to head this morning. Brotherly love was
soon forgotten once they took to the water. It was clear that they were both
desperately fighting for survival! Despite a concerted effort from his younger
brother Jason Stone (Gaastra) it was Josh (JP, Neil Pryde) who came out victor
in a hard fought battle. Josh Stone now faces a tough draw against ex- world
champ Kevin Pritchard in the next round.
At the moment the Gran Canaria flags which line the beach here in Pozo are
beginning to fray. The vicious winds, which have been blowing constantly for
the last three days, are literally tearing them from their poles. The harsh
winds have been taking their toll! Many sailors are tired, aching and suffering
from exposure to the constant sun. There is no change in the forecast more
ballistic winds for the rest of the week! Its anybody's guess who will be the
winners here in Gran Canaria but the stage is already set for an epic climax
to the competition!
Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows)
"It's bloody windy out there. I am going to take it easy today. I have
not even got my feet wet. I am saving my energy for the double elimination"
Francisco Goya (Fanatic, Arrows)
"It's nuking' out there. It must be 40 knots plus! Yesterday I could
not let it go! I played it too conservative and was holding back. I am going
to go for it in the double elimination that's for sure. I have a few tricks
up my sleeve if the waves get bigger tomorrow!"
Josh Angulo (RRD)
"The wind has got stronger today! The surf went down, I think the wind
turned more side-shore and blew it flat. I am sure going to try my darndest
in the double elimination. Myself is usually my main competitor, that's who
I have to beat!"