Robby Swift (JP/Pryde) upheld the reputation of the new skool brat pack

today at Sotavento by taking top honours in the Men's freestyle discipline.

Robby dominated throughout all his heats and was earmarked for the top slot

from the moment he hit the water. Robby so often has shown flashes of brilliance

in previous contests, but would then go for the most radical move invariably

crash and hence lose the heat. Today was different, he sailed through all his

heats like a past master of competition, hiding the fact he is only 17!. His

repetoire included Spocks, Ponchs, Grubby's, McTwists and Shuv Its(one handed!!).

Robby was ecstatic after his victory and immediately got on the phone and informed

the world about his good news! Robby was as ever modest and pleased just to

have made some of the moves in the contest that he only learnt how to do 2 days

ago!. Obviously a fast learner!!!. On his road to victory Robby defeated lots

of top seeded sailors including Frank Lewisch, Greg Allaway and Michael Viscovich.

Second place honours went to Matt Pritchard (AHD/Gaastra) who is having

an amazing year after returning from injury after breaking his leg last year.

Matt like Robby had a faultless day fending of stiff opposition from Prince

of the Lake Johannes Markthaler, Andy Pusch and Richie Foster. Matt's forte

is in his variation of tricks, it is more evident that to win a freestyle event

you must do more than just Spock!. Matt combined all old skool tricks like carving

360's with the new moves like Lollipops and Spock 540's.

The losers final saw Richie Foster (Fanatic/Naish) and Vidar Jensen

(North) battling for the final podium slot. Vidar stole the show with a

fine display of jumps and tricks, topping it all of with his trademark one handed

forward loop which he landed going faster than when he went into it!. Richie

did his overall ranking no harm either by coming fourth, Richie is so consistent

with his sailing and rarely falls off except of course when he has a semi final

against Matt Pritchard!!

So what happened to the freestyle champion Josh Stone(JP/Pryde)?. Josh

as ever looked capable of reaching the final especially after a tough heat against

the Brazillian style master Kauli Seadi (Naish/Naish) in which the crowd

were treated to the most action packed heat of the day. Maybe it was Josh's

victory over the Brazilian that caused him to become complacent in his next

heat with bottom seed Rick Fiddicke (Fanatic/Arrows). Josh did not help

his cause by making a perfect Spock outside of the contest area in the first

10 seconds of the heat, on hearing this after the heat he was not to pleased

to say the least! This is to take nothing away from Rick who sailed the heat

of his life to take out the World Champion.

Nik Baker (Mistral/North) saw the whole of his day as a complete bonus

as he made his way through each heat. Nik of course was confined to crutches

only a few days ago but thanks to PWA phsyio Graeme Saxbys' healing hands Nik

was able to battle on abliet with a lot of pain!

The standard of the mens sailing is truly amazing proving that windsurfing

is a sport that can have no limitations, these guys are inventing new moves

on a daily basis keeping the judges entertained as well as the event commentator

who was left speechless quite a few times!!

The womans fleet were also in action today, Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows) won

an epic battle against World Champion Iballa Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North).

The two girls showed that they are a match for the men by landing moves that

some of the guys only were capable of this time last year. Karin put together

a more varied heat than Iballa showing that variation in a heat is the key to

victory. Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North) took third ahead of Toni

Frey (RRD/Gun).

So it was the end to a perfect day for Robby Swift who was absolutely on top

of the Freestyle world, 17 years old and leading the biggest freestyle event

of the year, just as well he cannot drink alcohol or he might have been out

celebrating tonight!!

Tomorrow is looking good for more action with the possibility of some swell

arriving to spice things up. As usual we will be here to keep you posted on

what so far has been a true 'balls to the wall' contest!!