The 2006 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam Day Five
Victor Fernandez (E-42, Fanatic / Simmer Sails), and Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails), remain the leaders of the wave competition so far in Pozo, Gran Canaria. From their enviable positions, they play a waiting game to see who’ll claw their way back through the double elimination to face them in their final showdowns.
Super strength winds whipped through the streets of Pozo this morning, and massive gusts hammered those out practising new skool stunts. It looked like a day for heavyweights, Pozo locals and anyone able to perform in the 40+knot gusts. With wave-riding looking challenging too, everyone wondered who might advance back up to face yesterdays finalists.
Skippers meeting was at 09.30 where the call was to start the wave double elimination straight away at 10.00. After his first round exit in the single elimination, Klaas Voget (G4, Fanatic / Neil Pryde) made the best progress so far, winning some tough heats including beating Tenerife’s Daniel Bruch (E-13 JP / NeilPryde), and John Skye (K-57, F2 / North). Voget earns a tie against Scott McKercher (KA-181, Starboard/ Severne) who’s currently lying 5th in the world rankings. Also staging a fightback was Matt Pritchard (US-10 Tabou / Gaastra), who was business-like today, beating Sylvain Moussilmani (F-73 F2 / Simmer) and Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou / Gaastra) to march into the last 24, where he’ll meet local hero Marcos Perez (E-7).
Only a couple of women’s heats were run as the super high spring tides took the punch out of the surf. Standouts so far included Britta Kuehn (G-506 Mistral), and impressive debutant Laure Treboux (SUI-4 Naish / Naish). Head Judge Duncan Coombs attempted to restart competition twice, but eventually competition was called off at 17.30 and skippers meeting set for 09.30 tomorrow.
Anyone coming up through the losers bracket and hoping to challenge Fernandez for the overal event win, will also have to get past Bjorn Dunkerbeck (E-11, North Sails) on his home patch, reigning world champion Kauli Seadi (BRA-253, Quatro/ Naish), and the ever consistent Kevin Pritchard (US-3 Starboard / Maui Sails), before facing Fernandez in a final showdown – a tall order!
The women’s ladder is just as daunting. Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne), Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2/ North Sails) and Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) all stand in the path of anyone who thinks they can force their way into the top four of the women’s wave contest. Even if they push aside such an array of talent, they’ll then have to take on Daida Moreno in the final. On The PWA World Tour however, nothing is impossible as has been proven by some memorable come backs over its 10 yr history.