Windsurfing Magazine





The 2006 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam Event Preview

20.07.06 – By: PWA/McDowell

After ten gruelling days of intense competition at the 2006 Gran Canaria Grand Slam the PWA Freestyle and Slalom 42 world tour rolls on to the neighbouring Island of Fuerteventura’s stunning white sand beaches of Sotavento.

Antoine Albeau leads the pack

Crowds checking the action

From 21st through 26th July the worlds best Slalom 42 racers will provide high speed action for the crowds who flock to Rene Egli windsurf centre who host this magnificent event year on year. Following on from the Slalom, from 27th through 31st July, the spectacle changes over to the dazzling world of Freestyle. Competitors will be battling it out for an enormous €90,000 fund, and precious World Tour ranking points. Fuerteventura is one of the longest standing fixtures on the PWA world tour with its history of epic contests stretching back over two decades. Crystal clear waters, consistent wind allowing insane action, and a rocking 3000 square meter party tent has cemented Sotavento as a firm favourite amongst PWA competitors.

Some of the biggest names in windsurf racing will compete for glory in Fuerteventura, including current PWA tour leader, and Super-X world champion Antoine Albeau (F-192 Starboard / NeilPryde), who’ll be joined by 2005 joint world champions Bjorn Dunkerbeck (E-11 T1 / North) and Micah Buzianis (USA-34 JP / NeilPryde), and racing legend Kevin Pritchard (USA-3 Starboard / Maui Sails). A maximum of 15 races are likely to be completed to truly test a worthy winner through downwind, figure of eight and long distance courses. And with Sotavento’s heritage in speed-sailing competition, some of the racing fleet that are also competing in the parallel speed event may well shine through. World speed record holder Finian Maynard (KV-11 F2 / NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck have proved to be one of the few able to match Albeau for speed so far this season.

There are tough competitors in the women’s fleet too. 2005 champion Karin Jaggi (F2 / North) must hold off stiff opposition from the likes of 2005 runner up Allison Shreeve (AUS-911 F2 / NeilPryde), Valerie Ghibadou (FRA-444), and Verena Fauster (ITA-31 F2 /Gaastra). You can check our website daily for live updates on how the story unfolds.

For the freestyle, the presence of 3 times world freestyle champion Ricardo Campello (V-111 JP / NeilPryde) will guarantee the best of the rest will hold back nothing as they fight for their lives in what is expected to be the most technical display of freestyle ever seen. Fellow Venezuelans, Jose ‘Golito’ Estredo, (V-1 Fanatic / North) and Douglas ‘Cheo’ Diaz (V-34 Fanatic / North), line up against legends such as 2005 world wavesailing champion Kauli Seadi (BRA 253Quatro / Naish) of Brazil, and a formidable French contingent featuring trick innovators Anthony Ruenes (Tabou/Gaastra) and Tomas Traversa (Tabou/Gaastra). But there are many newcomers and up-and-coming riders able to rival the best on their day and so up to four double eliminations can be run to prove who the most consistent performers are.

In the women’s freestyle, Daida Moreno (E-64 Mistral / North) looks a firm favourite to hold on to her world title since her dominating display in Gran Canaria. But Moreno, 2005 runner up Karin Jaggi, and Iballa Moreno (E-63 Mistral / North) have hot new talents 16 yr old Sara Quita Offringa (ARU-91 Starboard / Maui Sails), and 2006 newcomer Laure Treboux (SUI-4 Naish / Naish) snapping at their heels and hungry for their first bite at a Grand Slam event final.


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