Kauli Seadi (Naish) only 18 years old from Brazil continued the young
guns domination of the 2001 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Prix. Kauli competing in
only his forth World Cup event totally dominated the day from start to finish.
Kauli has shown amazing form all week during warm up and freesailing, but in
the first round he fell too much and did not advance as far as expected. Today
however Kauli had eaten some 'Shreddies' for breakfast!!! He was unstoppable
through all his heats, he disposed of Frank Lewisch (Gaastra,Bic), Antoine Albeau
(AHD,Pryde), Remko de Weerd (AHD,Gaastra) and Ricardo Campello
(JP/Pryde). That left him to meet Julien Taboulet (AHD/Pryde) in
Taboulet also one of the new young guns was also on fire, he totally deserved
his spot in the final as on his route to the final he took out current PWA freestyle
champ Josh Stone (JP, Pryde). Taboulet sailed the heat of his life against
Stone and completed a perfect Grubby in the dying seconds of the heat to take
him one step further to that elusive spot in the final.
The final started with a bang!. Kauli opened the first thirty seconds of the
heat with an unbelievable linked combination of tricks, he started with a Spock
540 into a switch foot aerial gybe and then straight into a clew first Spock
540!!!! Amazing stuff from Kauli, as at the start of the week that would have
been enough to win a heat never mind doing it in the first three moves of the
final. He did not stop his spinning and sliding for the rest of the heat, Grubby
540´s, One hand clew first spock 540´s and to end the heat he completed
a one handed clew first Diablo...wow!! Julien Tablouet was also pulling out
the big moves, his willy skipper 540´s seemed to slide forever and he
landed two perfect Spock McTwists sending up lots of spray into the crowd on
the beach. It was Kauli´s day though and the judges unanimous decision
went to the Brazillian. This first place combined with his fifth place from
yesterday leaves Kauli leading the contest and with light winds forecast for
tomorrow the young Brazillian could be leaving the canaries a much richer man
than when he left.
In the losers final it was Matt Pritchard (AHD/Gaastra) and Ricardo
Campello (JP/Pryde) who were left to decide third and forth place. Matt
who represents the Old Skool of freestyle sailing was combining a lot of classic
moves with some New Skool hot dog moves too. Big moves for Matt were his stylish
Willy Skipper back wind 540´s and clew first Spock´s. Despite such
awesome moves Matt could not do enough to stop the crazy young Venezuelian ripper
Ricardo. Ricardo has got to be tipped to be a future freestyle world champion,
at only 16 he is still small and not as strong as his older rivals but instead
showed his strength on the water. His big moves included Spock 540´s,
big Push Loops and a perfect Goita in the last ten seconds of the heat. Keep
an eye on this kid, he rips!
So what of yesterdays double elimination winner Robby Swift (JP/Pryde)?
Robby made it through to round three before meeting Ricardo Campello in what
a lot of people were calling the most action packed heat of the day. Robby must
be praying for lots of wind for the final day as his ninth place from today
knocks him down to fourth place overall and out of the big money!
Other notable performances came from Vidar Jensen (North), Andy Pusch
(JP/Pryde) and the two Dutch sailors Remko de Weerd (AHD/Gaastra)
and Ben Van der Steen (Fanatic/North). Disappointments for the day were
Nik Baker (Mistral/North) who was very unlucky not to advance against
Matt Pritchard (AHD/Gaastra) in the third round.
The girls were in action again today coping very well with the very gusty 25
knot cross offshore wind. It was obvious who was going to win from the very
first round, Colette Guadagnino (JP/Pryde) was ripping, obviously she
has been taught a few big moves by her brother Dioni. Colette was busting out
masive one handed forwards and perfect sliding Vulcan´s. Colette advanced
through to the final to meet Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North) who was
also pulling out the big moves, on her route to the final Daida landed a perfect
Spock, this is only the second time a Spock has been landed in competition in
the womens fleet, radical stuff. Colette was set to take the victory however
and sailed a more consistent heat than Daida to take the victory and the overall
lead in the competition. Yesterdays winner Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows)could
not maintain the form from the previous day and had to settle for a fourth place
having been beaten by Iballa Ruano Moreno (Misral/North). The results
leave Colette on top with Karin in second who will surely be praying for more
wind for tomorrow.
Everyone is very excited about the final day of competition, a lot is at stake
after the results of this contest and it looks like we might see a new freestyle
world champion by the end of the year.