Kauli Seadi (Naish/Naish) was victorious today here in Sotavento without
even putting his foot in the water, Kauli possibly the youngest sailor to win
a PWA Grand Prix event was waiting all day to see who would meet him in the
final of the second mens double elimination. He must have had the Brazillian
wind gods looking down on him as with only four heats to the final the wind
turned onshore and completely stopped. Head judge Klaus Michel waited for 30
minutes to see if it would pick up, but it was not to be and as the end of event
flag went up Kauli was thrown into the water by Josh Stone. Kauli´s only
words after obviously thanking his sponsers were
¨I will buy everyone in the tent a drink tonight, I´ve got enough
Today was not only important for the result of the event here in Sotavento
but it was crucial to the Overall World Freestyle rankings. Four sailors were
in contention all day for the number one ranking with only one event remaining,
Vidar Jensen(proof, North), Josh Stone(JP/Pryde), Matt Prichard
(AHD/Gaastra) and Antoine Albeau(AHD/Pryde). The pressure on these
guys all day could be felt from the tense atmosphere on the beach as each heats
results were called out.
Ironically the most important heat of the day was between the leader of the
freestyle rankings Vidar Jensen and Jason Stone(Tiga/Gaastra).
If Jason beat Vidar it would destroy Vidars chances of taking the World title
for the year and hence improve Jason's brother Josh´s chances of retaining
his Freestyle crown. Pressure on Jason? Just a bit!!
Having sailed inconsistently all week Jason really pulled out all the stops
and sailed the heat of his life, landing every trick he tried, much to the delight
of his screaming brother on the beach. The result was academic, all the judges
gave the heat to Jason who was stoked to say the least. If that was not enough
pressure for young Jason, his next heat was against Antoine Albeau, if he beat
Antoine then Josh would be leading the Freestyle rankings for the year. The
X factor however was Antoine as he is a much more experienced contest sailor
than young Jason and has handled this sort of pressure before, despite the light
winds Antoine kept his cool and won the judges decision over young Jason. In
the other heat taking place at the same time Josh Stone had advanced to meet
his team mate Dioni Guadagnino(JP/Pryde). This turned out to be the closest
heat of the day but unfortunately for Dioni he was just out Spocked by Josh.
And then the wind stopped! With Josh set to meet Matt Pritchard(AHD/Gaastra)
and Antoine set to meet Ricardo Campello (JP/Pryde) the event was eventually
ended despite waiting for some sign of the wind returning.
So the final event results saw Kauli Seadi winning, Matt Pritchard second,
Josh Stone third and Robby Swift (JP/Pryde) a very happy fourth.
The Overall rankings now see Antoine Albeau at the top, Josh Stone second,
Matt Pritchard third and Vidar Jensen demoted from first to fourth. This leaves
the championship wide open with one event remaining in Sylt, Germany. One thing
is guaranteed, it will be an exciting end to the year.
The women were unlucky not to make it into the water today which meant that
the event results from yesterdays competition will stand. This left Colette
Guadagnino (JP/Pryde) taking the top spot on the winners podium ahead
of Karin Jaggi(F2/Arrows) in second and Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North)
Colette had two reasons to celebrate today, not only did she win the event
but she also moved to the top of the womens freestyle rankings for the year,
ahead of Iballa Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North) and Karin Jaggi. So just
like the men the womens overall title hangs in the balance with just Sylt remaining.
So the wind blew and blew and eventually blew itself out!! The sailors were
all in agreement that this event had truely raised the level of competition
freestyle sailing. The performance of Kauli Seadi was amazing and he has set
the benchmark to where the other sailors should strive to reach.