Sarah-Quita's Switch-Chacho

The 2007 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Day 5

Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) takes victory in the women’s freestyle double elimination after slugging it out with Daida Moreno in a nerve-racking final re-sail. Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) screeches through the fleet to take a third straight race win and build on his event lead after the first race discard.

Daida finds a ramp

Albeau takes Micah at Mark 2

First on the agenda today was the women’s freestyle double elimination.

Women’s Freestyle Double Elimination

After struggling in the single elimination Iballa Moreno (North) dug deep and battled through pain in a gritty double elimination fightback. After no less than 6 consecutive heats Iballa’s assault on a place in the final was halted by her sister Daida Moreno (North).

‘Yesterday I had shoulder problems after an injury I picked up in Lanzarote’ explained Iballa. ‘I went to the Doctors straight away after competition yesterday and had some treatment. I was still suffering this morning, and feeling quite negative, but, in freestyle you need to be really positive. Daida came and talked to me really full-on and snapped me out of it by explaining that it’s all in the mind and that I should focus my mental approach. It helped as I forgot the pain and just took it heat by heat and that worked really well for me. I’m super-happy to have performed better and gone that far’

In the final Sarah-Quita Offringa and Daida Moreno once more went nose-to-nose to settle their dual here on the Moreno’s home turf.

Moreno came out of the blocks flying as Offringa fell a fair bit. Local knowledge prevailed this time and so, under the double elimination system, that set-up a re-sail to decide the winner.

Moreno’s confidence may well have been too high as she tackled the technical moves but crashed allowing Offringa the final say. Reviewing the two heats the young Caribbean star said ‘I didn’t think I was nervous in the first final and I sailed OK but fell a few times and then became fairly anxious. I was on a 4.0 and fully powered-up and it was nice and flat without too many waves – saying that though I saw her get a ramp for a backloop. In the re-sail I thought ‘This is double or nothing’. I had great support on the beach from Karin and Astrid and my Mother but I didn’t start so well. But after I made the switch-chacho and heard them all screaming for a flaka which I then pulled nicely. As heats go it was a solid one, but not as good as yesterday’s. It’s totally unexpected for me to be on top as I never though that at Pozo I’d keep the tour lead’

Women’s Freestyle Results after 1st Double Elimination

1. Sarah-Quita Offringa (starboard / NeilPryde) 2. Daida Moreno (North) 3. Iballa Moreno (North) 4. Laure Treboux (Naish / Naish) 5. Silvia Alba Orozco

Slalom Race 4

Albeau was in danger of throwing the 4th race final away, but recovered well after a mistimed start. ‘I was too early approaching the line in the final seconds of the countdown and had to slam on the brakes’ the 2006 champ described. ‘I actually crossed exactly on the green flag, but I was nowhere near top-speed going into the first leg. I was also far too upwind because the sun was in my eyes and I was aiming at the harbour instead of the first mark. That meant I had to point far downwind and when I saw the others rounding the buoy ahead of me I went for a gybe to take the inside line. I was really luck that there was any space at all and shot through the hole and accelerated away really well. I’d taken a 7.8 sqm sail and my 111 litre board, which was a wise choice in the end as I think most of the others were on 7.2’s or so. At the second mark I snuck inside Kevin and Finian then took Micah’s win on the third reach to take the lead and win the race’

The 4th race signified a landmark as the fleet earn their first discard and the chance to throw away their worst result so far.

Race 4 results

1. Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) 2. Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) 3. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) 4. Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North) 5. Finian Maynard (F2 / NeilPryde)

Overall Results after 4 Races

1. Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) 2. Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North) 3. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails)

The first start tomorrow is at 10.30 and the plan is to run slalom in the morning and to start a 2nd freestyle single elimination in the afternoon.