The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Day Three
Battering 40 knot winds set the scene for a full day of freestyle and race action at the infamous Pozo Izquierdo windsurfing arena.
In the slalom fleet, Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) showed devastating form to win both race eliminations, adding to his run of first place finishes in all four race eliminations so far.
Women’s Freestyle Single Elimination
The first freestyle elimination hit the water in winds gusting up to 45 knots at times. In the first quarterfinal Laure Treboux (Fanatic, North Sails) and Sarah-Quita Offringa looked more comfortable than rivals Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) and Yolanda Freites De Brendt (Fanatic, North Sails), landing more technical moves to advance into the semi final. Joining them were Junko Nagoshi (Simmer Sails) and Daida Moreno, who defeated opponents Iballa Moreno (North Sails), and Evi Tsape (Fanatic, NeilPryde).
Shock came in the semi final, when Treboux injured herself while competing with Offringa. She was forced to swim ashore and seek medical assistance, leaving Offringa to take the victory by default. In the second semi final Daida Moreno defeated Nagoshi with a solid performance that included a ponch on the inside and huge stalled forwards off the rolling swell on the outside.
Since Treboux could no longer compete, Nagoshi took third place in the losers final, leaving Offringa and Daida Moreno to battle it out in the final to see who’d take victory in the elimination.
Piling the pressure on Offringa, Moreno landed a clean backloop, and a one footed forward early in the heat. Offringa didn’t try and compete with Moreno’s powerful jumps, instead opting for technical sliding moves like a puneta 900 and a funnel, alongside a solid base of safer moves. This tactical and varied routine was enough for her to claim the victory in a 3-0 judging decision. Offringa will now have to defend her position from advances in the double elimination.
Surf slalom was the order of the day when the race fleet heat hit the water. First up was elimination three, which culminated in a monumental final showdown of slalom’s fastest players.
Hitting the start line as the green flag was hoisted, Albeau and Angulo (Maui Sails, Dakine) set the pace on the first reach, however it was all change at mark one. Angulo’s concentration lapsed, allowing Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC), Dunkerbeck (T1, North Sails), and Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) to pass him. The fleet continued to jostle for positions as they rounded marks three and four, leaving a drag race down the final reach to settle the scores. Albeau looked untouchable in first, leaving Angulo, who’d clawed his way back through the pack, and Pritchard to fight for second. Pritchard put the pedal down and accelerated across the line to beat Angulo to the number two spot. Angulo took third, Dunkerbeck fourth, and Williams came home in fifth.
In the losers final, Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) showed class and determination to fend off Taty Frans (Starboard, North Sails) and Sylvain Moussilmani (F2, Simmer) to take the win. Frans sailed well and stole second from Moussilmani who finished in third.
Race four saw some uncharacteristic errors from Buzianis, Maynard and Williams, who all failed to make the top five of their respective semi final heats, thus not qualifying for the final.
More upset came in the final, when Pritchard and Angulo crossed that start line early, forcing the heat to be rerun without them. The rerun saw more dominance from Albeau, however he was put to the test by Volwater (North Sails), who was hot on his heels around the four mark course. Albeau, the seasoned professional, kept his cool and executed perfect gybe after perfect gybe, to open up a lead that meant he was unchallenged down the final reach. Volwater on the other hand, had Cyril Moussilmani (F2, North Sails) to contend with. The Frenchman put the hammer down in a race to the finish line, sneaking past Volwater. Volwater took third, ahead of Cedric Bordes (Tabou, Gaastra) in fourth, and Dunkerbeck in fifth.
In the losers final, Williams owned the show, opening up a huge lead ahead of his nearest rival, Buzianis. Untouched from the first gybe onwards, Williams went on to win in comfortable fashion, leaving Buzianis to take second, and Allen third.
On completion of the second full race of the day, the race committee called an end to day three of competition, giving the sailors an opportunity to rest their bodies in preparation for more high wind windsurf antics tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s first skippers meeting is scheduled for 9.00am (for the women’s freestyle sailors), and depending on conditions, heats will commence from 9.30am. Be sure to follow every stroke of action here, at www.pwaworldtour.com to:
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© PWA / Andrew Buchanan