The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Day Eight
A repeat of 2007 sees Victor Fernandez and Daida Moreno crowned event winners after an awe inspiring double elimination finale at the Pozo proving ground.
A nail biting Women’s final witnessed a classic Moreno showdown, with Daida (North Sails) sparing her sister no mercy, to win yet another Pozo wave final.
Men’s Double Elimination
Powered by fifty knot wind, and armed with their smallest sails, the wave fleet hit the water to finish up the double elimination.
Mounting a sustained attack, Julien Taboulet (F2, Naish Sails) showed his hunger to advance. The Frenchman, aided by his trademark, super contorted tabletop forward loops, cleared John Skye (RRD, Naish), Phil Horrocks (JP, NeilPryde), Philip Köster (F2, NeilPryde) & high flying Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer Sails, MFC) to the side, as he advanced from the third round to within touching distance of the final.
Taboulet would finally fall at the hands of Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii), who was gaining momentum after knocking out Vidar Jensen (North Sails) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC).
In an unfortunate turn of events, Taboulet had his gear washed all the way to the inside following a crash. Relentless dumping waves hindered his efforts to launch, meaning all he could do was watch, as Seadi racked up the points. When he finally returned back in the game it was too late, and Seadi walked on through to the next round.
Marching on to face Nik Baker (Mistral, North Sails), Seadi continued to pick up pace. Baker matched, if not exceeded Seadi with his wave riding, but couldn’t produce the goods in the air. Seadi on the other hand, was fully dialed, throwing double loops, one legged back loops and tabletop pushloops. In the end, Bakers score sheet didn’t touch Seadi, leaving the Brazilian free to advance through to face Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC).
The double looping duo put on an awesome display of aerial dog fighting for the Pozo crowds, however the super close heat was eventually won by Campello, who flew higher than Seadi, and managed to stick cleaner landings.
A stones throw from the final, Campello’s last hurdle was Tenerife’s Danny Bruch (Gaastra). Bruch, renowned for his monumental hang time, lived up to his reputation, launching into huge stalled forward loops, and massive contorted tabletop pushloops. Snubbing Bruch, Campello landed a perfect double forward, complementing it with aggressive wave riding and more aerial madness, to hand him the victory, and passage to his first ever wave final.
Last stop was Fernandez, who’s won in Pozo the last two years. For Campello to even challenge the reigning champion, he’d not only have to go big, but also match Fernandez’s creative and aggressive wave riding.
Fernandez’s first run showed why he continues to dominate at this venue, he effortlessly landed a perfect stalled forward and a backloop, but not just standard jumps, these were massive! Campello, knowing he had work to do, pulled a perfect double forward out the bag, only for it to be mimicked by Fernandez moments later.
Fernandez allowed Campello no breathing space, with every move equaled or bettered. Checkmate came when the Spanish powerhouse clocked up an awesome wave ride, including a goiter on the wave face. Campello had fought bravely, and was by no means outclassed, but the day belonged to Fernandez.
Fernandez’s victory marks an impressive run for the Spaniard; Three years of competition in Pozo, three victories, and not a single heat lost. Impressive, by anyone’s standards.
Women’s Double Elimination
Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) proved to be a stellar opponent, mounting a spectacular four heat resurgence thanks her aggressive wave riding. The run came to an end when she came up against hard-hitting rival, Karin Jaggi (F2, North Sails), who took control of the airwaves with her sizable aerial artillery.
Jaggi’s downfall came when she squared up against Iballa Moreno (North Sails). The Pozo local and World Champion outclassed Jaggi, with a comprehensive routine that Swiss sailor couldn’t match.
In a carbon copy of the 2007 final, sisters Iballa and Daida went head to head to decide who’d claim the event. The explosive showdown was a tribute to the immense talent of the siblings.
A class above the rest, the heat was truly spectacular. Iballa took the early lead with a big pushloop and some solid riding, but Daida fought back with a floaty one handed backloop, a huge forward, and with confidence on the up, a crazy double loop attempt.
When the heat ended, the judges awarded a conclusive 5-0 victory to Daida, however; only a small margin separated the pair on each score sheet. The victory adds to Daida’s unprecedented run at top of the podium.
Tomorrow, both the slalom and freestyle skippers meetings are at 10.00am. Be sure to follow every stroke of action here, at www.pwaworldtour.com, where you can:
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© PWA / Andrew Buchanan