The worlds elite wave sailors from both the men's and women's divisions of

the PWA world tour have gathered here in Vargas, Gran Canaria for the first

event of the season. Today, the likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde),

Vidar Jensen (North) Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra) and Jason Polakow (JP, Neil

Pryde) amongst many others have been making final preparations so that they

are ready for official competition which is due to start tomorrow.

The conditions here in Vargas are currently calm but locals are predicting

that the nuclear winds which have given Gran Canaria its reputation as one of

the windiest places in the world should be here by the weekend.

Last years event winner, Vidar Jensen who hails from Norway is confident that

the wind will return. Vidar, who is rated by many as the best jumper in the

world in port tack conditions beat local rival Bjorn Dunkerbeck in the final

here in Vargas last year.

Vidar Jensen (North)

" I just checked the latest forecast on the net and it seems like there

is a high pressure coming in for the weekend. I have a good feeling right now

that it is going to go off! I have been working on my no handed forwards, they

are going pretty well. I just started doing them last year and maybe I will

throw a few in during the contest"

The end of last season saw a return to winning ways for twice ex wave world

champion Jason Polakow. Victories in Sylt and Ireland brought Polakow back in

to contention but an injury at the beginning of the season denied him from taking

back his overall title. This will be the first time Jason has competed in Vargas

and rumour has it that he is hungrier than ever to get

back on top.

Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde)

"I have been here about a week. We have sailed a couple of days but at

the moment the wind is pretty light. I have not heard a forecast but it is sunny

today so I suppose that is a pretty good sign. Gran Canaria is always a tough

one for me so hopefully I will squeeze into the top twenty and I will be happy.

Seriously I hope to do well here but it is tough to beat the likes of Bjorn,

Vidar and all the Canary boys. I'll give it a good shot"

Kevin Pritchard last years number two overall in the waves is looking confident

this year. Pritchard is missing the overall wave crown from his list of windsurfing

titles and waves are at the top of his priority list this season.

Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra)

"I think the wind will be here by the weekend. I don't like to blow my

own trumpet but I am feeling pretty confident right now. I have my favourite

to win and it looks like I will be backing myself in this race! That's all I

want to say"

The women's competition is promising to be closer than ever this year. Local

twins Iballa and Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) will no doubt be amongst the

contenders for podium positions here in Vargas. Ex-world Champion Karin Jaggi

of Switzerland is one of their most feared opponents and also has her sights

set on victory.

Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows)

" I am ready for the twins this year - Oh Yeah! I have actually been staying

in their apartments in Pozo for the last two weeks so we have been having good

fun hanging out. It is a madhouse down there! This is the first event of the

year so I better do well. I am fired up this year so tell the twins they better

watch out!"

Daida Moreno (North, Mistral)

"I heard Karin said that she was gonna kick my ass! On the dance floor

maybe but not out on the water! I don't know who is going to win, I will have

to take a look into my crystal ball. At the moment my crystal ball is a bit

cloudy! Tell Karin I am going to kick her butt!"

The draw for the first single elimination will be on the notice board first

thing tomorrow morning. The heats will be interesting as this event is a chance

for the newcomers on the PWA world tour to challenge the 'Big Guns' The stage

here in Vargas is all set, the players are ready. Bring on the action!