Despite 15-25 knot winds here in Vargas this afternoon the waves failed to
materialize and no official competition took place. The race crew stayed on
standby until last possible light in hope that the surf would pick up on the
dropping tide but unfortunately the conditions did not co-operate. Four days
ago the contest fired into spectacular action on the North shore of Gran Canaria
in epic side shore conditions. Normally at a PWA event the contest venue remains
in one place. Fortunately due to the flexibility of the City Hall of Aguimes
in agreement with the tourism board Gran Canaria and the organizers Pozo Compass,
we were given the option to move.
According to the PWA rules the sixteen sailors in the men's single elimination
who advanced through to the third round all will share equal first place.. These
are Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde), Greg Allaway (Neil Pryde, JP), Josh Angulo,
Nik Baker (Mistral, North), Ty Bodycoat (Starboard), Scott Carvill (Naish boards,
Naish sails), Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde), Francisco Goya (Fanatic,
Arrows), Xavier Huart (Mistral, North), Vidar Jensen (North), Scott McKercher
(Starboard, Naish), Marcos Perez, Jason Polakow (Neil Pryde, JP) Kevin Pritchard
(Bic, Gaastra) and Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows).
Current overall wave champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck was amongst the favorites to
win here in Vargas. His campaign to retain his wave crown will continue here
in Gran Canaria at Pozo Izquierdo in July at the next wave event on the PWA
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde, Proof)
"We sail quite frequently on the north when we have west wind or south
west wind. The North has more waves than the east coast. It was a very good
decision that we moved and hopefully that could be something we can consider
for the future. It was great that we were allowed the flexibility of moving,
on an island like this it would be a shame not to use the other shores. At least
we secured a result for all the competitors that came here from all over the
world to compete. We had some very different conditions to what everybody was
expecting and the day we competed was going off!"
The surprise name in amongst the top sixteen here in Vargas is Ty Bodycoat
from Lancelin, Western Australia. Ty, who is only eighteen, recently quit his
job as a cray fisherman to try his hand on the PWA world wave tour. His talents
were spotted by fellow Aussie sailor Scott McKercher and was eventually rewarded
a wild card which allowed him to compete here against the best wave sailors
in the world.
Ty Bodycoat (Starboard)
"I can't believe it. I am first! But with fifteen other people so I don't
really see it that way. I am not working on a boat any more, this is my dream
come true. I am gonna try and keep the money in my bank account for as long
as I can. I'll be at the next event - you can count on that!"
Scott McKercher (Starboard, Naish)
"It is just great that he has been given the opportunity to give it a go.
He has got the talent to go as far as he wants to take it. I hope he knows what
to do with his talent"
Many will remember the epic day of competition on the north of Gran Canaria
for its excellent conditions. Most sailors came here expecting a largely jump
biased event and the down the line aspect was an unexpected bonus.
Next stop on the PWA world tour is a Freestyle Qualifier in Leucate, France,
this is followed by more qualifiers in Austria and then on east coast of America
before the first official freestyle event of the tour which will be in Costa