Tuesday July 9, 2002

It's Showtime! The titans of the windsurfing world have all congregated

here on the windswept shores of Gran Canaria, ready to compete in what

promises to be one of the biggest and most radical events on this year's

PWA world tour. In front of a backdrop of Pozo¹s imposing giant windmills

the worlds elite male and female windsurfers will be fighting it out in

both wave and freestyle disciplines.

Over the years the legendary Pozo Izquierdo has become one of the favorite

stopovers on the PWA tour simply because it rarely fails to deliver

exceptional conditions. This is the event where sailors resort to using

the smallest sails in their quivers and even then fight with the winds,

which often blow in excess of 40 knots. Despite what many regard as

survival conditions this event is all about balls and once the contest is

underway we expect to see the competitors pushing themselves to the limits.

Today (Registration day), the likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil

Pryde), Vidar Jensen (North), Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra) and Nik Baker

(North, Mistral) have been making last minute preparations so that they

are one hundred percent ready for competition, which should commence

tomorrow. According to the locals, the wind has been howling for the last

few weeks and it looks like it is set to continue in the same pattern.

Current men¹s PWA overall wave champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck is the man most

sailors fear here on his home waters in Pozo, Izquierdo. Many are saying

the twelve times Overall PWA world champion is ripping harder than ever.

Despite his current form the big man will have to stay on guard. Over the

past few seasons an influx of highly talented new blood has joined the

tour and easy first round heats are a thing of the past!

Radical freestyle is also on the agenda here in Gran Canaria. Last years

winner Antoine Albeau (Neil Pryde, AHD) who hails from France will be

hoping for nuclear winds but faces 47 other hungry competitors all out to

spoil his party.

The women¹s competition promises to be spectacular. Here on their home

turf in Gran Canaria the Moreno twins, Daida and Iballa (Mistral, North)

are sure to be challenging for the podium positions. They will be facing

the likes of Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows), Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde)

and Anne Marie Reichman (Naish) who have all proved in the past to be

capable of giving the twins a run for their money.

With a prize fund of 130,000 Euros up for grabs and of course valuable

points towards the seasons overall rankings this years Gran Canaria event

promises to be a major battle. Down on the beach the sailors have all

marked their territory amongst the infamous Pozo boulders, rigged and

ready for action. The waiting is finally over - tomorrow will be all about

the survival of the fittest - bring it on!