Thursday July 11, 2002

Current world number one PWA freestyler, Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde)

is back on top after winning the second round of the men¹s freestyle here

at the PWA Gran Canaria 2002 Grand Slam. In winds blowing a solid 30 knots

the big man from France took down Matt Pritchard (AHD, Gaastra) of America

in a closely contested final. The women¹s second elimination saw Daida

Moreno (Mistral, North) take her second victory, this time against

Venezuelan sailor Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde).

The day started badly for yesterday¹s winner Remko De Weerd (Gaastra,


who missed the first half of his opening heat. The Dingle format (combo of

single and double elimination) which is being used here in Gran Canaria

meant he was given a second chance but as a result was re-seeded to meet

up with Nik Baker (Mistral, North) in third round. This time around Baker

took his revenge and advanced after stringing together a scintillating

heat leaving De Weerd out of the running.

Albeau meanwhile, advanced through two tough heats against Dioni

Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) and Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows) before facing

Baker in the quarterfinals. Albeau¹s strength in the blistering 30-knot

winds accounted for a major part of his success today and he hung onto his

moves whilst many others couldn¹t handle the conditions. After disposing

of Baker in a riveting confrontation, Albeau then went on to take down

young Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic) of Spain in the semis.

On the other side of the draw Matt Pritchard fought his way to the final

after winning heats against Baptiste Gossien (JP, Neil Pryde), John Skye

(F2, Arrows), Tonki Frans (Gaastra, AHD) and Konan Lang (Naish sails).

Pritchard was in the zone today and nailing nearly every trick in the book.

The final gave the crowds a spectacular display of old and new freestyle

moves with both sailors pulling out all the stops to impress the five-man

judges panel. Albeau managed to nail a flawless Swayzie and a multitude of

tricks, which narrowly gave him the edge over the vigilant challenge of

Pritchard. The losers final was won by Conan Lang of Brazil whose

repertoire included a switch stance spock giving him the edge over local

sailor Jonas Ceballos.

Antoine Albeau

³I am happy, this morning I did not feel that I was sailing that well.


was on 4.5 most of the day and the wind was pretty constant. I think it

was a good final and we gave the crowds some good action so I am pretty

happy about that!²

There was more disappointment for Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde) today who

was defeated in the fourth round by Nik Baker. After two rounds he is

currently back in fifteenth place and will have to make a miraculous

recovery to make it back to a podium placing.

Daida Moreno landed an incredible clew first spock 540 this afternoon on

her way to the women¹s final. Her level of sailing seems to be improving

as the competition progresses and who knows what moves she will be nailing

by the end of the week! Today¹s final was a close battle with Colette

Gaudagnino but Moreno¹s jumping was more varied and more radical. In the

women¹s losers final Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) took third slot over Anne

Marie Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails) of Holland.

Daida Moreno

³The wind was slightly lighter than yesterday so I was on my 3.7 rather

than my 3.3. It was a tough final today and I was relieved when I heard

the result. I am trying to win for my sister who is in hospital. She is

happy for me so far!²

The likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde) Francisco Goya (F2,

Fanatic) and Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) are all on standby for wave

performance. Local reports are giving 60 knots of wind by the weekend so

it looks like its time to batten down the hatches. At the moment the

branding flags are still readable but if last year is anything to go by,

by the end of the weekend there could be reduced to tatters!