2002 POZO GRAN CANARIA PWA GRAND SLAM, DAYS 9, 10 & 11
We are back in action here at the Gran Canaria PWA 2002 Grand Slam. This
afternoon the wind picked up enough to allow ten heats of the fourth round
of freestyle to be completed. By 5.30pm conditions became too gusty to
continue and competition was abandoned.
With winds gusting between 15 and 20 knots it was a whole new ball game on
the water today when compared to the opening three days of 40-knot
ballistic freestyle action. Instead of 3.3m sails and wave boards, sailors
were competing on 5.3m to 6.m sails and larger dedicated freestyle boards.
The sailors that made it through to the third round today were Victor
Fernandez (Fanatic), Antoine Albeau (Neil Pryde, AHD) Richard Foster
(Fanatic, Naish), Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD), Klaas Voget (Arrows
Fanatic), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde), Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish
sails) and Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde).
Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra) who is currently in fourth place overall
failed to advance today but under the dingle elimination system will have
a second chance to make the third round. Also failing to make it through
were John Skye (F2, Arrows), Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows) and Diony
Guadignino (JP,Neil Pryde).
With only two days of official competition remaining the forecasts are
pointing towards a return to freestyle over waves. Matt Pritchard
(Gaastra, AHD) of California is still holding pole position after three
rounds and today sailed a steady heat to keep him self on track to defend
³I feel no pressure, there is nothing I can do about the wind so I am just
focussing on trying to win the next round. That is the bottom line. I
could hope and pray for no wind but that doesn¹t really do any good. If
go, my aim is to win the next round and put the icing on the cake!²
The fourth round of freestyle is vitally important to both men¹s and
women¹s fleets as it brings a discard into play. Last years freestyle
champion, Antoine Albeau who is back in seventh position overall is
currently holding a 24.5 in his results. As it stands Albeau will have to
make the final of the fourth round in order to win here in Gran Canaria.
Also in the running foe the top slot are Nik Baker (North, Mistral)
Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) and Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic).
In the women¹s freestyle Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) is looking
favourite to win. Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows), Colette Guadignino (JP, Neil
Pryde) and Anne Marie Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails) are all in the
fight for the other podium positions.
The stage is all set for a riveting climax to the Gran Canaria 2002 PWA
Grand Slam. It looks like we will have two more possible rounds of
freestyle but the wind here in Gran Canaria makes its own rules so never
discount the possibility for more wave action!
We are back on standby here
Thursday July 18, 2002
We are back on standby here on the penultimate day of the Gran Canaria PWA
2002 Grand Slam. The wind in Pozo this afternoon was too light for any
official action and the competition is now all set to go down to the wire
tomorrow. The forecast is looking promising although the likelihood of any
more wave action is slim.
The battle for the men¹s freestyle pole position has boiled down to a
shoot out between Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD), Nik Baker (North Mistral)
Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde), Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic) and
Antoine Albeau (Neil Pryde, AHD). Pritchard is currently holding number
one slot but any of the closing pack could clinch victory if the wind
In the women¹s freestyle Daida Moreno (Mistral, North sails) looks set
take victory and the race for the other podium slots is between Karin
Jaggi (F2, Arrows), Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) and Anne Marie
Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails).
Tomorrow evening the event will conclude with the closing ceremony at the
Gloria Palace Hotel in San Augustin. After ten days of grueling
competition the night traditionally turns into a huge party. Holidays Bar
is the first stop for most sailors followed by a trip into the infamous
OPit¹, a mass of bars and nightclubs where the scene rages all night long.
It's A Family Affair As Pritchards Do The Double!
Friday July 19, 2002
It¹s a Pritchard double here at the Gran Canaria, 2002, PWA Grand Slam.
The wind failed to blow today meaning Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) has
been confirmed as the winner of the men¹s wave competition and Matt
Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) has taken the number one slot in men¹s freestyle.
No competition today also meant a double victory for Pozo local Daida
Moreno (Mistral, North) who won the women¹s wave and freestyle disciplines.
Despite a lack of wind during the closing days of the event the conditions
last week brought wild winds and spectacular competition. Gran Canaria
rarely fails to deliver the conditions and has once again asserted itself
as high performance windsurfing capitol of Europe.
In the men¹s freestyle Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) had to battle his
through three rounds of hi-wind action in order to earn his title here in
Pozo. Second place in freestyle went to Nik Baker (Mistral, North) of
England whilst seventeen-year-old Venezuelan sailor Ricardo Campello (JP,
Neil Pryde) took the remaining podium position. Last years Champion
Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France had to settle for seventh place
overall following a disastrous third round result, which ruined his chances.
"I am pretty relieved. I have been on edge for the last twelve hours. I
was awake at 3 a.m. this morning looking out to see what the wind was up
to. I am stoked to winSit feels pretty good! I am just starting to get it
into my head"
"I am very pleased. I would have liked to have been in first place but
can¹t have it all. I have done well here in the freestyle before so I knew
in the windy stuff I could do OK. This year there were a lot of new young
kids and a lot of new tricks. I tried to keep consistent and I think
that¹s the reason why Matt won it, he was very consistent and sailed very
well. In the waves, to be honest, I did better than I thought I might do.
Even then I was a bit disappointed after I lost in the semis to Bjorn. It
was a split decision but stillSI am stoked!"
"I am kind of happy. I wanted to have some more wind because I thought
that I could do better. I should be really happy with third. Now we will
go to Fuerte and see what happens there!"
Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic)), the younger of the two brothers earned
his victory in the waves after defeating Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde,
Proof) of Spain in the men¹s single elimination final. Held in 35 knots
wind and 3-4 feet waves Pritchard landed an explosive one armed,
one-legged back loop, which in the end proved to be the deciding factor.
The battle for the final podium position was won by Nik Baker (Mistral,
North) who defeated American wave specialist Josh Angulo in the men¹s
"I am pretty stoked! To win here in port tack Gran Canaria and beat Dunks
is pretty special. I think I might be celebrating a little bit tonight. It
is definitely one of my dreams to win here in GC. It is actually so far
fetched it wasn¹t even a dream. I usually come here to do my best but to
win it is very satisfying"
"I¹m not happy with second, definitely not but under the circumstances
was a tight heat and I did not sail as good as I know I can. He only just
beat me so at least I can feel that if I sailed the way I know I can sail,
I would have had no problem winning. I have been hoping for a double
elimination to come back and get Kevin back but it never happened. What
can I say, of course I am not happy with second but it is better than
third in the end. I am glad we had we got a result, conditions were not as
good as they have been in previous years but that is the way it goes
sometimes. Next time I hope it will be better.
Now I am married I am not planning on slowing down at all. If anything I
am going to step up. It is a step up in life to get married. We are having
a little girl at the end of the year as well so that is also going to be a
change for sure. I am not planning on stopping any of my wave sailing
competition side or the OSearch¹ but will definitely have to organize
myself a bit better"
Twenty five year old Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) who finished the event
with a clean sweep in both women¹s disciplines has dedicated her victories
to her twin sister Iballa (Mistral, North). Iballa had to pull out of the
event after breaking her foot during training on the opening day of
action. Daida Moreno sealed the deal in the women¹s wave final by after
narrowly defeating archrival Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland. In
the losers final Dutch sailor Anne Marie Reichman (Naish boards, Naish
sails) clinched third place after defeating Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil
Pryde) of Venezuela.
The women¹s freestyle saw three completed rounds which Daida Moreno
(Mistral, North) won with a convincing margin ahead of Karin Jaggi (F2,
Arrows) in second and Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) third. In the
second of the three finals Moreno landed an amazing clew first spock 540
in 35 knots of wind!
" I am very happy although I am sad my sister was unable to compete. The
operation went well and she is back home now. The wind for the freestyle
was super strongSI was overpowered on a 3.3m. The wave event was fun
although during the final it was hard to find the right ramps. We have a
week to recover now and then it¹s back to back to business next week in
Tonight the ten-day event will conclude at the Gloria Palace Hotel in San
Augustin. Traditionally sailors have been known to let their hair down and
party the night away. The PWA tour now moves over to the neighboring
island of Fuerteventura for a 65,000 Euros men¹s and women¹s freestyle
Grand Prix, which kicks off on the 26th July.