Campello on top of the world!

Wednesday September 4, 2002


17-year-old Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) has won the opening double

elimination of La coupe des Isles, PWA, 2002 Freestyle Grand Prix. The

Venezuelan freestyle genius came out on top this afternoon after defeating

Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) of America in a thrilling final. Conditions

could not have been better here in the Madeleine Islands today with 15-20

knot winds, clear blue skies and non-stop action all day long.

Campello opened the day in style by defeating Britain s Nik Baker

(Mistral, North) in the single elimination final. Not only did he string

together a scintillating routine but in the closing seconds of the heat,

Campello nailed a Chacho , his latest mind blowing innovative move which

sent the crowds into hysterics back on the beach.

Riveting action continued with the double elimination as the first round

losers battled their way back through towards the final. Despite fine

performances from Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde), Kauli Seadi (Naish boards,

Naish sails), Robby Swift and Nik Baker, it was Matt Pritchard who came

through to challenge Campello in the double elimination final. Pritchard

was on fire this afternoon, particularly his heat against Nik Baker which

many onlookers reckoned was the highest scoring heat of the competition so


In the double elimination final Campello opened up by crashing his first

two moves and it looked like the door could be open for Pritchard to take

control. By the midway stage it seemed like Pritchard had the heat wrapped

up, he had nailed several slick moves whilst Ricardo was still sailing

below his optimum capability. The fight back came in the closing minutes

as Campello nailed a Spock Diablo, a clew first willy skipper and a

perfect Swayze. The judge s decision was unanimous with a 5-O decision in

Campello s favor.


Since Pozo, I have not been nervous. I don t know why but I have learned

that in the contest you cannot be nervous otherwise you lose everything.

In the beginning of the heat I tried a willy skipper and came down. Then I

tried another move and came down again. I said to myself& Please I have

gotta do it&I am not going to fall down anymore! From the middle onwards


nailed all my moves. I am really happy. The Chacho I landed in the single

elimination final is an aerial duck gibe into a spock 540. It is one of

the toughest moves in freestyle right now


I had fun out there today. It started out kinda Ho hum but the wind kicked

in and I really enjoyed the sailing. That heat against Baker I had good

wind in my sail and everything just fell into place. I don t think I made

any mistakes&for me it was a perfect heat. In the final I thought I had


chance because I saw him fall off a lot but I did fall a little bit more

myself. That is the way it goes&you win some you lose some!

Tonight is body-painting night at the local restaurant Barachois. It

certainly sounds interesting and no doubt the sailors will be there in

force to check out the action. The forecast for the next few days is

calling for gale force winds and it looks like the competition could

finish with ballistic climax. One thing is for sure&Ricardo Campello is

now in the driving seat on the freestyle world tour and it s going to take

a mighty performance to take him down the way he is sailing right now!