Pritchard On Track For The Title!

Thursday December 12, 2002
Its been a dramatic day of insane freestyle action here at the Bonaire PWA
freestyle finals. As the light finally faded at 6.30 pm Matt Pritchard
(Gaastra, AHD) and Douglas Diaz (North, Fanatic) finished the day neck and
neck in the mens double elimination and will have to sail one more heat
tomorrow to determine the winner. Pritchard had come through from the
losers and managed to beat Diaz in the first double elimination final and
as a result has put himself on track for the overall title!

Seventeen-year-old Diaz from Margarita was the surprise winner of this
mornings single elimination after beating local hot shot Tonki Frans
(Gaastra, AHD) in a riveting head to head. Diaz caused a major early upset
in the second round by clearly taking down title contender Ricardo
Campello (JP, Neil Pryde). He then went on to defeat Orjan Jensen (Proof,
North), Remko de Weerd (Gaastra, AHD) and Nik Baker (Mistral, North) on
route to the final. Diaz won the favor of the judges with a sensational
routine, which included clew first flakas, the Toucan (reverse willy
skipper) and one-legged flat-water forwards.

On the other side of the draw Tonki Frans fluid style took him through
heats against Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic), Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil
Pryde), Vidar Jensen (North) and Matt Pritchard (AHD, Gaastra). In the
final against Diaz, Tonki failed to nail two attempts at the Chacho whilst
the young Venezuelan sailed a rock solid heat to clinch victory.

In the double elimination it was Matt Pritchard who found form and won
through with gritted determination against Kauli Seadi (Naish Boards,
Naish Sails), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) and Tonki Frans (Gaastra, AHD).
With the light fading fast Pritchard and Diaz managed to complete the
first double elimination head to head before competition was forced to be
abandoned. Weary from three tough back-to-back heats Pritchard was running
on adrenaline as he busted out a superb action packed repertoire to take
the first blood.

I am very happy! This was my first single elimination victory and only my
second ever PWA event. I am from Margarita and have been training hard
with Ricardo Campello. I learned everything from Ricardo.

That was my kind of light. I like it kinda dark and stormy because it
scares the little kids! I kinda got into a routine and that helped me in
the final. I have been training hard for this and I know I have got the
goods. It is just a matter of putting it all together in those six minutes!

In the womens competition Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) was todays
winner ahead of Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) after coming out on top of the
three ladies finals. Despite some slick moves form Karin Jaggi, Colettes
routine, which included spocks, grubbys and some incredible transitions
proved enough to win the favor of the judges.

One day down here in Bonaire and we have already seen some of the most
amazing freestyle competition in the history of the PWA. With five more
days of competition remaining there are still plenty of scores to be
settled. Pritchard is on track for the title but as we have seen this year
on the freestyle tour&anything can happen!


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