2002 PWA FREESTYLE KING OF THE CARIBBEAN, DAY 1

Pritchard On Track For The Title!

Thursday December 12, 2002

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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.

DOUGLAS DIAZ

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.

MATT PRITCHARD

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!