Diaz Takes The Double But Locals Fight Back In The Single!

Friday December 13, 2002
Douglas Diaz (Mistral, North) has taken victory in the first double
elimination here at the PWA Bonaire freestyle finals. In a riveting final
against hardcore American freestyler Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD) this
morning, Diaz managed to pull out all the stops and reverse the Pritchards
run of form from yesterday. The young gun from Venezuela has been the
surprise force here in Bonaire and has once again proved that unknown
freestylers can come in and challenge the experienced tour pros at the
highest level. Despite lighter winds than yesterday Pritchard was fired up
for the battle and sailed with his usual determination but the smooth
sailing and technical wizardry of Diaz won the favor of the judges.

I am so happy I cant believe it! I came here expecting to go out in the
second round and never dreamed of making the final. Here I am having just
beaten Matt Pritchard in the first double elimination&I am stoked!

In the womens competition Colette Guadagnino managed to take her second
victory here in Bonaire despite a concerted challenge during the three
finals from Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland. Colette opened up her
repertoire today with a clean grubby before launching into a series of
spocks, tacks and vulcans. Third and fourth places went to fellow Austrian
sailors Tanja Emig (RRD) ahead of Julia Deutch (Naish) respectively.

I am very happy. I am on track for the title. I need to keep up the good
work and hopefully I can do it. The wind was a bit light at first but then
it picked up so we were all planning. After that it was just fun on the water.

Action then continued with the mens second elimination. Tonki Frans
(Gaastra, AHD) eventually came out on top after a heated final against
Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) of Venezuela. On his home waters Tonki
came though heats against Beat Steffan (Mistral, North), Alexis Zaballa
(North, Fanatic), Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish sails) and Matt
Pritchard on route to the final. Campello meanwhile had overcome
challenges from Rich Foster (Fanatic, Naish) Nik Baker (Mistral, North),
Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) and Tati Frans (Gaastra, AHD) as part of his
campaign to fight back for the title. In front of enthusiastic crowds
Tonki pulled off a variety of spectacular moves including one-handed
flakas, planning flat water forwards and some impressive tricks to seal
the deal in the final. Campello also performed some amazing trickery but
lacked the consistency of the local sailor.

It is my first win in a round of PWA competition and it is great that it
was in my backyard. I would like to thank the sponsors for making this
event possible especially the Maduro and Curiels Bank.

The losers final was won by Matt Pritchard who defeated Tati Frans in
another closely fought battle. Tati had made his way through to the finals
through several tough heats including beating this mornings winner Douglas
Diaz in the third round.

After two days of insane action the word is already that Bonaire is
amongst the best freestyle destinations in the world. Warm knee deep
crystal clear water, constant sunshine and steady trades have all won the
favor of the sailors here in the Caribbean! The plan for tomorrow is to
continue with mens double elimination and another round of womens
competition. We still have four more days of competition remaining so it
is still too early to make any predictions for the winner of the overall
title. As it stands Matt Pritchard is looking favorite but todays comeback
from Ricardo Campello could be significant by the end of the week!


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