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!