PWA FREESTYLE 2002 - A CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR!

Matt Pritchard And Karin Jaggi Scoop The 2002 Overall PWA Freestyle Titles!

Wednesday December 18, 2002

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After a grueling year on the mens PWA freestyle tour with four incredible

events in Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Canada, and Bonaire Matt Pritchard

(Gaastra, AHD) has taken the PWA overall freestyle title. Pritchard has

been battling away on the PWA circuit for the last ten years and has

finally achieved one of his main lifetime goals by joining the elite as a

PWA overall Champion. The twenty nine year old Californian sealed the deal

on the sun-drenched beaches of Bonaire in the Caribbean after fending off

the challenge from his main contender Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) of

Venezuela. Nik Baker (Mistral, North) managed to take the last overall

podium position for the 2002 tour despite a disappointing performance in

Bonaire.

This years freestyle action kicked off in the screaming winds of Gran

Canaria where Pritchard posted his win of the season ahead of Nik Baker in

second and Ricardo Campello third. Held in winds gusting between 30 and 40

knots the three rounds of competition were tough and the action spectacular.

The tour then moved over to the neighboring island of Fuerteventura where

it was seventeen-year-old Ricardo Campellos turn to raise his game.

Campello came out on top after winning the second of two rounds in a

riveting final against his good friend Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish

sails) of Brazil.

With the title chase wide open it was all to play for in third event of

the season in Canada. The beautiful Magdalen Islands played host to the

tour and provided a variety of conditions ranging from light wind

freestyle to high wind wave orientated action. After taking the first

round in style Ricardo Campello was knocked out in the early rounds of

second the double elimination. His poor performance left the door wide

open for his rivals and the outcome in Canada was a joint victory for

Baker and Pritchard.

With the tension running high and the level of freestyle running going

through the roof the chase had boiled down to a three man battle at the

closing event of the season in Bonaire. The Caribbean island delivered the

goods in style as Pritchard, Campello and Baker battled it out in their

final showdown. After three double eliminations of insane action it was

Pritchard who held his nerve and produced the required results to clinch

the title. Despite local hotshot Tonki Frans taking the King of the

Caribbean title Pritchard managed to hold on to second place, which proved

enough to secure victory.

The standard of freestyle on the mens tour has risen to an incredibly high

level. Sailors have been nailing mind-boggling moves even in the height of

intense competition. There is also a lot of new blood joining the tour and

providing a formidable challenge to the old guard. Pritchard has

deservedly won this years battle but one things for sure&he is going to

have his work cut out next year to hold on to his title!

MATT PRITCHARD

It has been pretty grueling you know. We have had four freestyle events

that were pretty intense. It was a tough year&I am tired now! I was just

thinking that some day when I grow up I would like to tell my kids what I

did. If I could not tell them that I did not win then what good is it! At

least I got one under my belt am I am going to keep shooting for more.

Ever since 1998 when the PWA picked up freestyle I have been gunning to

win the thing. It hasnt really hit me yet that I won but I am sure it will

soon!

RICARDO CAMPELLO

I cant complain! I am still seventeen so I have a big career ahead of me.

I wanted to win but I didnt happen. Next year I will be better than this year!

NIK BAKER

Third overall not really what I wanted but too many thing went wrong for

me in Bonaire to win overall. I am happy I am still on the podium at

least. We have had a great season with lots of different conditions. We

had port tack, starboard tack and waves and I would like to say that Matt

was a very worthy world champion. He is a very good competitor so he

definitely deserved it.

MENS FINAL OVERALL FREESTYLE RANKINGS 2002

1. Matt Pritchard (Gaastra, AHD)

2. Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde)

3. Nik Baker (Mistral, North)

4. Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde)

5. Tonki Frans (Gaastra, AHD)

The womens tour consisted of three events&Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and

Bonaire. Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) opened up the season in formidable

style by winning the first event in Gran Canaria with Karin Jaggi (F2,

Arrows) fighting her all the way and taking second and Colette Guadagnino

in third. Unfortunately, Daidas twin sister Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North)

was forced to pull out of the event after sustaining a foot injury on the

opening day of the event. Moreno continued her winning by posting another

victory in the side offshore winds of Fuerteventura. This time it was

Colette Guadagnino and Karin Jaggi both shared equal second in an

incredibly close battle.

A tragic family bereavement meant that Daida Moreno was unable to compete

in Bonaire leaving the title chase wide open between Karin Jaggi and

Colette Guadagnino. The stakes were high&whoever won in Bonaire would not

only win the Queen of the Caribbean title but the winner would also become

PWA overall champion. Guadagnino set the pace by taking the first two out

of five rounds leaving Jaggi with an uphill struggle to fight back. Jaggi

somehow managed to raise her game and won the final three rounds to take

both the titles!

Next year both the Moreno twins should be back competing so it looks like

Karin Jaggi is also going to have to fight it out all the way to defend

her title!

KARIN JAGGI

It is very sad, this is kind of Daidas trophy in a way. Everybody is

really upset about the situation. I am positive she will be back next

year. I am going to train more freestyle this winter and do my best to

keep the trophy again. I will definitely be happy when Daida comes back!

COLLETE GUADAGNINO

I am happy with second. It was a battle until the end it was really close.

I did not have a good heat in the very last final. Karin deserved it she

sailed better than I did in that last heat. It was a bummer not having

Daida at the last event. The title should really have gone to her because

she was so far ahead. I wish she could have been here. The whole year she

trained hard and it is a great shame what happened!

WOMENS FINAL OVERALL FREESTYLE RANKINGS 2002

1. Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows)

2. Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde)

3. Daida Moreno (Mistral, North)

4. Tanja Emig (RRD)

5. Angela Martinez (Neil Pryde, Naish)