MONDIAL DU VENT PWA FREESTYLE QUALIFIER, DAY 1

Light Winds Keep Action On Hold As France Plays Host To Some Of The Worlds

Best

Saturday April 19, 2003

------------------------------------------------------------------------

The second year of the PWA Freestyle qualifier at the Mondial du Vent

event in Leucate France, has begun with light winds and calm seas on day 1

of the contest.

Eagerly waiting on the beach are many of the worlds up and coming

Freestyle pros, who have made the journey to La Franqui, Leucate, here in

the south of France to demonstrate their skill to the massed crowds and

the would be challengers.

Among those in attendance are current World Freestyle numbers 2, Ricardo

Campello (Neil Pryde, JP) from Venezuela. The Frans Brothers, Tonky and

Taty (Gaastra, AHD) from Bonaire. Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish) from Brazil and

Remko De Weerd (Gaastra, Fanatic) all currently ranked in the top 15.

Challenging these big guns from below, will be many of the wave of new

young talent that has swept through the Freestyle discipline in the last

12 months. Douglas Diaz (Fanatic, North) from Venezuela, is still on a

high after his recent win at the PWA Qualifier in Tarifa, as will be the

second place sailor from that contest, Thomas Traversa from France.

Local hopes will be riding with 5-year PWA veteran Julien Taboulet (Neil

Pryde, JP) who as well as coming from Leucate, is currently ranked 16th in

the overall PWA Freestyle World Ranking. Julien has recently been training

hard in Maui, before returning home to stake his claim to the Mondial du

Vent title.

The beach at La Franqui is well known for its water sports and it has seen

many windsurfing championships over the years at the Mondial du Vent

contest. From its speed sailing heritage to the present day freestyle

contest, conditions have rarely failed to please both the crowds and the

competitors here in southern France.

The village and port of Leucate have also delighted those traveling to the

event, providing some of the finest restaurants in the area and offering a

varied range of different styles of food.

Although the action was limited to the shores today, in the form of BMX

and Skate displays, the forecast is promising still for the coming days

and in this part of the world anything can happen.