Today in Vargas the Professional World Tour windsurfers were greeted with

sunshine and the start of the trade winds, which are forecast to nuke over

the next few days. Most of the windsurfers were out sailing and checking

their equipment, and it was clear that many of the older, more dedicated

wave sailors were somewhat in awe watching the youngsters spinning round

with their freestyle tricks on todays flat water.

By the end of the day the first signs of a ground swell were showing, but

without solid wave sailing conditions the contest was postponed until


Despite no competition on the water yet, theres already a strong contest

vibe as the heats were announced and the contestants learnt who they were

up against.

The early rounds couldnt be more exciting, as many of the young guns

tipped for the top here have been seeded to battle against each other in

the first heats, rather than against the old school sailors.

Ricardo Campello (JP / Neil Pryde) and Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Gaastra),

both serious contenders for winning the Vargas Wave World Cup go head to

head in round one, potentially one of the best heats of the whole event as

Ricardo of freestyle fame has a unique new jump, which is literally

blowing everyone away. He starts with a shove-it, then spins into a taka

and lands planning. Judges have called it a Shaka. In simpler terms

Ricardo jumps and pushes his board towards the wind, then backs his sail

so much, he spins back the other way, hanging onto his kit as the whole

lot rotates in reverse, in mid air, before somehow landing without injury.

Whether Jonass fifty-foot high back loops and good wave riding skills is

enough to beat Ricardo remains to be seen tomorrow.

Other hotshot youngsters Robby Swift (JP / Neil Pryde) and Tonky Frans

(AHD / Gaastra) are head to head in round one. Both these guys are

creative radicals ranked top five in the freestyle world, making for

another awesome showdown.

Britains young Matt Pearch (Mistral / North) whos been in training in Gran

Canaria for almost two months goes head to head with Australias youthful

Wave Champion Luke Walmsley (Starboard). They both rip and were both

expected to do well in GC.

Whatever the results of these young guns high-pressure first rounds, only

half of them will advance to meet their experienced peers. So for now the

older guys can breathe a sigh of relief, but as the days unfold, with so

much wind forecast, the youngsters will get their chance to compete again.

And thats when the pressure will shift to the older crew.

In the womens fleet rumor has it that another local Gran Canarian girl

Nayra Alonso is on fire and capable of upsetting the balance of power from

any of the top girls. Shes seeded in fourth place ahead of fellow Spaniard

Iballa Moreno (Mistral / North) who missed a higher ranking due to injury

last year. This disruption to the seeding means Iballa and Karin Jaggi (F2

/ Arrows) who are both former Wave World Champions will have to face each

other in the quarter finals, battling hard to get into the top four and

leaving the event wide open for the other eight women.

Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof / Neil Pryde), numerous time world champion and

local of Gran Canaria, is confident both the swell and wind will increase

sufficiently overnight to jump start the 2003 Wave World Cup season

tomorrow. Lets hope his weather forecasting is as good as his windsurfing.

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