GRAN CANARIA VARGAS, AGUIMES PWA WAVE WORLD CUP 2003 DAY 5

In fantastic conditions the PWA ran an outstanding "ultimate move"

freestyle session today. With 10,000 Euros prize money the best

freestylers in the world literally leapt into action.

It was the first time this year the world's best competed together and a

clear sign of what's in store for the 2003 Freestyle World Tour.

So far in the history of Freestyle competition the world champions have

always been the "old school" windsurfers, largely due to their competition

experience, yet every year the "new school" young guns have been taking

more and more of the top ten spots. It has been universally predicted that

the new school will dominate freestyle for 2003 and Vargas became the

first true test of this theory.

Thirty-two men and eight women competed in side onshore conditions in a

force four to five, in ten minute heats with only the most radical move to

count.

It was quickly clear that the new school moves developed over the winter

were going to score the highest points and so with no real shock, after

the first rounds the top sixteen were a real gang of youths.

From the old school crew only Matt Prtichard (Gaastra) the current World

Freestyle Champion, locals Vidar Jensen (North) and brother Orjan Jensen

(North) and Pete Volwater (F2 / Arrows) made it this far, but with the

exception of Vidar, they were all quickly eliminated in the next round.

This left us with the top eight, six of who were under twenty years old,

for the semi finals. By now the wind had increased and all sorts of new

radical crazy moves were going off, many for the first time in competition.

In the first heat of the semis Brazilian Kauli Seadi (AHD / Naish) and

Venezuelan Douglas Diaz (Fanatic / North) beat off a strong challenge from

Vidar and Frenchman Yannick Anton, by landing switch stance, clew first

spocks, flakas, ponchs, grubbys, forward and back loops.

As if this wasn't impressive enough, the eighteen year old Ricardo

Campello (JP / Neil Pryde) from Margarita and Britain's nineteen year old

Robby Swift (JP / Neil Pryde) stepped up the pace landing all of the above

and takas, wave 360's and the ultimate new move invented by Ricardo which

he calls the monkey flip, but judges are referring to as a shaka. These

two knocked out Tonky Frans (AHD / Gaastra) and Canada's Martin Van

Geenhoven (North) who'd been landing one legged back loops.

The finals were staggering. The roars from the crowds said it all. All

four of them sailed outstandingly, but as one of the judges said "Ricardo

landed about twelve moves which scored higher than anyone else!" He landed

two takas, a wave 360, a heap of his monkey flips, a ponch and more to

take the honors. Even beating Swifty's double forward loop which was

awesome, although not quite landed perfectly otherwise it would have

stolen the show. The seventeen year old Diaz finished fourth with twenty

year old Kauli in third.

The women's fleet have significantly improved over the winter too and

their final, which featured all eight of them would put much of the men's

fleet to shame. Daida Moreno (Mistral / North) landed a couple of clew

first forward loops amongst a series of other classy moves.

Her sister, Iballa Moreno (Mistral / North) finished in fourth overall in

her comeback after missing last year through injury, behind Holland's

Anne-Marie Reichman whose awesome wave riding has reached a new level

after hanging out all winter in Australia.

Former World Champion from Switzerland Karen Jaggi (F2 / Arrows) who'd

been out practicing all morning nailed some wicked spocks and grubbys to

finish second, but it was Daida who stole the show to win here on her home

territory.

Some hours after this wild contest finished, at 7:30 pm the waves had

picked up enough to restart the PWA Wave World Cup! So as a huge shock to

competitors the heats were back underway just as everyone expected to be

leaving the beach, having been here for eleven hours!

Australian Ty Bodycoat (Starboard) was beaten by Spaniard Iban Carlos

Hernandez, despite landing a massive one handed forward loop and tearing

apart the wave in a fashion only the Australians have been able to do so

far in Vargas. Iban scored very highly on a super tweaked table top and

really high forwards to win the heat where two jumps and only one wave

ride count.

Denmark's Lars Peterson (Mistral / Neil Pryde) beat Britain's Andy King

(F2 / Arrows) as Andy, who'd been sailing more than anyone over the passed

few days and landing pretty much all his moves, failed to show much form

today. Lars had an amazing table top and some solid wave rides.

In the dying seconds of the next heat the wind totally dropped, saving

Britain's Ian Black from fellow Englishman John Hibbard (Starboard) who'd

landed a perfect table top forward and had some decent waves. Irishman

Timo Mullen (F2 / Arrows) collided with Xavier Huart (Mistral / North)

during their contest, but both came away unscathed (despite some

structural damage to Huart's kit). Timo went on to land an awesome one

legged forward loop which might have won him the heat if the wind had stayed.

All hopes for the contest move to tomorrow, the final day here in Gran

Canaria where there's still time to complete the event if the waves

forecast arrive.

The Gran Canaria - Vargas, Aguimes

PWA Wave World Cup 2003

Men's First Supersession Results

1 BRA 111 Ricardo Campello (JP / Neil Pryde)

2 K 89 Robby Swift (JP / Neil Pryde)

3 BRA 253 Kauli Seadi (AHD / Naish)

4 V 34 Douglas Diaz (Fanatic / North)

5= N 44 Vidar Jensen (North)

5= NB 7 Tonky Frans (AHD / Gaastra)

7= KC 25 Martin Van Geenhoven (North)

7= F 8 Yannick Anton

Women's First Supersession Results

1 E 64 Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral / North)

2 Z 14 Karen Jaggi (F2 / Arrows)

3 H 98 Anne-Marie Reichman (Naish / Naish)

4 E 63 Iballa Ruano Moreno (Mistral / North)