Moreno Takes On The Men!
For the first time in professional windsurfing history a woman will line
up with the men on the starting grid of the Gran Canaria, PWA 2003 Wave
and Freestyle Grand Slam.
Three times PWA womens Wave World Champion, Daida Moreno (Mistral, North)
will compete on equal terms in the mens wave fleet, at one of the most
radical locations on the PWA world tour Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria. Her
Wildcard entry will put her up against the best of the best in the first
round, so she will be required to draw on every ounce of her strength,
skill and local knowledge to make it into the top half of the fleet. The
double elimination format however, will give her ample opportunity to show
what she is made of and whether she really can outdo her male colleagues.
The decision to allow Daida to compete with the men follows on from the
recent attempts by LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam, to make her mark on the
mens PGA event at Colonial in Texas. Daida is hoping to improve on
Sorenstam who failed to make the prize cut.
Daida is highly respected among the mens fleet on the PWA world tour, and
many of the men will feel at least some anticipation, particularly when
pitted against her at her home break. The twenty five year old womens
world champion hails from Pozo so knows the conditions. Moreno is capable
of pulling off all the big moves including double forward loops, back
loops and push loops as well as some radical wave riding. She will also
have the support of her twin sister, Iballa, who is also a former PWA
World Champion in the wave discipline.
Many of the men have enjoyed the relative safety of knowing that Daida has
been safely confined to the womens fleet. Now that she has free reign,
there will certainly be some worried sailors out there. Daida has the
talent and capability to beat many of the male sailors at her own break
and now the very real threat of facing her in competition may leave them
less than at ease.
Interview with Daida Moreno
Q: Why did you decide to enter the mens fleet?
DM: It wasn't all my decision. People often talked about me being able to
sail against some of the guys and after the situation on PGA tour the PWA
suggested it might be possible. I guess no one wants to do ridiculous in
an event, so my first answer was "no way". I have been trying to reach
guys level and feel that I am good enough to compete against them. The
first heats will be against a top ten sailor. I feel confidence and
believe in myself especially here in Pozo, but it is still going to be
really hard to beat some of the top guys.
Q: How will you feel if you come up against Bjorn or Kevin Pritchard in
your first heat?
DM: Well, if I have Bjorn I guess I will try all my best. Look at him, he
is double my size!!! He has got a lot of experience and I hope he doesn't
relax much& CAUSE I AM GOING FOR IT!!!! Same for Kevin& WATCH OUT!
Q: How far do you believe you can go?
DM: To be honest with you it all will depend on the seeding. I will
definitely try my very best. Still my main goal is to do well in the
womens event. We will see what happen
Q: Will your local knowledge be an advantage?
DM: I have been sailing OK lately. I am very concentrated and want to win
the womens event. I will also do my best sailing against the men&I have
nothing to lose! I know the place well and have sailed there all of my
life&that has to be a big advantage!
Q: Are you going to kick some butt?
DM: I am really looking forward to do so...Watch out guys!
Q: Do you think some of the men are going to be scared to sail against you?
DM: I hope so&I have been working hard to bring my level up to the
standard of the men&so now we will be able to see!
Q: What do the other girls think of your decision?
DM: I dont think they know anything yet. Some of them will think it will
be an advantage, cause I will be tired (competing with the guys in Waves,
Freestyle and waves with the girls)& some of them will support me, and
some others will want to compete with the guys as well&we will have to
wait and see.
Good luck Daida!
The event will take place between June 26th and July 3rd. Action from the
Pozo event will be covered at www.pwaworldtour.com and broadcast live on
www.high.tv . Ground breaking broadband technology will bring the speed,
the height, the wipeouts and the power of wave sailing right to you online