POZO GRAN CANARIA PWA GRAND SLAM
Ready To Rock!
Thursday June 26, 2003
The wind is howling here in Gran Canaria on the eve of the first day of
official action of the PWA, 2003 Grand Slam. A high-pressure system has
established itself in the Atlantic Ocean bringing with it a strong
northeasterly trade wind flow across the Canary Islands. With nuclear
winds and the possibility of waves both on the menu for the next few days,
it is highly likely that we will be kicking off the competition in style
with spectacular wave action tomorrow morning.
Today, both men’s and women’s fleets have been busy with official
registration and preparing their equipment for the next seven days of
intense battle. With the outlook of screaming winds predicted, sailors
will be reaching into their quiver bags for their smallest possible
sails&3.6m and below will most likely be the order of the day! Down on
beach amongst the infamous Pozo boulders sailors have done their best to
build dugouts and erect shelters to fend off the intense sun and provide
protection from the relentless winds. At the moment the Gran Canaria
sponsorship flags are intact but no doubt by the end of the event they
will be reduced to shreds where the screaming winds have literally torn
All eyes will be on the progress of Daida Moreno (North, Mistral) who has
been granted a special wild card to compete in the mens wave competition.
Moreno is a formidable competitor here on her home waters although she
will be facing Aussie wave guru Scottie Mckercher (Starboard) in her
opening heat. No doubt McKercher will be under be under immense pressure,
especially with Moreno ripping today and in a position where she has
nothing to lose. Defeat of a male sailor by the womens world champion will
certainly not be embarrassing, but if a man does lose, he will be the
subject of plenty of jokes from the rest of the mens fleet!
With a mixture of experienced tour campaigners and rising young talent on
the PWA wave tour the race for this years title is wide open. The likes of
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof), Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard), Scott
McKercher (Starboard) Josh Angulo, Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde) and
Vidar Jensen (North) have the advantage of experience and competition
tactics but they will have to face the hungry new blood, which is
threatening their hierarchy on the tour. Sailors such as Ricardo Campello
(JP, Neil Pryde), John Skye (F2, Arrows), Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish), Jonas
Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra) and Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) are leading
the way in the charge of new sailors, with the latest moves and a new
radical approach which is taking windsurfing into new extreme limits.
Ricardo Campello busted out six or seven perfect double forwards in his
warm up today&just a taster of whats in store from the young guns!
Missing from the starting grid here in Pozo is Britains Nik Baker
(Mistral, North) who is still recovering from a foot injury sustained in
Tasmania at the beginning of the year. Nik flew into Pozo a few days ago
to sail and see if his foot was ready to cope with competing in Gran
Canarias arduous conditions. Unfortunately he has decided that he is not
quite ready to for action and will fly back to the UK to continue his
Aussie Formula racing specialist Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) has
taken a break from his busy race schedule to return to PWA wave action.
For the last two years Steve has been focusing entirely on racing but has
been enticed by the lure of high-level action to enter here in Pozo.
Exchanging a 10.5m race sail for a 3.2m wave sail and a huge course board
for a tiny wave board will be a hefty adjustment but Steve reckons he only
needs one day of practice to tune into the conditions and be ready for
competition. Renowned for his mind blowing table top forward loops and
radical inverted push loops, if Steve could find his form, he could cause
some major upsets in the opening rounds. He will face local jump
specialist Orjan Jensen (North) in the first round tomorrow and will need
to pull out all the stops facing such a formidable opponent.
The stage is all set here in Gran Canaria for the most exciting and
spectacular event on the PWA world tour calendar. Tune into the web site
www.pwaworldtour.com for all the latest news, pictures and
results as the story unfolds.
Daida Moreno (Mistral, North)
I am not really worried about facing Scott&he should be the one worrying!
Everybody says I have nothing to lose so this will just be fun for me. The
conditions are looking good so I am going to sail my best&we will have
wait and see what happens!