Friday June 27, 2003
Norwegian wild flyer Vidar Jensen (North) has taken first blood in the
mens single elimination here at the PWA, Gran Canaria, Grand Slam. In
nuclear winds gusting over 40 knots Jensen defeated ex world champion
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) in the mens final in near perfect Pozo
conditions. British sailor, Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) was the only
non-local sailor in the top four and took the third place today ahead of
Canarian young gun Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic). In the womens wave
single elimination Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) once again produced the
goods on her home waters and took victory after a thrilling battle with
her sister Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North). Swiss sailor Karin Jaggi (F2,
Arrows) scooped third place after defeating Spanish local Nayra Alonso in
the losers final.
Action kicked off shortly after ten this morning in solid forty knots of
wind and 2-4 foot waves. With the tide on the push through until early
afternoon the conditions were ideal for radical wave action and balls to
the wall rocket airs.
Vidar Jensen was on formidable form throughout the day, especially with
his aerials moves, which included huge back loops, one handed double
forwards, Crazy Petes and tweaked out table tops. His road through to the
final was tough but his radical jumps were instrumental in his victories
against Chris Audsley (Fanatic), Robert Teriiteahau (North), Peter
Volwater (F2, Arrows) Xavier Huart (Mistral, North) and Robby Swift (JP,
On the other side of the draw, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) also had a
difficult route to the final and had to pull out all the stops in his
heats against Douglas Diaz (North, Fanatic), Mads Bjorna (Gaastra), Marcos
Perez, Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde) and Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra,
Fanatic). Dunkerbeck nailed some of the hottest wave manoeuvres today
including backside and frontside wave 360s and some gauging frontside carves.
The mens final saw both sailors step on the gas. Although best of friends
off the water, when it comes to competition its a different story. With
ranking points and prize money at stake the battle was intense right down
to the red flag. A lull in the sets seemed to be causing Dunkerbeck more
problems than Jensen as the ex world champ failed to find any steep ramps
to launch into his trademark monster one handed back loops. Jensen
meanwhile found suitable waves to propel himself into some sick one handed
forwards and massive back loops. With the heat reaching the closing
seconds it could have gone either way. Jensen looked like he had the
advantage in the jump section but Dunkerbeck had racked up some solid wave
rides. Once again Dunks failed to find a decent ramp for what he had in
mind whilst Vidar hit an outside blow delivered the final knockout punch
in the shape of a one handle double forward which he landed in water start
position. After an intense wait for the result, the judges were unanimous
with their decision and Jensen took the win with a 5-0 decision.
Australias, Scott Mckercher (Starboard) managed to keep his cool this
morning in his head to head against womens world champ, Daida Morenos
(Mistral, North). Gramps, as he is known amongst fellow sailors delivered
a powerful performance in the screaming winds whilst Moreno struggled to
hang on to her 3.2m and failed to make an impact. Mckercher then defeated
fellow Starboard team-mate, Ty Bodycoat in his next heat before losing to
Robby Swift in the third round.
Last years winner here in Pozo, Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard) went
down in the third round after losing to French sailor Xavier Huart
(Mistral, North). Xavier pulled off a clean double and a monster table top
forward in defeating Pritchard who struggled to find the waves to deliver
his key moves.
Jonas Ceballos and Robby Swift were the outstanding younger generation
sailors in the fleet today. Jonas stormed through his heats on route to
the losers final with some massive back loops, stalled forwards and
tweaked out ninja table tops. His scalps included the likes of Josh Angulo
and Matt Pritchard (Gaastra) until the might and experience of Dunkerbeck
to finally put pay to his campaign in the semi final. Swift meanwhile
cashed in from his two months of Gran Canaria training and won vital heats
against Kauli Seadi, Scottie Mckercher and Orjan Jensen with a display,
which included double forwards, table top forwards and monster push loops.
The womens competition here today boiled down to a scintillating final
between the Moreno sisters, Daida and Iballa both riding for Mistral and
North. After competing against the men, Daida returned to business as
usualand fought her way through to the final with an impressive display of
radical jumps and aggressive wave rides. Iballa, was on the tougher side
of the draw and courageously fought her way through heats against Anne
Marie Reichman (Naish) and Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows). The final was a close
run affair with both sisters playing for pole position in the opening
round. Despite some massive forward loops and tweaked table tops from
Iballa, Daida managed to clinch victory due to her more aggressive wave
riding, which included a one handed aerial in the dying seconds of the final.
The forecast for tomorrow is for more nuclear winds so it looks like we
will be straight into the wave double elimination following skippers
meeting at 9.30am. Stay tuned for all the news, pictures and results from
Gran Canaria the windiest, wildest and most radical event on the PWA world
VIDAR JENSEN (North)
I did not really see what Bjorn did, I just knew I sailed a pretty decent
heat. I am probably the happiest man in Pozo right now, maybe the happiest
man on the whole island. I have had a great day, it has been perfect. It
has been a few years now since my last victory and it feels really good to
be back on top. I am over 30 now so it is hard against the young guys. It
is still not over but I cant get any worse than second so I am stoked
either way. Tomorrow is another day, we will have to see what happens&I
will be waiting for them!
BJORN DUNKERBECK (Neil Pryde)
Vidar had a good heat especially in the air. I was unlucky with the ramps
and did not get as high as I wanted to. Even with the rides I did not
really get the set waves. Some days it just does not go my way and this
was one of them. I was sailing well today&the bigger the waves got, the
better I was performing. To be honest when it is only small slop then I
cannot perform to my standard. Vidar was sailing really well today and I
guess I was a little behind him. Hopefully there will be bigger waves and
stronger winds tomorrow and& I will kick his ass!
KEVIN PRITCHARD (Gaastra, Starboard)
I was a little hesitant coming into this event. I have been on the water
three days in the last three months and it shows. I have no excuses, just
shows me that you need to train to win. The foot was feeling fine out on
the water and nothing really inhibited me except my lack of preparation.
Hopefully we will get another shot at it out there.
DAIDA MORENO (North, Mistral)
It was a long day today. The wind was very strong when I sailed against
Scott in the mens competition. I did not sail my best I have to say but he
sailed really good. It was fun to sail with the guys. The final against
Iballa was a tough heat. It was great to be sailing with my sister and
good to have her in the final again. I had fun and I think she did as well!
MENS WAVE SINGLE ELIMINATION.
1. VIDAR JENSEN (NORTH)
2. BJORN DUNKERBECK (NEIL PRYDE)
3. ROBBY SWIFT (JP, NEIL PRYDE)
4. JONAS CEBALLOS (GAASTRA, FANATIC)
WOMENS WAVE SINGLE ELIMINATION.
1. DAIDA MORENO (MISTRAL, NORTH)
2. IBALLA MORENO (MISTRAL, NORTH)
3. KARIN JAGGI (F2, ARROWS)
4. NAYRA ALONSO