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,

Neil Pryde).

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

tour.

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!

RESULTS

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