Saturday June 28, 2003

We are down to the last six men in the mens wave double elimination here
at the PWA 2003, Gran Canaria, Grand Slam. Conditions were epic this
morning with 4-5 foot sets and screaming winds but by late afternoon as we
were approaching the final stages of the double elimination, the waves
seemed to disappear with the outgoing tide and competition was eventually
abandoned at 6pm. After an intense battle between yesterdays losers
bracket the two sailors to emerge from the fleet were fellow Americans,
Matt Pritchard (Gaastra) and Josh Angulo. Pritchard is lined up to meet
Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic) whilst Angulo will face Robby Swift (JP,
Neil Pryde) in the next heats when wave action continues. The winner from
these heats will then face Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) to decide whole
will meet yesterdays winner, Vidar Jensen (North) in the double
elimination final.

Action kicked off hard and fast this morning with the first heat at 10am.
With Pozos relentless winds howling through well over 40 knots, it looked
like both the mens and womens wave double elimination competitions would
be decided by the end of the day. Wave heats were judged by the best three
jumps and two waves during eight-minute heats, with additional marks being
factored for overall impression.

In the first round Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) was given her second
opportunity to prove herself in the mens fleet, this time up against Nacho
Rocha (JP, Neil Pryde) of Spain. Moreno was easily a match for Rocha in
the jump department but failed to put together two high scoring wave rides
to make up her scorecard. Rocha advanced leaving Daida out of the
competition and able now focus her attention back on winning the womens event.

Current world wave champion, Kevin Pritchard came to blows this afternoon
after losing to Pozo local Dario Ojeda Nilson. Dario is one of the best
sailors here at his home break and busted out some huge one handed back
loops, tweaked table tops and massive delayed forwards in his one on one
with the reigning champ. Pritchard will now have to lend moral support to
his brother Matt who advanced though four heats today over Diony
Guadagnino (Neil Pryde), Greg Allaway (JP, Neil Pryde), Xavier Huart
(Mistral, North) and Orjan Jensen (North). Matt was sailing with his usual
gritted determination today and will no doubt be fired up to take on
fellow Gaastra Team rider Jonas Ceballos in when wave action resumes.

Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) of Brazil, nailed several spectacular
double loops in his heats this afternoon but met his match when he came up
against Dutch hell manPeter Volwater who also pulled off a sick double
alongside a monster back loop and a huge delayed forward. Volwater went on
to take down Dario Ojeda Nelson in his next heat but then went down to
Josh Angulo who advanced due to his superior wave riding. Angulo went on
to defeat Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde) in the final heat of the day to
earn his place as one of the final six contenders for the mens wave title.

Julien Taboulet (JP, Neil Pryde) of France seems to have taken the place
of Aussie sailor Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) as master of the table
top forward here in Pozo. The table top forward featured heavily in his
repertoire as Taboulet defeated Victor Fernandez Lopez (Fanatic) and
Australian wave legend Scottie Mckercher (Starboard) before eventually
going down to the ex world wave champion Jason Polakow.

The womens wave competition is also on standby for an exciting climax.
Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) is currently in pole position but the likes
of Anne Marie Reichman (Naish), Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) and Iballa Moreno
(Mistral, North) are all poised to make their move for the top slot in the
double elimination.

The forecast is calling for screaming winds and the possibility of a new
swell hitting Gran Canaria during the early part of next week. If wave
conditions do not co-operate tomorrow, then we could be moving over into
spectacular freestyle action. Either way all the news, pictures and
results will be updated daily here on < Live
broadcasts of the action can also be viewed on < with ground
breaking broadband technology bringing the speed, the height, the wipe
outs and the power of wave sailing right to you live online.


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