Sunday June 29, 2003

Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) of Brazil has won the opening round of

mens freestyle after a day full of drama and surprises here at the PWA,

Gran Canaria, Grand Slam. In a thrilling final up against Bonaire

freestyle whiz kid, Tonky Frans (Gaastra, AHD), Campello pulled out all

the stops and took the mens final with a conclusive 5-0 decision from the

judges. Fighting it out for third and fourth in the losers final were

Kauli Seadi (Naish, AHD) and Christian Sammer (F2, Arrows), with Kauli

taking the honors after sailing one of the highest scoring heats of the

day. Winning the womens freestyle today was Pozo local Iballa Moreno

(Mistral, North) who defeated Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland in a

hotly contested final. Third place went to Angela Martinez (JP, Neil

Pryde) of Tarifa who won a hard fought battle in the losers final against

Dutch all rounder Anne Marie Reichman (Naish).

Conditions here this morning were a huge contrast to the past two days

with relatively light winds for Pozo standards, gusting through anywhere

between 15 and 25 knots. With only small chop rolling into the bay, there

was no question that freestyle was the order of the day and action

commenced promptly at 10am.

Campello started his opening heats sailing well below his normal standards

but his level picked up throughout the day as he adjusted to the

conditions. Advancing through heats against Robert Sand (F2, Arrows),

Orjan Jensen (North), Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Kauli Seadi

(AHD, Naish) Campellos huge repertoire included shakas, switch stance clew

first flakas, stingers (goita off back of wave) and numerous spock variations.

On the other half of the draw Caribbean maestro Tonky Frans demolished his

opposition in on route to the final in formidable style. His list of

victims were Spanish sailor Frank Figueroa (Neil Pryde, JP), Konan Lang

(Naish) of Brazil, Dutch young gun Kevin Mevissen (JP, Neil Pryde) and

Austrian freestyle specialist Christian Sammer (F2, Arrows).

The semi final between Campello and Kauli Seadi on the top half of the

draw was the critical heat of the day. Both sailors were equally matched

in terms of radical tricks and slick style. After mediocre performances in

his opening heats Campello by now had moved up into a new level and was

throwing down every trick in his huge, varied and extremely difficult

repertoire. Brazilian Samba sensation, Kauli Seadi was also firing on all

cylinders and in contrast to last year, has also stepped up a gear by

consistently nailing his exceptionally technical moves. Both sailors

sailed brilliantly but the decision went to Campello who nailed a sick

shaka, which perhaps was the move that gave him the edge.

The final between Campello and Frans was one of the highest scoring heats

of the day with Campello by now shifting up into overdrive mode and

landing every single move in his routine. Two of the five-man judges panel

awarded Campello maximum points for diversity, technical skill and overall

impression. Despite a superb performance from Tonky Frans, which included

one handed flakas, one legged forwards and spock diablos the decision was

unanimous in Campello's favor.

Taking an early exit today after a relatively poor performance in his heat

against Venezuelan young gun, Alexis Zaballa (Mistral, North), was current

freestyle world champion Matt Pritchard (Gaastra). Pritchard seemed to be

struggling with the adjustment from yesterdays screaming winds to todays

gusty 5.3m conditions. The twenty nine year old Californian sailor failed

to produce one of his normal rock solid performances and was consequently

dispatched in the third round. Zaballa was stoked to have the scalp of the

world champion under his belt but then went down to Christian Sammer of

Austria in his next heat.

In the womens freestyle Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North) beat her sister

Daida (Mistral, North) in the semis and then went on to beat reigning

freestyle world champion Karin Jaggi in the final. The key heat between

the sisters all boiled down to a matter of consistency, both twins nailed

forward loops and some impressive jumps but Iballa managed to gain the

advantage by landing her flat water tricks. The final was also a close run

affair but Jaggi failed to land two attempted grubbies which cost her

dearly and left the door wide open for Moreno to capitalize and take victory.

The last hour of competition today was available for live viewing on the

Internet on www.high.tv. Check out the website for details of further live

broadcast which should be taking place daily for the rest of the

competition. With four days remaining here in Gran Canaria there is still

all to play for in both freestyle and wave competitions. Stay tuned on

www.pwaworldtour.com for all the news, latest results and pictures, which

are, updated daily after each day of action.

RICARDO CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde)

In the first heats of the day I was not really confident with myself and

the conditions were kind of strange. Later in the afternoon at high tide,

it was more flat and I felt that I was improving all the time. The semi

final against Kauli was my best heat of the day. I think we both sailed

really well. I had an OK heat in the final but I think I sailed better in

the semi final. I am pretty happy about today and I hope I keep winning

like that!

IBALLA MORENO (Mistral, North)

I am stoked, I did not sail my best but am super happy that I won. I felt

a little bit bad that I beat my sister in the early rounds. I felt bad

that I won but thats life. There is more competition to come and I am sure

that she will come back. In the final I tried to make it simple at the

beginning and take my risks at the end. I was on a 4.5m and a little

underpowered so I was worried about going about going out of the

competition area. I did my best and managed to win so I am very happy

about that!

Results after one Dingle Mens freestyle elimination.

1. Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde)

2. Tonky Frans (Gaastra, AHD)

3. Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish)

4. Christian Sammer (F2, Arrows)

Womens Single Elimination Freestyle

1. Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North)

2. Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows)

3. Angela Martinez (JP, Neil Pryde)

4. Anne Marie Reichman (Naish)