The 2003 Pozo Gran Canaria, PWA, Grand Slam Day 4
Monday June 30, 2003
The tension mounts here in Gran Canaria as the second mens freestyle
single elimination progressed towards its final stages today. With lighter
gusty winds on the agenda this morning 20 heats were completed before the
wind eventually dropped below the standards required for official
competition. With the stakes set high here in Gran Canaria the pressure
the top seeds is building with a solid result in each round required for
the much sought after podium positions.
The Dingle elimination format which is being used for the mens freestyle
here in Gran Canaria, means the winners of the first round automatically
go straight through to the third round whilst those in second and third
have to fight it out on a sudden death basis to stay in the elimination.
Current leader Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) advanced comfortably
straight though to the third round after cruising through his heat against
Dutch sailor Remko De Weerd (Gaastra, Fanatic) and Yann Sorlut of France.
Also advancing without a hitch was Tonky Frans (Gaastra, AHD), yesterdays
runner up and third and fourth finishers Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish) and
Christian Sammer (F2, Arrows).
It was a different story for current overall freestyle champion Matt
Pritchard (Gaastra) who finished second in his opening heat up against
Victor Fernandez (Fanatic) and Mariano Estivill (Arrows). With local hot
shot, Victor Fernandez taking the victory, Pritchard will now have to go
the hard way and sail an extra heat against John Hibbard (Starboard) of
England in order to advance into the third round.
Also failing to advance this morning was ex world freestyle champion
Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France. Albeau, who weighs 90kgs, is
much more at home in stronger winds and struggled to take second place in
his opening heat which was won by lightweight Colin Sifferlen (Starboard)
of New Caledonia. Albeau managed to fight back though his second round
heat against Martin Van Geenhoven (North) but now faces a tough draw
against fellow AHD teammate Taty Frans in the third round. Both sailors
finished in equal 5th yesterday so their next heat will be hugely
important towards their podium chances.
There are some other interesting line ups in the third round on standby
with the most exciting probably the battle between Robby Swift (JP, Neil
Pryde) of England and local wild flyer Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra).
Swift and Ceballos are two of the hottest young guns on the PWA world tour
and there will no doubt be some explosive moves going down when they go
head to head.
Strong winds and a new swell have been forecast for Wednesday through
Thursday, the final two days of official competition, so it looks like
both wave and freestyle will both finish with thrilling climaxes. In the
mens wave event, Vidar Jensen (North) currently holds pole position but
the likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde),
Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra), Josh Angulo and Matt Pritchard
(Gaastra) are all in with a shot at the taking victory here in Pozo.
Log on to www.high.tv to check out details of live daily broadcasts from
here in Gran Canaria. Ground breaking technology will bring you the
height; the wipe-outs and all the action live from the finals. You can
also hear live analysis from the likes of Josh Angulo and Brian Talma (F2,
Arrows) who have been in the commentary box with a birds eye view of the