Wednesday July 2, 2003

Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) has matched his 111 sail number with

three firsts in the freestyle here at the Pozo Gran Canaria Grand Slam. In

ballistic conditions the eighteen-year-old young gun of freestyle took his

third consecutive victory this week after taking down Brazilian Samba

sensation Kauli Seadi (Naish, AHD) in the mens freestyle final. Local

sailor Victor Fernandez (Fanatic) consolidated his strong performance

yesterday by taking third place after defeating fellow Fanatic team mate

Chris Audsley (Fanatic) in the losers final.

With ballistic 40 knot plus winds screaming across the course area today

the name of the game was all about survival in the relentless conditions.

Todays routines were all about radical high wind freestyle with double

loops, goitas, huge back loops and massive delayed forwards featuring

heavily. Conditions today were considered too radical and dangerous to

hold any womens competition so Daida (Mistral, North) remains in first

place overall ahead of her twin sister Iballa (Mistral, North) after one

complete double elimination.

Ricardo Campello has come to Gran Canaria this year having increased his

level of freestyle to a standard, which as yet, not one sailor has been

able to match. His wide variety of moves and highly technical repertoire

has been too deep and too solid for anybody to touch him. Three victories

after three rounds means he has already sealed the deal and already has

the event title in the bag. The battle here in Pozo is now all about the

fight for the remaining podium positions.

After todays performance Kauli Seadi one of Ricardos main training

partners has moved into second place overall. Seadi had to fight his way

through heats against Rick Fiddicke (Fanatic), Christopher Ferraretto

(AHD), Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Victor Fernandez (Fanatic) on

route to the final. The battle between Campello and Seadi saw both sailors

on their smallest sails and out of control, fighting the screaming winds.

In a loaded heat Campello managed to hang on to more moves completing his

clean sweep of total domination here in Gran Canaria.

Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) or France remains in the remaining podium

position after finishing in 5th place today. Albeau is a fierce competitor

especially in strongest winds and is a past winner here in Pozo after

taking victory back in 2001. Albeau who has had his sail number F192

shaved out of the back of his hair for this event won heats against Peter

Volwater (F2, Arrows) and Vidar Jensen (North) before going out to Kauli

Seadi in the quarter finals.

It was a disastrous day for American sailor Matt Pritchard (Gaastra) who

landed heavily from a high aerial maneuver and pushed his lower leg up

into the meniscus of his knee joint. The injury not only means the end of

his freestyle campaign here in Gran Canaria but he has also been forced to

pull out of the wave double elimination. Matt was one of the six remaining

sailors in with a shot at winning the title here in Pozo and his

retirement now means that Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra) will get a by

into the next round.

Other hot moves today included some incredible tweaked out table top

forwards from French sailor Julien Taboulet (JP, Neil Pryde), insanely

tweaked ninja kicks and a sixty foot back loop from Jonas Ceballos

(Gaastra, Fanatic) and a sick double forward loop from Dutch wild man

Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows).

Competition was put on hold after the mens freestyle finals while the race

crew waited patiently for suitable wave conditions. Despite the screaming

winds, the waves failed to co-operate but it looks like we will almost

certainly be on for tomorrow. The forecast could not be better&a new swell

is due to hit Gran Canarias north east shores pushed in by screaming 50

knot plus winds.

So far it has been a spectacular show here on the penultimate day of the

PWA, Gran Canaria, Grand Slam. With the winds currently screaming outside

and it looks like we are going to finish the competition in explosive

style when both the mens and womens double elimination wave finals are

decided.

RICARDO CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde)

I am really happy that I have already won this event. The final was a bit

strange with really hard conditions. I was on a 3.4 overpowered. I was

over, over, over powered! Kauli was on a 3m overpowered, it was fun. I am

really stoked!

KAULI SEADI (AHD, Naish)

It was pretty strong out there. I was on a 3m fully overpowered in the

end. It was hard sailing. It was hard to and to do the right things at the

right time. It was fun freestyle!

TODAYS MENS FREESTYLE RESULTS

1. RICADO CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde)

2. KAULI SEADI (AHD, Naish)

3. VICTOR FERNANDEZ (Fanatic)

4. CHRIS AUDSLEY (Fanatic)

MENS FREESTYLE AFTER THREE DINGLE ELIMINATIONS

1. RICARDO CAMPELLO (JP, Neil Pryde)

2. KAULI SEADI (AHD, Naish)

3. ANTOINE ALBEAU (AHD, Neil Pryde)

4. VICTOR FERNANDEZ (Fanatic)

5. ROBBY SWIFT (JP, Neil Pryde)

6. TONKY FRANS (Gaastra, AHD)