Friday July 18, 2003

Unbelievable freestyle performances started today at Sotavento in fifteen knots

of wind with the women’s fleet competing first. The famous Moreno twins

(Mistral / North) soon found themselves battling against each other in the quarter

finals with a sister act that Iballa won, revenging her beating at the last

event by Daida. With Daida back in fifth place, Iballa and the amazing local

sailor Suzanne Kather, who’d just beaten Spain’s Angela Peral Martinez

(JP / Neil Pryde), fought for a place in the finals and rocked the world rankings.

On the other side of the draw, Freestyle World Champion Karin Jaggi (F2 / Arrows)

and Austria’s Tanja Emig knocked out Gran Canaria’s Nayra Alonso,

Austrian Claudia Vogt (Fanatic / Arrows) and Spain’s Angie Holzschuh in

their quarter finals, to find each other fighting for a place in the final.

fue03 Karin willy skipper

Courtesy of PWA/Williams

With a slight drop in the wind, Karin and Iballa comfortably advanced to meet

in the showdown after nearly two hours of exhausting freestyle competition.

As the finals started, the winds stepped up a gear and the girls speed through

their moves, every bit as good as the men. After an opening blunder, Karin soon

landed a perfect one-handed spock right in front of the judges and crowds. Hearing

the cheers, she went on to pull off a forward loop, a monkey gybe, body drag,

Vulcan and came very close to a flaka and a grubby, convincingly beating Iballa

who crashed and burned too many of her normally well polished stunts.

The battle for third saw Susanne and Tanja totally over powered and absolutely

exhausted, struggling to keep control of any move after such a long and successful

day. Tanja took third place and Susanne fourth, giving them the strength and

confidence for tomorrow’s double elimination action.

fue03 Iballa day 1

Courtesy of PWA/Williams

The Fuerteventura PWA Freestyle World Cup men’s competition kicked off

with so much style and extremism in the increasing winds with most sailors maxed

out on 5- 5.5m sails. With their ‘dingle elimination’ format they

basically get a second chance if at first they don’t succeed. But all the

judges and hundreds of spectators on the beach could see was everyone succeeding

big time.

The standard of windsurfing in the PWA World Tour has never been so exiting.

All the sailors can basically pull off virtually every stunt, so the competition

is clearly based on who’s got the style, the speed and the tactics.

Top sixteen men by heat 32:

K-89 Robby Swift (JP / Neil Pryde)

F-3 Thomas Traversa

V-69 Diony Guadagnino (Neil Pryde)

BRA-3 Konan Lang (Naish)

NB-7 Tonky Frans (AHD / Gaastra)

E-42 Victor Lopez (Fanatic)

K-57 John Skye (F2 / Arrows)

NB-9 Taty Frans (AHD / Gaastra)

NC-4 Colin Sifferlen (Starboard)

E-40 Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Gaastra)

F-85 Antony Ruenes (AHD / Naish)

H-23 Remko De Weerd (Fanatic / Gaastra)

H-79 Kevin Mevissen (JP / Neil Pryde)

E-19 Orjan Jensen (North sails)

BRA-253 Kauli Seadi (AHD / Naish)

V-34 Douglas Diaz (Fanatic / North)

After their incredible performances in the trials, five of the seven ‘wild

cards’ did some serious freestyling and advanced into the top thirty two

men, the top half of the fleet! Normen G├╝nzlein (Neil Pryde), Christiaan

Dammers (Starboard), Matteo Guazzoni and Frank Lewisch (Gaastra) were then knocked

out as the top sixteen men advanced, but the super styling Antony Ruenes (AHD

/ Naish), the youngest PWA competitor to ever win a heat was today’s sensation,

joining the top sixteen men. At only fourteen years old, this French dude is

the one to look out for tomorrow as he takes on the experienced Remko De Weerd

(Fanatic / Gaastra) for a place in the quarter finals.

fue03 Anthony Ruenes day 1

Courtesy of PWA/Williams

Current PWA Freestyle World Tour leader Ricardo Campello (JP / Neil Pryde),

the number one seed here, cruised through his first heats but then had a shocker

wiping out on many of his stunts. New Caledonia’s Colin Sifferlen (Starboard),

last years King of the Lake champion renowned for his erratic results found

his form and eliminated Ricardo.

By 7 pm in Fuerteventura the wind was getting too light for any further heats

but the top sixteen has been established, and with the exception of Orjan Jensen

(North) who’s 29 years old and John Skye (F2 / Arrows) at 26, none of the

other leading windsurfers here have even reached their 22nd birthday.

The battle of youth continues tomorrow in winds forecast to reach force 8!

Check out the action online when we can expect to see a second elimination completed

in the women’s fleet, the men’s finals and heaps more radical freestyling

from the world’s best windsurfers.