Monday July 21, 2003
Yet again howling winds and small waves made for epic contest conditions
on the final day of the PWA Fuerteventura Freestyle World Cup. Huge push
loops, back loops, crazy petes, air cha chas and even a double forward
startled the crowds as competitors hung onto 4m sails.
The event winner Robby Swift (JP / Neil Pryde) who’d sealed his overall win
yesterday after the first three rounds, slipped up against Remko de Weerd
(Fanatic / Gaastra), who ruled today advancing all the way to the finals
despite his knee injury which seemed to be holding him back earlier in the
On the other side of the draw all the Brazil nuts slowly cracked each
other, before the Venezuelan Diony Guadagnino (Neil Pryde) finally kicked
out Kauli Seadi (AHD / Naish) for a place in the finals.
Kauli had found his outstanding form again today but was visibly anxious
before his semis, pacing up and down the beach with his distinctive white
head that he cleanly shaved last night. In the quarter finals hed beaten
Ricardo Campello (JP / Neil Pryde) who went for the only double forward
loop of the event (see photo gallery) but crash landed.
Battle for second overall hinged on Taty Frans (AHD / Gaastra) and Diony
in the semis and finals respectively. If Taty came fourth in this round,
and Diony won, Diony would leap from fourth to second overall, literally
doubling his prize money.
Diony came up with the goods in the finals, landing a decent air cha cha,
the unbelievable fruit loopmove, amongst a string of other stunts to just
beat Remko. However in the losers finalfor third place, Taty beat Kauli
with a push loop and therefore finished an amazing second overall here in
Fuerteventura, behind Swifty and ahead of Diony, Colin Sifferlen
(Starboard) and Ricardo Campello (JP / Neil Pryde).
Julian Taboulet (JP / Neil Pryde) had another stormer today beating fellow
country man Thomas Traversa before Remko got the better of him leaving him
in fifth. Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Gaastra) also took out his friend from
Gran Canaria, Orjan Jensen (North) to finally make the top eight with one
of his trademark high back loops off an invisible ramp way out the back.
Testimony to the new school tricks we saw here in Sotavento is the fact
that of the top twenty competitors only five have had their twenty first
Birthdays. Five years ago it would have been the opposite result entirely.
The overall rankings for the PWA World Tour now see JP Australia and Neil
Pryde team mates Robby Swift from Britain and Brazilian Ricardo Campello
sharing the number one spot, with Kauli, Diony and Colin in second third
and fourth respectively, none of whom are twenty one yet!
PWA Women Go Wild!
The womens fleet was more radical than it had been all week with an
outstanding final. In the build up during the double elimination Uli
Hoelzl (F2 / Arrows) nearly pulled off a back loop and vulcaned her way to
fifth equal today and sixth overall.
The battle for fourth place overall here was a showdown between Nayra
Alonso and Tanja Emig who were on equal points until today. Nayra was on
fire landing forward loops all the way to the semis where she was very
narrowly beaten by Iballa (Mistral / North) in a 3 / 2 split decision with
the judges. This left her in fourth today and fourth overall.
Daida Moreno (Mistral / North) opened the finals with a forward loop on
the way in then ran aggressively through a killer routine including yet
again a back loop, one of very few by either men or women completed in
competition here, a huge forward loop and a speedy one handed spock.
This was enough to finally beat Karin Jaggi (F2 / Arrows) whod dominated
the event until now winning the first two rounds. Daida was clearly
ecstatic when the results were announced, moving her into second overall
here ahead of her sister Iballa Moreno (Mistral / North).
It also was also enough to secure her number one spot in the world
rankings, ahead of Karin and Iballa. The Spanish girls from Tarifa and
Gran Canaria occupy five of the top six places in the world rankings now.
Super X Extreme Windsurfing!
Fuerteventura and indeed the world now begins the new Super X discipline.
With thirty two men in heats of eight, the downwind course will see them
traveling at speeds up to 60 km/h, jumping over giant inflatable
obstacles, duck gibing round corners with no right of way rules and having
to complete forward loops or spocks on the course. Wearing full body amour
and crash helmets, this will be the first big showdown of this extreme
discipline. Whether the tricky freestylers or speed freaks are going to
win remains to be seen tomorrow, so tune in then!