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

event.

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!