The 2004 Fuerteventura PWA Freestyle and Super X Grand Slam, Day 2
The Campello freight train accelerates to top speed crushing all in its path as Moreno holds firm at the top in the women's fleet.
Sotavento was back to the norm this morning with solid cross-offshore winds blowing through the flags on the beach and whipping up the otherwise flat sea into fine chop and spray.
The ladies took priority today, with the action going straight into the women's double elimination round. Sonia Pavelin (Naish) made it past 2 of her rivals only to be taken out by Claudia Vogt. Yolanda Freites De Brendt (Fanatic, North) from Venezuela, also competing in her first PWA event, also made it through to eventually go down to Nayra Alonso (Fanatic).
Yesterdays third place lady, Sylvia Alba (Neil Pryde) maintained her place in the contest taking out Ania Ostrowska who has shown real potential both here and recently in Lanzarote.
So the quarter finals of the double would be a repeat of yesterday's losers final, with Alonso looking for revenge against Alba - and revenge she would get! Both girls sailed well in gusty conditions, but Alonso showed more consistency and variety to impress the judges and move ahead to take on Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows).
Alonso was on a roll and continued to show great fluidity as she went up against the Swiss veteran. However, Jaggi's experience and incredible skill was never going to be easy to beat and in the end it came down to a split decision this time favoring Alonso as she made it into her first Fuerteventura final.
The final was a battle of the Gran Canaria girls, Nayra and, of course, Daida Moreno (Mistral, North). Nayra again sailed well, but beating a fired up Moreno is no mean feat. With weapons such as One Handed Forward Loops, Spocks and Flakas at her disposal, Daida is once again setting the standard for women's windsurfing and again today, the bar was raised yet further. Alonso did all she could but it was Daida who inevitably placed herself at the top of the tree winning the double elimination final of Round 1.
The men's double elimination held the possibility for some major comebacks, with many of the top guys having taken a dive prematurely in the single elimination. Early on there were no surprises with most of the names maintaining their usual form to advance into battle against their more esteemed rivals. Peter Volwater (Arrows), John Skye (F2, Arrows) and Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) all advanced through their initial heats to begin what would hopefully be the comeback of a lifetime.
Volwater and Skye's rebirth was somewhat short-lived as they went out to Gran Canaria's big air king, Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra) and Dutchman Remko De Weerd (Fanatic, Gaastra) respectively. Swift pushed through over Martin Van Geenhoven, only to come up against Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish), a battle that could easily have been a final, not just a qualifying heat. With two such great talents in one heat, someone was going to be disappointed and once again it was Swift who was forced to take the early shower.
Elsewhere Antony Ruenes (Naish) was continuing to mix it up with some exceptional moves and still the biggest Shakas anywhere to be seen. Ruenes exhibited greater speed and height than many of the much more experienced competitors, eliminating the likes of Colin Sifferlen (Starboard) and Nicholas Akgazciyan (AHD, Neil Pryde) on his way to take on Seadi. Despite the Brazilians skill, Ruenes had picked up so much momentum that Seadi could not stop him.
By the time the fleet was down to the top six, Taty Frans (Starboard, Gaastra) had come head to head with Campello and it was Kevin Mevissen (JP, Neil Pryde) who was left the daunting task of confronting the Ruenes road runner. Campello was, by now, starting to look very dangerous and, although he was still not at his best his routine was beginning to appear far more complete. Mevissen stood his ground against Ruenes who finally ran out of juice against the young Netherlander, leaving a Campello / Mevissen quarter final.
Campello continued to run a bit slow and his battle with Mevissen was by no means a walkover. Both sailors were planing out of maneuvers with enormous speed and it was very much a judgment call as to who would advance. In the end it was Campello who found favor with the judges to move up and face Douglas "Cheo" Diaz (Fanatic, North) who had knocked him out the previous day.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but in the warm sunshine and blue waters of Sotavento, it was hot, hot, hot! Campello, obviously concerned by his scrape with defeat in the previous heat, was giving no room to his Venezuelan buddy. Cheo made some impressive moves, but Campello now began to demonstrate the confident dominance that took him to his first world title in 2003, pulling off Gozzadas and an enormous Air Flaka cruising past his smiling adversary into the final against Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra).
As the horn sounded to signal the start of the final Frans was not looking at his best. Seeming slightly underpowered in the gusty afternoon winds, he could not match the speed of Campello. It was no surprise to the waiting crowds and sailors when Campello was announced as the winner meaning that a sail off was required to decide the outcome of the first double elimination.
The second time around, Tonky was looking substantially more focused and appeared stronger through the early maneuvers. Campello obviously realized it was time to break out the heavy artillery and on his third run to the beach, pulled off a near perfect Gozzada 540. Tonky replied with a big Ponch. Campello returned fire with a Shaka. Tonki dodged the bullet and hit back with his own Double Flaka. The action on the water was insane as each of the two freestyle dynamos matched each other move for move.
Unfortunately however, the road to glory is paved with disappointment and somebody had to lose. Toward the end of the heat Campello nailed a Switch Stance Chacho which Tonky could not quite repeat, falling from his own attempt at the same move. The balance was shifting in Ricardo's favor. The final nail in the double elimination coffin for Tonki was a brilliantly executed Air Chacho by Campello and despite Tonky's best attempts to mimic the world champ with an Air Chacho of his own, Campello had done enough to win.
Campello's dominance of the event seems somewhat more assured with one win in the bag and more importantly his overwhelming performance in this afternoon's finals. In the women's division, with the threat of Jaggi somewhat subsided, Moreno also has a very strong position, but with 2 days of competition left there is still massive potential for would be champions to challenge the reign of our current World Leaders.
You can catch the action live each day on www.high.tv