The 2004 Fuerteventura PWA Freestyle and Super X Grand Slam Day 4
Streaks of fine white and licked over the beach at Sotavento carried by
strong early morning winds. With the full wrath of the wind gods blasting
across Fuerteventura, the scene was set for hardcore action on the last
day of the Freestyle section of this year’s Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam.
The battle for first place was already decided following yesterday’s
single elimination, in which Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) and Daida
Moreno (Mistral, North) both triumphed over all comers securing their
place in the number 1 spot. The race for second place was still very much
alive however and by the time the early heats had sifted the men from the
boys, the remainder of the ladder was stacked with potential winners all
hoping to improve their standing.
Kevin Mevissen (JP, Neil Pryde) had failed to fulfill his early promise,
bombing out of the second single elimination in his first heat. Tonky
Frans (F2, Gaastra) had also exited the single in the early rounds,
falling well short or his second place in the first elimination.
Unfortunately for Mevissen, Tonky stood squarely in the path of Mevissen’s
comeback, an obstacle that the young Dutchman could not pass.
Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) and Taty Frans (Starboard, Gaastra) were also
on the fast track to contest recovery and also heading straight for each
other on a collision course that could have only one survivor. Swift was
much more the man that dominated last years contest, but the flamboyant
Frans just had an edge of perfection in his moves that finished the hopes
of the UK’s finest.
After rapidly dispatching Ben Proffitt (JP, Neil Pryde), Tonky moved
forward to take on Remko De Weerd (Fanatic, Gaastra). De Weerd, a
veritable freestyle guru, contorted his body though moves that wee almost
impossible to follow, but they were not enough to outdo the sheer power
and speed of Tonky who Spocked and Flaka’d his way through to the next round.
Yesterdays shock fourth place, Normen Günzlein (JP, Neil Pryde) was no
match for Taty and he was forced to accept fifth as the kid from Bonaire
moved forward yet further to the quarter finals. Tonky meanwhile was still
in the running to possibly even tie with Campello for first when he came
up against Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish). Seadi had much to play for in order
to keep Campello in his sights for the Overall Freestyle title and would
not be taken easily. With his usual array of switch stance and clew first
antics, Seadi psyched out Frans enough to leave him at the quarter final stage.
With three men left standing, round 2 could have easily gone to any one of
them. First of all however, Diaz had to face Seadi to decide who would
take on the might of Campello. Both the South Americans were obviously
hungry for their shot at victory, and once more they each traded Spock for
Spock, Flaka for Flaka and forced their equipment through positions that
could never have been imagined when the sport was invented. Diaz reveled
in the conditions and, as usual, looked like he was just out there having
fun, smiling all the way through the heat – especially when the result was
announced. Once again, the final would be an all Venezuelan affair.
On the women’s side, there was no one more fired up to avenge her so far
below par results, than Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows). But before she would
have that chance she would have to face the best of the rest who would in
turn have fought their way up to meet her. In stark contrast to her first
round position, Natascha Petersmann from South Africa, found herself in
the top six, to face Sylvia Alba (Neil Pryde) whilst Nayra Alonso
(Fanatic) went head to head with Yolanda “Yoli” Freites De Brendt
(Fanatic, North) all four looking for a place in the quarter finals.
Alonso and Alba have both shown great improvement in the last twelve
months and their Vulcans and Spocks stood them in good stead to fight off
the challenges from Petersmann and Yoli to meet each other in the
quarters. Both girls fought hard for a chance to tackle Jaggi, but it was
the high wind talent, bred in the waters of Gran Canaria that carried
favor with the judges and gave Alonso her shot at glory. Jaggi however was
having none of it. The former World Champion opened fire with both
barrels, Spocks, Grubbies, Clew First Spocks; the barrage was relentless!
Jaggi faced Daida Moreno in the final once more.
With Alonso out, Moreno was assured of the event win, but Jaggi was ready
to rumble. The final opened with Forward Loops from both girls followed by
a Spock from Daida, but she fell hard, overpowered on too big a sail.
Jaggi pushed the pace and would obviously not quit, Moreno landed a Back
Loop, but immediately after Jaggi countered with a great Flaka on the way
out giving her the win and forcing a rematch.
Second time around, the girls were better prepared and Moreno looked more
confident. Unusually for the World Champion she fell on her first two
moves whilst Jaggi struggled successfully through a Clew First Spock. Both
girls splashed down on their Flaka attempts and Moreno looked as though
she may have sewn up the second round as she unleashed her secret weapon,
the Ponch, a move that none of the other girls are doing. Unfortunately
there were no happy landings and again she found herself swimming. Jaggi
had achieved what had seemed impossible and clawed victory back in the
The men’s final was a battle of great rivals and also great friends. Diaz
and Campello laughed together as they left the beach, but neither was
taking any prisoners. Campello, cool and self assured knowing he had won
the event, let Cheo lead the dance. For every move that Diaz pulled,
Campello copied only one handed. Forward Loop for Diaz, One Handed Forward
for Campello. Clew First Spock 540, the same one handed for the World
Champion. It was an incredible display of complacency, but in this case a
deserved one. As the heat progressed, Campello moved further ahead finally
completing his new move “The Spanky” complemented by an Air Chacho and Air
Flaka to really seal the deal.
Campello and Moreno have really made their mark on Freestyle in ’04 and
with 2 event wins in the bag they are looking very strong to renew their
respective World Championships. For that they will have to wait until next
month when the Freestyle tour concludes in Pozo in August.
As for Fuerteventura however, the event now moves into Super X, probably
the most radical and exciting new discipline on tour. Antoine Albeau (AHD,
Neil Pryde) is leading the rankings, closely followed by Cyril Moussilmani
(Fanatic) and Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde). With three events already
completed, all eyes are on the final here in Fuerteventura to see who will
become the first PWA Super X World Champion.