The 2004 Fuerteventura PWA Freestyle and Super X Grand Slam Day 8
Saturday’s powerful offshore winds blew through the night and continued
into this morning. Without hesitation a course was set and the first start
was scheduled for 10.30.
Going into the final day here in Fuerteventura, Matt Pritchard (Tabou,
Gaastra) was leading the event rankings ahead of Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil
Pryde) and if he could keep his mettle for the final day, he would also
have the honor of being the first PWA Super X World Champion.
The wind was certainly lighter than previous days but nevertheless
adequate and the first start got underway on time. Nik Baker (Mistral,
North) only just scraped through his heat having nearly missed the start,
running into the water as the other sailors blasted across the line. Robby
Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) won the heat ahead of Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil
Pryde) and Remko De Weerd (Fanatic, Gaastra).
Heat 2 saw Matt Pritchard, Kauli Seadi (AHD, Naish), John Skye (F2,
Arrows) and Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic) all safely through to the final.
With the event leader already qualified, all eyes were on heat 3 to see if
Albeau would maintain his hopes of challenging Pritchard for the title.
The wind gods had other ideas though, the breeze dropping and becoming
shifty forcing the event back into a holding pattern and leaving Albeau
and Pritchard to sweat it out in the rising temperatures on the beach.
As the heat increased, the wind died and by midday, temperatures were
touching the high thirties (Degrees Celsius). The extreme heat simply made
it impossible for the wind to increase and at three thirty competition was
called off finally putting Pritchard out of his misery and simultaneously
dashing Albeau’s hopes.
After four Super X events, windsurfing will tonight crown the first PWA
Super X World Champion. 2004 has proven to be a fantastic inaugural year
for the new discipline, with good results at all contests and some insane
action along the way.
The race for this most prestigious title has been hard fought, but there
were only ever four sailors really in contention. Albeau, Pritchard, Swift
and Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic). At the start of the season Albeau took a
slight lead winning the Leucate event just ahead of Pritchard. In Costa
Brava however, Albeau only managed second behind Moussilmani, but his lead
was extended after Pritchard only managed to notch up a twelfth. In
Lanzarote, it was Swift who dominated in the lighter winds and it seemed
he would win the event outright, but Pritchard came from behind on the
last day to steal victory and put himself firmly back in the running.
So it would come down to the final event in Fuerteventura to decide the
first king of Super X. All four of the sailors vying for overall glory
were wound up and ready to fire on day one, but it was really only
Pritchard and Albeau who showed they had what it took to be number one.
The result really could have gone either way until the final race when
Albeau had a disaster, falling repeatedly and failing to qualify for the
semi finals, leaving Pritchard high and dry and a World Champion once more.
Final Super X Overall Ranking after Fuerteventura.
* Matt Pritchard (Tabou, Gaastra)
* Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde)
* Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde)
You can see highlights of all the action from Fuerteventura on www.high.tv.
The PWA tour now moves on to Gran Canaria for the 2004 PWA Gran Canaria
Super Grand Slam, with Wave, Freestyle and Race action from the 10th –