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 - 22nd August.