With a few small waves rolling into the beach here in Pozo a decision was made to start the wave discipline at 10.30. After only 5 minutes of the first heat it was clear that the sets were too infrequent and too small for suitable wave competition and the heat was abandoned. The wave sailors were put on hold and the freestylers were brought on to a waiting sequence with regular half hourly updates from the judgeâ€™s tower.
By 12.30 the wind had steadied and the incoming tide had smoothed off the water and the second double elimination of freestyle discipline erupted into action. The double elimination gives the chance for all sailors to improve on their single elimination position. Right from the off Kevin Mevissen (JP/Neil Pryde) slotted into over drive and it was clear he was on a mission to haul himself out of the doldrums he found himself in yesterday. Losing in the first round of the single elimination yesterday left him with a lot to do if he was to challenge the top guys. Kevin knew he had his work cut out and was focused, winning through an unbelievable 6 heats to make it to the quarter finals of the double elimination. Awesome work from a guy with only a couple of yearâ€™s competition experience.
Also sailing solidly was Anthony Ruenes (Naish/Naish Sails) who won 4 heats before falling down to Campello.
Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil Pryde) knew he had to do good in order to recover from his early exit yesterday. He started strong advancing through to the heat before the quarter finals but that man Mevissen had other plans and sailed a solid heat to take down Campello. This now left Campello in a dangerous position as far as the world ranking was concerned. If Kauli Seadi won through to the final he would have enough points to come within a point of taking the world title from Campello. The crowd waited with bated breath.
In the ladies it was a Moreno v Moreno final and Daida once again stamped her dominance on her twin sister Iballa (Mistral/North Sails) and went all out to take the win. Nayra Alonso (Fanatic) and Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows fought it out for 3rd and 4th and it was the tactics and coolness of Jaggi that saw her claim 3rd.
Mevissenâ€™s rampage was finally halted by Cheo Diaz (Fanatic/North Sails) who slid and looped his way to a quarter final victory. Taty Frans (Starboard/Gaastra) was also going good winning through to the semi final over New Caledonian whiz kid Colin Sifferlen (Starboard). Cheo then beat Frans and went on to meet Seadi to decide who would challenge Victor Fernandez (yesterdayâ€™s winner). Seadi knew that he was closing in on Campello in the overall world rankings and put on an awesome display of modern freestyle. An air Chacho meters from the beach was enough to tip the balance in his favor and saw him advance to the final and challenge Victor Fernandez (Fanatic).
The final was a Seadi master class as Fernandez looked under powered in the gusty evening winds. The rules state that in a double elimination the challenger has to beat the winner of the single elimination twice to claim victory. In this case the challenger was Seadi and at the end of the first final, after landing 16 out of 17 moves it was clear that he had out sailed Fernandez. So a second final was needed. Seadi wasted no time in stamping his authority on proceedings and used awesome flakas and switch stance trickery to out-shine Fernandez who was suffering from a lack of jumping ramps, which he needs for his special brand of aerial freestyle.
Seadi is over the moon with his win as it means he is now within one point of taking the 2005 world title. Campello needs to finish in the top 6 here in Gran Canaria to retain his world title, he is currently in 6th so has to sail well in the next round of freestyle to hold on to the world title. The wind is forecast to continue blowing and with 4 days of competition left there is a very good chance we will see another round of freestyle action.
The racers have started to arrive in preparation of the first day of racing on the 19th. Devon Boulon (F2) has been seen on the event site and as I write this Steve Allen (Fanatic/Neil Pryde) is sitting on massive pile of board bags at the airport, waiting for a lift, so if you are in the vicinity I am sure he will appreciate some assistance!!