The 2004 Gran Canaria PWA Super Grand Slam Day 5
The day started with a small swell and 20 knots of wind so competition
director Klaus Michel made the call for the start of the wave discipline.
With big gaps in the sets the heats were set at ten minutes long to give
the sailors maximum chance of catching a good wave. Within the first ten
minutes Kauli Seadi (AHD/Naish Sails) was eliminated by Leo Ray
(Naish/Naish Sails) from France, who found bigger and better waves to
ride. Next to fall was Robby Swift (JP/Neil Pryde) who went down to
fellow Brit Ben Proffitt (JP/Neil Pryde). The next heat saw no big
surprises as the jumping machine, Peter Volwater (Arrows) and local guru
Dario Ojeda (Neil Pryde) advanced. That was as far as we got though as
the waves dropped off with the arrival of high tide.
By Midday the decision was made to go into the third single elimination of
Freestyle. Campello (JP/Neil Pryde) was under pressure to do well, one
slip up would see his world title hopes slip from his grasp. He had to do
well and he knew it. From the word go he was firing full power and was not
letting anything or anybody get in his way. He cast aside challenges from
Ben Proffitt, Remko De Weerd (Fanatic/Gaastra) and Jonas Ceballos
(Fanatic/Gaastra) to make it through to the semi final to come up against
Cheo Diaz (Fanatic/North Sails) who had been sailing well all day. On the
other side of the draw Robby Swift was on a mission to make up for his
shocking wave result and blasted through heats against Orjan Jensen (North
Sails), Thomas Traversa (North Sails) and finally Kauli Seadi to make it
to the final. One of the brightest lights today was young French hotshot
Anthony Ruenes (Naish/Naish Sails) who was using his insane shakas to
slice his way through heats against Kiri Thode (Starboard/Gaastra), Kevin
Mevissen (JP/Neil Pryde). He finally fell to an on form Diony Guadagnino
(Neil Pryde) in the quarterfinals.
The semi final saw Diaz v Campello and Guadagnino v Swift. Campello was
on autopilot and spocked and grubbied his way to the final. Swift was
equally impressive using his powerful style to bust through a repertoire
of big shakas and clean ponchs to beat Guadagnino to the final.
The loser’s final was a close one with both sailors going all out for 3rd
place. In the end it was Diaz’s varied repertoire that saw him pull away
from Guadagnino with 18 moves to 11 Diaz was the victor claiming 3rd
leaving Guadagnino to settle for 4th.
The ladies fleet saw a new name in the semi final with Silvia Orozco
(JP/Neil Pryde) beating local stylist Nayra Alonso (Fanatic) in the
quarterfinal stages. The semi final saw Iballa Moreno (Mistral/North
Sails) v Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows) and Daida Moreno (Mistral/North Sails) v
Silvia Orozco. Jaggi was looking in control and advanced over Iballa and
Daida put pay to Orozco’s charge. The loser’s final saw Iballa sail with
more consistency to beat Silvia to 3rd place. The final was an interesting
duel as for the first half of the 6 minute heat Jaggi looked to be ahead,
landing some nice moves right in front of the judges. In fact if it
wasn’t for Moreno’s clean back loop and Grubby in the closing seconds
Jaggi might have taken victory. As it was it was Moreno’s final two jumps
that edged her ahead to take another freestyle win.
The men’s final saw the power and muscle of Swift up against the sliding
style of Campello. Straight from the green flag Campello looked in
control. Swift busted out all kinds of crazy tricks but it was Campello
with his smooth style that impressed the judges the most. Each of the 5
judges gave Campello a perfect unbeatable 10/10 score. Campello won and
in doing so he has almost certainly secured his freestyle world title for
2004. Things can still change depending on how the next few days pan
out. It isn’t over until the fat lady sings or in this case it isn’t over
until the 18th August!
The forecast for tomorrow is looking like we might be in for some waves,
so it could be a full on aerial display as the world’s best wave stars
take to the water. Racing starts on Thursday so there is still lots going
on here in sunny and windy Gran Canaria.