GRAN CANARIA PWA GRAND SLAM DAY 8

The 2004 Gran Canaria PWA Super Grand Slam Day 8

Scott McKercher, Daida Moreno and Kauli Seadi take the honours in Pozo. While Campello and Daida take the overall 2004 World Freestyle titles.

After 8 solid days of extreme windsurfing here at the legendary beach of Pozo Izquierdo we have a result in Wave and Freestyle competition and the “100% Wind” tagline promoted by the event organisers has proved to be true, as we have seen wind and competition everyday so far.

Today saw the smile on Scott McKercher’s (Starboard) face grow even bigger as the morning low tide revealed a drop in swell beyond what is deemed suitable so the possibilities of finishing off the wave double elimination seemed slim. You never know what might happen here in Pozo so there were still a few nerves in the air. The wavesailors were put on hold and the freestylers were brought back into the picture with the start of their third double elimination.

This gave a final chance for the sailors to improve on their rankings but at the same time it also presented a chance for Kauli Seadi (AHD/Naish Sails) to lose his event rankings lead. He needed to advance through to the later stages of the double elimination in order for him to have a comfortable margin over his fellow contenders.

As the heats progressed Kauli watched as Taty Frans (Starboard/Gaastra) turned on the style and started to cruise through his heats. Beating Thomas Traversa (Tabou/North Sails), Kevin Mevissen (JP/Neil Pryde) and then Diony Guadagnino (Neil Pryde). If Kauli was to hold on to his event title ranking then he too was going to do mirror Taty’s progress. His first heat against Jose Estredo (Fanatic/North Sails) went well and he used a mix of switch-stance moves on both tacks to advance. Next he had to go up against French freestyle whiz kid Anthony Ruenes (Naish/Naish Sails) who has been winning some big heat battles this summer. Kauli knew that this could be a tough heat and wasted no time in nailing some superb tricks in the now dropping wind (McKercher’s grin widened!) After advancing he then had to take on the talents of Cheo Diaz (Fanatic/North Sails), who weighing in at under 70kgs was going to be a major threat in the light breeze. This was Cheo’s first heat of the day though and Kauli was in full freestyle flow by this point and slid and spun his way through the 6-minute heat to advance to meet Taty Frans. With no time to check the overall scores Kauli headed out not really knowing if he had to win this heat to claim event victory. Taty, who had also sailed through a number of heats to get to this stage, was loving the light wind conditions, which were more like those he is used to back home in Bonaire. Both sailors went for it and pumped their sails to gain maximum power for their tricks. Taty looked a bit more comfortable than Kauli and used his stylish spock technique to full effect. After the 6-minute heat both sailors headed up to the judge’s tower to get the result. The heat went in Taty’s favour, allowing him to advance to the next heat – a semi-final against Robby Swift (JP/Neil Pryde).

This left Kauli wondering if he had done enough to hold on to his first place. He hotfooted it to the PWA office to check the scores. The news was good – he had done enough and was still in first place for the event. A happy Kauli retired to the beach with a big smile.

Within five minutes of Kauli receiving the good news the wind died down below suitable competing levels, which meant the final few heats of the 3rd double elimination could not be completed until the wind picked up.

The ladies fleet saw action early afternoon but they too had to face the lack of wind and didn’t progress through enough heats to affect the rankings.

By mid-afternoon it was clear that the wind was not picking up and after a nervous wait the Wave and Freestyle leg of the Gran Canaria Super Grand Slam was over.

A very happy Scott McKercher, Kauli Seadi and Daida Moreno (Mistral/North) breathed a collective sigh of relief, their hard work had paid off and the event titles were theirs and for Daida it also meant that she claims the Ladies 2004 Freestyle World Champion. There was one other happy face and that was Ricardo Campello’s (JP/Neil Pryde) who after a bitter fight to stay inside the top six in the event rankings had done enough here in Pozo to secure his second world title – The 2004 Men’s Freestyle World Champion as well as 3rd overall for this event.

So after 8 days of competition the overall standings look like this

Men’s Wave
1st Scott McKercher (Starboard)
2nd Vidar Jensen (North Sails)
3rd Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde)

Ladies’ Wave
1st Daida Moreno (Mistral/North Sails) 2nd Iballa Moreno (Mistral/North Sails) 3rd Karin Jaggi (F2/ Arrows)
Men’s Freestyle
1st Kauli Seadi (AHD/Naish Sails)
2nd Taty Frans (Starboard)
3rd Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil Pryde)

Ladies’ Freestyle
1st Daida Moreno
2nd Karin Jaggi
3rd Iballa Moreno

Overall World Freestyle Rankings

Men’s
1st Ricardo Campello
2nd Kauli Seadi
3rd Cheo Diaz

Ladies
1st Daida Moreno
2nd Karin Jaggi
3rd Nayra Alonso (Fanatic)

It isn’t over yet though as the 19th sees the whole event up sticks and move south to the beach resort of Playa del Ingles for the Formula racing, which runs until the 22nd. All the big names are preparing for the start line and we are sure to see some intense start line fights and tactical battles during the duration of the contest. Tune in to pwaworldtour.com for news and updates.

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