THE GRAN CANARIA PWA GRAND SLAM, 2001

JULY 19th. NUCLEAR WINDS – AGAIN!

Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde) finished off a thrilling week of men’s
wave action today in style today here at the Gran Canaria, PWA Grand Slam. After
a tense final held in survival conditions against Vidar Jensen (Drops, North)
of Norway, the ‘Terminator’ was awarded victory by the five man judges panel
with a 3-2 decision in his favour. Today’s results mean that after two men’s
double elimination’s we have a unanimous Dunkerbeck victory, Kevin Pritchard
has finished in second overall, Vidar Jensen in third and Nik Baker fourth.

It’s hard to describe how windy it was here at the contest site today. We have
been hammered by screaming winds once again sometimes gusting in excess of 60
knots.
The flags lining the beach now read ‘GRA’ ‘CANA’ the other half of them has
been disintegrated by the winds. The women’s wave event had to be put on hold
in the interests of safety! It was deemed by the race committee that conditions
were simply too ballistic for them to compete. Nuclear winds once again have
turned the sea into a mass frenzy of white caps! Despite the severe conditions
the show went on and the second men’s double elimination was drawn to a conclusion
late this afternoon.

Vidar Jensen came through several tough heats on his path to the final. In
three consecutive mind blowing heats the radical Norwegian took out Jason Polakow
(JP, Neil Pryde) followed by Matt Pritchard (AHD,Gaastra), and then finally
World Champion, Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra).

In the final Dunkerbeck opened his account with a monster stalled forward loop.
We are talking thirty-foot plus here. Jensen replied by landing two clean back
loops on his first run out from the beach. Dunkerbeck stormed back with a massive
one handed back loop. The two locals seemed engaged in a duel, matching each
other move for move as the heat progressed. Jensen found better waves but was
in dire need of a massive jump to round out his score sheet. In the dying seconds
he hit a logo high ramp at full speed, throwing himself into a sky-high back
loop. He was up in the air so long that the wind took him backwards so that
he landed on the crest of the same wave from where he had taken off! Jensen
simply could not hang on and probably lost the final as a result.

Dunkerbeck has dominated here in Pozo. His jumps have been higher, his wave
riding more radical and his ability to cope with the extreme winds never in
doubt. After two whole double elimination’s he was the only sailor to remain
unbeaten. The ‘terminator’ has terminated!

Will the wind ever die down here in Pozo? We still have three days to go. If
the conditions stay the same it could be deemed too dangerous to continue with
the freestyle. The second double elimination of women’s wave performance also
has to be decided. Its not often we get to complain that it’s too windy on the
PWA World Tour! We are hoping that the things will calm down over the next few
days so we can carry on competing. History is in the making right here in Pozo.
It’s now official…This is the windiest most radical windsurfing competition
ever!

BJORN DUNKERBECK (PROOF, NEIL PRYDE)
"I guess that’s it! It was close, finals can be like that. I didn’t
get the best waves because I could not really find them. I had a couple of good
high jumps. I got on a few waves on the outside but when they got to their breaking
point they were disappearing. I went out quite far a couple of times to find
something bigger but it wasn’t quite working out that way. In the end I just
went in and rode whatever I could find. I guess my jumping made the difference.
I think this has been the best contest ever in Europe. We have never had a day
as good as yesterday in the history of Pozo. Hopefully it will be even better
next year"

VIDAR JENSEN (DROPS, NORTH)
"We are used to these conditions so it wasn’t too bad out there. I had
a great time, especially in the final even though I was really tired. Bjorn
had a slight advantage with his weight. I think it was five knots too much for
me. I would have liked a little bit less wind but still I can do pretty well
in these winds. I was really happy with my waves but did not really stick the
last few jumps. If I had of landed them, I probably would of won the last final.
On my last back loop I went so far backwards that I landed in the same wave
that I took off from. It was super close and I am really stoked. I finished
in third place overall here. I have had a great week, probably one of the better
wave events in Europe ever! This was probably the hardest competition I have
ever done in my eleven years of doing the world cup. I am really happy"

JASON POLAKOW (JP, NEIL PRYDE)
"The conditions are the best there has ever been here. It has been
fantastic. I have really been enjoying the sailing, it has been unreal. Who
ever wins here is a true winner of really good conditions. There have been a
few gusts that must have been 60-65 knots, maybe even more every now and then.
I was on a 3.4m sail but should have been on smaller. I was happy with my sailing
today and I feel I have improved at sailing here in Pozo. This has been the
best Pozo ever!"

ANTOINE ALBEAU (AHD, NEIL PRYDE)
"I like it when the wind is like this. I can’t remember ever seeing
better conditions here. I think this is the best event we have ever had here
in Pozo."