The 2006 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam Event Preview
Thursday 6 July 2006
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Big Winds. Big Names. Big Stakes.
The worldâ€™s best menâ€™s and womenâ€™s windsurfers are gathering in Pozo, Gran Canaria, to compete for the â‚¬90,000 prize purse at The 2006 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam Event from July 7th through 17th.
Pozo is the world capital of high wind windsurfing. Even when there is little wind elsewhere in Gran Canaria, here it can be howling! All the great rivalries in professional windsurfing have settled scores here in waves, racing and freestyle disciplines, and this year the contest sees trophies for Wavesailing, Slalom 42 racing, and womenâ€™s Freestyle.
And Pozoâ€™s the home of many of the key players too. 11 times world champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (E-11, North Sails), the multi-talented wave and freestyle specialists, sisters Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails) and Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) and double-looping madmen Vidar Jensen (N-44, North Sails) and Orjan Jensen (E-19, North Sails) are just a few of the great names that choose the Island of Gran Canaria as their home and training base. Other key locals include Jonas Ceballos ( E-40 Fanatic / North Sails) famed for his monster back loops and ninja kicks, Dario Ojeda (E-211 Quatro / Gaastra) and Marcos Perez (E-7).
But will local knowledge be enough to contend with reigning wavesailing world champion Kauli Seadi (BRA-253 Qautro / Naish) and past world champions Scott McKercher (KA-181 Starboard / Severne), Josh Angulo (CV-1), and 2006 wave tour leader Kevin Pritchard (US-3 Starboard / Maui Sails)? One thing is for sure. The worldâ€™s elite windsurfing circuit, at its toughest location will guarantee the most worthy winner.
In Slalom 42, world champions Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Micah Buzianis (US-34 JP / NeilPryde) go head to head with fellow powerhouse Antoine Albeau (F-192 Starboard / NeilPryde), fresh off the back of his Super-X racing World title at last weeks Costa Teguise World Cup. Theyâ€™ll be joined by Arnon Dagan (ISR-1 Fanatic / NeilPryde), and world speed sailing record holder, Finian Maynard (ISV-11 F2 / NeilPryde). The big men of Slalom have not been seen in heavy weight bouts here since the late 90â€™s, making a welcome return for the revamped, production equipment only discipline, that is Slalom 42. Expect unbelievable speeds as they race in and out of the surf, demonstrating incredible power using the maximum of 4 sails and 2 boards allowed.
The traditional nuclear July winds give the best chance of the most extreme competition. Even in freestyle, a traditionally flat-water discipline, heats at Pozo witness jumps up to 40 ft high, insane double loops, and mind-bending sliding tricks. Womenâ€™s freestyle world champion Daida Moreno, 2005 runner up Karin Jaggi (Z-14 F2 / North Sails) and adopted Pozo local Silvia Alba Orozco (E-64 ) will entertain the crowds and challenge the judges with their vast array of new-skool tricks, at Pozoâ€™s purpose built amphitheatre terraces. Rumours of some new players turning up at registration are rife, making tension high and assuring the standard will be off the scale.
Daida Moreno, Jaggi and Iballa Moreno and more will continue their competitive lust in the waves too, with Jaggi always pressuring the Morenoâ€™s. 2006 could also be the year Junko Nagoshi (J-11 F2 / Simmer) comes through with a big result.
gc05_iballa moreno jumps
See the story unfold by checking our website www.pwaworldtour.com throughout the event for live updates, daily news summaries and more.