The 2006 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam Day Ten
On the final day of the event Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails) convincingly wins both the Freestyle and Wave disciplines and maintains her dominance despite strong opposition from Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2/ North Sails) and emerging new talent. Victor Fernandez (E-42, Fanatic / Simmer Sails) adds his name to the list of Pozo Wavesailing winners, and Antoine Albeau (F192 Starboard / Neil Pryde Sails) earns legendary status by taking the honours in Slalom 42 with 11 straight wins.
Todayâ€™s action featured the double elimination of the womenâ€™s freestyle. There were no big surprises in the early heats. Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU-91 Starboard / Maui Sails) beat Junko Nagoshi (J-11 F2 / Simmer) to advance into the last eight, and there was a tough clash between Yoli de Brendt (V-26 Fanatic / North) and Uli Hoelzl (AUT-123). De Brendt won and then made a major advance by beating established competitor Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne). This earned her a clash with Offringa where the action really started to hot up.
Offringa won with superior tricks like spock 540â€™s and clew first spocks, despite De Brendt making several switch stance manoeuvres. Offringa advanced to meet Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) in one of the young Arubanâ€™s toughest heats yet. The heat started out badly for Offringa who had several falls as Moreno pulled a perfect spock, a willy skipper and a forward. But Offringa fought back with a flaka and an e-slider and won on technical skill and overall impression.
The scene was now set for a battle of the new-skool ladies freestylers as Offringa took on Laure Treboux (SUI-4 Naish / Naish). Treboux made one-handed spocks, a grubby and clean vulcanâ€™s whilst Offringa fell on many technical moves, although she did land a clean puneta 540. It looked like Offringa was staging a comeback when she made a series of clean and stylish moves including an excellent flaka but they were all outside of the official competition area and did not count. Treboux had won and advanced to meet Karin Jaggi to decide who would meet Daida Moreno in the final.
Jaggi opened her heat against Treboux up with a great shuvit, followed by a spock 540, a one handed spock and a clean grubby. Treboux also made a grubby, a one-handed spock 540 and some old-skool tricks. But Jaggi had a greater diversity of tricks over both port and starboard tack and scored higher on technical skill and style to take a well deserved victory, advancing to the final against Daida Moreno.
Daida made a typical start to the final landing a forward loop within seconds of the heat starting. Moreno then really raised the bar by making a perfect clew-first spock 540, and a backloop. Jaggi had made a shuvit into a heli-tack, a forward loop and a one-handed spock. She also fought back by scoring a great clew-first spock 540. But Moreno had other ideas and then threw a perfect ponch right near the beach and the judgeâ€™s tower. It was a unanimous decision by the judging panel that awarded her another win. It seems no-one just yet has the firepower and range of tricks in their routines to challenge Daida Moreno, but the standard of the entire fleet has increased rapidly this season, with many challengers showing promise for the upcoming events.
There was no racing today although Antoine Albeau had already dominated this event notching up 11 wins from 12 races, straight off the back of his recent Super-X World Championship title. Joining Albeau and Moreno on the podium will be Victor Fernandez, who spectacularly won the double elimination, finally living up to expectation by joining the elite group of winners at this infamous and long-standing tour stop.
Next up is the 2006 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam with Slalom 42 and Menâ€™s and womenâ€™s Freestyle. You can follow all the progress at www.pwaworldtour.com throughout the event with live updates from 21st July through August 1st.