THE GRAN CANARIA ­ VARGAS, AGUIMES PWA WAVE GRAND PRIX 2002.

The worlds elite wave sailors from both the men’s and women’s divisions of
the PWA world tour have gathered here in Vargas, Gran Canaria for the first
event of the season. Today, the likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde),
Vidar Jensen (North) Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra) and Jason Polakow (JP, Neil
Pryde) amongst many others have been making final preparations so that they
are ready for official competition which is due to start tomorrow.

The conditions here in Vargas are currently calm but locals are predicting
that the nuclear winds which have given Gran Canaria its reputation as one of
the windiest places in the world should be here by the weekend.

Last years event winner, Vidar Jensen who hails from Norway is confident that
the wind will return. Vidar, who is rated by many as the best jumper in the
world in port tack conditions beat local rival Bjorn Dunkerbeck in the final
here in Vargas last year.

Vidar Jensen (North)
" I just checked the latest forecast on the net and it seems like there
is a high pressure coming in for the weekend. I have a good feeling right now
that it is going to go off! I have been working on my no handed forwards, they
are going pretty well. I just started doing them last year and maybe I will
throw a few in during the contest"

The end of last season saw a return to winning ways for twice ex wave world
champion Jason Polakow. Victories in Sylt and Ireland brought Polakow back in
to contention but an injury at the beginning of the season denied him from taking
back his overall title. This will be the first time Jason has competed in Vargas
and rumour has it that he is hungrier than ever to get
back on top.

Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde)
"I have been here about a week. We have sailed a couple of days but at
the moment the wind is pretty light. I have not heard a forecast but it is sunny
today so I suppose that is a pretty good sign. Gran Canaria is always a tough
one for me so hopefully I will squeeze into the top twenty and I will be happy.
Seriously I hope to do well here but it is tough to beat the likes of Bjorn,
Vidar and all the Canary boys. I’ll give it a good shot"

Kevin Pritchard last years number two overall in the waves is looking confident
this year. Pritchard is missing the overall wave crown from his list of windsurfing
titles and waves are at the top of his priority list this season.

Kevin Pritchard (Bic, Gaastra)
"I think the wind will be here by the weekend. I don’t like to blow my
own trumpet but I am feeling pretty confident right now. I have my favourite
to win and it looks like I will be backing myself in this race! That’s all I
want to say"

The women’s competition is promising to be closer than ever this year. Local
twins Iballa and Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) will no doubt be amongst the
contenders for podium positions here in Vargas. Ex-world Champion Karin Jaggi
of Switzerland is one of their most feared opponents and also has her sights
set on victory.

Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows)
" I am ready for the twins this year – Oh Yeah! I have actually been staying
in their apartments in Pozo for the last two weeks so we have been having good
fun hanging out. It is a madhouse down there! This is the first event of the
year so I better do well. I am fired up this year so tell the twins they better
watch out!"

Daida Moreno (North, Mistral)
"I heard Karin said that she was gonna kick my ass! On the dance floor
maybe but not out on the water! I don’t know who is going to win, I will have
to take a look into my crystal ball. At the moment my crystal ball is a bit
cloudy! Tell Karin I am going to kick her butt!"

The draw for the first single elimination will be on the notice board first
thing tomorrow morning. The heats will be interesting as this event is a chance
for the newcomers on the PWA world tour to challenge the ‘Big Guns’ The stage
here in Vargas is all set, the players are ready. Bring on the action!