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POZO GRAN CANARIA PWA GRAND SLAM DAY 2

08:24 11th July 2002 by
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POZO GRAN CANARIA PWA GRAND SLAM DAY 2

Wednesday July 10, 2002

Dutch sailor Remko De Weerd (Gaastra, AHD) and local girl, Daida Moreno
(Mistral, North) have taken first round victories in their respective
men¹s and women¹s freestyle eliminations here today at the PWA, Gran

Canaria Gran Slam. In the men¹s final De Weerd defeated British sailor
Nik
Baker (Mistral, North) in the thrilling battle, which was held this
afternoon in ridiculously windy conditions. The women¹s final was equally

exciting and it took Daida Moreno¹s (Mistral, North) best efforts to
thwart the challenge of Anne Marie Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails)
from Holland

De Weerd was on fire today; somehow managing to pull off extremely
technical moves in Pozo¹s relentless winds which were blowing anywhere

between 30-40knots. His repertoire included tweaked shuv-its, slick one
handed spock 540¹s and sizzling swayzies! On route to the final the Dutch

freestyle specialist overcame challenges from the likes of Christian
Dammers (Gaastra, AHD), Eric Girard (Starboard), Peter Volwater (F2,
Arrows), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) and Victor Fernandez (Fanatic).
Baker meanwhile had an equally tough battle to make it through to the
final and took down Kristoffer Living of Sweden, Martin Van Geenhoven
(North, AHD), Matt Pritchard (AHD, Gaastra) and Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil
Pryde). The action packed final saw Nik Baker open up the heat with a
Crazy Pete and Remko replying with a huge contorted Shuv-it. As the heat
progressed De Weerd edged ahead after Baker failed to nail his trademark
clew first spock. With both sailors on 3.3m sails in what would best be
described as survival conditions the level of sailing throughout the final
was incredible.

Remko De Weerd
"It was ballistic out there, I am super happy. I guess things went my way

today because I can only do two jumpsSthe shuv-it and a forward loop. Nik
had a lot more weapons than me and all I can remember was him flying
through the air. In the final I pulled off most of my tricks and I think I
saw Nik fall a couple of times. It was so windy today a lot of the time we
were just hanging on!"

Victor Fernandez (Fanatic) an unranked local sailor caused the biggest
surprise of the day after making it all the way through to the losers
final. In the early rounds Fernandez took down highly ranked PWA sailors
Vidar Jensen (North), Gregg Allaway (JP, Neil Pryde) and Julien Taboulet
(JP, Neil Pryde) largely due to his incredible jumping ability. In the
battle for third and fourth it took the extraordinary skills of young
Venezuelan sailor Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) to halt his progress.

Other shock results today included John Skye (F2, Arrows) of Britain
defeating world number two freestyler, Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde) and the
Mathieu Bonno of France taking down Brazilian samba sensation Kauli Seadi
(Naish).

In the women¹s competition it was Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) who came

out on top after a winning closely fought final against Anne Marie
Reichman (Naish boards, Naish sails) of Holland. Moreno who was pulling
off a variety of explosive jumps throughout the day had managed to defeat
Swiss sailor Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) in the semis. In the final she
nailed a back loop and push loop, which proved enough to give her the edge
over Reichman who had sailed brilliantly in her semi final heat where she
upstaged Colette Guadagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) of Venezuela.

The day began dramatically when Iballa Moreno (North, Mistral) was rushed
to hospital after breaking her foot in three places after awkwardly
landing a table top in the warm ups. She is due to have surgery tomorrow
morning and will be out of action for at least two months.

The wind is still howling here in Gran Canaria and the forecast is more of

the same! Tonight sailors will be resting aching muscles and contemplating
their days performances. There are still eight days of competition
remaining and if today is anything to go by the show has only just started!

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