FUERTEVENTURA GRAND PRIX FREESTYLE
All the action from day one…
First day of the PWA Freestyle Grand Prix in Fuerteventura.
Saturday July 27, 2002
Head judge Klaus Michel pointed out at the 10 a.m. skippers meeting
important issues such as competition area, duration of the heats and the
new system of using a launching area where the riders have to present
themselves before their heat.
Freestyle competitions are judged on overall impression based on
diversity, technical skill and style and the format used today was the so
called Dingle Elimination in which three riders compete against each other
in the heats of the first round and the winner moves two rounds forward.
The second has to compete against a third placed sailor of another heat,
and everyone gets a second chance.
What a start! Perfect Freestyle conditions at the beautiful sandy andSof
course windy beach at Sotavento. The head judge decided to start with the
We saw a good performance of all the riders from the beginning, but no
surprises: the four top seeded ladies Freestyle World Champion Colette
Guadagnino (JP/Neil Pryde), Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North Sails),
Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows), Tanja Emig (RRD) went straight into the final.
The level of sailing in the final was very high demonstrating a massive
step forward this year by the ladies as they performed top moves such as
grubbies, spock varieties and difficult sail tricks.
Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows) started the final with a perfect spock coming in
and Colette Guadagnino (JP/Neil Pryde) answered with a huge front loop.
Willy skippers, one handed body drags and a grubby completed the repertoire.
Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral, North Sails) didn¹t start her heat very well
but then pulled out a perfect planing back loop. "I saw the other girls
performing amazing moves and was kind of tense but after that back loop I
gained confidence and the things got better" she told us. And they did:
She performed a beautiful spock 540 followed by a very clean spock, which
brought her the win. Second place for Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows) and third
place for the Venezuelan lady Colette Guadagnino (JP/Neil Pryde) who both
sailed to a high standard.
Results 1st Elimination Freestyle
1. Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral, North Sails)
2. Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows)
3. Colette Guadagnino (JP/Neil Pryde)
4. Tanja Emig (RRD)
After the ladies final it was straight into the elimination heats of the
men. The wind had slightly picked up, the riders took mostly 4,5 square
meter sails and the competition went off from the beginning:
The first heat of the day could have already been a final facing the three
top riders Josh Stone (JP/Neil Pryde), Web Pedrick (North Sails) and Tati
Frans (AHD/ Gaastra).
But as it is a Dingle the cards were just remixed.
The newcomers from Bonaire Tati and Tonky Frans (both AHD/Gaastra) had a
very good first day moving up to the fourth round and were only stopped by
the young German rider Andy Pusch (JP/Neil Pryde) and Christian Sammer
(F2/Arrows) from Austria respectively who was sailing at his best. Sammer
was still on fire in the quarter finals but had to face wonder boy Ricardo
Campello (JP/Neil Pryde) who performed incredible moves such as planing
Goyters, clean Swayzes on the way out and Sammer had no chance of beating
the 17 year old kid from Venezuela.
Another rider who sailed very well was the young Englishman John Skye
(F2/Arrows) who defeated reigning World Champion Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil
Pryde) and in the following heat the remaining French hope Mathieu Bonno
(JP/ Neil Pryde) and moved into the losers final (battle for 3rd and 4th
place) after losing against Campello (JP/Neil Pryde) who showed Freestyle
Two times World Champion Josh Stone (JP/Neil Pryde) was stopped, after
defeating the winner of the Pozo Freestyle event Matt Pritchard
(AHD/Gaastra), by his team mate Diony Guadagnino (JP/Neil Pryde), who
celebrates his 20th birthday today.
Diony pulled out the move of the day a perfectly landed high clew first
He then lost in the quarter finals against one of the most consistent
riders on tour in 2002 Nik Baker (Mistral/North Sails) who performed very
difficult combinations of spocks and clew first spock 540¹s and looked
very solid and pulled out an amazing range of manoeuvres.
Nik moved into the winner¹s final by beating in a close but fair decision
team mate "flying" Vidar Jensen (Drops/North Sails) who showed his
trademark move a fully planning one handed front loop and a nice variety
of old school and new school tricks and was very happy with his
performance: "When I saw the level of the first heats I thought that was
itS but I could manage to make good use of the upcoming waves and things
turned out well for me.
The final between Nik Baker (Mistral/North Sails) and Ricardo Campello
(JP/Neil Pryde) was Freestyle at its best:
It seemed like an "orgy" of the most difficult moves ever performed
as Swayzes, Shove it into Vulcan and all kinds of spock variations.
Ricardo was on fire and sailed in a very impressive way while Nik failed
in an attempt to combine various moves and crashed a Swayze just before
the red flag.
Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil Pryde) showed with his performance that he is a
serious threat to top Freestylers such as Nik Baker (Mistral/North Sails),
Antoine Albeau (AHD/Gaastra) Josh Stone (JP/Neil Pryde) Matt Pritchard
(AHD/Gaastra) and the question of this contest is: WHO can stop this kid???
We will bring you the answer in the next few daysS
Results of the first Freestyle elimination
1. Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil Pryde)
2. Nik Baker (Mistral/North Sails)
3. Vidar Jensen (Drops/North Sails)
4. John Skye (F2/Arrows)