2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has returned to his full glory, after a superb day on the water puts him in the lead. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) and Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) did enough to win one round each, but a disqualification in the ultimate heat leaves Williams with work to do. Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails) joins the push for the podium, while the pressure mounts after four harrowing rounds of slalom.

Competition entered the fourth day here at Pozo Izquierdo, and it was clear that under such extreme conditions, nothing should be taken for granted. The morning looked calm, but the soft breeze soon gave way to another gale-force showdown between the fastest windsurfers in the world.

Throughout the day, the massive Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) seemed to obtain strength from the mounting intensity of the wind, gaining speed and confidence with every knot that Mother Earth could generate. Albeau’s punishing board-speed gave him the advantage when at times only the tip of his fin remained in the water, as he charged down broad reaches like a raging bull, to win two finals. After yesterday’s hiccup, the French slalom master is firmly in the driving seat, leading the event by a comfortable margin.

Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) competed like a true champion today clinching one final from Albeau’s grasp in the ultimate round, and putting together a solid string of second and third places earlier on. These results have rocketed him up to second place overall, and in good contention for the top spot. To achieve such steady results requires an outstanding mind-set, as well as extraordinary physical skill, and Pritchard will be happy to be back to his winning-ways.

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2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

The amazingly talented Philip Köster (Starboard/NeilPryde/Dakine) has shown that he has what it takes to become one of the best wave sailors in windsurfing’s history, whilst a brilliant Daida Ruano Moreno (North Sails) stays true to form to lead the women’s wave fleet. Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) has blasted into the lead in the men’s slalom after an epic opening battle, as the punishing Pozo Izquierdo delivers once again.

The flags that line beach’s promenade groaned under immense strain from the wind this morning; their detailed branding whipped to shreds as the fleets prepared for a grueling ordeal. The breathtaking action opened with the men’s slalom that kicked off in 30-knot gusts. It was clear from the outset that today would prove to be an epic display of attrition in every discipline.

Men’s Slalom:
The door to the podium was blown wide open when the event favorite Antoine Albeau  (JP/NeilPryde) faltered in one of the most spectacular crashes of the day. In a series of events that summarized the pressure of the contest, Albeau’s kit exploded under cataclysmic force during the first reach of the opening round. However, the gargantuan athlete made amends as he went on to win the loser’s final of the first elimination, then dominate the entire fleet in a flawless second round, winning it’s final and leaving himself in a good position for the remainder of the event.

The lion-hearted Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) capitalized on his rival’s misfortune, and showed not a glimpse of remorse, hitting each heat with poise and aggression. In a dominant display of his intentions, Williams’ consistent excellence was rewarded fairly and he finished the day leading the fleet. Also riding high on the ebb of success was France’s Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails) who performed valiantly in consecutive finals to finish second overall, and the legendary Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne) who came in third.

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2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

Pozo Izquierdo has provided yet another astonishing day of competition where both the men’s and women’s wave fleets have been whittled down to the final few. As we approach the ultimate heats of the single elimination, last year’s winners will need to battle fiercely against empowered locals and bitter rivals to retain their position at the top.

The day’s action reached its pinnacle as the competition progressed to the men’s top sixteen. Phillip Köster (Starboard/NeilPryde/Dakine) has taken the world by storm with his recent success, and he sailed brilliantly today, disposing of Kevin Mevissen (Tabou) and current PWA wave leader, Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails/Dakine), on his way through the rounds. His massive jumps and incredible technical ability on the wave have boosted him through to the top eight.

Meeting Köster in the next round is the astonishingly talented Ricardo Campello (JP/NeilPryde/MFC), who has also stunned the crowd here. The ex-freestyle World Champion has converted to the wave discipline quickly and seamlessly, and is without doubt the most exciting competitor out on the water. His huge double forwards, tweaked pushloops and radical wave riding comfortably saw him past Omar Sanchez (RRD/RRD) and Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra), leaving him with a shot at a podium finish.

If past events at Pozo have taught the sailors anything, it is never to underestimate the power of local knowledge, as successes by Dario Ojeda (Simmer Style/MFC/Mormaii/Dakine) and Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic/Simmer Style/MFC) have proven.

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