PWA Gran Canaria, day eight

For the third year running, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer Sails, MFC) has shown defiance to lay claim to the prestigious Pozo wave title, defeating Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) in the final of the double elimination.

A nail biting Women’s final witnessed a classic Moreno showdown, with Daida (North Sails) sparing her sister no mercy, to win yet another Pozo wave final.

Men’s Double Elimination

Powered by fifty-knot wind, and armed with their smallest sails, the wave fleet hit the water to finish up the double elimination.

Mounting a sustained attack, Julien Taboulet (F2, Naish Sails) showed his hunger to advance. The Frenchman, aided by his trademark, super contorted tabletop forward loops, cleared John Skye (RRD, Naish), Phil Horrocks (JP, NeilPryde), Philip Köster (F2, NeilPryde) & high flying Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer Sails, MFC) to the side, as he advanced from the third round to within touching distance of the final.

Taboulet would finally fall at the hands of Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii), who was gaining momentum after knocking out Vidar Jensen (North Sails) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC).

In an unfortunate turn of events, Taboulet had his gear washed all the way to the inside following a crash. Relentless dumping waves hindered his efforts to launch, meaning all he could do was watch, as Seadi racked up the points. When he finally returned back in the game it was too late, and Seadi walked on through to the next round.

Marching on to face Nik Baker (Mistral, North Sails), Seadi continued to pick up pace. Baker matched, if not exceeded Seadi with his wave riding, but couldn’t  produce the goods in the air. Seadi on the other hand, was fully dialled, throwing double loops, one legged back loops and tabletop pushloops.

In the end, Bakers score sheet didn’t touch Seadi, leaving the Brazilian free to advance through to face Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC).

The double looping duo put on an awesome display of aerial dog fighting for the Pozo crowds, however the super close heat was eventually won by Campello, who flew higher than Seadi, and managed to stick cleaner landings.

A stones throw from the final, Campello’s last hurdle was Tenerife’s Danny Bruch (Gaastra). Bruch, renowned for his monumental hang time, lived up to his reputation, launching into huge stalled forward loops, and massive contorted tabletop pushloops.

Snubbing Bruch, Campello landed a perfect double forward, complementing it with aggressive wave riding and more aerial madness, to hand him the victory, and passage to his first ever wave final.

Last stop was Fernandez, who’s won in Pozo the last two years. For Campello to even challenge the reigning champion, he’d not only have to go big, but also match Fernandez’s creative and aggressive wave riding.

Fernandez’s first run showed why he continues to dominate at this venue, he effortlessly landed a perfect stalled forward and a backloop, but not just standard jumps, these were massive! Campello, knowing he had work to do, pulled a perfect double forward out the bag, only for it to be mimicked by Fernandez moments later.

Fernandez allowed Campello no breathing space, with every move equaled or bettered. Checkmate came when the Spanish powerhouse clocked up an awesome wave ride, including a goiter on the wave face. Campello had fought bravely, and was by no means outclassed, but the day belonged to Fernandez.

Fernandez’s victory marks an impressive run for the Spaniard; Three years of competition in Pozo, three victories, and not a single heat lost. Impressive, by anyone’s standards.

Women’s Double Elimination

Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) proved to be a stellar opponent, mounting a spectacular four-heat resurgence thanks her aggressive wave riding. The run came to an end when she came up against hard-hitting rival, Karin Jaggi (F2, North Sails), who took control of the airwaves with her sizable aerial artillery.

Jaggi’s downfall came when she squared up against Iballa Moreno (North Sails). The Pozo local and World Champion outclassed Jaggi, with a comprehensive routine that Swiss sailor couldn’t match.

In a carbon copy of the 2007 final, sisters Iballa and Daida went head to head to decide who’d claim the event. The explosive showdown was a tribute to the immense talent of the siblings.

A class above the rest, the heat was truly spectacular. Iballa took the early lead with a big pushloop and some solid riding, but Daida fought back with a floaty one handed backloop, a huge forward, and with confidence on the up, a crazy double loop attempt.

When the heat ended, the judges awarded a conclusive 5-0 victory to Daida, however; only a small margin separated the pair on each score sheet. The victory adds to Daida’s unprecedented run at top of the podium.

Source: PWA World Tour

PWA Gran Canaria, day seven

Picking up the wave double elimination where it was left off, six more heats were completed before the waves backed off.

On form players 

Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) killed it in his heat against Kevin Mevissen (RRD, RRD, MFC). In a return to form for the Brit, Swift dominated the heat with a precision display of huge backloops, a tabletop pushloop and a mad double forward loop.

Complimenting his aerial acrobatics, Swift also notched up one of the day’s highest scoring rides, picking off a set wave out the back, and mercilessly ripping it apart with powerful front and backside smacks.

Vidar Jensen (North Sails) gave a taste of things to come in his heat against Boujmaa Guilloul (Starboard, Severne, MFC). Unphased by the monstrous 50-knot gusts, Jensen landed all his jumps, and incredibly most were one handed.

Close calls

Teammates Julien Taboulet (F2, Naish) and John Skye (RRD, Naish) had one of the closest battles of the day. Gathering momentum from victory in his previous heat, Skye entered the tussle with Taboulet on a high, but Taboulet was ripping.

The heat culminated with a both Taboulet and Skye throwing double forward loops to decide upon the winner. Taboulet touched his down with a cleaner landing, edging him ahead on the judges’ score sheets, and securing him the victory.

Another close call was Horrocks (JP, NeilPryde) versus Siver (Quatro, NeilPryde, MFC, Dakine). Siver held onto a marginal lead for the entire heat aided by huge back loops and tabletop forwards, only losing his grip on things when Horrocks landed a super clean double forward loop towards the end of the 12 minute bout.

Horrock’s double would prove to be controversial though, as he fell moments after landing it. Unsure if the move would count himself, Horrocks proceeded to pull another double out the bag. Sailing away from the move, this time Horrocks had done enough to sneak past Siver, and take the win.

Swift’s Crazy Heat

Taking on Alex Mussolini (RRD, NeilPryde) in heat 39, Robby Swift took part in the day’s most dramatic clash.

A poor sail size decision by Swift meant he had to change down a rig during the heat, leaving Mussolini free to rack up the points. Returning to the water, Swift then threw a huge double loop, snapping his mast on the landing.

Again, Mussolini was left to capitalize on the situation with some solid riding and jumping. When Swift finally got another board and rig, he was only left a small window of time in which he had to score a waveride to defeat Mussolini. Here’s the account from the man himself.

Robby Swift: "I went out for the heat on a 4.0 thinking that I would be able to jump higher than Alex with that sail, but it was way too big, so I wasted the first few minutes on too big a sail. I came in and changed to the 3.7, which was much better, and allowed me to do a decent pushloop table top and a nice backloop.

I also got a fairly solid waveride in, and then went for a double that I landed well, but broke the tip of the mast. Ross Williams came out to rescue me, again on my 4.0, and with all his clothes on, plus the car key in his pocket, which he lost!

I will forgive him though, as I managed to get one more crucial wave ride, which allowed me to get through the heat. Alex was unlucky, he did 2 push table tops and 2 forwards, so he needed another jump to get through the heat.”

After six heats, the waves backed off, placing competition on standby for the remainder of the afternoon, and eventually postponing things until day eight.

Source: PWA World Tour

PWA Gran Canaria, day 6

Three full slalom eliminations allowed Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) to lay rest any demons that may have haunted him, following his failure to qualify for the race six final the previous day.

Silencing criticism that his defenses were weakening, he towered above the opposition to win all three races in a commanding manor, and further stamp his authority on the event.

Following on from day five’s freestyle single elimination, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde) once again defended her first position stronghold to walk away with her second double elimination win.

Race 7

Failing to make the cut in the qualifying heats, Ross Williams (Tabou Gaastra), Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) and Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine) all went out in the first rounds, denying them a chance to compete in the final.

Recovering in the losers final, Williams relinquished his previous error to take first place, ahead of Buzianis in second, and Angulo in third.

Returning to his domineering form, Albeau led the final from the start, with Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC) and Steve Allen (Tabou, Gaastra) left fighting for second position.

Pressuring the leaders, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North Sails), and Moussilmani brothers Cyril (Fanatic, North Sails) and Sylvain (F2, Simmer) also made their presence known as they advanced through the fleet. At the finish line, Albeau won the race by a solid margin.

Race 7 Results: 1st Albeau, 2nd Pritchard, 3rd Allen, 4th Dunkerbeck, 5th Sylvain Moussilmani

Race 8

Nerves were spreading in the day’s second race, as a combined total of six false starts littered the winners and losers final.

Over early in the losers final were Cyril Moussilmani, Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde), and Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer Sails). Opportunist Steve Allen, took control of the under strength heat to seize victory, ahead of Taty Frans (Starboard, North Sails) in second and Jimmy Diaz (North Sails) in third.

Over eager starts for Pritchard, Williams and Volwater (North Sails) meant the final had to be restarted, minus the offenders. Rocketing down the first reach in the rerun, Albeau settled into his usual position at the front of the pack.

Chasing him down were Dunkerbeck and Buzianis, who never let the leader out of their grasp, but failed to summon enough grunt to overthrow the French World Champion. Albeau walked away with another victory.

Race 8 Results: 1st Albeau, 2nd Buzianis, 3rd Dunkerbeck, 4th Angulo, 5th Benoit Moussilmani.

Race 9

Uncharacteristically departing in the first round were Buzianis and Van Der Steen, who started a trend of big names departing early in the elimination. Moving onto round two, Allen, Dunkerbeck and Volwater also slipped up and failed to qualify for the race final.

Regaining focus in the losers final, Volwater delivered an inspired performance to claim victory. Allen and Dunkerbeck also made amends for their previous mishaps, and recovered to take second and third respectively.

The final witnessed more of the Albeau show. The slalom machine methodically executed four perfect gybes combined with his astonishing straight line pace to notch up his eighth race win of the event. Pritchard snapped up another second place finish, and Cyril Moussilmani flew home in third.

Race 9 Results: 1st Albeau, 2nd Pritchard, 3rd Cyril Moussilmani, 4th Maynard, 5th Williams.

Overall So Far: 1st Albeau, 2nd Pritchard, 3rd Dunkerbeck, 4th Williams, 5th Cyril Moussilmani

Freestyle Double Elimination

Switching to freestyle in the afternoon, Offringa would have to prove herself one more time in the double elimination, to lay claim to the overall elimination win.

Yolanda De Brendt (Fanatic, North Sails) showed early form, knocking out Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) and Iballa Moreno (North Sails). Going on to face Junko Nagoshi (Simmer Sails, Dakine), De Brendt continued to shine, but cool headed Nagoshi banged out a diverse mix of switch and regular stance moves to stop De Brendt in her tracks.

Gaining momentum, Nagoshi went on to defeat Laure Treboux (Fanatic, North Sails) before falling victim to Daida Moreno (North Sails) who dealt out a harsh hand, which included a clew first puneta, a flaka and some monstrous forward loops. Moreno, in a repeat of the previous double elimination final, went on to challenge Offringa for first position.

Coming out all guns blazing, Offringa’s barrage was impressive to say the least, and Moreno had a tall order ahead of her, having to find a reply to a one handed puneta, a shaka, and funnel. Nerves seemed to overcome the local, and a last minute grubby, flaka and forward weren’t enough to match Offringa’s mammoth score. In a 5-0 decision, Offringa added another double elimination victory to her name.

Source: PWA World Tour

Johan De Goede has taken out the 2018 Digicape Tand Invitational. The legendary event got underway in pumping eight-to-ten-foot waves in Cape Town, South Africa.

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