The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Event Preview
July 03-12, insane wind, pumping swell, and windsurfing’s biggest players. It can only mean one thing. The PWA world tour prepares for competition at the world-renowned wind factory, Pozo Izqueirdo.
Opening its doors from the 3rd to the 12th of July, Pozo’s famed windsurfing arena will be called upon to serve up its characteristic mix of nuclear wind, and pounding waves for a Grand Slam bout of monumental proportions.
Since competition embarked on Gran Canaria’s shores, the biggest names in windsurfing have used this brutal proving ground to settle scores. This year will be no exception, as the 2008 Grand Slam hosts men’s slalom, women’s freestyle, and both men’s and women’s competition in waves.
Rested and ready for action after the trials and tribulations of the Costa Brava World Cup, slalom’s biggest names have confirmed their presence for this high wind, surf-slalom spectacle.
Topping the bill is tour leader, and 2007 World Champion Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde), whose dominant form is still to be put to the test. Albeau thrives in stronger winds, and having won this event last year is the obvious favorite to take top honors. Even so, winning at Pozo is no walk in the park, and the likes of Finian Maynard (NeilPryde, RRD), Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC) are queuing up to topple the French heavyweight.
With one event in the bag, there’s everything to play for in the women’s freestyle fleet. Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde) enters riding high on the back of her victory in Lanzarote, however Pozo’s unique mix of howling wind and waves will really test her ability to perform in all conditions.
Arguably the favorite to take this event is Daida Moreno (North Sails), who knows the spot better then anyone. Daida has an untouchable aerial repertoire as well a deep bag of sliding moves, and will be hungry to explode any myths that she’s off the pace. Also in contention is Laure Treboux (Fanatic, North Sails), it’s only a matter of time before her consistent, technical sailing rewards her with an event win this season.
Men’s and Women’s Wave
Renowned for iconic images of soaring, gravity defying jumps, the wave event is the jewel in the Grand Slam’s crown. To truly gain right of passage to windsurfing’s highest echelons, you have to be able win at Pozo, and topple the ranks of super talented locals that train at this spot all year.
Exercising that right will be the 2007 World Champion and current tour leader Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii), who narrowly lost out on victory at this event last year to Spain’s Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer Style, MFC). Fernandez poses a considerable threat to Seadi, being one of the few people who can match his constantly expanding aerial arsenal.
Also flexing their muscles to have a pop at the top spot will be third ranked Josh Angulo, who trains hard for this event, and the UK’s Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) who’s got off to a flying start this season, currently lying in fourth.
In the women’s division, this event opens the door to the 2008 Championship. Clear favorites are the Moreno sisters, namely 2007 World Champion Iballa (North Sails), who’s likely to dominate if there’s a wave to ride. Similarly, if the bias shifts to jumping, Daida may well be the dominant force.
Competition starts on July the 3rd. Tune in then, when you’ll be able to follow the action with our live event ticker, daily news summaries, video footage, awesome photo galleries, online elimination ladders and more!
Or, for more information contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org
© PWA / Andrew Buchanan