The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Registration Day
Greeted by turbo charged trade winds and pumping swell, registration day gave a taste of things to come over the next nine days. Seizing the opportunity to practice in the classic Pozo conditions, the competitors hit the water to familiarize themselves with this truly unique location before registration commenced.
Also prior registration, the trials stage of the wave event fired into action. The trials allow newcomers to the professional circuit, locals, and unranked sailors a chance to compete for ‘wild cards’, which grant entry into the main wave event. Four wild cards were up for grabs in the registration day trials, and no surprises, three out of the four were awarded to Pozo locals, who always pose a major threat to PWA regulars when the main event begins.
Following the trials, the day’s formalities commenced, which included registration and a huge group photo of all the athletes present. As always, the turn out for this event has been monumental, with 39 competitors in the men’s slalom fleet, 48 in the men’s wave (the maximum possible), 11 in the women’s freestyle, and 15 in the women’s wave fleet.
Head wave judge Duncan Combs has announced that, weather permitting, first on tomorrow’s bill will be the men’s and women’s wave single elimination. Here’s a quick look at the key players to keep an eye on.
Waves: The Moves and Shakers
Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, Simmer Style, MFC): The 2007 runner up has won in Pozo the last two years and will have no intention of stopping his winning streak this year, as he eyes up the 2008 overall title.
Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii): The 2007 World Champion & current tour leader has all the moves and is dangerously consistent. Ramps or riding, Seadi will rip.
Julien Taboulet (F2, Naish): The crazy French man has style in bucket loads and loves going big. A third place finish in Pozo last year will only have hungered him more for victory.
Nik Baker (Mistral, North Sails): Baker may not have the latest aerial moves, but compensates with years of experience, super slick wave riding and he’s sailed this spot enough to know all its quirks.
Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Simmer Style, MFC): Renowned for going massive and an expert rider in the unique Pozo surf.
Vidar Jensen (North Sails): Dialed into his home patch & has a stalled one handed double forward in his artillery.
Dario Ojeda (Quatro, MFC): Finished fifth last year. He’s afraid of nothing and on top form at the moment.
Marcos Perez (Exocet, Gun Sails): Gran Canaria born and bred. Stylish smooth and sails a tactical heat with confidence.
Phillip Köster (F2, NeilPryde): He’s young, a Pozo local, and if the practice session is anything to go by, dangerously talented.
Iballa Moreno (North Sails): The 2007 Wave World Champion. Stylish, smooth and a real favorite if the surf’s good.
Daida Moreno (North Sails): She’s practically unbeatable if the ramps are good, nailing double forwards, pushloop tabletops and more.
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne): Back from injury, this Gran Canaria local knows the place like the back of her hand. Good in the air and the waves, she’s ultra competitive and hungry for victory.
Junko Nagoshi (F2, Simmer Style, Dakine): Nagoshi’s been putting the hours in training and is consistently knocking on the podium’s door.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting is scheduled for 9.00am, and heats will commence from 9.30am onwards. Be sure to follow every stroke of action here, at www.pwaworldtour.com to:
* Use our live ticker service
* Check elimination ladders
* View results
* Watch amazing video action clips
* Read the daily news summaries
* Browse awesome action photo galleries
For more information please contact the PWA office via email@example.com
© PWA / Andrew Buchanan