The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Day Four
Fighting to defend her first place finish from the previous day’s single elimination, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde) successfully stood her ground in the double elimination to defeat Daida Moreno (North Sails) in the final, and cement her position at the top of the freestyle ranks.
Mammoth full fleet race action saw Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) add another victory to his run of first place finishes, ahead of Peter Volwater (North Sails) in second, and Kevin Pritchard in third (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC).
Women’s Freestyle Double Elimination
Taking centre stage on day four, the women’s freestyle double elimination swung into action. First to fall were Olga Raskina (JP, NeilPryde) and Nina Tjernberg (F2, North Sails), who failed to match the routines of rivals Iballa Moreno (North Sails) and Silva Alba Orozco (MFC).
Gaining momentum, Moreno and Alba Orozco continued to dominate when they met Evi Tsape (Fanatic, NeilPryde) and Yolanda Freites De Brendt (Fanatic, North Sails) in the next round. Tsape had no reply to Moreno’s powerful forward and slick flaka, likewise Freites De Brendt couldn’t match moves like Alba Orozco’s fully planning spock 540. Moreno and Alba Orozco advanced to go head to head in the next heat, the victor meeting Laure Treboux (Fanatic, North Sails).
In the subsequent heat, the pair were closely matched. Moreno however, backed by a smooth spock 540 and forward loops on both tacks, eventually notched up more points on the judges score sheets and advanced to meet Treboux.
From the word go, Treboux unleashed her full repertoire, including a puneta 540, one handed spock 540, and a clew first spock 540. Moreno replied with creativity, landing a perfect clew first backloop and a high one handed forward, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Treboux, who went on to face Junko Nagoshi (Simmer Sails, Dakine) in heat 49.
The ensuing heat was arguably the best battle of the elimination, as both sailors pulled out all the stops. Nagoshi pressured Treboux from the start, with a flaka, spock and puneta all landed in quick succession. Defiant, Treboux delved into her bag of tricks to summon an eslider 540, clew first puneta and grubby diablo to condemn Nagoshi to fourth place.
Battling for third, Treboux challenged Daida Moreno. After delivering an awesome performance in the previous heat, the Swiss freestyler failed to maintain her high standard, leaving the door wide open for Moreno to take the victory with a mix of spocks, a flaka and huge forward loops.
Having won the single elimination, Offringa had been waiting patiently for her challenger to arrive, this being Daida Moreno. The final was a class act from Offringa, who landed virtually every move she attempted. Moreno played a high-risk game, attempting double loops, and ponchs. However, the gamble failed to pay off, when she crashed the majority of these high scoring moves.
Offringa continued on her mission, and at the end of the heat was crowned the victor, thanks to her super consistent sailing. Offringa now tops the freestyle ranks, with Daida Moreno in second, and Treboux in third.
Full Fleet Race Action
The afternoon witnessed the amazing spectacle of the entire 39 man race fleet battling it out around a mammoth down wind slalom course. A rabbit start kicked off a crazy race down the first reach as the mass of sailors battled to get clean wind at the first mark.
As the race progressed, the fleet spread out across the course and a pocket of sailors broke away from the trailing pack. Fronted by domineering Frenchman Albeau, and fellow tearaways Volwater and Prichard, they hurtled at breakneck speed towards the black stones of Pozo’s beach.
Extending their lead through to the shorter reaches at the downwind section of the course, Brits Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) and Matt Pearch (Mistral, North Sails) also joined the leading three man formation.
Culminating with a frantic blast to the finish, Albeau held his lead to claim another first place, Volwater took second, Pritchard third, Williams fourth and Pearch ended in fifth. The race proved to be a stumbling block for Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde), who failed to finish, and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North Sails) didn’t help his cause, finishing 14th in a race that many had tipped him to be a favorite in.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting times are; Women’s freestyle 9.00am, Men’s Wave 10.00am, Men’s Slalom 12.00 Midday. Depending on conditions, heats may 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
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© PWA / Andrew Buchanan