The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Day Five
Women’s Freestyle Single Elimination
Following Sarah-Quita Offringa’s (Starboard, NeilPryde) victory in day four’s double elimination, the women hit the water to start the second round of freestyle in a solid 30 knot wind.
Advancing in the first round were Yolanda Freites De Brendt (Fanatic, North Sails) and Evi Tsape (Fanatic, NeilPryde), who went on to face Daida Moreno (North Sails) and Sarah-Quita Offringa in round two.
The underdogs had their work cut out, and despite spirited performances, they eventually succumbed to their more experienced rivals. Also in the second round, Iballa Moreno (North Sails) would fall victim to Japan’s freestyle sensation Junko Nagoshi (Simmer Sails, Dakine), who becomes more and more dangerous with every passing heat. On the other side of the draw Silvia Alba Orozco (MFC) was forced out the single elimination by Laure Treboux’s (Fanatic North Sails) switch stance trickery.
Taking their seats in the semi final, the four sailors began another chilling display for the Spanish crowds to marvel over. Offringa’s trademark silky smooth punetas and air flakas boosted her score sheet to a level that was just too much for Nagoshi, forcing the Japanese freestyler into the losers final. Joining her was Treboux, who lost out to Daida Moreno in the closest heat of the elimination.
Treboux turned up the heat in the losers final, landing a fully planning flaka, alongside her usual mix of effortless, clew first, switch stance moves. Chocking, Nagoshi struggled to find her form, and some moves late in the heat weren’t enough to change the outcome. Treboux took third position, Nagoshi fourth.
Offringa dominated the final with a determined and powerful performance. Her archrival Moreno, showed moments of genius, pulling a perfect ponch off the waves on the inside. It was a case of too little too late though, and Offringa, who’s still to finish lower than first in the 2008 season, added another victory to her name.
Men’s Slalom Race Six.
The sixth slalom race of the event saw cracks appear in Antoine Albeau’s (Starboard, NeilPryde) seemingly impenetrable defenses. Two falls and a ninth place finish in his semi final heat meant he failed to qualify for the race final.
Consistent American racer Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) was another big name that stumbled along the way, finishing seventh in his quarterfinal heat. He joined Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North Sails) a further shock entry to the losers final, and Albeau.
Signaling changing times, Britain’s Ross William’s (Tabou, Gaastra) and Holland’s Peter Volwater (F2, North Sails) lead the pack in a final depleted of many big name racers. The pair crept ahead of the main bulk of sailors, with Volwater looking like he had the final in the bag, but a nail biting drag race to the finish line saw William’s accelerate past Volwater and steal the victory. Close behind, Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine) took third, Bjorn Dunkerbeck fourth (North Sails, Thommen T1), and Benoit Moussilmani (F2, Simmer Sails) raced home in fifth.
Albeau’s break from the front of the fleet was short lived. Taking the lead at the first mark in the losers final, he flew ahead of his rival sailors to take a comfortable victory. Also returning to form, Cyril Moussilmani recovered the take second place, ahead of brother Sylvain (F2, Simmer Sails) in third.
Men’s Wave Double Elimination
The afternoon’s rising tide brought head high waves to Pozo’s shores. Seizing the opportunity, head wave judge Duncan Coombs called the wave sailors to the water for the first round of the double elimination, and a single heat of the second round, before the waves backed off.
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC) showed his hunger to climb the ranks, defeating both Jose Estredo (Fanatic, North Sails, MFC) and Peter Volwater to help him clear a path through the double.
Kevin Mevissen (RRD, MFC) showed he’s not only a freestyle talent when he defeated Jules Denel (Naish Sails, Naish Boards) with a huge tabletop forward loop and an impressive backloop on the inside. He advances to take on Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) who also won his first round heat, aided by a massive double forward loop.
Ones to watch out for in the later stages are Jaeger Stone (Starboard, Severne), and Thomas Traversa (Tabou, Gaastra), who were ripping the onshore conditions to pieces, and clearly stood out above the rest.
The wave forecast for the latter stages of the week call for a big swell to hit, so the wave fleet will be back in action soon to finish up what they started.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting times are; Women’s freestyle 9.30am, Men’s Wave 10.00am, and Men’s Slalom 10.00am. Depending on conditions, heats may commence from 9.30am onwards. Be sure to follow every stroke of action here, at www.pwaworldtour.com to:
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© PWA / Andrew Buchanan