Gran Canaria Grand Slam
Pozo Izquierdo has provided yet another astonishing day of competition where both the men’s and women’s wave fleets have been whittled down to the final few. As we approach the ultimate heats of the single elimination, last year’s winners will need to battle fiercely against empowered locals and bitter rivals to retain their position at the top.
The day’s action reached its pinnacle as the competition progressed to the men’s top sixteen. Phillip Köster (Starboard/NeilPryde/Dakine) has taken the world by storm with his recent success, and he sailed brilliantly today, disposing of Kevin Mevissen (Tabou) and current PWA wave leader, Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails/Dakine), on his way through the rounds. His massive jumps and incredible technical ability on the wave have boosted him through to the top eight.
Meeting Köster in the next round is the astonishingly talented Ricardo Campello (JP/NeilPryde/MFC), who has also stunned the crowd here. The ex-freestyle World Champion has converted to the wave discipline quickly and seamlessly, and is without doubt the most exciting competitor out on the water. His huge double forwards, tweaked pushloops and radical wave riding comfortably saw him past Omar Sanchez (RRD/RRD) and Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra), leaving him with a shot at a podium finish.
If past events at Pozo have taught the sailors anything, it is never to underestimate the power of local knowledge, as successes by Dario Ojeda (Simmer Style/MFC/Mormaii/Dakine) and Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic/Simmer Style/MFC) have proven.
Ojeda has been faultless in the past couple of days, and today was no exception. With the event’s highest scoring wave ride against the excellent Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde), and a dramatic combination of jumps against the super-consistent Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine), he could have what it takes to claim a well-earned top four finish.
Alex Mussolini (Tabou) also found form, putting the formidable John Skye (RRD/Naish/MFC) and talented Danny Bruch (Exocet/Severne/MFC) to the sword. Mussolini has always been an incredible talent, and he will be thrilled with his results today. So too will Klaas Voget (Fanatic/NeilPryde/MFC), who demonstrated his outstanding talent by taking down Tonky Frans (F2/Gaastra) and Marcillo Browne (Fanatic/North Sails).
Three-times event winner, Victor Fernandez’s (Fanatic/North Sails/MFC) consistency and quality is likely to be the deciding factor in this event, helping him pass young hotshot Jose Romeo (Simmer Style). He sails with the confidence of a wise hunter who is truly at one with his great aquatic wilderness. His performance today was faultless, and the sense of understated brilliance that surrounds him is testament to the charming Spaniard’s ability.
Sitting along side him at the table of Champions was Daida Ruano Moreno (North Sails) who also lived up to expectations. Her flair was crowned today with a full speed, planing air taka that gave her the highest scoring wave in the women’s fleet. This outstanding maneuver has once again positioned Moreno at the absolute peak of women’s windsurfing.
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic/Severne), Iballa Ruano Moreno (North Sails) and Junko Nagoshi (Tabou/Simmer Style/Dakine) were all outstanding in their heats, continuing their success from Lanzarote. All three competitors have developed unique wave riding styles that set them apart from their peers, with an emphasis on tight, vertical turns in the critical section of the wave, whilst Evi Tsape (Fanatic/NeilPryde) and Silvia Orozco (MFC) also impressed.
A welcome return to the heroic Karin Jaggi saw her pass Fanny Aubet (JP/NeilPryde) in the opening heat, whilst France’s Alice Arutkin (Starboard/North Sails) competed brilliantly against Waka Nishida.
The performances in the women’s wave fleet have left the discipline transformed beyond recognition. Monstrous jumps and radical wave riding have boosted the standard of competition to great new heights – a fact that all the competitors should be truly proud of.
And so, as competition enters its third day, all eyes are on the defending champions and the local stars that challenge them. With relentless winds and building swell throughout the week, this Canarian Coliseum will play host to the epic battles between the gladiators of the sport.
We will be following every intense second of action exclusively live at pwaworldtour.com, and it will be a pleasure to take you along for the ride of a lifetime.