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07/14/2009 - created by David Swift

Gran Canaria Grand Slam

Day 5: Albeau is pushed to the edge as the race for the podium heats up.

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) managed to hold firm under building pressure today, while competition between the top five has reached an all-time high. Williams and Pritchard battled for second, yet an upset in the final elimination left the door open for the brilliant Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails).

New challenges awaited the fleet at Pozo this morning, with a course format that favored the more technical sailor. A six-mark layout shortened the broad reaches and increased the pressure at the gybes, forcing a day of tight and unforgiving racing.

Cracks began to show in Albeau’s amour, as the current leader failed to impose himself upon the fleet in the early rounds. However, like a true champion, his great mental attitude stood up to the pressure, and the giant Frenchman dominated the final round, finishing the day with a well-deserved victory.

Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) started excellently under the new format, winning the day’s first elimination and finishing runner up in round two. At times, Maynard looked like the favorite, his tactical sailing and consistent speed giving him an advantage. However, a cynical run in with a pack of Moussilmani brothers on the final gybe of the semi final led to a very unlucky ending for Maynard. As he found himself in their dirty wind, all three Frenchmen passed him, pushing him out of a qualifying position, and out of the final.

The leader-board changed time and time again as Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) and Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) switched places after each round, with only one point separating them at all times. Williams’ luck unfortunately ran out when he suffered a crash after clipping his fin on the third buoy. This poor move by Williams handed Pritchard the lead, and pushed the Englishman down to fourth.

Throughout the event Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails), has continued to creep up on the leaders, waiting for his chance to strike. In a display of tactical awareness, Moussilmani took his chances, and a series of consistent finishes have led him to a well-deserved third.

Peter Volwater (F2/MauiSails) sailed brilliantly today, backing up a solid performance through the entire event with a win in the opening elimination. Diony Guadagnino (Hot Sails Maui, MFC) impressed everyone with his consistency and speed, whilst Steve Allen, Cedric Bordes (Tabou/Gaastra) and Benny Van Der Steen (Exocet/Simmer Style) all recorded impressive results.

There is a forecast of a swell building soon, and the wave fleet are keen to get back on the water. For now, the racers will have to stay focused as even the smallest mistake can have a dramatic affect on their overall result.

Join us again tomorrow as we continue the live coverage of the event, exclusively on www.pwaworldtour.com.

SLALOM
Results (after nine eliminations):
Antoine Albeau
Kevin Pritchard
Cyril Moussilmani
Ross Williams

WAVE:
Men's Single:
1 Phillip Köster
2 Victor Fernandez
3 Jonas Ceballos
4 Dario Ojeda

Women's Single:
1 Daida Ruano Moreno
2 Iballa Ruano Moreno
3 Nayra Alonso
4 Junko Nagoshi

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