2001 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam Day 4
It’s smokin’ here on the beach at the Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam. Relentless winds have been blowing throughout the day gusting at times over 45 knots. Nineteen ballistic heats of the men’s double elimination were completed before competition was abandoned when the waves dropped on the outgoing tide.
The advancing pack of sailors who have survived through the double elimination today were local Jonas Ceballos (Proof, Gaastra) Orjan Jensen (Proof, North) Josh stone (JP, Neil Pryde) Tristan Boxford (Fanatic, North) Julian Taboulet (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde). Two more heats remain undecided in the third round, France’s Thierry Belbeoch (Naish) versus Dutch sailor Eric Troosthiede (Mistral, North) and Diony Gaudagnino (JP, Neil Pryde) from Venezuela against local Spaniard Juan Enrique (Simmer). These sailors will be facing the big guns tomorrow when action continues. The likes of Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof, Neil Pryde), Nik Baker (Mistral, North) and Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows) are all on standby to defend their positions when the time arises!
The fight back through the double elimination can be tough! Especially when you have to battle your way through heat after heat maxed out on your smallest sail. Today it was all about staying in control and nailing those landings. Several sailors busted out enormous jumps only to have the sail ripped from their hands upon impact. Judges score lowly for uncompleted moves! Nuking, smoking, out of control, ballistic...you can call it what you like but the conditions today were brutal and as tough as they get for windsurfing!
Local hot shot Jonas Cabellos is rated as one of the most naturally talented sailors to emerge from the cauldron of talent here in Pozo. Cabellos suffered an early exit in the single elimination at the hands of Pierrick Wattez (Neil Pryde, Bic) of France. He nearly went down again in his first heat toady against Italian sailor, Danielle Saglietti. Upon landing a back loop in the early seconds of his heat, the outhaul broke on his sail leaving Cabellos in dire trouble. The young Spaniard was forced to make emergency repairs on the beach and recovered in time to salvage the situation. Cabellos went on to take out Australian sailor Steve Allen, (Gaastra, Fanatic) and Cyril Moussilmani (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France. He now has a chance of revenge when he faces Pierrick Wattez in the next round of the double.
The Stone brothers had to go head to head this morning. Brotherly love was soon forgotten once they took to the water. It was clear that they were both desperately fighting for survival! Despite a concerted effort from his younger brother Jason Stone (Gaastra) it was Josh (JP, Neil Pryde) who came out victor in a hard fought battle. Josh Stone now faces a tough draw against ex- world champ Kevin Pritchard in the next round.
At the moment the Gran Canaria flags which line the beach here in Pozo are beginning to fray. The vicious winds, which have been blowing constantly for the last three days, are literally tearing them from their poles. The harsh winds have been taking their toll! Many sailors are tired, aching and suffering from exposure to the constant sun. There is no change in the forecast…more ballistic winds for the rest of the week! Its anybody’s guess who will be the winners here in Gran Canaria but the stage is already set for an epic climax to the competition!
Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows)
"It’s bloody windy out there. I am going to take it easy today. I have not even got my feet wet. I am saving my energy for the double elimination"
Francisco Goya (Fanatic, Arrows)
"It’s nuking’ out there. It must be 40 knots plus! Yesterday I could not let it go! I played it too conservative and was holding back. I am going to go for it in the double elimination that’s for sure. I have a few tricks up my sleeve if the waves get bigger tomorrow!"
Josh Angulo (RRD)
"The wind has got stronger today! The surf went down, I think the wind turned more side-shore and blew it flat. I am sure going to try my darndest in the double elimination. Myself is usually my main competitor, that’s who I have to beat!"