The 2006 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam Day Six
The early heats of the men’s single elimination were stacked with talent, and it really was true to say that there were no easy heats. Even so, the first signs of upsets ahead came when Kiri Thode (NB-61 Gaastra / Starboard) knocked out established competitor Remko de Weerd (H-23 Gaastra / Fanatic). 16 yr old Thode, seen regularly pulling triple flaka’s in free sailing, has competed on the PWA for the past few years, but it seems off season training has really paid off. Thode then went on to take an even bigger scalp when he out-sailed Douglas Diaz (V-34, Fanatic / North). As if this was not enough for the young Bonaire hotshot, he stunned the crowds by beating top class competitor Victor Fernandez (E-42 Fanatic / Simmer) to book his place in the semi-final.
Further upset came when young Brazilian Marcilio Browne (BRA-105, Naish/ Naish) beat his friend and training partner Kauli Seadi (BRA-253, Quatro/ Naish) - 3rd overall in freestyle in 2005. As if that wasn’t enough, next to fall was reigning, and three times world freestyle champion Ricardo Campello (V-111, JP/ Neil Pryde). He fell to a solid performance from Tonky Frans, who pulled nearly every trick out of the bag in the difficult, choppy conditions. Campello fell a lot trying technical moves in the rougher sections of the competition area, leaving Frans to advance all the way to the final.
The other finalist was Jose ‘Golito’ Estredo, who’d advanced easily from the early rounds before living up to recent promise as he beat Taty Frans (NB-9, Starboard/ MauiSails) for a semi-final place. In that semi he ended Thode’s hopes of advancing any further, with the highest number of tricks on a heat sheet for the day!
In the ladies competition the absence of Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2/ North Sails) meant that two recent high performers, Sara-Quita Offringa, and Laure Treboux (SUI-4 Naish / Naish) met each other in the second round. Offringa looked dangerous as she made more moves in the choppy conditions and her diversity of tricks, on both port and starboard tack, earned her a slot in the semi-final against Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral / North Sails). Once more Offringa showed superior skill with a range of switch stance moves, flaka’s and shuvit’s. Daida Moreno advanced easily to the final after convincing wins in the first two rounds.
Moreno started the final badly, crashing a spock and then also failing to complete several other tricks as Offringa pulled a clean spock, a flaka and a shuvit. Offringa did fall a couple of times but Moreno was uncharacteristically inconsistent, and despite a great flaka, and a one handed spock, was falling too much and struggling with the lack of smooth water, just as many of the top-seeded men did. A unanimous decision from the judges gave the young Aruban a most deserved victory.
The men’s final showed a mind blowing standard despite the lack of flat water for sliding tricks. Frans made all the usual spock combinations, flaka’s and a shaka, but raised the bar with an E-Slider Diablo, air flaka and a one handed switch-stance Chacho Diablo. But Estredo had other ideas, and landed a ‘Burner’ – a funnel ponch, a Goyter, and a Gozzada. The score sheets were pretty equal on style, but Estredo’s scores were higher for Diversity and technical skill giving him a unanimous 5 – 0 victory among the judges.
The word on the beach before today was that Estredo could take the event win this season. Today has certainly proven just how dangerous he is, but no-one is writing off Ricardo Campello just yet and, as the early heats of the double elimination have started, all eyes tomorrow morning will be on whether the 3 times world champion will fight his way back through. There’s also the danger of a resurgent Daida Moreno who will be guaranteed to come out with all guns blazing tomorrow. With a possible four double eliminations possible this week, who knows what could happen yet?
To find out, please check www.pwaworldtour.com throughout tomorrow for live updates and news.
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