The 2007 Costa Teguise Grand Slam - Day 2
Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North) strengthens his grip on the event lead after a nail-biting second single elimination final against Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) of Bonaire. Aruba’s Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) steals a crucial victory over reigning title holder Daida Moreno (North) in the women’s competition. Breaking waves in the course area prevented the Slalom event getting a green light.
No go for Slalom…
A frustrating morning saw some of the most epic surf-slalom conditions the PWA’s witnessed for years go unexploited as logo-high surf scuppered the crew’s ability to safely set a course.
Deep water offshore ruled a start out to sea impossible and the risk to the boats and their crews on the reef sections were just too much.
The decision to switch back to Freestyle was taken and the second single elimination got underway.
Single Elimination 2
The early rounds were furious and were perfect examples of just how high the modern PWA freestyle level is.
Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) and Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) were the early form players who advanced all the way to the finals from the first round to face top seeds Kiri Thode and ‘Gollito’ Estredo.
Browne’s path of destruction involved axing Leo Ray (Naish /Naish), yesterdays vengeful double elimination warrior Norman Gunzlein (JP / NeilPryde), and France’s Nicholas Akgazciyan (Starboard), before punishing Ruenes in the loser’s final.
Ruenes’ road to the finals was just as impressive. His remarkable climb through the ladder involved seizing the scalps of Tonky Frans (F2 / Gaastra), the first double elimination winner, and triple world champion Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde).
Breathlessly describing the vital win over Campello the youngster from the South of France said ‘I made so many awesome tricks against Ricardo – a one-handed shaka, a shaka-flaka, and a Pater. All these and a handful of others came off more perfectly than I could’ve ever imagined’
There was a better performance today from Lanzarote’s local hope Antxon Otaegui, who can boast confidently about his win over last season's runner-up Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails), of Bonaire. That sent him up against event leader Estredo in the quarter-finals.
However, the current world champ was just too much for the Spaniard to handle, with Estredo notching-up 176 out of a possible 180 points and registering perfect scores from 2 out of 3 judges – all with an injured ankle!
The final was tense to say the least, with many of the competitors watching it unable to make their minds up about who they thought had got it. Kiri’s pace was even more frantic than usual and Gollito so powerful and fluid, even they must have been close to using-up their entire repertoires. ‘I made all my moves and really enjoyed that final’ said Thode. ‘But, I think Gollito beat me because he made more combination moves’
Estredo couldn’t contain his enjoyment of the victory. ‘Earlier today I really hurt my ankle and I’ve been sailing on that all day and trying to ignore the pain. It’s swelling up nicely now so I’ll have some ice later, but for now I’m pretty high on it. I saw how busy Kiri was and I fell a few times too…he is so dangerous that way and can rack-up loads of points while you’re swimming because his work rate is so high’
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) consolidated her success from the first double elimination today by instantly beating Iballa Moreno (North). Nursing a damaged shoulder Moreno sailed bravely but just couldn’t match the new and improved style of her Gran Canarian neighbour.
Daida Moreno however had other ideas and spoiled Alonso’s party to secure her spot in the final.
Laure Treboux (Naish / Naish) was pipped to the post by Sarah-Quita Offringa in an action-packed semi final. Offringa was too technical for the Swiss girl, but Treboux let some steam off when she sealed third place in the loser’s final by punishing Alonso.
In similar conditions to yesterday’s final, Moreno predictably used the ramps to try and score extra points against Offering’s inventory of switch stance and technical, sliding tricks. Moreno fell a few times too many however in the choppy sections and the teenager from Aruba sailed steady and even made some higher jump tricks that she’s not usually renowned for.
Ever enthusiastic the charismatic young Caribbean star reflected on the tie ‘I really wanted this win. I did all the basics well and then worked my way to more technical stuff. I even made some big forwards which I’ve never done in heats before. I saw Daida had fallen a few times so that took the pressure off and relaxed me into finishing the job’
Skipper’s meeting tomorrow is at 10.00 and the plan is to run Slalom – hopefully through some breaking wave sections. With more swell and wind on the way we’re bound to see some classic racing yet.
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© PWA / Brian McDowell