The 2007 Costa Teguise Grand Slam - Day 5
Forecasts suggested today might be the last suitable day for freestyle so no time was wasted in kicking it into gear
Single Elimination 3
Quite a few players fought hard to make a run for glory today but the top names prevailed in the end.
Tonky Frans (F2 / Gaastra) strung 4 good heats together but eventually lost out to world champion Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North) in the semi’s before beating Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) in the loser’s final. ‘I don’t know why I’ve had such a bad event so far’ commented Tonky. ‘At last today I found a way to relax and felt more like myself and reached the standard I got to with my training – I trained so hard before the event but couldn’t believe how badly I sailed the first few rounds’
Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) brushed everyone he came across aside until ‘Gollito’ Estredo once more became his nemesis in the final.
Evi Tsape of Greece caused an upset early on in the women’s by knocking-out Iballa Moreno (North).
However Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) and Daida Moreno (North) still prevailed and met in the final.
On this occasion, in another game of tit-for-tat, Offringa took the honours and the advantage for the double elimination showdown.
Local hero Antxon Otaegui, who finished 3rd overall in 2006, launched an assault on the finals and a double elimination fight back through the ladder. Brawzinho eventually shut the door on his hopes after a solid 4 heat dash. ‘Well I wish I’d changed-up to a bigger sail for that last heat’ said Otaegui. The conditions got lighter later in the day and I struggled to make anything of my tie against Brawzinho’
Browne seemed happy with his days work ‘I was really happy with today and comfortable with my gear. The event’s not been that good for me so far, especially as I’ve been focused on waves so far this season, so to make a recovery like this in freestyle feels nice. I was happiest with my heat against Tonky as I really had to try my hardest – but, I probably sailed my best against Brawzinho’
Super-positive Kiri didn’t seem disappointed with the outcome ‘I just always sail to have fun’ he smiled. ‘The single elimination was really good as we both enjoyed it, and the double elimination final was probably more my conditions but I was relaxed about it as I knew Gollito sort of had the event in the bag and so I just sailed without pressure’
Gollito admitted he was worried for a while. ‘Yeah the light wind suited Kiri and I was worried I wouldn’t get the chance to bust-out my trademark moves. But I made some great stuff like a Funnel Puneta Diablo, the burner and more things I was surprised to land in those conditions’
Relaxed as ever, Kiri went out free-sailing just like he did in the heats for a couple of hours after competition!
The top 3 rider’s in the women’s event seem to relentlessly rise to the top. Laure Treboux (Naish / Naish) found Daida Moreno too much of a handful in the concluding heats and just couldn’t book a place in the final.
With an equal first to resolve, Offringa and Moreno headed out to battle. Offringa immediately looked to be struggling in the patchy conditions as Moreno racked-up the points. That meant there had to be a re-sail under the double elimination system.
The re-sail caused some controversy. Opinion on the beach was split over who they thought had edged it, but the judges were unanimous by a 5-0 decision.
‘Wooohooo! I went out relaxed for the re-sail even though it was the one thing I’d tried to avoid’ whooped Offringa. ‘In the first final I was late and didn’t start upwind enough and couldn’t get the clean wind and smoother parts of the course for moves. Daida was in the right places and got all the tricks in that I couldn’t manage. For the re-sail, once I had accepted I might lose it made me loosen up and I made some sick moves – Grubbies, E-Sliders, a flaka, Puneta and a switch chacho. I didn’t see much of her during the heat and I ended up pretty far downwind away from the tower, but luckily the jury saw my good moves at the end of the 5 minutes’
Daida was visibly upset. She’d sailed a solid heat with a host of stylish and technical moves – flaka’s high jumps, clew-first spocks and more, all right in front of the judges and spectators. One thing is for sure - the next showdown in Pozo is set to be a cracker with scores like this to settle.
Event standings after 3 double eliminations
1. Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North)
2. Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
3. Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde)
1. Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde)
2. Daida Moreno (North)
3. Laure Treboux
Forecasts for tomorrow are for slightly lighter winds but are still positive for competition. The plan is to start with Slalom.
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© PWA / Brian McDowell