The 2007 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Form Guide
Pozo’s unique conditions mean some sailors specialist skills either come into their own or go out the window. Often only the super natural prevail here as even the most basic skills are tested beyond belief along with equipment, nerve and focus. Here’s a review of some of the best names and their strengths and weaknesses over the 3 disciplines the event will run.
Hot Favorites Ready To Rumble In The Waves:
Josh Angulo: The current tour leader and former world champion is always hard to beat. Angulo’s swatted-down many young podium pretenders and is likely to stay dominant for some time yet.
Kauli Seadi (Quatro / Naish): The 2005 World Champion, and current tour runner-up. The first to complete the hottest stunt of the moment the ‘Seadi-Move’ – a Pushloop-into-forward Loop
Kevin Pritchard: The 2006 World Champion. It’s not the first time he’s won it either...
Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Simmer): Winner of the last event in Guincho, and last season’s Pozo winner. Rumour has it that in training Fernandez is on form and on fire.
Threatening Pozo Local’s:
Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Simmer) –Ninja kicking contortionist and expert rider in the unique Pozo surf.
Vidar Jensen (North) – Pulls flawless stalled, one-handed double forward loops.
Orjan Jensen (North) – A fun-loving character who’s brutal on the water
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (North) – The master. Any questions?
Dario Ojeda (Quatro / Gaastra) – Total lunatic. This guy has guts by the bucket load and isn’t afraid to fly high
Marcos Perez (Exocet) - Gran Canaria born and bred. Stylish smooth and sails a tactical heat with confidence.
In with a shout…
Nik Baker (Mistral / North): Consistent top 5 performer in any wave location
Scott McKercher (Starboard / Severne): 2004 World Champ and Pozo winner. They call him gramps but he still rips like a grom.
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) – Aerial wizard who’s pushing the envelope as a new generation blend freestyle into the wave. Watch out for his sick Shaka’s off the lip and amazing air-chacho’s
Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde) – Back from a string of serious injuries, one of which was sustained with a double forward at Pozo in 2006. Swifty has featured in the top 5 overall a couple of times now and is likely to bounce right back up there this season.
Peter Volwater (F2 / North) – A total all-rounder who loves Pozo and can go mad with his doubles.
Klaas Voget (Fanatic / NeilPryde) – Quite character who lets his sailing do the talking.
Alex Mussolini (JP / NeilPryde) – Another Spanish young gun who’s likely to top podiums in years to come.
Levi Siver (Starboard / NeilPryde) – Star wave rider who’ll love it if the swell forecast shows up on time
Boujmaa Guillol (Starboard / Severne) – Jumping genius who’s improving on port-tack every year. If Pozo was on his favoured side he’d probably take the title.
Outside Bets, aerial madmen and new young talent...
Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne) – Young Western Australian with a mature and powerful style.
Philip Koster (Starboard/ Severne) won the junior event last year and makes this his second Senior event aged just 13
Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde) – 3 times freestyle world chap who’s climbing the wave rankings. Throws doubles on the way back to the beach in Pozo....
Phil Horrocks (JP / NeilPryde) – Dangerous British secret agent.
Regis Bouron - An aerial psychopath. This Frenchman who lived in Pozo for several seasons and doesn’t seem to care for his safety in the air.
Xavier Huart – Has no fear. Master of the double loop and the backside 360.
Iballa Moreno (North): The reigning world wavesailing champion. Stylish, smooth and a real favorite if the surf is good.
Daida Moreno (North): The current tour leader, last year’s Pozo champion. Pulls Pushloop table tops, doubles and more tricks than most of the men.
Karin Jaggi: The 2006 season runner-up and 2nd placed wave sailor at Pozo last year.
Junko Nagoshi (F2 / Simmer) – Professional and competitive. Never an easy opponent in any discipline.
Anne-Marie Reichmann (Naish /Naish) – Experienced and tactical. No pushover and a port tack specialist.
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) – Gran Canaria local who knows the place like the back of her hand. Good in the air and the waves. Ultra competitive and hungry for glory.
Silvia Alba – An aggressive and powerful style. She’s a fierce and ambitious competitor.
Uli Holzl - Another pro who loves port tack and prevails in bigger waves.
Yoli De Brendt (Fanatic / North) – Freestyle specialist who’s steadily improving each season.
Daida Moreno (North) – She’s bound to make podium here in the wavier conditions that suit her power move style.
Laure Treboux (Naish / Naish) – Probably has the best chance of the new wave of girls talent to perform a mix of flat-water and wave –oriented tricks.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) -
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) – Powerful and at really at home in the strong winds here. She can mix modern tricks with classic jumps.
Silvia Alba – Another solid Spanish talent who sails out of her skin in the contest environment. Despite not having all the latest tricks in her book Silvia will never go down without a fight – especially if it’s super-windy.
Iballa Moreno (North) – struggled in the lighter and flatter conditions in Lanzarote and is carrying an injury. Nevertheless no-one will want to have her in the draw here in her own backyard
Junko Nagoshi (F2 / Simmer) – Junko’s consistent and doesn’t fall much. She’s happy in any strength of wind and will love it if it’s lumpy.
Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) – all the smart money’s on Antoine. He took 11 from 12 wins here last year and virtually sealed his 2006 title. Stuttered at the start of 2007 in lighter wind and has played a sensible consistent game since to recapture the tour lead. He won’t play it safe here and will aim to put distance between him and the other podium candidates.
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) – If the surf’s up Kevin will put his technical skills to work, but he’ll play this one safe and not push the starts. Back on form after a glitch in Spain, he’s back in the frame and knows what it’ll take to stay at the top.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North) – Another player who’ll love the hometown advantage and stronger winds. Dunkerbeck surrendered his lead last week in Lanzarote as soon as the wind meter readings fell. Team North will also want to avoid the slap in the face they suffered here at sail development HQ in 2006.
Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) – Quietly going about his business Micah’s stealthily snuck into second overall. He’s overdue an event win but tends to find form late in the season. Bulked-up for this years heavyweight-oriented Pozo racing you can sense he’s making a run for the title a lot earlier this year. If he finds focus form and confidence he may well be unstoppable.
Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic /North) – Loves the longer distance courses and stays consistently in the finals. With Pozo likely to see full-fleet and half-fleet starts over longer courses he may come into contention.
Pieter Bijl (fanatic / NeilPryde) – Gutsy and strong Bijl hold his own with those much heavier than himself. If he can concentrate and keep his disqualification count down he’ll be a major contender.
Finian Maynard (F2 / NeilPryde) - 110+ kilos of raw speed and ruthless racing ability. As the world speed record holder he’s no slouch and will love it if the wind machine turns up to the max.
Peter Volwater (F2 / North) – Pete’s having a great season and knows Pozo well. He’ll have his hands full as he’s in the wave event too but the Dutchman will roll his sleeves up and get stuck in.
Jimmy Diaz (F2 / North) – Head tester for North sails here in Gran Canaria Diaz hardly ever fails to make a final. A sensible and tactical racer he’ll perform in lighter or stronger winds alike.
Arnon Dagan (Fanatic / NeilPryde) – Rocket fast but capable of losing his attention and underperforming. Dagan came into form near the end of the Lanzarote event and may carry momentum from there to here.
Ben van der Steen (Exocet / Naish) – Ben’s gaining consistency this season and has no problems with speed. Being on the heavier side he’ll love it here and will want to preserve his top 10 status.
Patrik Diethelm (F2 / North) – missed last event but another strong wind aficionado. As F2’s shaper he knows the gear inside out.