The 2007 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam Event Preview
The PWA Tour Hits Fuerteventura
• Where? Rene Egli Windsurfing Centre Sotavento beach Fuerteventura
• When? July 20th -30th 2007
• Who? The worlds best Men’s and Women’s Freestylers and Slalom Racers (Slalom 20th through 25th and Freestyle 26th through 30th)
• How much? A monstrous €90,000 Prize fund
Fuerteventura is one of the most enduring fixtures on the PWA world tour with its history of epic contests stretching back over more than two decades. Tropical blue water and reliable wind allow intense competition for the beachside crowds to enjoy, plus, an enormous party tent has made Sotavento as a firm favourite amongst PWA competitors and spectators alike.
Giants of Slalom
All the most talented racers in the world will congregate at Sotavento to scrap for vital points in this the 5th slalom event of an historic year for PWA racing.
Men - Tour leader and 2006 World Champion Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) will line up against former world champion Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / NeilPryde) and 2005 world champion Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde). Also jostling for position you’ll see Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North) and the world’s fastest man Finian Maynard (F2 /NeilPryde), the 2006 Sotavento runner-up, amongst a fleet of ruthless competitors.
Women - Sotavento will also mark the opening of the women’s slalom series. Reigning champion Karin Jaggi (F2 / North) will fend-off stiff opposition from the likes of Valerie Ghibaudo (T1) the 2006 Sotavento runner-up, tour runner-up Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra), Italian race specialist Verena Fauster (F2 / Gaastra) and Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish), who’s currently defending second place overall for 2006.
There are newcomers to the women’s fleet too. Making her first appearance in PWA slalom since 1998 is Iballa Moreno (North) who also raced her way to a third overall in Super-X in 2006. Plus, Freestyle sensation Sarah-Quita Offringa will demonstrate the racing skills she picked-up as a youth competitor before she stunned the freestyle scene with her style and talent.
The PWA freestyle scene is the toughest fleet on earth, with surely the fastest developing standard of any sport? The level of ability required to compete is always rocketing skywards and even the first round heats will witness tricks reserved only for the finals of previous season’s contests.
Men - For the freestyle, the presence of current world freestyle champion, Venezuelan Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo, (Fanatic / North), the tour runner-up Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) of Bonaire and 3-times world champ Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde) will guarantee fireworks.
There’ll be further danger from 2006 runner-up Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails) and the incumbent world number 3, Canary Islander Antxon Otaegui (JP / NeilPryde) and many many more.
Women - In the women’s freestyle, Daida Moreno (North) will fight tooth and nail to defend her world title after victory in Gran Canaria. But Moreno won’t have it easy as she shares the tour lead with talented youngster, 16-yr old Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) of Aruba – the 2006 Sotavento winner.
Offringa and Moreno will have their work cut-out too from technical tricksters and freestyle specialist Laure Treboux (Naish / Naish), who was third overall in 2006 in her debut season. Swiss Surfeuse Treboux will certainly enjoy the conditions at Sotavento now that Iballa Moreno (North) and Daida Moreno are left without waves and super-strong winds to use to their advantages. One thing’s for sure – the battle to secure the women’s world title here is going to be more intense than ever.
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© PWA / Brian McDowell