The 2007 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Day 7
On the schedule today was the completion of the first double elimination of the men’s and women’s events. The water state was much flatter than on previous days and the wind much more offshore then we’ve seen so far during the competition.
The plan was also to start the second single eliminations but sadly the wind shut down later in the day, and disrupted competition by being so gusty due to obstructions upwind.
Men’s Double Elimination 1
The first heat contained drama from the start with Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) of Bonaire preventing reigning world champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) staging any form of backlash through the ladder. The youngster beat the Venezuelan comprehensively in the lighter flatter conditions that must have reminded him of his Caribbean home spot of Lac Bay.
Also paired in that heat were Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde) and Colin Sifferlen (Starboard / Simmer). Campello dominated in the fluky wind around the competition area and scraped a narrow victory in a close fought encounter.
All eyes were then on Campello and Thode to see which one might be able to launch an offensive on the final four. Thode surprisingly struggled at the start of his heat and rapidly ended-up in the downwind part of the course area, meaning some of his movies could not be counted. Campello was consistent and upwind, but the time Thode was in the zone was spent landing a barrage of combination moves and air tricks.
The decision was predictably close and it was the former world youth freestyle champion Thode who took the win and ended Campello’s ambitions on a crack at the final.
Thode’s run at the top gained some momentum when Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) became his next victim. The wind was really strong in the gusts and outside the course, but was choppy and light on the inside near the flatter surfaces for sliding tricks.
An all-Bonaire match was next on the agenda when Thode took on his friend, rival and Gaastra Team mate Tonky Frans (F2 / Gaastra). Tonky’s power moves were hard to pull outside in the chop and it was probably too light for him on the inside. Frans still had some impressive and higher tricks scored which were smoother and more powerful than many of Thode’s replies, but youth won-trhough and Kiri moved on to the next stage against single elimination runner-up Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) of France.
Featherweight Thode prevailed through the lulls landing a Funnel and a double Spock into gecko, whilst Traversa struggled a little in the lighter wind. Traversa drifted pretty far downwind before springing back with a high shaka and a clew first flaka. The judges certainly had their work cut-out but it was Thode’s time once again to make the final and to apply pressure on single elimination winner Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra).
The conditions in the final once again favoured Thode and he predictably racked up the points as Browne stuttered and frequently fell. No-one was surprised to see Thode had won after he’d clearly outscored windsurfing's much-hyped sensation. Under the double elimination format that meant there had to be a re-sail to break the tie, and so after a short break they headed-out to do battle for a final time.
Browne was a hundred percent more active in his heat and the crowds certainly appreciated the action close to the beach. He got the nod from the judging panel and sealed a famous victory that justified the hype that surrounds him as a force of the future.
The overjoyed young Brazilian described how he won the heat for us. ‘In the first final I started really badly. The wind was offshore and it was hard to stay upwind or find any flat sections. In the re-sail I made sure that I started really upwind and was lucky to make Gozzadas on both tacks, a Cana Brabu, a Funnel, a Clew-first Shuvit-Spock and a Burner. I also made all my basic moves, plus a Slider-Diablo and all the regular Spocks and Flaka’s. I’m so stoked to have won. I knew it would be hard to beat Kiri when it’s flat and gusty. My sponsors never pressure me and recently I’ve been nervous about not doing as well as this. So, I’ve tried to just work on making all my basic moves and things I know I can pull-off before I try new stuff and risk falling. Focusing on being consistent is what’s made a difference and that’s how I’ll be approaching the rest of this event’
Women’s Double Elimination 1
Yoli De Brendt (Fanatic /North) made a breakthrough in the women’s double elimination when she beat Iballa Moreno (North) for a shot against the final four contenders.
De Brendt loved the flatter conditions which were similar to her home spot in El Yaque, Venezuela. Margarita's top female competitor showed us a full range of switch tricks and jumps to earn a tie against Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) of Gran Canaria.
All in all Alonso stuck a solid 4-heat streak together today beating Junko Nagoshi (F2 / Simmer), De Brendt and Silvia Alba before she finally fell exhausted at the hands of Laure Treboux (Naish / Naish). ‘I managed to put all the moves today’ she explained. ‘Forwards, planing spocks, grubbies plus all the usual stuff. I was a bit scared in the morning as all the girls here can beat anyone on their day, but I was in a really good state of mind this morning. Against Laure I lost it though. All the concentration I had was gone and I just wasn’t in the same zone. Tiredness really affected me and I crashed more or less everything I tried in that heat’
Treboux revelled in the flat parts of the course pulling clew first Spocks, Puneta’s, e-sliders and grubbies. After beating Alonso she challenged single elimination runner-up Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde).
Initially the heat went Treboux’s way. She completed an E-Slider, a Clew-first Puneta and a Grubby whilst Offringa completed a Flaka an E-slider and a Puneta too. Most people expected her to go for the Switch cChacho too but time ran out and the judges deemed she’d done enough to make the final against Daida Moreno (North)
The final opened up at a frightening pace. Both girls opened with one-handed Spocks and Moreno launched full pelt into high speed Flaka and a Clew-first Spock. Sticking to the windier parts of the course her assault continued. An E-slider 540, a forward, and a one-footed forward all added to the sliding tricks and spelt disaster for Offringa who could only reply with a flaka and sketchier switch moves compared to her usual high standards. A unanimous decision from the judges awarded the 2006 champion the victory eliminating the need for a re-sail.
The first round of the second single elimination was started but abandoned as the wind was just too light to continue. Instead, during the odd gust along the shoreline, the competitors entertained the crowds by coming at full speed into the super-shallow water to twist Goytas, Wymerooos and much much more off the tiny waves lapping at the shore.
The first possible start is set for 11.00 from when you’re welcome to join us at www.pwaworldtour.com to follow the action with our live event ticker, daily news summaries, video footage, awesome photo galleries, online elimination ladders and more!
Or, for more information contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org
©PWA / Brian McDowell