The 2008 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Slam – Day Seven
Day Seven: Fifty knot wavesailing madness sees more competitors fall by the wayside in the double elimination.
Picking up the wave double elimination where it was left off, six more heats were completed before the waves backed off.
On form players
Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) killed it in his heat against Kevin Mevissen (RRD, RRD, MFC). In a return to form for the Brit, Swift dominated the heat with a precision display of huge backloops, a tabletop pushloop and a mad double forward loop.
Complimenting his aerial acrobatics, Swift also notched up one of the day’s highest scoring rides, picking off a set wave out the back, and mercilessly ripping it apart with powerful front and backside smacks.
Vidar Jensen (North Sails) gave a taste of things to come in his heat against Boujmaa Guilloul (Starboard, Severne, MFC). Unphased by the monstrous 50 knot gusts, Jensen landed all his jumps, and incredibly most were one handed.
Team mates Julien Taboulet (F2, Naish) and John Skye (RRD, Naish) had one of the closest battles of the day. Gathering momentum from victory in his previous heat, Skye entered the tussle with Taboulet on a high, but Taboulet was ripping.
The heat culminated with a both Taboulet and Skye throwing double forward loops to decide upon the winner. Taboulet touched his down with a cleaner landing, edging him ahead on the judges’ score sheets, and securing him the victory.
Another close call was Horrocks (JP, NeilPryde) versus Siver (Quatro, NeilPryde, MFC, Dakine). Siver held onto a marginal lead for the entire heat aided by huge back loops and tabletop forwards, only losing his grip on things when Horrocks landed a super clean double forward loop towards the end of the 12 minute bout.
Horrock’s double would prove to be controversial though, as he fell moments after landing it. Unsure if the move would count himself, Horrocks proceeded to pull another double out the bag. Sailing away from the move, this time Horrocks had done enough to sneak past Siver, and take the win.
Swift’s Crazy Heat
Taking on Alex Mussolini (RRD, NeilPryde) in heat 39, Robby Swift took part in the day’s most dramatic clash.
A poor sail size decision by Swift meant he had to change down a rig during the heat, leaving Mussolini free to rack up the points. Returning to the water, Swift then threw a huge double loop, snapping his mast on the landing. Again, Mussolini was left to capitalize on the situation with some solid riding and jumping. When Swift finally got another board and rig, he was only left a small window of time in which he had to score a waveride to defeat Mussolini. Here’s the account from the man himself.
Robby Swift: "I went out for the heat on a 4.0 thinking that I would be able to jump higher than Alex with that sail, but it was way too big, so I wasted the first few minutes on too big a sail. I came in and changed to the 3.7, which was much better, and allowed me to do a decent pushloop tabletop and a nice backloop. I also got a fairly solid waveride in, and then went for a double that I landed well, but broke the tip of the mast. Ross Williams came out to rescue me, again on my 4.0, and with all his clothes on, plus the car key in his pocket, which he lost! I will forgive him though, as I managed to get one more crucial wave ride, which allowed me to get through the heat. Alex was unlucky, he did 2 push table tops and 2 forwards, so he needed another jump to get through the heat.”
After six heats, the waves backed off, placing competition on standby for the remainder of the afternoon, and eventually postponing things until day eight.
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