Fuerteventura Grand Slam

Day 8: The calm before the storm. A day of no wind gives the World Champions some breathing space.

The current World Champions Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic/North Sails/MFC) and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) were given a day of rest today, after a calm afternoon in the Canaries.

A harsh heat overwhelmed the event site today, as the blustery trades refused to blow. Sotavento beach was transformed into the stereotypical holiday destination – families playing on the beach, and thousands of tourists lazing in the sun. The perfectly clear turquoise waters looked inviting, as they lapped along the white sandy beach.

The competitors passed the time playing football, swimming and relaxing, always keeping one eye on the wind line that refused to strengthen. After a great double elimination yesterday, the current results leave the defending champions as two clear leaders.

Back in the competitor’s tent, the 2007 Freestyle World Champion, Marcillo Browne (Fanatic/North Sails/MFC), took some time out to talk to us about his performance so far, and his hopes for the rest of the year:

PWA: How do you feel things have gone for you in Freestyle this year?

“Not so good unfortunately, I think I have had one of my worst years on tour [PWA: Note he is currently in fourth overall!]. I have been a bit disappointed with my results: in the single elimination I have been sailing brilliantly, either winning or coming second, but in the double I don’t know if I’m nervous or just get unlucky some times.”

“I have trained really hard this year, and I know I can do all the moves, but for sure the competition has improved, so maybe that adds pressure.”

PWA: The new judging criteria are very strict – do you stick to a routine, and how do you cope if you fall on your early tricks?

“Yeah, I try to stick to a routine, but to get through the final heats, I always try to get two big moves at the beginning. This can sometimes work two ways – if they go well, you will usually win, but if you fall it means you can only make one more mistake.”

“There are also times when you can’t stick to a routine if there is a wave where you want to do a trick. I had that against Tonky, and I ended up being forced into the lighter down wind area, which cost me the heat.”

PWA: There are rumors of a new video coming out soon that stars yourself and your team riders, can you tell us any more about that?

I’ve been working with [Andre] Paskowski, and he is doing an incredible job making his new film Four Dimensions. It uses loads of new camera angles and editing techniques, and everyone so far has been super supportive. I can’t say too much about it, but there will be more news after this event. I can tell you that we (Browne, Estredo, Fernandez and Paskowski) have filmed in Cape Verde, Maui, Egypt, Pozo, Fuerte and we are going to Brazil next week, so watch this space…”

PWA: You had a very good result in Cabo Verde earlier in the year – does this mean that you may shift your focus more towards waves in the future?

“I have always said that waves are my favorite discipline. Cabo Verde is one of the best places I have ever sailed, and I was super happy to do well there. I think it is very hard to do well in two disciplines, so at the moment I have to concentrate on both, whilst the best guys just focus on one. I hope in the future to really push my wave sailing, but for now I will continue to focus on doing my best in each one”

PWA: Your brother is beginning to do well in slalom – is there any chance that you will take that up as well?

No Way! (Laughs) I had a couple of sails on his gear, and after one run my shins were hurting so bad, I had to sail back to the beach!

Thanks to Brawzinho for that, we wish him all the best in the remainder of the contest, and hope that he will get the chance to fight for the top spot if the wind returns.

A final note must be added to address a mistake in yesterday’s press release: An injustice was served to Nayra Alonso (Fanatic/Severne), who had an outstanding performance yesterday, finishing in fourth place. Unfortunately, the published results were inaccurate at the time of going to press, and she was not credited with this great achievement. We apologize to Nayra, and wish her every success in the remainder of the competition.

For now, we have to play the waiting game. The forecasts are giving mixed opinions, so we will just have to keep our fingers crossed for wind tomorrow. The sailors are itching to get back on the water, and the crowds are excited to see more action.

Please join us again tomorrow for live event coverage, amazing photos and inspiring video footage, exclusively from www.pwaworldtour.com.


Jose Estredo
Tonky Frans
Marcillo Browne
Steven Van Broeckhoven

Sarah Quita Offringa
Daida Ruano Moreno
Yoli Freites De Brendt
Nayra Alonso

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