PWA Pozo Grand Prix
A return of the relentless winds in Pozo allowed for a full day of sensational world tour competition with a single elimination completed for both the men’s and women’s fleets, and the first two rounds of the double down for the men. Competitors were maxed on 4.5s early in the morning enabling the competition to start on schedule at 09:30, and run right through to the early evening.
King Of Pozo
Three times Pozo champion, Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC) stole the show from local lad, and 2009 Pozo champion, Philip Köster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine) in an epic showdown of world-class talent.
Fernandez flew through his early round heats taking the scalp of many past world champions, including the former overall world champion, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine) in the third round. Top contender from Tenerife, Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne) who put up an excellent fight, and was on fire busting out his trademark one handed back loops with copious amounts of style, but couldn’t quite match Fernandez’s double forwards. He then beat fellow team mate, and former freestyle world champion, Marcilio Browne (Fanatic, North), who’s riding was no match for Fernandez, before going on to meet Köster in the final.
Köster’s jumping wowed the crowds throughout the day, with whoops and cheers coming from every angle when he launched into orbit. His stalled doubles were some of the most impressive jumps ever seen in world cup competition, making him without doubt the standout jumper of the day. However, in the final he failed to match the insane jumps that had pulled him through his heats earlier in the day, and Fernandez was almost on a par with huge faultless doubles of his own. Fernandez was also milking waves for all they’re worth, flying round 360s, and adding takas with ease. Köster almost caught up, and could have claimed the final if only he’d nailed some technical turns along with his awesome double taka, allowing Fernandez to claim the crown on the narrowest of victories with a 3-2 decision.
Standouts Of The Single
Aside from Fernandez and Köster, there were plenty of other sailors that showed real promise throughout the early rounds. The first of these was Jonas Ceballos (Mistral, Simmer) who took down the young hotshot Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic, North) by sailing a calculated heat, timing the waves to perfection in order to bust out his best moves in the right conditions. Stillrich had moments of glory, but Ceballos’s experience shone through and won it for him.
Britain’s Ben Proffitt (Simmer) was the next sailor to perform to an exceptional standard. He took down Frenchman Jules Denel (Exocet) after a display of port tack prowess, to go head to head with former wave world champion, Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC). Many thought that this would be the end of Proffitt’s game in Pozo, but the Brit hit it hard and destroyed the Brazilian sensation. To be fair, Seadi’s day didn’t start off in the best manner, being stopped by the police on the way to the beach. He then failed to perform to his usual high standard, and an on form Proffitt took full advantage. Following that heat, Proffitt almost took down Köster too with a 2-1 decision favouring the Pozo champ. Watch out for Proffitt in the double!
Experienced local ripper, Dario Ojeda (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine, MFC) sailed past a whole host of locals with some amazingly consistent wave scores and incredible jumps, before stepping it up a notch further in the quarter-finals to beat the 2009 Sylt Wave Champion, Alex Mussolini (Tabou, Vandal). Ojeda lost to Koster in the semi-finals, but then went on to take the scalp of the Brazilian, Browne in the loser’s final to claim a well-deserved 3rd place.
The next sailor to turn heads on the beach was former freestyle world title holder, and triple loop dare devil, Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC). Within the first 30 seconds of his heat he’d racked up two of the highest jumping scores of the day. You couldn’t start a heat in a more perfect way.
Last Chance Saloon
With plenty of wind, the single in the bag, and a promising forecast for Friday, head judge, Duncan Coombs decided to get straight on with the double elimination, which gives every sailor a chance to make up for their previous mistakes.
Those making amends included three times freestyle world champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) who finally found himself a wave board, and with it some riding skills to go alongside his already awesome jumps. He’s passed through the first rounds and will now meet Klaas Voget (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC) tomorrow morning.
Another freestyler to break through in the double so far is Lanzarote local, Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde) whose awesome two scoops have seen him climbing the ranks. Eleazar Alonso (Naish, Naish) also stood out, showing off his excellent riding skills as well as some impressive jumping to advance to the final 16. And, finally Seadi found some form to fight through a few heats and go on to fight another day. If he starts to bust out his trademark push loop forwards, he could go all the way to the top. Only time will tell…
Queen Of Pozo
The undisputed champion of Pozo, Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard, Severne) took women’s wave sailing to yet another level today when she hit the water. Huge one handed back loops, and seriously tweaked table top push loops helped her to steal the show from anyone who dared get in the way. The only sailor to really challenge her was twin sister, Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard, Severne) who shared the limelight of the single elimination final with her. Iballa had the ability to bust out some awesome back loops, and link together some great backside aerials with frontside smacks, but Daida’s wave selection was far superior, racking up the points early on when the biggest sets came through. If the forecast is correct for tomorrow, and the women get to sail their double, it’ll be interesting to see if Iballa can steal her twin’s crown.
Standouts Of The Single
Steffi Wahl (Gaastra) showed plenty of promise during her heats with some excellent forward loops, and great wave scores to finish 5th equal in the single. Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne) also had some of the most stylish riding of the day, with some outstanding frontside hits that were second to none to claim 4th. And, the fearless competitor, Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne) closed the gap on the Moreno’s with some huge forwards, and push loops to take the final podium position.
1st Victor Fernandez (Fanatic, North, MFC)
2nd Philip Köster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine)
3rd Dario Ojeda (Tabou, Simmer, Dakine, MFC)
4th Marcilio Browne (Fanatic, North, MFC)
5th = Marcos Perez (Exocet, Gun)
5th = Alex Mussolini (Tabou, Vandal)
5th = Dany Bruch (Patrik, Severne)
5th = Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC)
1st Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard, Severne)
2nd Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard, Severne)
3rd Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne)
4th Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne)
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