The 2003 Pozo Gran Canaria, PWA, Grand Slam Day 1
Norwegian wild flyer Vidar Jensen (North) has taken first blood in the men’s single elimination here at the PWA, Gran Canaria, Grand Slam. In nuclear winds gusting over 40 knots Jensen defeated ex world champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) in the men’s final in near perfect Pozo conditions. British sailor, Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) was the only non-local sailor in the top four and took the third place today ahead of Canarian young gun Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic). In the women’s wave single elimination Daida Moreno (Mistral, North) once again produced the goods on her home waters and took victory after a thrilling battle with her sister Iballa Moreno (Mistral, North). Swiss sailor Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) scooped third place after defeating Spanish local Nayra Alonso in the losers final.
Action kicked off shortly after ten this morning in solid forty knots of wind and 2-4 foot waves. With the tide on the push through until early afternoon the conditions were ideal for radical wave action and balls to the wall rocket airs.
Vidar Jensen was on formidable form throughout the day, especially with his aerials moves, which included huge back loops, one handed double forwards, Crazy Pete’s and tweaked out table tops. His road through to the final was tough but his radical jumps were instrumental in his victories against Chris Audsley (Fanatic), Robert Teriiteahau (North), Peter Volwater (F2, Arrows) Xavier Huart (Mistral, North) and Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde).
On the other side of the draw, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) also had a difficult route to the final and had to pull out all the stops in his heats against Douglas Diaz (North, Fanatic), Mads Bjorna (Gaastra), Marcos Perez, Jason Polakow (JP, Neil Pryde) and Jonas Ceballos (Gaastra, Fanatic). Dunkerbeck nailed some of the hottest wave manoeuvres today including backside and frontside wave 360’s and some gauging frontside carves.
The men’s final saw both sailors step on the gas. Although best of friends off the water, when it comes to competition it’s a different story. With ranking points and prize money at stake the battle was intense right down to the red flag. A lull in the sets seemed to be causing Dunkerbeck more problems than Jensen as the ex world champ failed to find any steep ramps to launch into his trademark monster one handed back loops. Jensen meanwhile found suitable waves to propel himself into some sick one handed forwards and massive back loops. With the heat reaching the closing seconds it could have gone either way. Jensen looked like he had the advantage in the jump section but Dunkerbeck had racked up some solid wave rides. Once again Dunks failed to find a decent ramp for what he had in mind whilst Vidar hit an outside blow delivered the final knockout punch in the shape of a one handle double forward which he landed in water start position. After an intense wait for the result, the judges were unanimous with their decision and Jensen took the win with a 5-0 decision.
Australia’s, Scott Mckercher (Starboard) managed to keep his cool this morning in his head to head against women’s world champ, Daida Moreno’s (Mistral, North). Gramps, as he is known amongst fellow sailors delivered a powerful performance in the screaming winds whilst Moreno struggled to hang on to her 3.2m and failed to make an impact. Mckercher then defeated fellow Starboard team-mate, Ty Bodycoat in his next heat before losing to Robby Swift in the third round.
Last years winner here in Pozo, Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard) went down in the third round after losing to French sailor Xavier Huart (Mistral, North). Xavier pulled off a clean double and a monster table top forward in defeating Pritchard who struggled to find the waves to deliver his key moves.
Jonas Ceballos and Robby Swift were the outstanding younger generation sailors in the fleet today. Jonas stormed through his heats on route to the losers final with some massive back loops, stalled forwards and tweaked out ninja table tops. His scalps included the likes of Josh Angulo and Matt Pritchard (Gaastra) until the might and experience of Dunkerbeck to finally put pay to his campaign in the semi final. Swift meanwhile cashed in from his two months of Gran Canaria training and won vital heats against Kauli Seadi, Scottie Mckercher and Orjan Jensen with a display, which included double forwards, table top forwards and monster push loops.
The women’s competition here today boiled down to a scintillating final between the Moreno sisters, Daida and Iballa both riding for Mistral and North. After competing against the men, Daida returned to ‘business as usual’ and fought her way through to the final with an impressive display of radical jumps and aggressive wave rides. Iballa, was on the tougher side of the draw and courageously fought her way through heats against Anne Marie Reichman (Naish) and Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows). The final was a close run affair with both sisters playing for pole position in the opening round. Despite some massive forward loops and tweaked table tops from Iballa, Daida managed to clinch victory due to her more aggressive wave riding, which included a one handed aerial in the dying seconds of the final.
The forecast for tomorrow is for more nuclear winds so it looks like we will be straight into the wave double elimination following skippers meeting at 9.30am. Stay tuned for all the news, pictures and results from Gran Canaria the windiest, wildest and most radical event on the PWA world tour.
VIDAR JENSEN (North)
I did not really see what Bjorn did, I just knew I sailed a pretty decent heat. I am probably the happiest man in Pozo right now, maybe the happiest man on the whole island. I have had a great day, it has been perfect. It has been a few years now since my last victory and it feels really good to be back on top. I am over 30 now so it is hard against the young guys. It is still not over but I can’t get any worse than second so I am stoked either way. Tomorrow is another day, we will have to see what happens…I will be waiting for them!
BJORN DUNKERBECK (Neil Pryde)
Vidar had a good heat especially in the air. I was unlucky with the ramps and did not get as high as I wanted to. Even with the rides I did not really get the set waves. Some days it just does not go my way and this was one of them. I was sailing well today…the bigger the waves got, the better I was performing. To be honest when it is only small slop then I cannot perform to my standard. Vidar was sailing really well today and I guess I was a little behind him. Hopefully there will be bigger waves and stronger winds tomorrow and… I will kick his ass!
KEVIN PRITCHARD (Gaastra, Starboard)
I was a little hesitant coming into this event. I have been on the water three days in the last three months and it shows. I have no excuses, just shows me that you need to train to win. The foot was feeling fine out on the water and nothing really inhibited me except my lack of preparation. Hopefully we will get another shot at it out there.
DAIDA MORENO (North, Mistral)
It was a long day today. The wind was very strong when I sailed against Scott in the men’s competition. I did not sail my best I have to say but he sailed really good. It was fun to sail with the guys. The final against Iballa was a tough heat. It was great to be sailing with my sister and good to have her in the final again. I had fun and I think she did as well!
MEN’S WAVE SINGLE ELIMINATION.
1. VIDAR JENSEN (NORTH)
2. BJORN DUNKERBECK (NEIL PRYDE)
3. ROBBY SWIFT (JP, NEIL PRYDE)
4. JONAS CEBALLOS (GAASTRA, FANATIC)
WOMENS WAVE SINGLE ELIMINATION.
1. DAIDA MORENO (MISTRAL, NORTH)
2. IBALLA MORENO (MISTRAL, NORTH)
3. KARIN JAGGI (F2, ARROWS)
4. NAYRA ALONSO