Gran Canaria PWA World Cup
Pozo lived up to its reputation as being one of the Meccas’s of the windsurfing world on day one of the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival as trademark howling winds - gusting to almost 50 knots - combined with the usual stunt ramps delivered an outstanding day of action. Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) fended off stiff competition from her sister - Iballa (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) - in a hard fought final to take the single elimination crown, whilst Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) stole the show in the men’s division with an impeccable display - before pushing the boundaries of the sport again with an outstanding triple forward attempt. The day was also full of a few surprise results as all the sailors pushed themselves to the limits in an enthralling day of competition.
Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD) lined up against Philip Köster in the men’s winners’ final and the show which followed was nothing short of exceptional. Both sailors had been sailing well on their to the showdown, but they took things to the next level for what fittingly proved to be the heat of the day. Mussolini kicked the duel off with a perfect forward, but then Köster took matters into his own hands - with what many thought would be the best jump of the day - a planing double forward. However, this was just the start of things to come with the twenty-one year old now operating at his seemingly unstoppable best. It seemed to be a case of anything you can do, I can do better as Mussolini landed a monstrous backloop, only to then see Köster launch himself skywards into a monumental pushloop-forward, which he landed ankle dry. With only two jumps on the board Köster had already accumulated a massive 22.13 points - meaning Mussolini faced a huge task to try and overhaul the deficit. To his credit the Spaniard dug deep and landed a superb one-handed, one-footed backloop, whilst linking together several fluid waves, which consisted of trademark frontside 3s and silky smooth takas. However, Köster, was not in the mood to lose on his home turf and he delivered a stunning final wave - starting with a gouging backside hack into reverse, which sent the spray absolutely flying, before backing it up with another powerful hack. With two outstanding jumps and two excellent waves in the bag, there was just enough time for the two-time world champion to hunt out one final ramp and he duly obliged when a wave stood up before him - launching himself into the most radical manoeuvre of the day… a TRIPLE forward loop, which was by far the best effort seen so far as the boundaries of the sport continue to be pushed to great and greater levels. Mussolini will still be delighted with his efforts today and sits second in the rankings at the end of day one.
The big hitters that everyone thought would feature heavily in the top four and beyond were in for a shock as Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC), Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) and Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC) all missed out on a place in the top four in the single elimination. However, this is a testament to their competitors sailing rather than them sailing below their exceptionally high level and standards.
Campello and Browne had both looked two of the most dangerous sailors in the opening round, but were stopped in their tracks before they were ready. Campello came up against an on song Köster, but didn’t enjoy his best heat when it counted, whilst Browne met an inspired Dany Bruch (Starboard / Challenger Sails / AL360), who made the most of the waves on offer to defeat his Brazilian counterpart. Bruch then went on to defeat Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) before also getting the better of Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) in the losers’ final, which leaves Bruch in an excellent third place at the end of the single elimination.
Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) will also be delighted with his efforts today as he showed his true champion mettle to secure his place in the top four. Traversa was his usual effortless self on the wave combining fluid turns with frontside 3s and takas, but he also did plenty of damage in the air - rotating through several well executed double forwards to see off local boy Josep Pons Casanovas in an incredibly tight opening round, before then dispatching of Adam Lewis (Fanatic / North) and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / SWOX) - who finishes day one as the top ranked Brit.
There was no early upset for either Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) or Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) as both of the women’s top seeds safely navigated their way into the opening winners’ final of the year. The final itself proved to be a tight-knit affair and by the end of the contest just over a point separated the two legendary twins. The duo performed almost inseparably in both the wave and jumping department with both women combining backside smacks with snappy frontside hacks, however Daida just edged the battle on this occasion with her superb tabletop forward proving to be the main difference. Iballa will now have to wait for the double elimination to try and exact revenge.
At this stage of the contest Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) completes the heralded podium - proving that she is not only the Queen of freestyle, but also the potential Queen of wave sailing in waiting. Offringa defeated Amanda Beenen (99NoveNove / Point-7) in the battle for third and fourth as she landed another brilliant pushloop to see off her Dutch rival. However, the Aruban gem can expect to have her hands full if she wants defend her podium spot with Beenen or the ever consistent Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) likely to be her biggest threats.
The forecast for tomorrow looks as though we will see another full day of competition with further strong winds being predicted - although possibly slightly lighter than today, which may not be a bad thing considering even some of the biggest guys were reaching for their 3.4m’s and 3.7’s at some point today. It will be a bright and early start for the competitors with the skippers’ meeting being called for 7:30am and the action commencing from 8am - with the start of the double eliminations. As always make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com to follow more of the incredible action live via the PWA live stream and live ticker.