Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival
Pozo delivered the howling winds it is renowned for over the last 7 days with winds approaching 50 knots accompanied with small waves for the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival. Despite the small waves on offer, the action on offer was anything but small as the most talented wave sailors in the world produced a remarkable display to kick off the 2017 PWA Wave World Tour in spectacular fashion.
Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) continued her incredible dominance of Gran Canaria to be crowned the Queen of Pozo once again as she fought off the challenge of her sister Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) in the final. The twins have been at the top of the wave sailing world for the last two decades and show no sign of slowing down as they continue to keep the rest of the competition at bay. Daida takes a deserved early season lead in the title race and will look to gather more momentum in Tenerife, while Iballa will be looking to level up the scores as she goes in search of a 4th successive world title.
We caught up quickly with Daida after claiming another victory at her home spot to ask her when she’s going to let someone else win here - we’ll have a full interview with Daida next week: “Never. Ever. I don’t know everybody is asking me when I’m going to retire and if I’m not tired of winning all the time, but I’m not. It’s my home spot and it’s the place where I most like to win because I train so many hours over the year here and I still have the drive and desire to win. So as long as I have sponsorship and help from the industry and outside the industry then I will continue to give my best. I always want to try and perform bigger and better moves, but that isn’t always possible without epic conditions. However, I think anyone who windsurfs never gets tired of windsurfing. And one of my goals is to just go out there and have fun and try and go bigger.”
A Week to Remember
This week will live long in the memory of Lina Erpenstein (Patrik / Severne) with the 20-year-old earning her first ever podium on the PWA Wave World Tour. Last year the German caught the eye with her no fear approach to jumping and fluid turns and after another winter of training under her belt she has firmly announced herself on the world stage.
Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / Mystic) felt slightly hard done by in the single elimination as Erpenstein was adjudged to have won an extremely tight heat. However, the Pole responded in the perfect manner in the double as she won 4 heats on the spin - defeating Serena Zoia (99NoveNove / LoftSails), Sarah Hilder (Simmer / Simmer Sails), Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) and perhaps most impressively Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) to earn a superb 4th place, which is her best ever result.
Sarah-Quita Offringa will have come into the opening event of the year with high hopes having finished second here in 2016, while finishing third overall, and will no doubt be disappointed with her 5th place, but the 26-year-old was as graceful and classy in defeat as she is in victory and you can expect to see her bounce back in Tenerife, while before then she will be aiming to win an unprecedented 10th freestyle world title in Fuerteventura.
A Dream Return
Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) enjoyed a dream return from injury as the former 3-time world champion quickly returned to winning ways as he defeated reigning world champion - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / NorthSails / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses) - in an extremely tight final. In all honesty, it was like the 23-year-old had never been away as he landed trademark stalled doubles and pushloop forwards, while his wave riding looked like it may have even benefitted from an enforced break.
Philip Köster on his winning return: “Approaching the start of the season I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to compete, so even just to be participating was a big thing for me. After all the surgery and rehabilitation it’s amazing to be back. The first heat was more than a test than anything just to see if I could jump high, but after that I just forgot about my knee and decided to fully go for it. Usually my injury would take over a year to recover from, so I'm even happier to be back ahead of schedule. It’s no secret that the last year has been really, really tough for me with lots of physio and rehab - for the last 3 or 4 months I’ve been going to the physio for 6-8 hours each day, so its definitely been the toughest year of my life. I also wasn’t sure that after such a serious injury whether I’d be able to windsurf to the same level as before - particularly jumping - but everyone around me has been so positive and I’ve worked really hard to come back as strong if not stronger than before. Mentally I think it’s really improved me and I'm just unbelievably happy to win the event.”
Fernandez makes a solid start to his title defence and continues his incredible run in Pozo, which has seen the Spaniard finish in the top 2 since 2006 - highlighting his unbelievable consistency and world class sailing ability and he’s perfectly poised heading into Tenerife.
On paper this isn’t Thomas Traversa’s (Tabou / GA Sails) strongest event, but the Frenchman demonstrated why he has already been crowned the PWA Wave World Champion once with a series of superb displays which saw him defeat Ricardo Campello (Point-7) in the battle for 3rd and 4th and TT will be delighted to walk away from the opening event of the year by claiming the final place on the prestigious podium.
Ricardo Campello looked to be the man that everyone else may have to beat after his opening couple of performances in the single elimination as he earned perfect jumping scores (20 out of 20) with double forwards and pushloop forwards. However, he was then taken down by Traversa and unfortunately there than wasn’t suitable conditions to finish the double elimination. Fourth place keeps the Venezuelan/Brazilian firmly in the title race contention.
Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) finished joint 9th in the single elimination after meeting Campello in just the third round, but he fought his way back with a succession of splendid performances as the Brazilian took down Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde), Omar Sanchez (Carbon Art / KA Sail), Adam Lewis (Fanatic / NorthSails / SWOX) and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / SWOX), which sees the 2013 PWA Wave World Champion start the season off with a 5th place.
Robby Swift also fought his way back into 6th place after finishing joint 9th in the single elimination. The Brit has had an excellent record here in recent years and he kept that fine run going as he gathered momentum in the double by defeating Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde), Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses) and Dany Bruch (Starboard / Flight Sails / AL360 / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses) before Browne proved too strong.
Adam Lewis produced one of his best heats against Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) in the single elimination to sit in joint 5th place and successfully ended Moritz Mauch’s (Severne / Severne Sails) comeback in the double, before running into an on fire Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) meaning the Brit finishes the opening event of the year in joint 7th, which is his best result since 2012 when he also finished joint 7th in Sylt. Dany Bruch (Starboard / Flight Sails / AL360 / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses) also finishes in joint 7th to make a decent start to the season and the German will be an even bigger threat back in his home stomping ground of Tenerife in August.
PWA vice-world champion Alex Mussolini starts the season with a solid, but unspectacular joint 9th place alongside last year’s world No.5 Jaeger Stone ). Both would have probably been looking to finish higher up the ladder, but both will be a much bigger threat in Tenerife providing there are bigger waves on offer with Musso and Stone being two of the best wave riders in the world. The same can be said of Moritz Mauch (Starboard / Severne), who also finishes in the top 10, but had his comeback stopped by Adam Lewis, while Omar Sanchez (Carbon Art / KA Sail) also kicks off the season with a solid top 10 result.
15-18 Year Olds
Nicole Bandini (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins) recorded a perfect result in the girls 15-18 year olds fleet with three cut wins for the Italian. 15-year old Alexa Escherich (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) walks away with second place, while Maike Lang (NorthSails) takes third.
Mar de Arce won a sail off against Julia Pasquale (NorthSails) to take the event victory. de Arce, who is the Spanish Slalom Champion in her age division, landed several rocket airs, but the decision couldn’t have been tighter with Julia Pasquale almost landing a forward loop on several occasions, which would have swung the decision in her favour.
16-18 Year Olds
Noah Vocker (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins) looked to be in superb form in the first elimination as he claimed a deserved victory, but was then slightly out of sorts in the second elimination - still finishing 3rd - which sees him claim the overall title ahead of Jake Schettewi (JP / Hot Sails Maui) and Valentino Pasquale (Fanatic / NorthSails).
14-15 Year Olds
Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing) claimed a clear cut victory in the Under 14 division as he landed one-footed backloops, tabletop forwards and backside 3s to defeat Mike Friedl (Goya Windsurfing) and Takuma Sugi (Tabou / GA Sails), who complete the top 3.
Jahdan Tyger (Severne) claimed a decisive victory over Liam Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne) with the Brazilian’s better jumping earning him the title with landed backloops and forwards. However, Dunkerbeck has shown some unbelievable wave riding and has been pushing his jumping all week - competing against Tyger - and has already started landing forwards and backloops. 11-year-old Pepe Krause (Point-7) completes the podium ahead of Miguel Casanova (Fanatic / NorthSails).
The Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival was a huge success again with Pozo once again proving itself as one of the windiest destinations in the world. The PWA would like to extend their thanks to the Moreno Twins, without whom the event wouldn't be possible, and also to all the sponsors and local people for their continued support and hospitality. We will look forward to returning in 2018.
You can recap everything from the 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply by clicking HERE and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Result 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Women’s
1st Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Lina Erpenstein (Patrik / Severne)
4th Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / Mystic)
5th Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
Result 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Men’s
1st Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Victor Fernández Official (Fanatic / NorthSails / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses)
3rd Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails)
4th Ricardo Campello (Point-7)
5th Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing)
6th Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / SWOX)
7th Dany Bruch (Starboard / Flight Sails / AL360 / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses)
7th Adam Lewis (Fanatic / NorthSails / SWOX)
9th Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails)
9th Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses)
9th Omar Sanchez (Carbon Art / KA Sail)
9th Moritz Mauch (Severne / Severne Sails)
Result 15-18 Year Old Girls
1st Nicole Bandini (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Alexa Escherich (JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Maike Lang (NorthSails)
4th Regina Villegas
Result Under 14s Girls
1st Mar de Arce (Point-7)
2nd Julia Pasquale (Goya)
3rd Maria Morales (Goya)
Result 16-18 Year Old Boys
1st Noah Vocker (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Jake Schettewi (JP / Hot Sails Maui)
3rd Valentino Pasquale (Fanatic / NorthSails)
4th Miguel Chapuis (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Henri Kolberg (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui)
Result 14-15 Year Old Boys
1st Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing)
2nd Mike Friedl (Goya Windsurfing)
3rd Takuma Sugi (Tabou / GA Sails)
4th Adam Warchol (Goya Windsurfing)
5th Oliver Rodgriguez (Goya Windsurfing)
Result Under 13s Boys
1st Jahdan Tyger (Severne)
2nd Liam Dunkerbeck (Severne)
3rd Pepe Krause
4th Miguel Casanova Perez