2001 Fuerteventura Freestyle Grand Prix Day 4
Kauli Seadi (Naish) only 18 years old from Brazil continued the young guns domination of the 2001 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Prix. Kauli competing in only his forth World Cup event totally dominated the day from start to finish. Kauli has shown amazing form all week during warm up and freesailing, but in the first round he fell too much and did not advance as far as expected. Today however Kauli had eaten some "Shreddies" for breakfast!!! He was unstoppable through all his heats, he disposed of Frank Lewisch(Gaastra,Bic), Antoine Albeau (AHD,Pryde), Remko de Weerd (AHD,Gaastra) and Ricardo Campello (JP/Pryde). That left him to meet Julien Taboulet (AHD/Pryde) in the final.
Taboulet also one of the new young guns was also on fire, he totally deserved his spot in the final as on his route to the final he took out current PWA freestyle champ Josh Stone(JP, Pryde). Taboulet sailed the heat of his life against Stone and completed a perfect Grubby in the dying seconds of the heat to take him one step further to that elusive spot in the final.
The final started with a bang!. Kauli opened the first thirty seconds of the heat with an unbelievable linked combination of tricks, he started with a Spock 540 into a switch foot aerial gibe and then straight into a clew first Spock 540!!!! Amazing stuff from Kauli, as at the start of the week that would have been enough to win a heat never mind doing it in the first three moves of the final. He did not stop his spinning and sliding for the rest of the heat, Grubby 540´s, One hand clew first spock 540´s and to end the heat he completed a one handed clew first Diablo...wow!! Julien Tablouet was also pulling out the big moves, his wily skipper 540´s seemed to slide forever and he landed two perfect Spock McTwists sending up lots of spray into the crowd on the beach. It was Kauli´s day though and the judges' unanimous decision went to the Brazilian. This first place combined with his fifth place from yesterday leaves Kauli leading the contest and with light winds forecast for tomorrow the young Brazilian could be leaving the canaries a much richer man than when he left.
In the losers final it was Matt Pritchard(AHD/Gaastra) and Ricardo Campello(JP/Pryde) who were left to decide third and forth place. Matt who represents the Old Skool of freestyle sailing was combining a lot of classic moves with some New Skool hot dog moves too. Big moves for Matt were his stylish Willy Skipper back wind 540´s and clew first Spock´s. Despite such awesome moves Matt could not do enough to stop the crazy young Venezuelan ripper Ricardo. Ricardo has got to be tipped to be a future freestyle world champion, at only 16 he is still small and not as strong as his older rivals but instead showed his strength on the water. His big moves included Spock 540´s, big Push Loops and a perfect Goita in the last ten seconds of the heat. Keep an eye on this kid, he rips!
So what of yesterdays double elimination winner Robby Swift(JP/Pryde)? Robby made it through to round three before meeting Ricardo Campello in what a lot of people were calling the most action packed heat of the day. Robby must be praying for lots of wind for the final day as his ninth place from today knocks him down to fourth place overall and out of the big money!
Other notable performances came from Vidar Jensen (North), Andy Pusch(JP/Pryde) and the two Dutch sailors Remko de Weerd(AHD/Gaastra) and Ben Van der Steen (Fanatic/North). Disappointments for the day were Nik Baker(Mistral/North) who was very unlucky not to advance against Matt Pritchard (AHD/Gaastra) in the third round.
The girls were in action again today coping very well with the very gusty 25 knot cross offshore wind. It was obvious who was going to win from the very first round, Colette Guadagnino (JP/Pryde) was ripping, obviously she has been taught a few big moves by her brother Diony. Colette was busting out massive one handed forwards and perfect sliding Vulcan´s. Colette advanced through to the final to meet Daida Ruano Moreno (Mistral/North) who was also pulling out the big moves, on her route to the final. Daida landed a perfect Spock, this is only the second time a Spock has been landed in competition in the womens fleet, radical stuff. Colette was set to take the victory however and sailed a more consistent heat than Daida to take the victory and the overall lead in the competition. Yesterdays winner Karin Jaggi (F2/Arrows)could not maintain the form from the previous day and had to settle for a fourth place having been beaten by Iballa Ruano Moreno (Misral/North). The results leave Colette on top with Karin in second who will surely be praying for more wind for tomorrow.
Everyone is very excited about the final day of competition, a lot is at stake after the results of this contest and it looks like we might see a new freestyle world champion by the end of the year.