Mercedes-Benz PWA Super Grand Slam
After a stop-start morning in which the wind was up and down with the bands of rain things eventually settled down to provide a full afternoon and evening of wave competition as the North Sea produced some hollow, bowly and ultimately unforgiving nuggets, which had the power and heaviness to destroy equipment. At the end of a very long day of competition Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) is firmly on course to win her 4th consecutive PWA World Wave Championship title after winning the single elimination, while the majority of the top seeds in the men’s fleet survived the opening one and half rounds of the single elimination unscathed.
Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) is one step closer to the 2017 Women’s PWA Wave World Champion after claiming a hard fought victory in the single elimination over Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) in tricky conditions. The final was an excellent contest and by the end there was just over half a point in it. Offringa actually posted the highest single wave score of the final - 7.87 points - but Iballa was able to score a more complete back up wave - 5.25 points - to add to her 7.13 point opening wave which saw Iballa show excellent flow and style with 3 turns. In order for Iballa to be denied the world title, Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), would need to come back and win the double elimination.
Meanwhile, Offringa has almost secured her place on the overall podium with 2nd place the single elimination. The Aruban firstly saw off a potentially very tricky second round tie against Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) before claiming an impressive victory against Daida Moreno in the semifinals. Either, Lina Erpenstein (Patrik / Severne) or Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails) would now have to defeat Daida Moreno and then defeat Offringa to deny her 3rd place in the world for 2017.
Daida Moreno, who is still not 100% fit after injuring her ribs in Tenerife, finishes 3rd in the single elimination after she was able to defeat Lina Erpenstein in the battle for 3rd and 4th. Daida still has the possibility of winning the world title this season, but would need to mount a strong comeback in the double elimination and defeat her sister - Iballa - twice.
The majority of the top seeds are safely through to the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the single elimination after the opening one and a half rounds were completed after the completion of the women’s single elimination.
Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) has made a safe start in his pursuit of winning a 4th world title after the German defeated Marc Paré and Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / SWOX) much to the delight of the home crowd. Köster will now face current world No.4 Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) who sailed well in both heats - firstly defeating Markus Rydberg (Simmer / Simmer Sails) - who qualified through the Qualification Round before dispatching of Kenneth Danielsen (Flikka / Simmer), who had earlier performed a buzzer beater against Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) with two takas on his final wave, with his consisntely landed late hits off of heavy sections proving too much.
Adam Lewis (Fanatic / NorthSails / SWOX) and Dany Bruch (Starboard / Flight Sails / AL360 / Shamal Sunglasses) ended the hopes of Omar Sanchez (Carbon Art / KA Sail / Aeron) and Pablo Ramirez (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg / Aeron) in the opening round before being involved in the closest heat of the day in round two against each other. In the end there was just 0.05 of a point between the two of them, but crucially the result went in Lewis’ favour, which means the Brit remains on course to record his best ever result in the overall rankings with the 29-year-old guaranteed at least 5th place in the single elimination. For Bruch the defeat was a hard one for him to swallow with another close heat going against him.
Lewis will now face reigning world champion and teammate Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / NorthSails / Shamal Sunglasses) in the next round with the Spaniard looking his usual polished self. Unfortunately his opponent in Heat 10b - Dieter van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne) - has been forced to withdraw from the event after injuring himself after attempting to land a massive backloop. Dieter said: “Nothing broken and it sounds very similar injury as Yentel [Caers] probably. Bit bummed I didn't land that backloop, but s**t happens at least nothings broken. Have to have a further checkup at home with an MRI.” Everyone from the PWA wishes Dieter a speedy recovery.
Ricardo Campello (Point-7) also injured his ankle today landing a one-footed backloop in the warmup, but he sailed through the pain to defeat Graham Ezzy (Tabou / Ezzy) - who accumulated solid wave scores - including a radical forward off the lip - but was lacking a jump score. Campello will now face Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses) after the Australian successfully defeated former two-time wave world champion Josh Angulo (Angulo / S2Maui).
7-time PWA Freestyle World Champion - Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / NorthSails) - produced an incredible performance to win the Qualification round as he posted a heat score of 25 points and there’s no doubt that Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) won’t have been too happy about facing him in the first round. However, the Venezuelan couldn’t quite reproduce that same level of performance in Heat 6b with the wind being changeable throughout. Browne produced a professional display to deservedly advanced and he’ll be happy to have passed a potentially very tricky heat. He will now face either Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / NorthSails) or Josep Pons (Simmer / Simmer Sails).
Elsewhere, Aleix Sanllehy (Tabou / GA Sails) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic / NorthSails) successfully navigated their way into the second round, while Moritz Mauch produced a moment of magic against Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) to earn the only 10 point score of the day with a monstrous air frontside 360 and he will now face the defending event champion - Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) - who comfortably dispatched of Adrian Beholz (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg / Maui Ultra Fins).
The wind and waves look set to continue for the foreseeable future, but with the wind expected to be more onshore and the waves slightly smaller in the morning the plan is to start the Men’s Freestyle Single Elimination. Skippers’ meeting times as follows: All Times (GMT+2)
Freestyle - 8am - first possible start 8:30am
Slalom & Wave - 10am - first possible start 10:30am
Result Women’s Wave Mercedes-Benz PWA Super Grand Slam - Single Elimination
1st Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Lina Erpenstein (Patrik / Severne)
5th Caroline Weber (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg)
5th Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / Mystic)
5th Caterina Stenta (RRD / RRD Sails / Maui Ultra Fins)