Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival
The conditions weren’t always the easiest on day four of the 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival, but that didn’t stop the world’s best sailors putting on a radical display as they put their bodies on the line in the pursuit for success. Throughout the day there were monster moves, and bailouts to match, as the level went through the roof again and after a busy day of competing only the top 8 men and women remain standing in the single eliminations.
The top seeds in the women’s draw survived the first day of competition unscathed to safely progress into the top 8.
Vice-world champion - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) - made an assured start to her campaign as she posted the second highest score of the day - 23.86 points - to dispatch of Julia Pasquale (Fanatic / Duotone), who won the U17s yesterday. Pasquale was a little unfortunate to be drawn against Offringa as she would’ve progressed from the a-side on the panel, which saw Marine Hunter (KA Sail) defeat Serena Zoia (Fanatic / Duotone).
Defending event champion - Daida Moreno (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) - set the highest scoring heat of the day - 26.75 points - as she landed a trademark stalled forward, big backloop and earned a 7.25 point wave to make a confident start. On the other side of Heat 10 Birgit Rieger (Flikka) claimed an impressive victory against Nicole Bandini (Fanatic / Duotone) with the Austrian landing a backloop.
In Heat 11 - Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) - saw off the challenge of Nuage Le Derff (Severne / Severne Sails) on the a-side, while Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / AL360) navigated her way past Alexia Kiefer Quintana (Fanatic / Duotone) with an efficient display.
Reigning world champion - Iballa Moreno (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) - sailed in the final women’s heat of the day and she made light work of Svetlana Kolpikova Bala to set up a quarterfinal tie against Caterina Stenta (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins) after the Italian survived a late comeback by Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne/ Maui Ultra Fins).
During the morning and early afternoon the men’s fleet was reduced to just the top 16 sailors, but with the tide becoming too high and conditions deteriorating the contest was then placed on hold. However, after an hour the competition resumed with the wind cranking up an extra notch and the ramps improving with the tide dropping back, which allowed the round of 16 to be completed after 4pm in over 35-40 knots of wind.
The restart - Heat 17 - saw the vice-world champion - Ricardo Campello (Brunotti Boards) - in action against Marc Paré (Simmer / Simmer Sails) for a place in the top 8. The Brazilian/Venezuelan needed to at the top of his game, with Paré producing an excellent display, which included a sick stalled double forward - 9.1 points - and luckily he was as he posted the second highest score of the day - 33.88 points. With the wind picking up from earlier Campello was able to land a trademark pushloop forward and double forward, while recording wave scores or 8.65 and 7.5 points. On the a-side, Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) manoeuvred his way past Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX) with the Brit missing his second jump score.
Reigning world champion - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone / Shamal Sunglasses) - earned the only 10 point wave ride of the day against Omar Sanchez (Star-Fish / KA Sail) on the way to posting the fourth highest score of the day - 30.83 points to book his place in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard will now face Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) after the German came out on top of an extremely close heat against Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX). In the end, there was just 0.17 of a point between them.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone), who finished joint 7th here in 2018, claimed the scalp of world No.4 Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses) in Heat 19a as the 9-time Freestyle world champion continues to evolve his wave sailing skills. In the previous round, it was Gollito’s jumping that helped him past Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing), but against Stone, it was his wave riding that proved to be the difference as he posted an almost perfect 9.68 point wave after combining a goiter and a frontside 360 on the same wave. Stone actually outscored Gollito in the air, but for a change, the Aussie struggled to find wave scores in the tricky conditions, which is usually his forte.
On the b-side, last year’s runner up - Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) - recorded the third highest score of the day, just behind Campello, on 33.63 points. The Brazilian posted two excellent jump scores - 9 and 9.45 points - for a massive double forward and pushloop forward, while also recording one wave in the excellent range as he showed why he is one of the favourites for the event. Browne will now go head-to-head against Gollito for a place in the semifinals.
Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / Duotone), who missed the entirety of last season through injury made a winning return against Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails), but then suffered a narrow defeat to Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails), who was absolutely delighted to progress. Advancing Into the top 8 guarantees TT a better result here than last year when he had to settle for 17th place. Traversa will no face hat-trick seeking Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who posted the highest score of the day in the round of 32 with 35.38 points after landing a backloop off the lip, an air taka and a bolt upright pushloop forward despite the less than perfect conditions.
By the end of the day all four of last year’s top 4 - Köster, Browne, Campello, Fernandez - are safely into the quarterfinals, while between them, they ominously hold the top 4 highest scores of the day:
1st Philip Köster - 35.38 points
2nd Ricardo Campello - 33.88 points
3rd Marcilio Browne - 33.63 points
4th Victor Fernandez - 30.83 points
Elsewhere, Moritz Mauch (Severne / Severne Sails) showed once again that he is one of the best onshore wave riders in the world, however, his suspect jumping cost him again against Robby Swift in the second round. Josep Pons (I-99 / Point-7) sailed through the pain barrier to advance into the third round before deciding not to sail against Köster in order to save himself for the double elimination, while the youthful talents of Loïck Lesauvage (Goya Windsurfing) and Miguel Chapuis (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed the closest heat of the day with just 0.06 of a point separating them come the end of the heat - in Lesauvage’s favour.
The forecast for tomorrow shows similar wind strengths to today and a slight increase in wave size from 1.4m to 1.6m, which should see the conclusion of the single eliminations. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 9:30am (GMT+1) tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10am onwards.
You can stay up to date with all the latest developments from Gran Canaria— 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 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Girl’s U15s
1st Maria Morales (Goya Windsurfing)
2nd Alexia Kiefer Quintana (Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Lina Eržen (Flikka / Duotone)
4th Isabel Trivińo Delgado (Goya Windsurfing)
Result 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Girl’s U17s
1st Julia Pasquale (Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Mar de Arce (Star-Fish / Loftsails)
3rd Inés Élez (Severne)
4th Lina Thekook (Patrik / GA Sails)
Result 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Girl’s U20s
1st Alexa Escherich (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Regina Villegas (North)
3rd Lisa Witte
Result 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Boy’s U13s
1st Carlos Kiefer Quintana (Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Val Eržen (Flikka / Duotone)
3rd Miguel Becerra (Goya Windsurfing)
Result 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Boy’s U15s
1st Hayata Ishii (RRD / Goya Windsurfing)
2nd Giulio Gasperini (Starboard / Severne)
3rd Tobias Bjørnaa (Fanatic / Duotone)
Result 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Boy’s U17s
1st Titouan Flechet (Tabou / Hot Sails Maui)
2nd Liam Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne)
3rd Lennart Neabauer (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Adrian Artiles (Goya Windsurfing / Simmer Sails)
Result 2019 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Boy’s U20s
1st Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing)
2nd Takara Ishii (RRD / RRD Sails)
3rd Valentino Pasquale (Fanatic / Duotone)
4th Adam Warchol (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing)