|[day 01] april 30, 2003|
The Gran Canaria Vargas, Aguimes PWA Wave World Cup 2003 Day 1
|Vargas - The Beach|
Today in Vargas the Professional World Tour windsurfers were greeted with sunshine and the start of the trade winds, which are forecast to nuke over the next few days. Most of the windsurfers were out sailing and checking their equipment, and it was clear that many of the older, more dedicated wave sailors were somewhat in awe watching the youngsters spinning round with their freestyle tricks on today’s flat water.
By the end of the day the first signs of a ground swell were showing, but without solid wave sailing conditions the contest was postponed until tomorrow.
Despite no competition on the water yet, there’s already a strong contest vibe as the heats were announced and the contestants learnt who they were up against.
The early rounds couldn’t be more exciting, as many of the young guns tipped for the top here have been seeded to battle against each other in the first heats, rather than against the old school sailors.
Ricardo Campello (JP / Neil Pryde) and Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic / Gaastra), both serious contenders for winning the Vargas Wave World Cup go head to head in round one, potentially one of the best heats of the whole event as Ricardo of freestyle fame has a unique new jump, which is literally blowing everyone away. He starts with a shove-it, then spins into a taka and lands planning. Judges have called it a ‘Shaka’. In simpler terms Ricardo jumps and pushes his board towards the wind, then backs his sail so much, he spins back the other way, hanging onto his kit as the whole lot rotates in reverse, in mid air, before somehow landing without injury. Whether Jonas’s fifty-foot high back loops and good wave riding skills is enough to beat Ricardo remains to be seen tomorrow.
Other hotshot youngsters Robby Swift (JP / Neil Pryde) and Tonky Frans (AHD / Gaastra) are head to head in round one. Both these guys are creative radicals ranked top five in the freestyle world, making for another awesome showdown.
Britain’s young Matt Pearch (Mistral / North) who’s been in training in Gran Canaria for almost two months goes head to head with Australia’s youthful Wave Champion Luke Walmsley (Starboard). They both rip and were both expected to do well in GC.
Whatever the results of these young guns high-pressure first rounds, only half of them will advance to meet their experienced peers. So for now the older guys can breathe a sigh of relief, but as the days unfold, with so much wind forecast, the youngsters will get their chance to compete again. And that’s when the pressure will shift to the older crew.
In the women’s fleet rumor has it that another local Gran Canarian girl Nayra Alonso is on fire and capable of upsetting the balance of power from any of the top girls. She’s seeded in fourth place ahead of fellow Spaniard Iballa Moreno (Mistral / North) who missed a higher ranking due to injury last year. This disruption to the seeding means Iballa and Karin Jaggi (F2 / Arrows) who are both former Wave World Champions will have to face each other in the quarter finals, battling hard to get into the top four and leaving the event wide open for the other eight women.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Proof / Neil Pryde), numerous time world champion and local of Gran Canaria, is confident both the swell and wind will increase sufficiently overnight to jump start the 2003 Wave World Cup season tomorrow. Let’s hope his weather forecasting is as good as his windsurfing.
Autor: PWA - Pix: Williams