Day 6: Daida Moreno and Victor Fernandez crowned champions of the single eliminations
The penultimate day of the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival saw the men’s and women’s single eliminations completed in howling winds and small waves. The conditions may have not quite matched yesterday, but the sailors performances on the water certainly did as they went all out in the hunt to claim the opening victory of the year. Today was another day of close calls, but at the end of it, it is Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) who stand proudly at the top of the rankings after defeating Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) and Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) respectively.
The semifinals saw Sarah-Quita Offringa taking on reining world champion Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Daida Moreno versus Amanda Beenen (99NoveNove / Point-7). Daida produced a polished display to safely book her place in the winners’ final, but Offringa caused a massive upset by knocking out Iballa to qualify for the winners’ final for the first time since beginning competing in the waves. On her way to victory Offringa landed a radical pushloop and forward, but it was her penultimate wave that really sealed the deal as she rotated through a silky smooth taka to earn 9 points.
Daida Moreno has only been beaten once in her life in Pozo and she wasn’t going to let anyone steal the single elimination from her grasp. The multiple-time world champion made explosive start to the final landing a super tweaked tabletop forward to kick off the heat in style before sticking a big backloop and a stalled forward. Daida also spun through a smooth taka, but saved her best until last as she landed a radical frontside aerial before tagging the end section to earn 9.5 points and leave no doubt about the result. Offringa was understandably delighted to have made the final, but couldn’t quite replicate the performance she showed in the semifinals.
Iballa Moreno may have been bitterly disappointed not to make the winners’ final, but she put that to the back of her mind to secure the final place on the podium with an excellent display in Heat 16a. Iballa looked a little out of sorts in the semifinals, but was back to her brilliant fluid best against Amanda Beenen to rack up an 8.13 point wave ride as well as landing a stylish pushloop and a big table top forward. Beenen landed a tabletop forward of her own, but couldn’t find the waves to pull her back into contention and walks away with 4th place in the single.
There were concerns at the start of the day that reigning world champion — Philip Köster — may be unable to compete due to injuring himself whilst warming up, but the way he sailed you would never know there was even something slightly wrong with him as he advanced into the final to face Victor Fernandez — setting up a repeat of last year’s final and also a duel between last year’s 1st and 2nd place sailors. As you’d expect the standard was off the scales with both sailors giving a jumping masterclass in tough conditions. Köster landed the only pushloop forward of the day to earn 9.13 points before landing a ridiculous stalled double — 11 points, while Fernandez was able to land a perfect 10 point double forward and a big one-handed, one-footed backloop — 7.63 points. Köster may have led the jumping contest, but it was Fernandez who stole the show in the wave riding department to earn almost perfect scores from the judges as the Spaniard landed a Klei before backing it up. The scores were so close that come the end of the heat only quarter of a point separated the two sailors. Köster only need to improve his 6.5 points wave by 0.26 of a point but couldn’t find the wave to do so despite his best efforts and it is Fernandez who deservedly walks away with the single elimination crown.
The battle for third and fourth saw Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne) take on Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD) and it was the Australian who managed to secure the final place on the podium — for now at least. Heat 16 was another extremely close heat with just half a point separating the two sailors by the end of the heat. Stone and Mussolini finished level on points in the waves, but Stones huge stalled forward at the start of the heat proved to be the difference. Mussolini tried to pull the double forward trigger, but couldn’t land a successful effort like he did against Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) in the prior heat.
The men’s double elimination began immediately after the conclusion of the single and the opening 6 heats were completed before the waves flattened off in the early evening and the sailors were released just gone 7pm with the conditions not improving.
The forecast predicts slightly lighter winds for tomorrow, but that may come as a welcome relief to some after how windy the last couple of days have been. The waves are forecast to be slightly smaller, but we’re still hopeful that we’ll be able to resume the double eliminations tomorrow. The sailors will meet again at 9am for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 09:30am (GMT+1) — if conditions allow. Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com to follow the amazing action as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
To see all the latest from the event — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Result Women’s Single Elimination — Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival
1st Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Amanda Beenen (99NoveNove / Point-7)
5th Alice Arutkin (Fanatic / North)
5th Lina Erpenstein (Patrik / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg)
5th Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer / Mystic)
Result Men’s Single Elimination — Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival
1st Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC)
2nd Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne)
4th Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD)
5th Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC)
5th Dany Bruch (Starboard / Flight Sails / AL360)
5th Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX)
5th Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails)