Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival

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Day 2: A Day To Remember as Köster and Co Raise The Competition Bar Ever Higher in 50+ Knots of Wind

Yesterday may have been windy, but Day 2 of the 2018 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival was even windier as winds in excess of 50 knots saw the men take centre stage while reaching for their 3.0s and 3.4s at times – particularly during the morning. The level seen today was certainly one of the highest ever seen as the best wave sailors in the world continued to raise the bar on competition windsurfing right from the very first heat. In the end, despite a few scares and close heats, there was a familiar set of faces at the top of the rankings come the end of the single elimination – with reigning world champion – Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) – taking home top honours, for now at least.

Wave

Men’s

Philip Köster was in irresistible form all day as the 4-time world champion made a confident start to his title defence by winning the single elimination ahead of Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing). Köster landed at least one pushloop forward in every heat apart from his first heat of the day, while landing a trademark double in every heat. The 24-year-old was also in fantastic form on the wave as he combined powerful gauges with front and backside 3s to end the hopes of Loick Lesauvage (Goya Windsurfing), Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde), Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses), Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) and finally Marcilio Browne.

Marcilio Browne survived a scare against Antoine Martin (NeilPryde) in Heat 17b as the Brazilian produced a buzzer beater to overturn the result after racking up a 7.5 point last wave when firmly under the cosh. Having kept his hopes alive, Browne then stopped Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX) in his tracks to set up a tie against Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone / Shamal Sunglasses), which the 29-year-old would go on to win to book his place in a Winners’ Final in Pozo for the first time – while guaranteeing himself a podium finish in Gran Canaria for the first time since 2014. Browne, wasn’t done there though and he pushed Köster all the way in a close fought final, but in the dying minutes, he couldn’t find a wave that offered the scoring opportunity that he required – 7.01 points or better.

Against Browne, Fernandez almost produced a miraculous last minute comeback having suffered equipment failure earlier in the heat, which put the pressure on Fernandez. Heading into the last couple of minutes it looked as though Browne was home and dry, especially after the 2-time world champion crashed his opening double forward attempt with 2 minutes to go… however, Fernandez wasn’t done yet as he launched into a tabletop forward before racing down to the bunker and executing a perfect double, which was greeted by massive cheers on the beach. However, despite a sterling effort Fernandez fell short by just 1.12 points. This was the first time since 2015 that Fernandez has missed out on the Winners Final in the single elimination in Gran Canaria, but the Spaniard edged a tight duel against Alex Mussolini to secure 3rd place and he’ll now be determined to fight back through the double to keep his incredible top 2 record (6x 1st and 5x 2nd in the last 11 years) alive.

Mussolini may have just missed out on the podium in the single elimination, but will still be very happy with his day’s work. The Spaniard outscored Köster in the waves department in their semifinal, but couldn’t match his jumping prowess, but if in the double elimination there are only two jumps to count then the Spaniard could certainly fight back to claim his first podium in Gran Canaria since 2015.

An Opportunity Missed?

Birthday boy – Ricardo Campello (Point-7) – may have posted the highest scoring heat of the day (with 2 waves and 2 jumps to count), as he earned an impressive 35.08 points out of 40, against Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX) in Heat 18a to emerge as one of the front-runners for the single elimination title, but the 33-year-old wasn’t able to sustain that level as he fell in the very next heat to his nemesis Victor Fernandez.

Campello started in the same positive light against Fernandez, as he did against Swift, landing a perfect pushloop forward, but he then failed to build from there as he crashed 4 double forward attempts, which eventually wrote the story of his day as he had to settle for 5th place in the single. You certainly can’t rule Campello out in the double elimination as he is clearly capable of going toe-to-toe with the likes of Köster, Fernandez and more recently Browne, but the thing that separates the worlds current top 3 does seem to be that extra killer instinct and consistency when it really matters.

Move of the Day or Move of the Decade?

Jaeger Stone landed the move of the day in Heat 22b as the Australian landed an absolutely incredible pushloop forward bolt upright to earn 11 points… in a jump that some are calling the best they have ever seen. Unfortunately, for Stone, he was up against Philip Köster, who on his opening run landed a trademark double forward, an almost perfect pushloop forward and a one-handed backloop all in about 45 seconds.

Adam Lewis showed that he’s ready to battle for the top positions again in 2018 after his best year yet in 2017 but just fell short against Browne when trying to break into the top 4. The Brit earned the highest scoring wave of the day – 8.88 points against Browne, but even that wasn’t enough to stop the Brazilian and he finishes the single in joint 5th.

The same is also true for the aforementioned – Jaeger Stone – who as well as producing the jump of the day, also looked one of the most dangerous on the wave with frontside airs, trademarks turns and goiters all being landed. The Australian snuck through against Dany Bruch (Bruch Boards / Flight Sails / AL360) with his last wave of the heat proving to be the difference.

Meanwhile Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) claims the remaining place in joint 5th after causing one of the upsets of the day by defeating Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) – who finished 3rd here last year – before navigating his way past Aleix Sanllehy (Tabou / GA Sails), at wish point Mussolini brought his charge to an end.

The top 10 is currently completed by 8 sailors who share joint 9th – Marc Paré (Simmer / Simmer Sails), Dany Bruch, Dieter van der Eyken, Robby Swift, Antoine Martin, who landed a 10 point push forward and threw himself into a double pushloop attempt, Jules Denel, Aleix Sanllehy and Josep Pons (Simmer / Simmer Sails)

The action looks set to continue on Day 3 of the 2018 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival with another excellent forecast to come. The sailors will meet again at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 10:30am (GMT+1) 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 Men’s Single Elimination – Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival

1st Philip Köster (GER – Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)

2nd Marcilio Browne (BRA – Goya Windsurfing)

3rd Victor Fernandez (ESP – Fanatic / Duotone / Shamal Sunglasses)

4th Alex Mussolini (ESP – RRD / RRD Sails)

5th Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (VEN – Fanatic / Duotone)

5th Ricardo Campello (VEN – Point-7)

5th Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX)

5th Jaeger Stone (AUS – Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses)

9th Marc Paré (ESP – Simmer / Simmer Sails)

9th Dany Bruch (GER – Bruch Boards / Flight Sails / AL360)

9th Dieter van der Eyken (BEL – Severne / Severne Sails)

9th Robby Swift (GBR – JP / NeilPryde / SWOX)

9th Antoine Martin (FRA – NeilPryde)

9th Jules Denel (FRA – JP / NeilPryde)

9th Aleix Sanllehy (CAT – Tabou / GA Sails)

9th Josep Pons (ESP – Simmer / Simmer Sails)

Source: PWA

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