2006 London Boat Show in Association with The Daily Mail – Overall Event Report
The world’s best men and women sailors had made the journey to the UK capital, going for nothing less then indoor gold. The men’s line up included illustrious names such as three times freestyle world champion Ricardo Campello (V-111, JP/ Neil Pryde), 2005 wave champion Kauli Seadi (BRA-253, Quatro/ Naish), 2005 vice-wave champion Nik Baker (K-66, Mistral/ North Sails) and 2003 wave champion Josh Angulo (US-11). The women’s fleet was made up out of the Moreno Twins (Mistral/ North Sails), Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne) and 2005 PWA Rookie of the Year Junko Nagoshi (J-11, F2). The artificial conditions had been improved even more compared to last year and with an entry list like that, it was action guaranteed, no matter the final results.
Every day started off with freestyle. On each run, the riders had to pull off their best freestyle move on the way out and again on the way back in. The level had clearly moved up several steps this year, as most sailors went down the starting ramp switch stance, switch stance clewfirst or even back to sail in gozada position. In the men’s contest it was up to Nicolas Akgazciyan (F-400, Neil Pryde) to defend his London freestyle title, a task the French freestyle wonder was well up to. On the first day, Akgazciyan had to bow to Venezuelan freestyle specialist Jose Estredo (V-1, Fanatic/ North Sails), but on day two and three the sailor with the most unpronounceable name on the tour dominated the show with his flawless switch stance chachoo 540’s, rightfully bringing him the 2006 London freestyle title before Jose Estredo (V-1, Fanatic/ North Sails) in second place and Antxon Otaegui (E-169, JP/ Neil Pryde) in third.
In the women’s freestyle competition Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails) and Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) were trading places throughout the event, as Daida won the first session, Iballa the second and Daida beating everyone again on the closing day. The girls were going for it in the pool just as hard as their male counterparts, resulting in sensational moves and spectacular crashes, all in the name of victory and glory. Second place went to Iballa Moreno, while Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne) went home with the bronze freestyle medal.
After the freestylers, it was time to quench the need for speed, as secondly the pool belonged to the slalom sailors each day. Last year it was Ricardo Campello (V-111, JP/ Neil Pryde) who dominated the slalom rankings and while the Venezuelan wonder boy pushed hard for it again this year, it was Nik Baker (K-66, Mistral/ North Sails) who cleared out the contest by winning the slalom three days in a row, beating Campello every single final. Both sailors knew their way around the pool like they had one installed in their backyards, even though Campello hadn’t even bothered to participate in any of the practice runs before the contest. Baker had experience on his side and won the slalom title before Campello, and wave gun Josh Angulo (US-11) who took third place. On the women’s side, Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails) ruled the slalom contest on the first two days, by beating her sister Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) in the final on both occasions. On the third and final day, Junko Nagoshi (J-11, F2) cut off Daida’s path to three victories in a row, by taking the out the Pozo local in the semi-final. Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails) did the same with Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne) and met up with Nagoshi in the last slalom final of the 2006 London Boat Show. Iballa kept up the family name by beating Nagoshi 2-0 in a best two out of three final format. Daida had done enough though to secure her 2006 London slalom title, while Iballa received the silver medal and Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne) got third.
Closing off every day and the event was the jumping contest, in which the sailors voluntarily launched themselves off a metal ramp at breakneck speed performing breakneck jumps. Throughout the event, the crowds were treated to a sensational array of the most radical jumps. On the first night, Ricardo Campello (V-111, JP/ Neil Pryde) set the tone during a jumping super session by sticking the biggest imaginable pushloops, something which the three time freestyle world champion would continue to in the following days. With each jump Campello fortified his superior position in the rankings, leaving spectators and competitors alike in awe. Campello wasn’t alone in his quest for jumping gold, as riders from the likes of Kauli Seadi (BRA-253, Quatro/ Naish), Alex Mussolini (E-30, JP/ Neil Pryde), Nik Baker (K-66, Mistral/ North Sails), Josh Angulo (US-11) and Yannick Anton (F-8) all gave him a serious run for his money. On the second day of competition it seemed the riders were getting properly warmed up, as Seadi pulled off a perfect 30 point air chachoo and Campello did the unthinkable by sticking a double forward, the second one he had ever tried on starboard tack, indoor or outdoor. Mussolini wowed the crowds with his signature arched backloops while Josh Angulo (US-11) threw out pushloops like there was no tomorrow. On the closing day, things got even more out of hand. While Campello was having a bad day and missed out on the final, Seadi stuck another great air chachoo and Anton the biggest one footed forward of the event. It was Seadi who took first prize that night, but Yannick Anton stole the show in an encore given by the four finalists with a clean double forward, leaving the crowds totally perplexed. Seadi had one more trick up his sleeve and went for a daring superman, but couldn’t hold on. Mussolini landed his best backloop of the contest and even Nik Baker - known for his radical wavesailing, but not particularly for his massive double forwards – went for the double rotation in front of his home UK crowds. One can only guess what future indoor events will bring.
The women’s performance on the jump was equally impressive. Showing no fear and full commitment, the four finalists Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails), Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails), Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne) and Junko Nagoshi (J-11, F2) gave it their all three days in a row. On the first night, Junko Nagoshi (J-11, F2) surprised friend and foe by winning the jumping contest, beating the Moreno Twins and Alonso. On day two, Daida Moreno had got her act back together and did what she does best, winning the second session with massive forwards, before Junko Nagoshi (J-11, F2) and Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne). On the closing day of the event, it was again Daida Moreno who went highest winning the third day of jumping and in doing so the 2006 London jump title.
Overall, Ricardo Campello (V-111, JP/ Neil Pryde) and Daida Moreno (E-64, Mistral/ North Sails) were the best performers at the 2006 London Boat Show in Association with The Daily Mail. Second in the men’s overall rankings was Nik Baker (K-66, Mistral/ North Sails) with Jose Estredo (V-1, Fanatic/ North Sails) in third place. Second place in the overall women’s rankings went to Iballa Moreno (E-63, Mistral/ North Sails), while Nayra Alonso (E-4, Fanatic/ Severne) earned herself third place overall.
The full results per discipline are posted on the PWA website. The 2006 PWA season has been opened, so stay tuned to http://www.pwaworldtour.com/ for all news on upcoming events.