PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam 2011's freestyle fleet is rigged, registered and ready to rock Sotavento beach. Hundreds of spectators have headed down to Sotavento beach to witness the world’s finest freestyler’s register for their sixth competition on the PWA world tour. In total 45 men and eight women are signed up for what promises to be an incredibly exciting battle.
A sense of excitement buzzed around the event site,with the sailors being introduced on stage and the finishing touches being put in place for the start of competition, tomorrow morning.
Having already competed in five events this season the points are looking critically tight at the top. The PWA tracked down four sailors that currently sit in the top ten, about their great year and their plans to break into the top five. Antony Ruenes (Simmer / Tabou)
PWA: You’re currently in eighth place, how hasthe year been so far?
Ruenes: 'I have been training a lot this year, and now I am back on form after an injury I had the year before. In Vietnam I injured myself and but still I managed to finish 10th so I really wasn’t happy about that,but I came back in Podersdorf with seventh. In Bonaire I struggled with the light winds and finished in 13th, but I finished seventh in Aruba and an amazing fourth in Lanzarote. I am really confident for this event and I hope it gets really windy.'
PWA: What’s your strategy for this event?
Ruenes: 'I arrived a week before so that I didn’t get too tired, I have been training some really big no-handed moves.'
PWA: Who will be your biggest rival?
Ruenes: 'I think once you get into the top 10 is gets so hard everyone is sailing so well, anything can happen. I just hope its strong winds and big waves.' Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails)
PWA: How has the year been for you?
Saragoza: 'This year has gone really well so far, already better than last year. I am really happy with my results, I struggled in Podersdorf but since then I have finished eighth, sixth and sixth.'
PWA: When did you arrive in Fuerteventura?
Saragoza: 'I have been here for three weeks and I am already a little tired. It has been so windy which has been really fun, and great for training the big moves.'
PWA: What moves have you been training for this event?
Saragoza: 'I have been training pushloops, a lot and I have had some big crashes. I want to feel like I’m not scared of any move so I can just go for it.'
PWA: Where do you hope to finish in Fuerteventura?
Saragoza: 'I hope to finish in the top 10, and then I will be really happy. I don’t have a big rival you just need to train hard so that you canface the guys at the top.' Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
PWA: You’re currently in seventh place you must be really happy.
Van der Eyken: 'I have had an amazing year, especially as I didn’t train that much this winter. I started the year in fifth and then in Podersdorf I came ninth, In Bonaire I finished in sixth which I was really surprising with so many tough heats, and finally in Aruba and Lanzarote I finished in seventh. I beat Taty in Bonaire which was great.'
PWA: When did you arrive in Fuerteventura?
Van der Eyken: 'I arrived one week ago so that I could practice, last year I arrived three weeks before but I was really tired by the time the competition came around.'
PWA: What moves have you been training?
Van der Eyken: 'I think it will be a really interesting week, because the conditions have been very different to what we have now. In training I was landing backloops and big burners in both directions.'
PWA: Who is your biggest rival for the week?
Van der Eyken: 'If the wind gets really strong it will be Kiri, Steven and Gollito to beat for a top three positions. I want a top eight position I think Bjorn, Davy and Tonky will be really hard to beat.' Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine)
PWA: How has your year been?
Soltysiak: 'I have had a great year, I’m currently in ninth and I hope to finish in the top ten here Fuerteventura.'
PWA: When did you arrive?
Soltysiak: 'I have been here for a few weeks and had a lot of time on the water here. The wind has been really strong but now it has dropped off a little so we will see what happens in the competition.'
PWA: What moves do you hope to land in your heats?
Soltysiak: 'On the strong Fuerteventura days, you need to do air moves on the way out because the waters choppy and it’s really hard to do the slidey moves on the way out. On the way in I will try to do really powerful moves,like burners, culos, shakas, that for of thing. Hopefully that will work.'
PWA: Where do you hope to finish?
Soltysiak: 'I would like to finish in the top ten then I will be happy. I think the top heats will be really tough here as everyone is sailing so well.'
Day one of the competition is set to commence at 10am tomorrow morning with the skippers meeting. The first possible start to the competition is at 10:30am. PWA World Tour website