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Köster wins the Gran Canaria World Cup single elimination

by Gran Canaria Windsurfing World Cup 16 Jul 23:03 PDT

The local rider from Gran Canaria but competing with German flag, Philip Köster, leads the men's division, after beating the Spanish windsurfer, Victor Fernandez, during the single elimination heats. The third place on the podium is held by Brazilian Ricardo Campello (competing for Venezuela), after eliminating Frenchman Thomas Traversa.

The most awaited final of the men's division of the Windsurfing World Cup has not disappointed, with the stands of Pozo Izquierdo full of spectators who have remained attentive to the local rider, Philip Köster (German registration) and the Andalusian, Victor Fernandez, who faced each other in the final of the single elimination, a very even heat, but in which the original windsurfer from Vargas (Gran Canaria) has finally prevailed.

Both athletes started very strong and determined to score their two best jumps from the start, during which we saw how they seemed to respond to each other with similar manoeuvres, highlighting both with one of the most difficult jumps in windsurfing: the double forward (double jump with forward rotation). "It felt great to win here at home, Pozo Izquierdo is my favourite spot to sail and compete. In his opinion, "the final against Victor was difficult, he is an incredible windsurfer who has been competing and winning here for many years".

Although during his first jump (a double forward of 7.12 points), Köster was already winning after landing in style, while Fernández did not manage to complete it as cleanly, which cost him quite a few points, according to the judges. Köster then landed another double forward in front of the bunker, raising the score to 8.75 points (out of 10).

However, it didn't seem to be enough, so he switched wings and went for the third and best jump of the heat, a double forward stall valued at 9.38 points from 6.9 metres high, making Köster the highest-flying rider in the competition, according to Red Bull's The Surfers app, and leading the simultaneous competition: Red Bull Rockets. After securing these three jumps, Köster focused on the surfing, scoring up to 6 points on his best wave. "I made a small change from 4.2 to 4.5 to get power on the jump," Köster said.

But the Andalusian rider was not far behind, answering every move Köster made, getting up to 8 points on his best jump and surpassing Köster in the surfing, his best wave valued at 6.75 points, thanks to some "nice frontsides". According to the judges, Fernandez also threw "very good backsides and 360s" while catching waves.

However, Fernandez had problems finding ramps in the waves to score points on jumps, as well as having to go out to change the sail due to a problem with the anchor. "It's my twelfth final in Pozo Izquierdo, in 2006 it was the first one I won, but it's still incredible to come back to this final after two years without competing here, especially against Philip and the best in the world", said the Almerian athlete, who said he "feels good" to come back next year and "will try to go for another world championship". Fernández confessed that he will continue to come to Pozo Izquierdo to sail, "even if I retire". In fact, it should be noted that the Andalusian rider began his professional career on this beach, where he has triumphed six times.

Afterwards, it was the Brazilian windsurfer Ricardo Campello (competing for Venezuela) who won the Gran Canaria beach and third place on the podium, after competing against the Frenchman Thomas Traversa. During their task, both riders received a lot of applause from all the attendees, highlighting Campello's multiple manoeuvres near the shore that made the audience vibrate. "The truth is that I can't stay, being in the top 3 is very important for me, although I would have liked to compete in the final against Philip", said the winner of the championship in 2019, but "I'm happy to be in third place, although I still have a chance to go up during the double elimination", added Campello. In his words, sailing in Gran Canaria is "incredible", as "it is one of the best places in the world".

During the rest of the day, it was possible to advance with the double elimination, in which some local riders such as Omar Sanchez (Pozo Izquierdo) or the Spanish José Romero have already qualified. This Sunday, the men's qualifiers are expected to advance as far as possible, although it will depend on the conditions to be able to hold a second final.

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