Daida Moreno and Philip Köster won the 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival. There was an attempt to complete the double elimination on the final day but the wind and waves were just not enough to finish it. However in the beginning of the event Pozo delivered the howling winds it is renowned with winds approaching 50 knots and we saw a great competition.
We spoke with Daida Moreno and Philip Köster and the other top 4 men and women about the event and their performances. Read their statements below the photo gallery.
Daida Moreno 1st place
It’s an amazing feeling to win here once again at my home spot. Everybody asks me the same: „Don’t you get tired of winning?” I don’t, because I’ve been sailing many hours here. For me it’s even worse to lose at my home spot, where I sail most of the time. I always try to push myself, my limits with the boys, with Dario Ojeda, with Omar Sanchez, with Alessio Stillrich, with Moritz Mauch and with Pablo Ramirez. We sail together pretty much all winter. It’s an amazing feeling to put all the moves together in a heat. I enjoyed all my heats on the way to the final. I don’t know how man times I won here, but I would like to win the PWA World Title once again. Everything goes well. I keep training for Tenerife and then Sylt. And then let’s see what will happen for the rest of the season.
Philip Köster 1st place
The 2017 Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival was one of my most exciting and most emotional events in my career. After such a long injury and a long break off the water I didn’t really know where I am in the contest. I haven’t really seen anybody sailing except the Pozo locals. It was really tricky for me to get into the event but it was just amazing to pass a few heats and then go step by step seeing that the knee holds. Landing my Double Forward Loops without pain in the knee was just perfect and gave me confidence. And my knee brace helped as well. It went on and on and then somehow I was in the final against Victor. I did my best I could. Now I am really, really happy to win the first contest of the year. I think the winners final was a good heat jumpingwise. The wave riding was all right. I felt really exhausted because we had the resail the semi final. Honeslty, this 15 extra minutes were a bit too much for me but all in all it was a very good heat. We had good wind conditions, a few little waves, but still a lot of options to do stuff. I just can say once again that I was really happy to be in that final and I felt very confident not thinking about any injury.
Iballa Moreno 2nd place
I am really stoked about my 2nd place here at home. Daida is sailing really strong and it’s really hard to beat her here. I have been focusing a lot on the SUP discipline over the last years (e.n.: Iballa won the European title in 2017) and did not spend so much time in Pozo Izquierdo. But it’s my home spot and you never forget about it. I am happy to be in the final with Daida with a lot of people watching from the beach. I was on 3.0, Daida was on 3.3m as she is a lot stronger than me. I tried to do my moves but I could have sailed way better. I don’t care if I win or I am second. To be in the final is always great. Last year I was third and that was quite a shocker for me. This year I had some training 2 weeks before the start of the event, which was really good for my head. Additionally I’ve been training a lot physically this year. I had a good winter in waves with a lot of SUP. The jumping was missing a little bit, but the last two weeks before the event were great for me to train jumping.
I am pretty stoked to see the level of the girls. They are all pushing each other and it’s getting closer and closer. To catch up with Daida in Pozo is going to be a hard one but Lina, Sarah-Quita and Justyna are all motivated to learn. They are landing their jumps much better. That motivates me to train even harder!! But we still missed this year three big names: Alice Arutkin, Amanda Beenen and Steffi Wahl. The level would have been even higher with them.
Victor Fernandez 2nd place
I am really stoked and happy with my 2nd place here in Pozo considering the massive level this year. I think I sailed better and better from heat to heat and did my best score on the final against Philip, what was a close result in the end. Philip was sailing unbelievable. It was a big honor for me to be with Philip in the final and to make it into the final for the 11th time in a row in my career. I can’t ask for more and I am very happy for Philip, that he is back so well after a massive injury and won the event.
At the beginning of the winners final I had a massive crash on a double Forward. My back foot came out of the strap and started flying around. I lost the rhythm for the first 3 to 4 minutes a bit. But then I started to get back on it and I even got a 10 on a wave, my best wave of the event. And I landed a couple of good jumps, too. I was missing just a good second jump in the end. I saw the stalled Double of Philip, not the Push Forward, but I knew that he probably went for it as he is really consistent on that. It’s really close on almost every heat and a few mistakes and you are out. I really hope I can do well in the rest of the year. I will stay on Gran Canaria for the next weeks – probably will go 5 days before the event start to El Medano -, and will do some gear testing with Klaas Voget and Craig Gertenbach. Here you have many other spots to train, which are similar to Cabezo. That’s what I always did before the Cabezo event and I don’t want to change it.
I am looking forward to Tenerife as I sailed well in the final losing just by 1 point and a bit. I just want to have fun during the next three weeks and want to improve my jumps and my wave riding a bit more.
Lina Erpenstein 3rd place
Happy is probably not the word. I am only just getting what’s happening actually that I made the podium. I am very, very happy. I didn’t expect this to happen and now it actually really happened. The whole week was really stressful to me and the moment they said it’s over was really relieving. One major point for my place on the podium is probably consistency. For competition sailing you don’t necessarily have to be the most radical sailor out there. More important is what you can do in those 12 to 14 minutes. I really learnt a lot with my wave riding this year. We really had a good season with a lot of wind and swell in Western Australia. The consistency in wave riding helped me quite a lot.
Thomas Traversa 3rd place
The event was stressy like every year, because it’s the first event of the season and you always wanna do good. I am not the best here, but for the poor conditions I did some good sailing. I was happy with my sailing. I didn’t make the best moves, but I went through my heats and on the podium. It’s incredible!! For me it’s a big achievement to be next to Philip and Victor on this podium, because they are always there and then there is another guy. This year it’s me, what’s really cool. I was sailing solid. I always had my two jumps and the one or two good wave rides. My best move was a Back loop off the lip in the quarter final, what was a sick moment. And besides that I always went for one or two Frontside 360s in every heat. and I always did a Double Forward loop and a Back loop. So I was kind of stable with my scores and it worked out really good for me.
Justyna Sniady 4th place
I am really excited how the event went for me. This was the best Pozo event for me. First because we got a double elimination almost done, sadly not all the way, but also because we had good conditions and I for the first time I pulled together some moves in my heats. I felt that I always sailed all right outside the competition, but couldn’t show that in my heats. In that condition I was super stoked how I sailed, even when I lost my heat in the single against Lina by 0.1 point. I really came back through the double and if I would have got another heat I maybe could have done a podium finish. A little bit gutted about that. But I am super happy for Lina. She is young and got her first podium. Something in me changed and I feel much more comfortable. I believed in myself a bit more. I always had a problem with self confidence and I knew I can land three Back loops on one run during free sailing. I hope I can get it together in Tenerife, too and have the luck on my side. I need a bit of luck. But I am feeling good at the moment.
Ricardo Campello 4th place
It looks like everybody is really consistent, more consistent than ever. There were some really tough heats and I am happy with my performance even though it wasn’t the result I wanted. I wanted to make it into the top 3. I was really close, but at least I am glad to be still up there in 4th place. I still have a good level and I am feeling really confident in the water. So let’s see for Tenerife, if I can make it in the top 3. Congratulations to all the top guys and to the kids and juniors, one of the things, that I was most happy about. We had over 30 kids competing and that’s what we need for the sport of windsurfing. The kids are really, really ripping and really into it. So hopefully we will have more juniors, youth and kids in all the events. My leg works perfect again after my injury in spring 2016 but on my wrist I have a broken scaphoid. I think I will have to undergo a surgery when I go back home, but it’s nothing really, really serious or I’ve to be worried about for the next competition. I will go to Tenerife in two days. I will have a clinic there at the TWS for two days. If there will be more people we will do two more days. Interested people should contact me through my Facebook account.