Day 1 started with trials since the competition only had 24 spaces for men and 32 registered (along with 9 women0. The top 8 men automatically qualified, and all the rest had to go into qualifiers where only 16 men could advance into the main event which starts tomorrow.
Blomvall (SWE, Nobile), Tack (BEL, Liquid Force), Hutter (FRA, F-ONE), Schitzhofer (AUT, Best), Corniel (DOM, Ozone), Morales (ESP, Slingshot), Paris (FRA, North) and Daubos (FRA, Naish) entered the main event winning their first heat in the qualifiers. Alex Soto (DOM, F-ONE) had a few equipment problems with a broken kite on his first heat and his harness at the last minute of his second heat, but he also made it to the main event.
Race Director Olaf Van Tol was impressed with how well the first day of the event went. “It was as good as it gets, with a nice North West wind, 20 to 28 knots which is side shore. This makes the spot less choppy and the wind less gusty, nice conditions for Sotavento. I saw an amazing level of competition in front of this crowd, they could watch the action closely as the high tide leaves a small part of the beach for the crowd to enjoy the action at the end of the day.”
After a day of judging, Antoine Jaubert recalled a few impressive tricks of the day, including a very powerful Blind Judge from Florian Daubos (FRA, Naish) who beat German champion and one of the best riders on tour Mario Rodwald (GER, North). Mario then made it through his next heat against Schuette (GER, Core).
The three youngest riders in the competition made it through to the main event, Whaley (ESP, Airush), only 14 years old, Blanc (ESP, Ozone), 15 years old and Garashchenko 16, (RUS, Cabrinha) who happily made it through beating French rider Victor Hays (FRA, Cabrinha) on the last heat of the day.
The first possible start tomorrow is set for 11.30am. The same wind conditions are predicted and organizers are looking forward to another good day of action in Sotavento.
The Fuerteventura Grand Slam is sponsored by the Canary Islands, the Island of Fuerteventura, Playas de Jandia, René Egli center, The Hotel Melia Gorriones, Cabrinha, NeilPryde, Surf Magazine and Fuerte Action. www.pkra.info