The PWA Windsurf Grand Slam, Pozo Izquierdo, Gran Canaria
By Daniel Alcock
From 3rd till 12th of July, Pozo Izquierdo will host the 19th PWA Grand Slam World Championship in what is described as ‘The Wimbledon' of the PWA Windsurf World Tour circuit.
The best windsurfers in the world come to the Southeast of the island to battle for important points in the world circuit and its proximity and dramatic wind and wave conditions makes it a real and awesome spectators event.
The stage is split down into 3 categories. For the men ‘Wave' and ‘Slalom' and for the ladies ‘Wave' and ‘Freestyle.'
Pozo is an extremely special stop on the tour. To win at Pozo is a number one objective for most pro windsurfers and has been described as ‘up there' with winning Wimbledon for a tennis player, or winning at Monaco for an F1 driver.
One of the reasons the event is so prestigious is its esteem as an incredible and versatile windsurf spot. Pozo is sited as one of the only places on the planet which is versatile enough to hold all three category disciplines of the sport (Waves, Slalom and Freestyle), all on the same beach. Although there may be better spots on the planet for Slalom, Freestyle or Waves, it is one of the only venues to combine the three,offering this contest its unique edge.
Gran Canaria has bred a number of world champions over the years, most notably Bjorn Dunkerbeck, the twins Daida and Iballa Ruano and Marcos Perez and there will be plenty of local talent amongst the top pros this year, taking advantage of their local knowledge in their training ground.
On the coast by Vecindario - if going by car, take the signs for Pozo Izquierdo as you leave the highway for Vecindario. The road doubles back on itself and takes you right to the coast. The best seats in the house are in the Barlovento Bar, where the massive windows give you a cinema style view of the action.
For any help finding out what's going on with the contest, head over to the windsurf shop ‘Cutre' and the guys there will be only too happy to help you out.
Ever wondered why it is always windy in Vecindario? This is to do with the shape of the island and the effects of the prevailing trade winds. These winds enter the island from the Northeast and as air ‘splits' to go around the island (Eastside or Westside) it accelerates past the South East region. When it then gets towards Maspalomas/Arguineguin, it enters a ‘wind shadow' (sheltered by the land). This effect is felt more in the summer months as the trade winds are more prevalent and windsurfers come from all around the world to sail and train at this famous spot.
3rd - 12th July 2008 - REMEMBER, this is a wind dependant event so if there is no wind some days, there is no sailing! Have a look on the internet first before you come - www.cutre.com and click on ‘webcam.' This will give you wind strengths and a webcam showing if there is any windsurfing or not.
Living in Gran Canaria, we are very lucky to be host to this incredible event, so take advantage! Head over and soak up the electric atmosphere of a world championship windsurf event.