Day 5 - The finest freestyle fleet in the world were totally becalmed on day five at Austria’s Neusiedler See.
With every hope that the forecast would be wrong, the event organisers were ready to release the frustrated freestylers out of their equipment tents and onto the lake at 06:00. However, the wind gods were not with them, and refused to allow even the lightest of zephyrs to blow into the contest zone.
Winners & Losers
It’s difficult to keep a group of the world’s most active and competitive people on the planet satisfied with just a sofa and a laptop. So it wasn’t long before a Brazilians versus Europeans football match was organised. In a close fought battle, that went all the way through to penalties, the Brazilians nudged ahead to claim the silverware.
With plenty of time to kill, we took five of freestyle’s freshest aside and delved deep into their brains to bring you these top tips. For style success, simply soak up the following from the likes of tow-in freestyle champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra), Aruban air maestro Quincy Offringa (Starboard), Dutch wonder kid Davy Scheffers (Tabou, Gaastra), Tricktionary professor Michael Rossmeier (Loft), and flying Frenchman Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun).
PWA: First up, what’s your best tip for learning the forward loop?
SVB: “Put your back hand as far down the boom as you can, and instead of thinking about sheeting in, think about pulling that back hand right across your body.”
QO: “Man up and just go for it!”
DS: “Get over your fear in light winds by doing plenty of catapults. But, if you don’t have any fear just go for it like Quincy says!”
MR: “Sheet in hard, look back, and tuck your back leg up.”
NA: “Look at your back hand.”
PWA: How about the Vulcan?
SVB: “Put the nose of the board in the water, and don’t worry about trying to jump the board 180 degrees.”
QO: “Just concentrate on pulling your front arm across your body.”
DS: “Think about rig positioning, and forget about the board.”
MR: “Do some exercises on the beach to gain some muscle memory.”
NA: “Move your head, and your body will follow.”
PWA: Moving on to a spock?
SVB: “Have super quick hands, and get onto the new side of the boom as quick as possible.”
QO: “Jump downwind, not up.”
DS: “Search for a patch of really flat water, and go into the move with lots of speed.”
MR: “Look where you want your kit to go.”
NA: “Use a board with more volume so that you can float round the move more easily.”
PWA: And finally, flaka tips?
SVB: “Put your weight over the centreline of the board and towards the nose.”
QO: “Throw the rig towards the nose of the board. Don’t try to jump upwind.”
DS: “Practice doing some light wind stuff first like upwind 360s.”
MR: “Don’t push against your sail with your back hand.”
NA: “Try it out on land with a Buhala board first.”
Looking at the current forecast, the organisers remain hopeful that official competition will commence tomorrow. Head judge, Duncan Coombs, is calling a 05:30 skippers briefing, so there is every chance that a full double elimination could take place.