Day 6 - An early morning of explosive action allowed the born and bred styler from Bonaire, Taty Frans, to claim his crown in Austria.
1st Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails)
2nd Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
3rd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
The 2009 Colgate world cup winner, Taty Frans proved that he’s currently the best freestyler in the world having beaten Steven Van Broeckhoven in a nail biting single elimination final on Lake Neusiedl today. Both competitors were pulling out all the stops in order to become the Podersdorf freestyle champion, but in the end, there could only be one winner.
Although the conditions were extremely tough during the final, Frans still managed to pull off technically difficult moves such as his finely executed culo. Van Broeckhoven tried to match him with a huge diversity of moves from lollipops to cana bravas, but he couldn’t quite keep up with Taty’s unique style, which continues to turn heads the world over.
Words Of A Champion
“Winning here in Podersdorf is like a dream come true. I never thought I could win in these conditions against the likes of Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra), my brother Tonky, and Steven Van Broeckhoven because they’re all so good when it’s light. I don’t know if I should be happy or not, but I do feel like I’m flying right now – I’ve won two in a row! I’m really looking forward to the next event in the Canaries, see you there!” Taty Frans
Spaniard Antxon Otaegui (JP/NeilPryde) raised the level during the first round when he landed what some people believe to be the most difficult move in modern freestyle, the regular stance chachoo. The next sailor to really make his mark was Brazilian Jao Henrique Barros Ferreira who stunned the crowds with a faultless no handed flaka, and a technically correct culo. When showman Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) launched into action, all eyes were glued on his gear. In his first heat he completed all of his moves with minutes to spare, allowing him the opportunity to play up to the people, and do what he does best - show off!
When you whittle the world’s best down to the final eight, you expect extreme action. But, when you put the boys from Bonaire Tonky and Taty Frans, and Kiri Thode on the water all at the same time, and crank the wind up a few knots, you just don’t know which way to look. Despite putting on a dynamic performance, Maarten Van Ochten (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) didn’t really stand a chance against Thode who was being cheered on by his fellow island boys. The level went through the roof with countless culos, and outright awesome action. Podersdorf will no doubt see some Bonairean style celebrations tonight!
Van Broeckhoven’s Air Cana Brava performed in heat 22 against Four Dimension’s star, Andre Paskowski (Fanatic, North). The Belgian wonder boy has more pop than Lady Gaga right now. Watch out for more full on air tricks throughout the summer.
One of the freshest faces on the tour is that of another Belgian youngster, Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard, Severne). He dominated his first few heats, taking down local Austrian hot shot, Max Matissek (Fanatic, North) with a finely executed bob. He then moved on to take the scalp of Tricktionary genius Michael Rossmeier (Loft) with an array of smooth slides, including a switch chachoo, and half bob. However, luck wasn’t on Van der Eyken’s side as he qualified into the final sixteen to meet Taty Frans. Despite putting in 110%, he couldn’t quite match Taty’s incredible island style. There’s no shame in going out to someone who’s won the last two world cup events though!
Surprise Of The Day
Wind. Following five days of waiting around, most of the competitors had lost all hope of the competition actually running. Duncan Coombs and his team had other thoughts though, as did the wind gods. At the 05:30 skippers briefing freestyle’s finest were told to prepare themselves for the start of the 2010 world tour. This came as a bit of a shock to some of the professionals, including Belgian’s new wonder boy, Steven Van Broeckhoven, who’d been propping the bar up until the early hours!
Most people think world cup level freestyle is just for helium filled, double-jointed kids with elastic bones. It’s clearly not though because forty three year old Raimondo Gasperini (Starboard, Severne) from Italy entered this event, and put up a solid fight as he flew through his first heat. Unfortunately he met Taty in the second round so was stopped dead in his tracks, but it just goes to show that freestyle is a discipline for all ages.