The past days of the Sardinia Freestyle Grand Prix were really eventful. To not forget anything in this report we will put it into chapters.
Porto Liscia, in the beautiful North of Sardinia, prepared the playground for the 3rd event of the European Freestyle Pro Tour. The spot works best when the wind comes from the North-West. Usually you can add some knots to the forecasts, or even better, ask one of the local windsurfers like Stefano Lorioli (RRD/RRD) or young gun Mattia Fabrizi (Fanatic/North Sails). They are living weather forecasts on the isle. During the Sardinia Freestyle Grand Prix the wind hit the beach varyingly strong. Everyday of the event was windy. We had one day light wind for 5.6sqm sails, two days perfect new school freestyle conditions with 4.8sqm, and on the 2nd day of the event, the beach was about to fly away. Porto Liscia gets pretty rough when 50 knots blow over it. Steven van Broeckhoven stated, after his first heat being full on with his brand new Gaastra IQ 3.6sqm, “the Air Flaka is way easier to land than the sliding one“. All in all the fleet of 32 EFPT riders had to perform with every rigg they had in their quiver. Therefore the winner of the Sardinia Freestyle Grand Prix can be called a truly complete freestyle windsurfer.
With 32 riders the registration list was filled to capacity. Pretty sad, we were missing one rider because of a heavy disease. Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North Sails), the longest competing rider in the European Freestyle Pro Tour, is currently going through a cancer treatment, forcing him to lay down his windsurf equipment for the season 2010.
Underneath the registered rider were a lot of local guys. The Italian windsurf scene we discovered on this event, heretofore entirely unknown to the EFPT, was excitingly fresh and full of potential. Names like Filippo Bestetti (RRD/RRD), Gabriele Varrucciu (Naish/Naish) or Marco Vinante (Starboard/Severne) had to be written down plenty of times throughout the elimination ladders. The list of competitors was completed by EFPT residents like Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun Sails), Davy Scheffers (Tabou/Gaastra), Yarden Meir (Fanatic/Simmer Style) and many many more.
saw throughout the days an increasing level. As riders got more and more used to Sardinian sailing conditions, the tricks got faster, bigger and also the technical difficulty went up parallel to the numbers on the heat board.106 heats, apportioned in 2 double eliminations with 35 and one with 36 heats, saw ballsy front loops, new school combinations like the Skopu and the Kabikuchie, and plenty of vast crashes. Filippo Bestetti´s wipe-out trying a front loop, while 50 knots let a lot of riders overpowered, is one of the most vivid memories from the last days. Everyday another rider seamed to be sailing in top form, making his way through the elimination ladder. Luigi Madeddu (Fanatic/North Sails), Stam Promponas (Fanatic/Vandal Sails) and Edvan Souza de Pedro (RRD/Simmer Style) were, beside the top 4 in the overall result, showing adventurous performances and ended up on the low ranks of “their“ eliminations. The first two eliminations, underneath one was the high wind session, were won by Steven van Broeckhoven. The Belgian sailed in the final heats against Nicolas Akgazciyan and Davy Scheffers. Both riders could pressurise the Belgian, but in the end it was the current EFPT champion who climbed up the podium. The single elimination on day 3 of the Sardinia Freestyle Grand Prix saw another boy on the top. Dutch rider Davy Scheffers took a lot risk in the final against Steven. This time the blond 18 year old rider nailed tricks like a Skopu, a double Spock and an Eslider into Puneta, while Steven crashed a bit too much. On the 2nd of June Davy Scheffers won his first double elimination in his EFPT career.
The Price Giving ceremony
The 2 best double eliminations had to be taken into count for the overall event result. This left audience and riders, after 3 sailed eliminations, pretty excited for the price giving ceremony. Steven van Broeckhoven had two first and one second place on the result sheet. The worst result got discarded, and Steven van Broeckhoven won the Sardinia Freestyle Grand Prix in front of his close friend Davy Scheffers, French rider Nicolas Akgazciyan and Sardinia local Mattia Fabrizi.
The European Freestyle Pro Tour was given a warm welcome by the organisation of the event. Everyday featured a dinner for riders and crew, which was often joined by people who were during the days watching the eliminations. Riders from all over Europe mixed up with Italians and made every off water activity to a big cultural exchange. To remember the taste of the event, every rider was given a bottle of Sardinian olive oil during the price giving ceremony. This gift should reduce the waiting period till the Sardinia Freestyle Grand Prix 2011.
After 4 exhausting event days on Sardinia, the European Freestyle Pro Tour is now up to Lefkada and Vassiliki. There the Milos Beach Lefkada/Vassiliki Festival takes place from 11th to 14th of June featuring 10.000€ price money. See you there!