Despite very light winds forcing the official competition on to hold, the PWA’s freshest were desperate to jump back in the water and return to the limelight. So late in the afternoon head judge, Duncan Coombs organised a light wind freestyle exhibition allowing the sailors to wow the crowds with a technical display of tow-in-styling.
Having had more than twenty-four hours to recover from the single elimination, the four o’clock freestyle frenzy was oversubscribed with riders. Six were lucky enough to be automatically seeded through to the final, and the remainder had to fight it out in the qualifiers for their chance to challenge the best!
The final eight consisted of the crazy French men, Anthony Ruenes (Tabou) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun). The boys from Bonaire, Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra), and Tonky (F2, Gaastra) and Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails). Belgian boy wonder, Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra). And, the Venezuelan whiz kids, former world champion Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC), and current world champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North).
After being towed along the shore at full speed behind a jet ski, the man with more pop than a tube of Pringles, Steven Van Broeckhoven managed to impress both the judges and the spectators with an awesome culo on the glassy North Sea to win himself the top prize of a Panasonic camcorder. Second went to the current world champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo who was actually the first to gain respect from the crowd with a clean air flaka. And, the final prize went to Taty Frans for his slick double trick – a burner into a flaka!
The remaining fleets had to watch on in awe after a full day on standby had tested the nerves of even the most experienced of competitors. However, with four days still to go, there’s everything left to play for. And, with a new low pressure rolling in, the North Sea will soon turn into a windsurfer’s paradise!
Eye On The Horizon
The forecast for tomorrow looks much more promising than today, and the wind ordered for the weekend will ensure a spectacular finale for the last racing, freestyle, and women’s wave events of the year.
Official Competition Results
Freestyle After The Single Elimination
1st Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
2nd Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic)
3rd Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
4th Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
Slalom After One Race
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic)
2nd Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
3rd Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North)
4th Alberto Menegatti (Starboard, Simmer)
5th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine)