Day 3: Storm force winds bombard Brouwersdam as Kiri Thode and Sarah-Quita Offringa shine
The epic forecast promising winds in excess of 40 knots for Day 3 of the DAM7 PWA Netherlands World Cup didn’t disappoint as the wind howled for much of the afternoon and grew stronger as the evening progressed. Today was more like the PWA’s very own Storm Chase at times as the sailors reached for their smallest gear - many wishing they had smaller equipment available - to take on the brutal winds. At the end of a long day of amazing competition, Kiri Thode and Sarah-Quita Offringa proudly claimed the single eliminations victories, as they defeated both their opponents and the fierce weather.
Men’s Single Elimination - Winners’ Final
The Bonaire boys dominated the lineup in the winners’ final as Kiri Thode competed against Tonky Frans, but unfortunately Tonky couldn’t quite replicate the form that he’d shown in earlier heats, which meant there was only ever one winner in this final. Frans tried to pull out the big guns in an effort to salvage the tie as he launched into pushloop and backloops attempts, but he couldn’t make either of them stick. Thode on the other hand was in irresistible form as he first landed a perfectly executed air funnel followed by an exquisite skopu. With a couple of massive moves in the bag, Thode then let loose with an audacious spock into culo and it wasn’t long before he was acknowledged as the deserved winner. The Bonairean will now hope he is able to defend his single elimination crown to secure his first event victory since 2011.
Elsewhere in the single elimination, Steven van Broeckhoven looked back to his brilliant powerful best as he launched into amazing kabikuchis, air skopus and an astonishing pushloop off almost nothing. With van Broeckhoven in such superb form, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo was left to settle for fourth place - after a slightly below par performance - compared to his usual, unbelievably high standards. Austria’s Max Matissek also enjoyed his finest day to date on the PWA World Tour as he progressed into the third round for the first time, having firstly defeated Choko Frans before causing an upset as he took down one of the local boys - Davy Scheffers. After the single elimination, the 25 year old is currently in joint 9th alongside Bjorn Saragoza, Amado Vrieswijk, Anthony Ruenes, Max Rowe, Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers, Adrien Bosson and Adrian Beholz.
Men's Double Elimination
The double elimination began almost immediately after the completion of the single and the opening round was completed in driving rain and winds gusting in excess of 40 knots! It’s safe to say that the action which ensued was nothing short of spectacular as a combination of some massive moves and some even bigger crashes concluded the day in epic fashion. Davy Scheffers began his comeback by defeating Paul Boef, but the two sailors who really excelled in the extreme conditions were fellow countrymen Mattia Fabrizi and Jacopo Testa, with the latter landing an absolutely sensational air kabikuchi, which was one of the moves of the day, even though it was completed after the end of his heat against Erik Hakman.
Women’s Single Elimination - Winners’ Final
Sarah-Quita Offringa successfully navigated her way into another winners’ final as she was met by Yoli de Brendt, who managed to defeat Arrianne Aukes in the semifinals. With both of the women fully stacked, the final was an extremely challenging affair. de Brendt was able to land a super smooth flaka, but the reigning world champion proved too strong as the Aruban gem slid through a brilliant double flaka, before upping her level with a super switch kono and a sick shaka.
Arrianne Aukes quickly recovered from the disappointment of missing out on the winners’ final as she secured her place on the podium by defeating Olya Raskina in the losers’ final. Aukes did the damage with a quickly rotated flaka and an explosive switch kono.
Tomorrow promises the opportunity of more wind - not quite as much as today, which will come as a welcome relief to some of the sailors. With this in mind the skippers’ meeting has been called for 08:30 AM tomorrow morning with the double eliminations resuming from 9 AM, if conditions allow.
Results After Single Elimination - Men’s Freestyle
1st Kiri Thode
2nd Tonky Frans
3rd Steven van Broeckhoven
4th Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo
5th Dieter Van der Eyken
5th Philip Soltysiak
5th Youp Schmit
5th Taty Frans
Results After Single Elimination - Women’s Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa
2nd Yoli de Brendt
3rd Arrianne Aukes
4th Olya Raskina
The waiting game continued on Day 2 of the DAM7 PWA Netherlands World Cup as tantalizing winds teased the competitors for much of the morning and early afternoon. Shortly before 12 PM, the wind increased sufficiently to cause a flurry of action on the beach as many of the sailors were tempted out onto the water to test the conditions.
For a brief period the wind was suitable for the competition to begin, but the conditions soon deteriorated to mean that only intermittent planing was possible, meaning that we are still waiting to begin the single eliminations.
After a long day on hold we used some of the downtime to grab a quick interview with local boy Dieter van der Eyken:
PWA: How many years have you been competing on the tour?
Dieter: “This is my fourth year on the PWA.”
PWA: Best result so far?
Dieter: “5th in Fuerte this year and last year, and also 5th in Vietnam.”
PWA: Before the event, you went out to Egypt - how were the conditions? And what were you training?
Dieter: “Yep, I went to Egypt for one week. The conditions were good, I had wind everyday for 4.8m² and one day on 4.4m², it’s good because you have both flat and choppy water so it’s perfect for training. I was concentrating on getting my flaka shaka super consistent - like every single run - and I was also trying to get my no-handed burners on both sides.”
PWA: Are you excited to have a PWA event at your home spot?
Dieter: “Super excited! I learned most of my moves on these waters and this is where my dreams started to be a professional windsurfer.”
PWA: Thoughts on the forecast for tomorrow?
Dieter: “The forecast looks windy, the forecast that I’ve been looking at has been showing 20 to 25 knots, it’s not the ideal wind direction, but North-westerly can also be really nice with a combination of small chop and flat spots, it’s probably gonna be pretty cold too.”
PWA: Where would you like to finish here?
Dieter: “As high as possible. I’d like to achieve my best result ever and make it onto the podium - I want a trophy in my hands!”
PWA: You are also a coach for the Next Generation Project - can you tell us a little about it and who it’s aimed at?
Dieter: “The Next Generation Project is for younger guys from 12 to 20 who want to learn fast with myself and Alexis Duparc. We teach people who are in the harness and footstraps to make your first jibes - whether it be a duck jibe or aerial jibe - to anything you want.”
PWA: Finally, favorite kit setup and current favorite move?
Dieter: “Kit wise, I’d take my new 4.8m² Severne Freek together with my new 2014 Starboard Flare 91. Favorite move would be a big shaka flaka because a shaka is still the best move.”
PWA: Thanks Dieter and best of luck for tomorrow and the rest of the week.
Thankfully the forecast for tomorrow looks very promising - particularly the afternoon and evening - which means we should be in store for an epic day of freestyle at its explosive best. Tomorrow’s skippers’ meeting has been called for 9 AM with the first possible start at 09:30 AM. Don’t miss any of the action!
The opening day of the DAM7 PWA Netherlands World Cup witnessed light winds as the sailors registered between 10 AM and 11 AM. With the light winds on offer the majority of the competitors took the opportunity to prepare their equipment for the coming week, whilst at 3 PM, the first round of the tow-in contest was completed. Anthony Ruenes, Nicolas Akgazciyan and Taty Frans all successfully secured their place in the final, after landing a brilliant shaka flaka, a stylish clew-first flaka and a triple funnel diablo respectively. Youp Schmit still has a chance of making the final too, as the lucky loser having finished in fourth place.
From the 8th to the 14th of September, the PWA will once again descend upon the shores of the Netherlands for the first time in fifteen years (!) - Brouwersdam to be more precise - as the most talented freestylers on the planet prepare to battle it out again. The DAM7 Festival will be held at the Sail and Surfcentre Brouwersdam which has been in existence since 1993, and this promises to be another epic event with outstanding entertainment both on and off the water.
Brouwersdam is a dam spanning 6.5 kilometers between the North Sea and Grevelingen Lake, situated in Southern Holland, just over an hours drive from the Metropolitan city of Amsterdam. Brouwersdam is the seventh construction of the famous Delta Works and this is why the event will be known as DAM7.
Brouwersdam has grown in popularity over the years thanks to it’s fantastic location, reliable winds and its now famous ‘poeltje’ meaning little pool, which has seen Brouwersdam earn the reputation of being one of the best freestyle spots in the world due to it’s mirror flat, shallow water, which make this an ideal spot for beginners and experts alike. Many of the stars competing on the PWA often frequent Brouwersdam with the likes of local heroes Dieter Van der Eyken, Rick Jendrusch, Davy Scheffers and of course the 2011 PWA Freestyle World Champion Steven Van Broeckhoven all being regulars. Furthermore, should the wind not blow there are a vast array of other activities to participate in such as sailing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and cable-tow, which will then be followed by epic parties in the evenings. But with the battle for the world titles heading towards its climax, this promises to be an event packed with highs, lows and plenty of drama. The women’s world champion will be decided right here in their final event of the year, so there’s plenty at stake.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo sits handsomely at the top of the rankings after two flawless performances in the opening couple of events. The five-time world champion is unbeaten since 2012 and he’ll be hoping to continue his dominance of the freestyle scene with his third victory of the season. Expect to see the Venezuelan going bigger and higher than ever as he leaves nothing to chance in an effort to clinch his sixth world title.
Kiri Thode pushed Gollito all the way in Fuerteventura and he’ll be hoping to go one place better by the end of the week as he goes in search of his first event victory since the 2011 event in Vietnam, and in doing so, keep his world championship challenge alive. Of course, the rest of the super talented Bonaire crew will also be a major threat with the likes of Tonky Frans, Taty Frans, Amado Vrieswijk and Bjorn Saragoza all capable of fighting for the top spots.
The two Belgium maestros - Steven van Broeckhoven and Dieter van der Eyken - will be trying to use their local knowledge and formidable skills to make a charge for the top. van Broeckhoven currently occupies third place, whilst Dieter van der Eyken is enjoying his best season to date on the PWA World Tour as he finds himself in fourth place. The two of them have had some mesmerizing clashes in the past and the next week should see more fierce action between the two countrymen.
The reigning PWA Youth World Champion Youp Schmit has already established himself as a regular in the top ten at the age of just eighteen. Schmit has impressed both the crowds and the judges over the last couple of years with his explosive, smooth style and he’ll be trying to maintain his place in the top ten at a minimum, but if he performs to his potential, he could go much higher.
With the freestyle fleet being so competitive at the moment there are a whole host of sailors who could easily come storming up the rankings. Philip Soltysiak finished sixth in Fuerteventura and you can expect to see the Canadian battling for the top places come the end of the week. Of course, Davy Scheffers will be a name that needs to be watched closely as the Dutchman excels in the flatter waters that Brouwersdam is renowned for.
Sarah-Quita Offringa is just one more victory away from an incredible sixth freestyle world title - seventh overall. The Aruban gem is unbeaten in the last five years and she holds such talent that she’d give many of her male counterparts a run for their money. Expect to see some of the latest power moves from Offringa, such as burners and culos as she looks to clinch another world crown.
Arrianne Aukes and Yoli de Brendt are likely to pose Offringa her biggest threat. The two stylers finished in second and third place respectively in Fuerteventura and they’ll be throwing caution to the wind to ensure that they will be gracing the heralded podium with their presence again.
Elsewhere, Olya Raskina will be doing everything in her power to force her way into the top three, having finished fourth in Fuerte. The Russian will be facing stiff competition from Oda Johanne Brodholt. The Norwegian may have only just made her debut but the twenty-four year old has skopus among other tricks up her sleeve. Also hoping to battle their way into the top five will be fifteen-year-old Maaike Huvermann - who will be hoping to use her local knowledge to her advantage - Svetlana Martynova and Maxime van Gent.
The week ahead promises to be one that you can’t afford to miss as the pressure begins to rise to boiling point. Don’t miss any of the enthralling and explosive action by tuning from the 8th September!