Event Summary: Kiri Thode and Antoine Albeau crowned the champions of the world
The 2013 GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup proved to be a huge success once more as Sylt delivered five days of wind, which saw the men’s freestyle double elimination completed, whilst five eliminations in the men’s slalom were also finished. The past 10 days will remain in the memory of Kiri Thode for the rest of his life, after the Bonairean finally realized his dream of becoming the PWA Freestyle World Champion, having come so close on many occasions before. Antoine Albeau produced another fantastic display to not only claim the event victory, but also the 2013 PWA Slalom World Championship - back-to-back world titles for the Frenchman.
Men’s Freestyle - Dedicated to André Paskowski
Kiri Thode produced a stunning comeback in the double elimination, as he fought back from fourth place in the single to claim the event title. On his way to victory, Thode defeated fellow Starboard team rider Dieter van der Eyken in the battle for fourth and fifth, before ending the world title hopes of Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo. Thode then took down fellow Bonairean Tonky Frans to set up a mouthwatering tie against the single elimination champion Steven van Broeckhoven. The winners’ final was held in light winds with both sailors on their largest sails and it was Thode who really excelled to force a super final. Into the super final, Kiri showcased his amazing light wind skills once more as he rotated through a barely planing culo and a trademark air bob to secure the event victory, and more importantly claim his maiden PWA Freestyle World title. On the beach Thode was overcome by emotion as he realized his childhood dream.
Antoine Albeau came into the event as the world tour leader, knowing that finishing seventh or better would ensure the defense of his title, and that’s exactly what the big Frenchman managed to do as he regained his PWA Slalom World title in the best style possible by winning the final event of the year ahead. Albeau showed tremendous speed and super consistent jibes over the course of the ten days to build an unassailable lead, including an elimination victory in race five.
Alberto Menegatti was the only man who could’ve prevented Albeau from claiming the 2013 PWA Slalom World Championship, but the Italian couldn’t quite pull it off on this occasion. In the end Menegatti finished just behind Albeau in both the event and overall standings, but this year represents the twenty-eight year olds best finish to date on the PWA World Tour as he clinched his place on the prestigious podium for the first time, second place.
Flying Dutchman Ben van der Steen eventually finished the season in fifth place, whilst Gonzalo Costa Hoevel’s equipment change ahead of the new season paid dividends as he returned to the top ten of the world - sixth.
The Official 2013 PWA World Rankings - Men's Slalom
1st Antoine Albeau
2nd Alberto Menegatti
3rd Julien Quentel
4th Cyril Moussilmani
5th Ben van der Steen
6th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
7th Antoine Questel
8th Micah Buzianis
9th Josh Angulo
10th Matteo Iachino
The Official 2013 PWA World Rankings - Men's Freestyle
1st Kiri Thode
2nd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo
3rd Steven van Broeckhoven
4th Tonky Frans
5th Dieter Van der Eyken
6th Davy Scheffers
7th Anthony Ruenes
8th Taty Frans
9th Youp Schmit
10th Philip Soltysiak
Constructors' Championship - Board Brands
2nd JP Australia
With an outside chance of some wind and waves on the horizon for this morning, the wave fleet met at 7 AM this morning. Unfortunately though the early start didn’t pay off as the competitors and crew were greeted with light cross-onshore wind and very little in the way of waves. Throughout the morning a small wave did develop, but without the presence of wind, no competition was completed today. The slalom sailors spent the remainder of the day on hold, with a marginal wind keeping everyone on their toes, before they were eventually released for the penultimate time of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World at 5 PM.
With plenty of down time today we caught up with a couple of sailors to gain their thoughts on yesterday’s action packed day on the water, which saw Kiri Thode win the men’s freestyle double elimination whilst Antoine Albeau won the fifth slalom elimination.
Dieter van der Eyken, who is on the verge of breaking into the overall Top 5 in the world for the first time in his career:
“I’m super stoked to have finished 5th overall. It was really close with Kiri, but I’m happy for him because I think he really deserves to be the world champion, finally. [...] Over the winter, I’m planning to go to Australia for two months to work on my jumping and air moves, before also going to Bonaire for another couple of months, then I’ll go straight to El Yaque.”
Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) reflects on yesterday’s slalom elimination victory. The big Frenchman now holds an almost unassailable lead in his bid for back-to-back world titles, after another flawless performance:
“Yesterday was very, very hard day. The wind was still side off shore, gusty and shifty, rainy, not so great to be a slalomer on the water. It was also very hard to decide what sail to use, 9.5m² or 8.6m². I maybe should’ve been on 8.6m², but in the end I just used my 9.5m² and my 129L RRD in all my heats. I was a bit overpowered in my first two heats - but comfortable in the semi and final. [...] In the final the wind was strong so I decided to start in the middle of the line, I had a good start but Alberto [Menegatti] was at the pin with a great start as well, I could see him through my sail, we arrived same time at the first jibe but he was below so he jibed in first place. I was just behind and waiting for him to make a mistake, which he did at the third jibe. The wind was light after the mark and we got stuck with neither of us planing after the mark. I was pumping a lot and got planing before him, so I sailed on top of him and started to control him. At the last jibe I arrived in first and at this point I knew he had no possibility to come back to me. I’m super happy to have won the fifth race in those conditions.”
Tomorrow offers a marginal forecast with southwesterly winds being predicted, which offers the potential for the slalom sailors to compete one more time on their biggest equipment. The skippers’ meeting for all three fleets tomorrow morning will be at 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM, if conditions allow.
Day seven of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup proved to be the busiest day of competition thus far as both the freestyle and slalom fleets hit the water. The freezing cold continued today as both the men’s freestyle double elimination - dedicated to André Paskowski - and the fifth elimination of the men’s slalom were completed before the end of a very long day, in which the temperature never rose above 7 degrees Celsius. Kiri Thode took a giant step towards his maiden PWA Freestyle World Championship as he fought back in the double to claim victory over Steven van Broeckhoven, whilst Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) is now also within touching distance of back-to-back world titles, after winning race five.
Men’s Freestyle (Dedicated to André Paskowski) - Double Elimination: Winners’ Final
Having defeated Dieter van der Eyken, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo and then fellow countryman Tonky Frans - Kiri Thode earned the chance to battle for the double elimination crown against Steven van Broeckhoven. With the light winds both sailors reached for their biggest equipment with Kiri Thode on 5.2m² and van Broeckhoven on a 5.4m² respectively. However, it was Thode who really excelled in the light conditions as he landed a ridiculous clew-first, and regular backloop, together with a trademark one-handed air bob as he dominated to force a super final. Van Broeckhoven did land some monster moves of his own such as a brilliant air bob and a massive kono, but it wasn’t enough to defend his single elimination victory.
In the super final, the wind became lighter and more gusty, but Kiri was able to make more of the conditions on offer than his Belgium counterpart. Thode opened with an incredible, barely planing, culo, whilst van Broeckhoven rotated through a fast air flaka and a powerful culo of his own. The Bonairean though, continued his irresistible form as he exploded through a super stylish one-handed shaka, a fluid double spock and the best of the bunch another amazing one-handed air bob - as in the winners’ final. Soon afterwards the results were announced that Kiri Thode had reigned supreme in the double elimination, at which point the 23 year old was overcome by emotion as it dawned upon him that he is now within touching distance of the maiden world title.
Kiri Thode speaks after fighting back in the double elimination to storm to victory:
“Today I knew that I had to perform really, really well and after sailing I’m super happy with my performance. I haven’t been focusing on what results I needed, I was just trying to remain focused on today and I’m currently feeling very comfortable on the water. It’s been a dream since I was six years old to be the PWA Freestyle World Champion, and to be this close to it is amazing, I’m so close to realizing my dream. I’m so motivated right now and let’s just see what happens.”
Although Kiri Thode won the double elimination, it could’ve so easily been a different story. In Heat 48, Thode faced an on fire Dieter van der Eyken and the Belgium maestro pushed Thode all the way. By the end of the heat the two sailors were almost inseparable with just half a point difference between the judges. However, van der Eyken’s final move of the heat on starboard tack was a regular chachoo, which he landed slightly wet. Unfortunately, this proved to be a counting move for the twenty-one year old and ultimately this was the difference between the two sailors as Thode advanced.
That wasn’t the only close call of the day either as the freestylers produced some stunning battles. In Heat 43, Bjorn Saragoza narrowly missed out to Phil Soltysiak. Saragoza landed a stunning pasko, but with four moves from seven to count the Bonairean also half a switch chachoo to count, which resulted in him missing out. Soltysiak still produced an excellent heat with a brilliant skopu and a culo. Anthony Ruenes advanced by way of a 2:1 decision in his favor against Amado Vrieswijk to move into the Top 7, but van der Eyken then stopped his fight back through the double. Heat 46B was also an incredibly close heat between Davy Scheffers and Taty Frans. The two sailors were move-for-move with each other until the very end of the heat, at which point Scheffers attempted a shaka but had to settle for a shuvit, which proved to be his downfall as Frans advanced into the top six.
Men's Slalom - Elimination Five: Winners’ Final
Alberto Menegatti made the best start to the winners’ final just ahead of Antoine Albeau. The Italian rounded the first mark ahead of Albeau, Cyril Moussilmani and Ross Williams. Menegatti was able to hold his lead until the final mark at which point Albeau out maneuvered him to take the top spot. On the home straight, Albeau made no mistakes as he now looks to have taken an almost unassailable lead as he goes in search of back-to-back world titles. Behind him, Menegatti secured a second place followed by Williams and Antoine Questel - who made a brilliant comeback - to finish in third and fourth place respectively.
Elsewhere in Elimination 5, fifteen year old Ethan Westera did brilliantly to qualify for the quarterfinals after finishing in fourth place in Heat 7. Unfortunately the Aruban then jumped the gun along with Kasper Larsen. Taty Frans jumped straight from his freestyle gear onto his slalom kit, but after a perfect start he made a catastrophic error as he sailed towards the wrong mark after the opening jibe, which cost him dearly as he finished in 5th place.
In Heat 11, Julien Quentel did brilliantly to fight back and claim the final qualifying place after overtaking Bjorn Dunkerbeck, who eventually narrowly missed out in 5th place. Also qualifying from the heat were Ben van der Steen, Bernd Flessner - who enjoyed a fantastic day in his final event as he reached the winners’ final - and finally Cyril Moussilmani.
Tomorrow offers the potential for a southwesterly breeze of 16 to 25 knots, which could create a few waves, with this in mind, the wave fleet will meet at 7 AM with the action commencing at 7:30 AM. The freestyle and slalom sailors will meet at 10 AM with the first possible start at 10:30 AM. Don't miss any of the brilliant action by tuning into the PWA livestream!
Results after Men’s Freestyle Double Elimination - Dedicated to André Paskowski
1st Kiri Thode
2nd Steven van Broeckhoven
3rd Tonky Frans
4th Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo
5th Dieter van der Eyken
6th Taty Frans
Day 6: Bitterly cold, explosive freestyle as Steven van Broeckhoven stakes his claim for the world title
Day 6 of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup saw the freestyle sailors take center stage for the first time this week in some of the harshest sailing conditions of year on the PWA World Tour. The beautiful sunny weather continued, but the bitter biting wind saw temperatures of 4 to 6 degrees with wind-chill factored in. However, that didn’t stop the contortionists of the windsurfing world from putting on a spectacular display of sailing as they laid down the gauntlet with massive moves. After a grueling day, the men’s freestyle single elimination - dedicated to André Paskowski - was completed as Steven van Broeckhoven clinched victory ahead of Tonky Frans to put himself firmly in contention for the 2013 PWA Freestyle World Championship.
Men’s Freestyle (Dedicated to André Paskowski) - Winners’ Final
Steven van Broeckhoven lined up against Tonky Frans in the winners’ final, which was held in slightly less wind than the earlier rounds. Van Broeckhoven made an explosive start to the final as he flew through a future, before quickly adding a powerful burner 360. Whilst Frans opened with a future of his own followed by a big forward loop when looking for his trademark bongka. The 2011 PWA Freestyle World Champion - who is looking for his second World Crown - then went on the attack as he rotated through a massive one-handed air funnel and a technical shove-it spock to edge his nose into the lead. Frans tried to respond with a clean culo and a skopu, but it wasn’t enough as van Broeckhoven was announced as the winner in front of a packed out crowd on the beach.
Heat of the Day
Before winning the single elimination - Steven van Broeckhoven - produced the heat of the day in the semifinals against Kiri Thode. The King of Pop opened his heat with a stunning double culo in the choppy conditions, before stomping an amazing Pasko and an outrageous pushloop off almost no ramp. The diversity, technical skill and style of his heat saw him awarded an incredible 56.5 points out of a possible 60 as he accumulated the highest score of the day, with a magnificent performance.
Dieter van der Eyken pushed Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo all the way in Heat 22. The twenty-one year old landed explosive culos and burners, as well as a kabikuchi, but it wasn’t quite enough as Gollito prevailed by way of a 2:1 judges' decision in his favor. The reigning World Champion survived unscathed though after performing a one-handed air funnel and a radical one-footed forward loop among others.
Amado Vrieswijk achieved his highest finish to date on the PWA World Tour as he sailed himself into joint 5th place by defeating Christofer Kalk and Tony Mottus before Tonky Frans proved too much.
Youp Schmit arrived very late for his first heat of the contest - Heat 13 - against Tony Mottus. With just three minutes to go, the eighteen year old finally arrived into the competition area and very nearly pulled off a miraculous victory against his Estonian counterpart. Schmit landed six moves in two and a half minutes, but it wasn’t quite enough as Mottus progressed by way of a 2:1 decision.
After the completion of the single elimination, the first round of the double elimination was completed. Thomas Traversa and Ricardo Campello showed that they are still a threat in freestyle world as they began their fight back through the double elimination after defeating Rafael de Windt and Yegor Popretinskiy, respectively. However, after the first round the wind deteriorated and the action for the day was concluded at 5 PM.
Max Rowe: “Today I suffered the worst hot hands of my life, when I found out I’d made it through to my next round I didn’t even smile it was that cold.”
Deivis Paternina Teran: “It was that cold that a minute before my heat I was really tempted to just sail back to the beach (laughs)”
The forecast for tomorrow is predicting strong winds again, which should see the completion of the freestyle double elimination - dedicated to André Paskowski - with the potential for further slalom in the afternoon. The skippers’ meeting for the freestyle fleet will be held at 8:30 AM tomorrow morning with a first possible start of 9 AM, whilst the skippers’ meeting for the slalom and wave sailors will be at 10 AM with a first possible start at 10:30 AM. Don't miss any of the brilliant action by tuning into the PWA Live stream!
Results after Men’s Freestyle Single Elimination - in dedication of André Paskowski
1st Steven van Broeckhoven
2nd Tonky Frans
3rd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo
4th Kiri Thode
5th Amado Vrieswijk
5th Dieter van der Eyken
5th Davy Scheffers
5th Taty Frans
The fifth day of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup saw the wind return as a further two slalom eliminations were completed in chilly, but beautiful weather. The offshore winds made for tricky racing in 7 to 15 knots of breeze, but there were still some exhilarating battles over the course of the day. Josh Angulo continued his fantastic form this week as the secured another bullet and a second place to move to the top of the event rankings, whilst Alberto Menegatti hit back in Race 4 with his first race victory of the event.
Men’s Slalom: Elimination Three - Winners’ Final
Josh Angulo timed his start to perfection in the opening winners’ final of the day as he crossed the start line in first place. Angulo then built on his brilliant start as he held the lead ahead of Alberto Menegatti, Arnon Dagan and Kasper Larsen, whilst Cédric Bordes and Julien Quentel collided with each other, but both sailors did well to stay upright. Over the remainder of the course, Angulo showed blistering speed and perfect jibes - which he pumped out of - to storm to his second victory of the week. Behind him, Quentel once again demonstrated that he is one of the quickest sailors on the tour as he fought his way into second place, with Antoine Albeau and Dagan completing the top four, leaving Menegatti to settle for fifth place.
Elsewhere in Race 3 there were several upsets in the opening round - the first of which came in Heat 3 as Jordy Vonk - who was ninth at the beginning of the day - narrowly missed out on a place in the quarterfinals after finishing in 5th place, whilst Steve Allen was also knocked out. Heat 4 was eventually completed at the fifth attempt - after a combination of a false start and the wind dropping on several occasions - but in the end, Finian Maynard and Ludovic Jossin both took earlier than planned exits, whilst Chris Pressler did well to clinch the final qualifying place. The drama wasn’t finished there either as Taty Frans also failed to escape from Heat 5, before Bjorn Dunkerbeck was disqualified for sailing in the wrong heat - Heat 7 when he was supposed to be in Heat 8.
Further drama ensued in the opening semifinal as Sebastian Kornum crashed into Gonzalo Costa Hoevel on the exit of the third jibe - at the time both sailors were qualifying for a place in the winners’ final, but neither qualified after the collision - instead Julien Quentel and Peter Volwater benefited as they finished in third and fourth place respectively.
Men's Slalom: Elimination Four - Winners’ Final
Josh Angulo made another blistering start to the second winners’ final of the day as he once again crossed the line in first place, however this time around, he couldn’t quite hold his lead into the first mark as Alberto Menegatti came flying down the opening reach to take the lead ahead of Angulo, Steven Allen and Antoine Albeau. With clean wind and acres of clear water ahead of him, Menegatti extended his lead over the chasing pack to claim his first victory of the week, which moves him up to 4th place overall for the event! In the meantime, Angulo cemented his place at the top of the rankings after finishing in second place with Albeau and Julien Quentel finishing third and fourth respectively.
Just as in Elimination 3, there were further upsets in the first round of Elimination 4 - firstly Pierre Mortefon failed to qualify from Heat 2. The Frenchman entered the first jibe in the lead, but after struggling to get back onto the place he ended up finishing in seventh place. Jordy Vonk, meanwhile, suffered his second first round exit of the day in Heat 2, whilst Ross Williams was also knocked out in Heat 3 after catapulting and finishing in fifth place. Jimmy Diaz was the final upset in the opening round as he finished Heat 8 in 6th place.
The forecast for tomorrow is predicting strong winds, with gusts of up to 29 knots being predicted. With this in mind it looks as though the freestyle sailors will take center stage for the first time this week, depending how the conditions materialize, whilst there is still the potential for some high wind slalom as well. The skippers’ meeting for the freestyle and slalom fleets will be held at 10 AM with the action commencing at 10:30 AM, whilst the wave sailors will meet at 1 PM.
Results After Elimination 4 - Men’s Slalom
1st Josh Angulo
2nd Julien Quentel
3rd Antoine Albeau
4th Alberto Menegatti
5th Cyril Moussilmani
6th Steve Allen
7th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
8th Micah Buzianis
9th Alexandre Cousin
10th Matteo Iachino
The fourth day of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup started with overcast skies, but by the afternoon the glorious sunshine returned as the fantastic weather continued. Unfortunately though the wind never quite materialized today, despite teasing the competitors for much of the afternoon. At 3:40 PM, the red flag was raised for Heat 1 of Elimination 3 with winds of 7 to 15 knots being recorded, but the wind dropped below the seven knot minimum before the racing could begin. Despite remaining on standby for the next hour, the wind was never consistent enough to allow the slalom to be resumed and the sailors were eventually released at 5 PM.
Who says slalom is only for the older and wiser?
Over the years, slalom has developed the reputation of only attracting the more experienced windsurfer. However, if you look at the entry list here in Sylt, it is clear to see that this certainly no longer applies. The current crop of slalom sailors sees 16 twenty-three year olds or younger, competing against their peers as the young blood begins to thrive under the pressure of their more experienced racers. Take for example 20 years old Jordy Vonk, who sailed superbly to claim fourth place in the first elimination. The youthful Dutchman isn’t alone in challenging at the very top of the sport with the likes of Mattea Iachino, Maciek Rutkowski and Enrico Marotti, to name just a few, firmly knocking on the once formidable door of Antoine Albeau and Bjorn Dunkerbeck. Ethan Westera is the youngest up and coming slalom sailor at just 15 years old proving that there is a multitude of young talent waiting in the ranks.
Jordy Vonk speaking after his best ever result on the PWA World Tour:
“Yesterday was an epic day for me. I didn’t actually make such a good start, from looking at the pictures I think I was last over the line, but I managed to move into 7th by the first mark where I made an awesome jibe on the inside and then I just pumped as much as I physically could and then I went past [Alberto] Menegatti and [Julien] Quentel. At the second mark, I managed to go under, I think Steve Allen to move into 4th place. It was super sick to also finish just a few meters behind [Antoine] Albeau. I crossed the finish line just like what is going on.”
“In the final, I was on my 8.6m² and my big board - 128 liter - which is the biggest stuff I use here. I just want to try and make at least the losers’ final again so that I can stay in the Top 20 by the end of the week and then I’d be super happy for sure.”
The forecast for tomorrow promises stronger winds than today, which should see the action on the water resumed. The skippers’ meeting tomorrow for the slalom and freestyle fleets will be at 10 AM with the action commencing at 10:30 AM, whilst the wave fleet will meet at 1 PM.
The third day of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup saw the offshore winds continue as the first two eliminations of the week were completed in the men’s slalom. Today saw slightly choppier water conditions as the wind turned slightly more cross-shore than yesterday, in the region of 9 to 22 knots. By the end of the day, Cyril Moussilmani and Josh Angulo stormed to the opening victories of the week in front of a huge crowd as the glorious weather continued.
Men’s Slalom: Elimination One - Winners’ Final
The winners’ final was the first heat to be sailed today as Australia’s Steven Allen made the perfect start by crossing the start line in first place. However, Cyril Moussilmani, showed tremendous speed on the first straight to burst into the lead ahead of Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Allen and Antoine Albeau. Moussilmani looked extremely comfortable at the front of the pack as he extended his lead by the third mark, a lead which he wouldn’t relinquish as he claimed the first victory of the week. Costa Hoevel and Albeau maintained their second and third places but 20 years old Jordy Vonk forced his way into the Top 4 to claim his best finish to date on the PWA World Tour.
Men's Slalom: Elimination Two - Winners’ Final
Josh Angulo and Pascal Toselli made equally good starts to the second winners’ final of the day, but it was the Frenchman who held the lead into the opening jibe ahead of Angulo, Taty Frans and Julien Quentel. Toselli still led into the third mark, but a perfect jibe from Angulo saw him move into first place. This proved to be a position he wouldn’t relinquish as he took his first bullet of the week. In the meantime, Albeau, Quentel and Frans enjoyed a fierce battle over the remainder of the course, which Quentel eventually won as he showed tremendous speed to take home second place ahead of Toselli. Matteo Iachino did brilliantly to fight his way back into the Top 4 on the final straight as Frans and Albeau finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.
Elsewhere in the second elimination, Bjorn Dunkerbeck’s turbulent season continued as he took a surprise first round exit, the Terminator finished in 5th place in Heat 1. However, Dunkerbeck wasn’t the only high profile casualty in the opening round as Ludovic Jossin and Ross Williams also failed to advance. Taty Frans on the other hand produced a superb comeback in Heat 7. The Bonairean fell at the first mark, but he was soon storming his way back through the fleet with phenomenal board speed and text-book jibes to secure the final qualifying position.
Andrea Ferin was visibly delighted by the end of Heat 12 after the Italian claimed first place to book his place in the semifinals along with Peter Volwater, Taty Frans and Cyril Moussilmani. However, Ferin couldn’t quite book his place in the winners’ final as he finished in sixth place in Heat 14.
The forecast for tomorrow is currently predicting slightly lighter winds than today, but Tuesday still offers the potential for more racing with the slalom sailors armed with their bigger equipment. The skippers’ meeting for the slalom and freestyle fleets will be held at 10 AM tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30 AM, whilst the wave sailors will meet at 1 PM with a first possible start at 1:30 PM.
Results After Elimination 2 - Men’s Slalom
1st Julien Quentel
2nd Cyril Moussilmani
3rd Antoine Albeau
4th Steve Allen
5th Taty Frans
6th Matteo Iachino
7th Alberto Menegatti
8th Micah Buzianis
9th Jordy Vonk
10th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
The second day of the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup saw glorious sunshine and offshore winds of 15-20 knots arrive in Sylt as the competition began in front of a packed out crowd. The offshore winds created the perfect playground for the slalom sailors as they enjoyed a couple of hours of enthralling, tightly contested racing. By the end of the day the men have been narrowed down to the Top 16 with just the winners’ and losers’ finals, respectively, to be sailed.
Men's Slalom - Elimination One
The first heat of the day saw a brilliant battle for the final qualifying place as Peter Volwater battled it out against Tomas Malina. As the two sailors headed down the home straight Malina held the lead, but Volwater turned on the afterburners to snatch the crucial fourth place, whilst leaving Malina disappointed. Also advancing from the opening heat was Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Matteo Iachino and Oliver-Tom Schliemann.
The remainder of the opening round wasn’t without its drama though as Antoine Questel - 7th in the overall rankings - surprisingly missed out on a place the quarterfinals as the Frenchman finished in fifth place in Heat 3, whilst fellow compatriot Cédric Bordes also failed to advance into the next round.
Into the semifinals and Alberto Menegatti kept alive his world title hopes as he qualified in second place from Heat 13. Julien Quentel - who currently sits in second place overall - continued to show his blistering speed as he blitzed his way past Menegatti to claim first place, whilst Gonzalo Costa Hoevel and Jordy Vonk also managed to book their place in the opening winners’ final of the week. However, Ross Williams will be left feeling very disappointed not to be in the winners’ final having been in the qualifying positions on two occasions before the heat was subsequently canceled on both occasions due to light winds.
The second semifinal saw Taty Frans continue his lighting quick form as he stormed to victory ahead of the defending world champion Antoine Albeau, Cyril Moussilmani and Steve Allen. However, Bjorn Dunkerbeck had to settle for a place in the losers’ final having eventually finished in 7th place. There was also no room for either Ben van der Steen or Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) in the winners’ final.
Bringing a little freestyle to slalom
As well as being in superb form today, Taty Frans also demonstrated how much fun he was having whilst racing. The man from Bonaire injected a bit of his Caribbean flair into Heat 5 today as he combined a little freestyle with his blistering slalom - as Frans approached the final buoy, with a comfortable lead, he turned on the style factor by throwing in an audacious duck gybe, much to the delight of the crowds on the beach, before taking the first of his opening three heat victories on the second day.
The finals are yet to be completed due to the deteriorating wind conditions in the early evening. The sailors were eventually released shortly after six o’clock and they will now prepare themselves for tomorrow, which should see the first race completed at a minimum with the wind that is being predicted. The skippers’ meeting for the slalom and freestyle sailors will be held at 10 AM tomorrow morning with a first possible start at 10:30 AM, whilst the wave fleet shall meet at 1 PM.
The opening day of competition at the GP Joule PWA Sylt World Cup saw summer return as warm temperatures, light winds and beautiful sunny skies graced Sylt with it’s presence. Whilst no windsurfing took place today, the event site was still buzzing as the crowds basked in the late summer sunshine. After spending the day on hold the freestyle and wave sailors were eventually released at 4 PM, before the slalom sailors were released shortly afterwards at 5 PM.
An evening dedicated to André Paskowski
An air of excitement, and sadness, also surrounded the event site today as anticipation surrounding the world premiere of the late and great André Paskowski’s new movie ‘Below the Surface’ built. The first ever screening of ‘Below the Surface’ will take place later this evening at the Westerland cinema at 8:30 PM. Demand has been so high for Paskowski’s final masterpiece that there will also be several additional viewings available next week.
Of course, tonight will be used to remember André, as well as celebrating his wonderful life in which he achieved so much, before being so sadly taken far too young. Paskowski was an inspiration to many throughout the world and he will never be forgotten - not only as a hugely talented windsurfer, but also for his critically acclaimed cinematography, which won him numerous awards for his amazing movies. This week’s freestyle contest will also be dedicated to André Paskowski, such was his impact on the windsurfing world and beyond.
Below the Surface
Below the Surface follows five of the top talents in the windsurfing world: the 2010 PWA Wave World Champion Victor Fernandez, Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne, Klaas Voget, Alessio Stillrich and the five-time PWA Freestyle World Champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo - in five of the best wave riding spots in the world. ’Below the Surface’ will be both an action packed sports movie and an impressive documentary.
Attention turns towards tomorrow
Tomorrow’s forecast looks much more promising with winds of 15-20 knots being predicted for much of the day, which should see the warp-speed slalom begin. The slalom and freestyle sailors skippers’ meeting will be held at 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM, whilst with very little in the way of waves being predicted for tomorrow the wave sailors skippers’ meeting will be held at 1 PM with a first possible start of 1:30 PM.