by Chris Yates
A return 15 years in the making will be at hand from 8th September when the DAM7 PWA Netherlands World Cup commences. The event is set to take place until 14th September. To be more precise, Brouwersdam will be the location where the most talented freestylers on the planet will 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.
DAM7 PWA Netherlands World Cup
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 - more information can be found here.
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 (Starboard / Severne), Rick Jendrusch (F2 / Severne / Mystic), Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra) and of course the 2011 PWA Freestyle World Champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) all being regulars. Furthermore should the wind not blow there are a vast array of other activities to participate in such as sailing, Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) and cable-tow, which will then be followed by epic parties in the evenings.
Seven days of freestyle wizardry as the men return for their third event and the women for their second showing of the season respectively. 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 (Fanatic / North) 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 (Starboard / Gaastra) 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 (Tabou / Gaastra), Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins), Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne) and Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui) 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 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.
France’s explosive and fearless talent - Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) - is currently fifth in the overall rankings and possesses all the skills in his armory to pop and rotate his way onto the prestigious podium. Fellow compatriots Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins) and Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins) will also be hoping for a good showing.
The reigning PWA Youth World Champion Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde) 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 (Starboard / Sailworks) 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 (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) 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 (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins) and Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North) 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 (JP / NeilPryde) 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 (Maui Ultra Fins). 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 (Maui Ultra Fins) - who will be hoping to use her local knowledge to her advantage - Svetlana Martynova and Maxime van Gent (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins).
The week ahead promises to be one that you can’t afford to miss as the pressure begins to rise to boiling point.
PWA World Tour