Day two of the freestyle contest at the PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup saw the wind arrive much earlier than yesterday, which enabled the men and women’s single eliminations to be completed. The competition resumed shortly after 2pm and the level was sky high as the world’s best freestylers pushed each other to the limits, new moves were tried, some were landed and some failed.
By the end of the day Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / Chris Benz) had explosively twirled their way to victory in the men and women’s divisions with quite brilliant performances.
The men’s winners’ final saw Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo lining up against Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra). Gollito made an explosive start to the heat as he instantly racked up a superfast, almost air skopu followed by a stunning burner-funnel on his first run to instantly transfer the pressure onto Frans. Frans stepped up to the plate as he launched into a radical culo, before unleashing into a breathtaking trademark bonka with an extra 360 for good measure. However the four times World Champion was 100% in the groove and there was no way he was going to let anyone beat him today.
Gollito continued to land more extraordinary stunts such as massive konos and a perfect air funnel into funnel, but the best of the bunch was still to come as he let loose with an astonishing air flaka shaka, which left the crowd and judges mesmerized by what they had just witnessed. Frans tried to fight back with a huge toad and super sick skopu 360 of his own, but on this occasion it wasn’t enough to defeat the Venezuelan, as Gollito maintains his unbeaten record this year.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo speaking after his triumph: 'I’m delighted to have won the single elimination. I’m so happy to have finally made my main move (Air flaka-shaka) because I was trying to land in almost every heat.'
The men’s losers’ final saw a fantastic battle for the final place on the podium between Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) and Dieter Van Der Eyken (Starboard / Severne). Both sailors produced performances of the highest level as Thode threw down an amazing Kabikuchi and an insane spock into air bob. Whilst the young Belgium, Van Der Eyken, landed a superfast triple flaka and radical culos and burners. In the end though the man from Bonaire had done enough to secure himself third place in the single elimination. Today still ranks as an epic day for Van Der Eyken though as it is the first time he has broken into the top five on the PWA tour.
Earlier in the single elimination Dieter Van Der Eyken produced an outstanding performance to cause the biggest upset of the day, as he knocked out the reigning World Champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) in the quarterfinals. Not only did Van Der Eyken land some incredible moves but he also sailed a tactically supreme heat, by maintaining his upwind position, whilst Van Broeckhoven was struggling to stay in the sailing area, downwind, with two and a half minutes remaining. On his way to victory Van Der Eyken landed textbook culos and a super tweaked shuvit it spock. The young maestro came ever so close to landing a new move in the heat too.
The move is still being discussed but the current thinking is that it is a switch cheese-roll or similar. Hopefully we will see him pull it off in the double elimination. Meanwhile, Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde), produced the first upset of the day in heat seventeen. Schmit sailed a brilliant heat to knock out Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra), but unfortunately for him his run in the single elimination ended in the very next round as he ran into Kiri Thode. The other form man of the day was definitely Tonky Frans, who was on fire.
The man from Bonaire was in devastating form as he landed countless trademark bongkas as well as a whole repertoire of power moves to defeat; Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins), his brother Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Van Der Eyken before Gollito Estredo stopped him in his tracks.
The familiar winners’ final line up continued from last year as the freestyle Queen Sarah-Quita Offringa once again took on Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North). Offringa, who was taking part in her first event of the year, having been absent from the slalom tour due to studies, was in her usual imperious form.
The lady from Aruba went as big as she possibly could as she landed amazing konos, an amazing toad and a perfect switch chachoo. Offringa even tried throwing a culo but couldn’t quite make it. Treboux delivered a fine display of her own as she threw a super smooth switch flaka and a switch kono but there was no stopping the dominant Offringa from marching to another victory. Treboux will now have to wait for the double elimination to try and steal the victory away from Offringa’s claws.
Sarah-Quita Offringa speaking after her victory in the single elimination: 'It was really good conditions. I was out on my 4.8 and I felt a bit nervous because it was my first competition of the year, but I’m really glad that I managed to win. Bring on the double elimination.'
Yoli Freites De Brendt (Fanatic / North) delivered her full arsenal of tricks to defeat Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins / AL360) in the women’s losers’ final. The Venezuelan delivered an outstanding performance as she rotated her way through effortless flakas, and technically perfect e-sliders. Aukes landed a superfast e-slider and flaka of her own but this time around it wasn’t enough to force her way into the top three.
Results After The Single Elimination - Men’s Freestyle
1st Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North)
2nd Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
4th Dieter Van Der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
Results After The Single Elimination - Women’s Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / Chris Benz)
2nd Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
3rd Yoli Freites De Brendt (Fanatic / North)
4th Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins / AL360)
The forecast for tomorrow is almost identical to today, so we will see the start of the double eliminations at an absolute minimum. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning, with the action commencing from 10:30 if the conditions are suitable.
PWA World Tour website
by Chris Yates
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8:08 PM Fri 27 Jul 2012GMT
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