On day five of the 2012 PWA Sylt World Cup, the skippers meeting took place amid a bright and breezy morning at 07:30am and the decision was made to complete the remainder of the freestyle double elimination. With flat water, perfect stunt ramps and wind of 17-25 knots, Sylt provided some of the best freestyle conditions of the year, as the freestylers busted out their biggest and most radical moves to wow the crowds and the judges.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) continued to dominate the freestyle fleet as he successfully defended his single elimination crown, more importantly Gollito took a huge stride towards an incredible fifth PWA Freestyle World title, and it would now seem a formality that he will be crowned a deserved champion. After the freestyle the waves soon ramped up and some exceptional sailing occurred in side shore winds and peeling waves, whilst a variety of weather conditions hit Sylt, including some serious squalls, which brought torrential rain and menacing storm clouds to provide a stunning, yet slightly intimidating, backdrop.
Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) was on fire this morning as he excelled in the idyllic freestyle conditions. The man from Bonaire ended Youp Schmit’s (JP / NeilPryde) march through the double elimination, after the seventeen year old had sailed his way to his best finish ever, as his finished in fifth place, firstly by defeating, Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) followed by Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks), with his popping and powerful style proving to be a hit with the judges. However Tonky Frans proved too much for him as well as Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) and Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra). Frans looked irresistible as he showed a great range of diversity by combining big air moves, with power moves and sliding maneuvers too. Frans landed perfect backloops, pushloops and his trademark Bongka to take down his rivals with an outstanding display of sailing.
After defeating Kiri Thode, Tonky Frans set up a showdown with Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo in the winners’ final. Unfortunately, after performing so brilliantly in the previous three heats, Frans, didn’t quite reproduce the same spectacular level of sailing against the four times world champion. However, you can take nothing away from Gollito, who produced another flawless display to defend his single elimination victory. The Venezuelan landed an incredible shaka, as his height actually increased whilst back-winded, and after a strong start he only continued to increase his performance and he threw a super-fast and clean skopu as well as a radical burner 360 to claim an emphatic victory. Even an amazing bongka 360 from Frans couldn’t save him, as Gollito continues his charge towards a fifth world crown. It would now take an exceptional set of circumstances to see him pipped to the 2012 title.
Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) was the standout wave sailor of the day as the Brit stormed his way through the double elimination. Williams won five successive heats, before Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra) halted his progress as Williams finished in an excellent fifth place. On his way to fifth Williams was able to defeat Phil Horrocks (Tabou / Gaastra) in the battle of the Brits, before also dispatching of Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC) in heat forty-two as he put together a tremendous wave, which consisted of a couple of super fluid turns before landing an unbelievable frontside wave 360. Williams’ next victim was, Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Gaastra / MFC), followed by Jules Denel (Exocet), after Williams was able to land another amazing frontside wave 360, combined with more super fluid and stylish riding overall.
The Brazilian, Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) stood in Williams’ way for the battle to move into the top five, and the Brit continued to his rich vein of form as he threw another frontside wave 360 for the third heat in a row. This wave proved pivotal as the two sailors both landed equally good backloops, however Williams’ explosive 360 gave him the edge as he moved into fifth place, after winning the heat by 0.8 points and claiming a memorable victory
Jules Denel also enjoyed a fine day as he sailed his way into equal seventh place. The Frenchman defeated several of the top guys today such as Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins), Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) and perhaps most impressively Denel managed to defeat the winner of the last wave event in Denmark, Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra) on two occasions, after the heat was resailed due to a missed jump for Traversa.
Adam Lewis (Patrik / Point-7) produced the heat of the day as he claimed his best finish to date on the PWA tour by finishing in equal seventh place in the double elimination. Having beaten German, Leon Jamaer (Fanatic / Hot Sails Maui), by just 0.13 points, Lewis stepped up his sailing to defeat his training partner, Dany Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL360), in heat forty-five. On his way to a fantastic victory over the current world number four, Lewis threw two outstanding wave 360s and a big one handed backloop to advance. The first of which, was probably the wave move of the day. The Brit launched into a perfect frontside wave 360 right in the pocket of the wave, and he exited the maneuver with at least the same amount of speed as he went in with, to leave the crowds and judges cheering him on. His reward for the wave was 8.5 points and this helped him build an unassailable lead over Bruch. Lewis didn’t have enough to take down Kauli Seadi though in the next heat, and even an equipment change couldn’t help him claim the jump he desperately needed.
An action packed fifth day also saw the completion of four women’s wave heats and only the top five now remain. Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) was involved in the first women’s heat of the day and she comfortably progressed past her fellow countrywomen, Caroline Weber (F2 / Sailloft Hamburg) and Heike Reimann (Hot Sails Maui) in the next heat, before she met Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) in heat forty-seven, after the French ace defeated Diana Lohoff (Tabou / Gaastra / Maui Ultra Fins) and Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde). Wahl edged the duel though after she landed an endo forward and a couple of fluid waves to book her place in a battle for fourth and fifth.
Heat forty-eight between Wahl and Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) was started, however within minutes of beginning the wind deteriorated and with the light drawing in the decision was made to conclude the day, after almost eleven enthralling hours of competition.
The forecast is for lighter winds tomorrow, however with Sylt being such an unpredictable location, anything can happen. The skippers meeting for all three disciplines has been called for 10am tomorrow morning, with the action commencing from 10:30am if the conditions are suitable.
Results of the Double Elimination - Men’s Freestyle:
1st Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North)
2nd Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
4th Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different)
5th Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde)
Current Standings in the Men’s Double Elimination – Wave:
1st Philip Köster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North)
3rd Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC)
4th Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra)
5th Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra)
Current Standings in the Women’s Double Elimination – Wave:
1st Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne)
2nd Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne)
3rd Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
4th Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
5th Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg)
PWA World Tour website
Windsurf World Cup website
by Chris Yates
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8:26 PM Wed 3 Oct 2012GMT
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