Who’s going to come out on top in the battle of the contortionists?
After the PWA Gran Canaria Wind&Waves Festival last week, our attention now firmly turns to the wonderful world of freestyle ahead of the PWA Fuerteventura World Cup, which will be running from the 20th to the 26th July.
The beautiful golden sand beaches of Sotavento, Fuerteventura, are some of the most famous in the windsurfing world thanks to the its glorious year round sunshine and strong consistent winds, which create spectacular conditions for windsurfing. Now we take you through a run down of the top contenders.
With the second stage of the PWA Freestyle World Tour under a week away we take a look at the top contenders for both the male and female titles:
Five time reigning PWA Freestyle World Champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) has won the last four events in a row- including the opening event of the year in Austria - and the Venezuelan goes into the event as the clear favorite. Gollito was present in Pozo and whilst the wave conditions may not have been suitable the twenty-four year old was freestyling out on the water whenever possible, landing an explosive repertoire of moves such as monster shakas, stunning no-handed burners and his trademark paskos to name a few.
Steven van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) was the last man to beat Estredo in his world championship winning year - 2011 - on the shores of Fuerteventura. The Belgian maestro excels in the extreme conditions which Sotavento is so often graced with, and as a result he stands as one of Gollito’s biggest threats.
Team Bonaire will also be a force to be reckoned with next week, spearheaded by the unquestionable talent of Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra), who has finished in the overall top three for the past six years. Along with Thode will be the likes of Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra), Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne) and Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui).
Having been unbeaten for the last five years on the PWA Freestyle World Tour it’s hard to see how anyone will be able to stop the formidable force of Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) - who was knighted in May this year, you can read our interview with her here. The Aruban gem has the talent to make many of the men shudder as she rotates her way through the latest power moves such as phenomenal culos, burners and konos.
With vice-world champion - Laure Treboux (Fanatic / Severne) - absent from the entry list all eyes will now be turned towards the freestyle talents Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins) - who finished third last year and is ever improving - and Yoli De Brendt (Fanatic / North) who has finished fourth or better for the past four years - including second place overall in 2010.
Later in the week we’ll have the full event preview, giving you a more in-depth analysis of the top players. Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com from the 20th July to follow all of the amazing action live.