Fuerteventura Grand Slam
With plenty of wind from first light, the single elimination started on schedule in Sotavento, with those that qualified the previous day taking on some of the world’s most proficient tour regulars who'd automatically been seeded through to the second round.
The wind remained consistent enough throughout the day to allow the elite pack of style masters to flip, spin, and trick their way to the end of the first single elimination. Both the competitors and head judge, Duncan Coombs wanted to begin the double, but late in the afternoon the conditions became too gusty resulting in the sailors being released to battle it out another day.
Results After The Single Elimination
1st Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
2nd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
3rd Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra)
4th Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails)
Three times freestyle world champion and current tour leader, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) stamped his authority on the PWA’s finest freestylers today with an awesome display of tricks. During the final the 2009 vice world champion and current world number two, Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra) fought hard with Estredo, but the world champion just edged out in front with moves thrown higher, and with more style.
The conditions during the final were perfect for freestyle which allowed Estredo to nail extremely technical combination moves such as his awesome gozada burner. Thode replied with, amongst other things, a slick burner 900, and the most technical move of the day, a regular stance scopu, but the judges rated Estredo’s moves more highly, giving him the win.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo:
“It feels amazing to be leading this competition again, especially as there are so many sailors performing to such a high standard this year. I’m having a great time in Fuerteventura but the competition isn’t over yet – things can easily change over the next few days. I’m really pleased with my performance today, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.”
When you whittle the world’s best down to the final four, you expect extreme action, and that’s exactly what the hoards of spectators got. Due to the top four throwing down such outstanding moves throughout their early heats, head judge Duncan Coombs decided to run the semi finals separately so that everyone could witness the amazing spectacle. With just two men on the water, the heat between Estredo and 2010 Podersdorf champion, Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails) resembled a full on world championship sail off!
Estredo hit the heat hard right from the whistle with a huge air flaka followed by an air funnel into funnel. Frans replied with the family trademark, the bongka (forward loop into flaka), and a massive air flaka of his own which put them neck a neck. Throughout the heat the judges watched on in awe, as did the crowds, whilst both sailors performed the most technical tricks, but when the scores were finally totted up Estredo just came out on top by the narrowest of margins. This was without doubt the closest heat of the day with all of the best moves completed with bucket loads of style. Both sailors deserved to win!
The level in Fuerteventura goes through the roof year after year, and this was no exception. The Frans family jewel aka the bongka is one of the most technically difficult moves to perform, but also gains huge points with the crowds for its wow factor. Taty performed one in his semi final heat against Estredo, and Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) busted one out in front of his brother during their loser’s final showdown.
The reigning world champion, Estredo also raised the bar today with his gozada burner. The champ didn’t just perform one during the winner’s final against Thode though. He had them completely dialled and was throwing them down with more consistency than Philip Koster (Starboard, NeilPryde, Dakine) does doubles!
Britain’s Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers (JP, NeilPryde) put together an excellent repertoire of moves heat after heat today to go through to the final eight. Despite being stopped dead in his tracks by an on form Thode in the quarter-finals, he is one of only two sailors to have made it so far having come from the first round.
Another sailor to blow the opposition out of the water was Quincy Offringa (Starboard). He sailed some solid heats, pulling off plenty of the latest moves to go through to the final eight where he met Estredo. Unfortunately for Offringa, the world champion wasn’t going to let anyone off the hook, and disposed of him like everyone else.
The Newcomers Fall
With plenty of hope for the freshest faces on tour after yesterday, they all met their end today to a group of highly experienced competitors that had no intentions of letting anyone through. With the double elimination scheduled to start tomorrow morning, the new kids on the block will get their chance to fight it out again.
Surprise Of The Day
When Anthony Ruenes (Tabou, Vandal) saw the elimination ladder he thought he would be going out in the second round to the Dutch styler, Davy Scheffers (Tabou, Gaastra). However Ruenes found his form and began busting out some of the most difficult moves during his heats including a scopu – the first he’s ever landed in competition, and apparently the best one he’s ever done – to advance as far as the semis.
Inside The Event
As well as the awesome daily action videos, be sure to check out the short clips produced by former world champion, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine). He’s been hanging around the event site, getting the inside line as soon as it happens. Follow the links here to watch behind the scenes footage part 1 and part 2. More short clips will be uploaded throughout the day tomorrow, so be sure to keep an eye on the ticker for more links.
Keep in the groove
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
Here you can use our:
• Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
• Check live elimination ladders
• View results
• Read daily news summaries
• Browse awesome action photo galleries
There’s also a dedicated event website which can be found at www.fuerteventura-worldcup.org
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org