Fuerteventura Grand Slam
An early morning breeze quickly accelerated to hit the sailors at full force allowing the second single elimination to explode into action on schedule. With twenty-seven to thirty-five knots, and the occasional stronger gust, most of the competitors were seen franticly rigging their smallest sails. 3.7s to 4.5s were the weapons of choice, along with 85L-100L boards.
The conditions were much tougher than previous days resulting in the strongest of competitors being able to muscle their way through heats, whilst those a little lighter were left totally overpowered.
Second Single Elimination Results
1st Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
2nd Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
4th Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic)
Following a defeat yesterday in the first double elimination, the three times world champion and current tour leader, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) reaffirmed his dominance by taking down Belgian boy wonder, Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra) in an epic second single elimination showdown.
Estredo burst into his heat with a solid display of stunning trickery. Most impressively though, after launching around a myriad of flips and spins, he flung himself upside down with a tweaked push loop off the smallest of chop, to receive a standing ovation from the crowds. It may not be the most difficult trick in the book, but to land it fully planing on near flat water is nothing short of a miracle! He then backed it up with more of the latest power freestyle moves to make sure he took down his rival. Broeckhoven tried his best to compete with the Venezuelan freestyle genius, but even a ‘pop’ star such as himself couldn’t quite match the three times world champion.
Aside from the winner’s final, the loser’s final really upped the tempo for things to come. The born and bred styler, and 2010 Podersdorf champion, Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic) went head to head with fellow Bonairean miniature freestyle hero and current event leader, Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra).
The second the green flag went up, it was impossible to know where to look as these two exploded into action throwing countless triple moves, huge konos, and awesome culos. Then suddenly, Taty hit warp speed on his way out and all eyes were fixed on him. Seconds later a stunt ramp appeared out of nowhere and he flung himself into orbit whilst sheeting in as hard as he could to rotate round the first double loop of the contest. Despite that move scoring uber points with the judges, the first half of Taty’s heat was not as solid as Thode’s, meaning his fellow countryman claimed third whilst he had to settle for fourth.
Taty’s double forward and Estredo’s tweaked push loop definitely count as two of the best moves of the day, but there were many others that impressed those lining the shore.
The first of these was Taty’s Bongka (a forward loop into a flaka) against Frenchman Leo Ray (Naish, Naish). It wasn’t the first the judges had witnessed in the competition, but it was the first one they’d ever seen performed on the way in! This awesome move almost single-handedly advanced Taty through to the next round.
On the other side of the draw, and on the water at the same time as Taty and Ray, Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun) was battling it out with Estredo, and narrowly missed out on advancing ahead of him due to the amazing fully planing regular stance kono which he landed. An outstanding move to pull off at any time, let alone with the world champion breathing fire down your neck!
Stand Out Sailor
Dutch trickster and current top ten ranked freestyler, Davy Scheffers (Tabou, Gaastra) finally found his form today. He made amends for his disappointing start to the event by blowing his opposition out of the water with a fistful of tricks, and fought his way through to the final sixteen. After being seeded back to the first round, he battled his way past top sailors such as Marteen Van Ochten (JP, NeilPryde), and Yegor Popretinskiy (JP, NeilPryde), but was eventually halted in his tracks by Van Broeckhoven. With plenty of wind forecast for tomorrow, we could see more of this Dutchman flying through the double.
Current Event Results
Due to PWA rules, the second single elimination does not count towards the overall event standings until the double elimination is complete.
1st Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
2nd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
3rd Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic)
4th Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra)
5th Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
6th Leo Ray (Naish, Naish)
KP’s Inside Line
Former world champion, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine) continues to capture the behind the scenes footage in Fuerteventura. Follow the links here to watch part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, and part 7. More short clips will be uploaded throughout the day tomorrow, so be sure to keep an eye on the ticker for the 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