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08/02/2011 - created by Ed Sinclair

Fuerteventura Grand Slam

Event Summary: Ten days of intense competition in stunning Sotavento saw Steven Van Broeckhoven and Sarah-Quita Offringa emerge victorious as the 2011 world freestyle champions and Antoine Albeau claim his second event of the year.

The world’s finest freestyle and slalom sailors were treated to ten days of outstanding competition conditions in Fuerteventura for the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Rene Egli PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam.

Thousands of spectators were spoilt by mind-blowing maneuvers from the freestyle fleet, and edge of your seat racing from the men’s slalom fleet as they fought for critical mid-season points and a taste of the €75,000 prize purse.

Men’s Freestyle

The freestylers kicked of the event with their sixth competition on the 2011 world tour, where they were provided with five days of consistent afternoon wind, allowing them to plough through a single and a double elimination. An astonishing competition saw the sailors upstage each other with each heat, pulling off their most spectacular aerial and sliding maneuvers to win the judges affections.

Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde / Dakine) was the stand-out sailor of the single elimination, working through the fleet with his repertoire of incredible moves to defeat new boy to the tour Tony Mottus (JP / NeilPryde), super technical Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Gun) and the double move master, Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra) to earn him a position in the top eight.

The top seeded sailors quickly advanced through their opening heats and were  eager to put on a show and earn a position in the top eight, the sailors decided it was time to unleash their most daring maneuvres. Van Broeckhoven burst into a gravity defying culo to secure his victory over Yegor Popretinskiy (JP / NeilPryde / MFC). Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) wowed the crowds with a super clean culo-spock and a double spock in the choppiest patch of water, and Jose Estredo (Fanatic /North) launched into a perfect air chachoo to defeat Leo Ray (Naish / Naish / MFC).

Van Broeckhoven and Estredo slayed their respective opponents all the way to the final, where they went head to head to decide who would gain the early competition advantage.

Men’s Final

Both parties entered the men’s final with all guns blazing; Van Broeckhoven took the lead landing a colossal shaka-flaka and a planing burner. Estredo was quick to fight back landing a bolt upright spock-culo and future diablo. The pair was neck and neck until the closing seconds of the heat when Estredo separated the score sheets with a skopu-puneta. Van Broeckhoven was forced to attempt a double burner, but he was unable to complete it. Estredo was announced the victor at the prize giving on the beach.

Double Elimination

Spread over three days the double elimination provided the sailors with the opportunity to cover up any mistakes made early on in the competition and to rise their way up the results ladder.

The standout sailors from the double elimination and advancing through two heats each were, Tilo Eber (JP / NeilPryde), Edvan De Souza Pedro (RRD / Simmer), Chambers,  Julien Mas (Patrik / Hot Sails), Max Rowe (Fanatic / North), Nicola Spadea (Starboard / Gun), and Kalk. However the might of the sailors in the third round quickly put a stop to their rampage.

Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) took the double elimination by storm and raised his result all the way up to fifth place, defeating Mouro Lemos, Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine), Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Simmer), Bjorn Saragoza(Starboard / Hot Sails) and his brother, Taty Frans.

The real action from the double elimination arose from the finals, where fired up Van Broeckhoven faced the four times world champion Estredo.

Men’s Final

Having defended his second place, and earned a position in the final Van Broeckhoven was fired up when he faced Estredo. Estredo sailed a perfect heat landing all of his most daring moves, and filled his score sheet in record time. However Van Broeckhoven timed his moves to perfection nailing a monster culo and massive konos on both tacks in a desperate bid to win the heat.

Van Broeckhoven had done enough and had earned the right to challenge Estredo one more time for the event title in the super-final.

Men’s Super-final

The crowds on the beach fell silent as the sailors lined up and waited for the green flag to be raised. Estredo was first to move landing a clean spock-culo in front of the judges. Van Broeckhoven fought back with a dry ponch and a colossal shaka-flaka. A mind-blowing nine minutes of action flew by as the world’s best freestylers performed every move possible to impress the judges.

Fuelled by adrenaline the sailors ran up the beach to hear the results announced. Van Broeckhoven was awarded the victory and the event title with a 3-2 decision from the judges.

Van Broeckhoven has won three events out of six events on the world freestyle tour and earned himself the title of 2011 world freestyle champion. Even if Thode wins in Sylt, and equals Van Broeckhoven on points, Van Broeckhoven will take the win as he has defeated Thode the most times.

Winner’s Quote

Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra)
“I am super happy, I never thought this was possible. I can’t believe it is happening it hasn’t really set in yet.”

Women’s Freestyle

Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North) opened up women’s competition on fine form landing a clean set of maneuvers to see her advance through to the semi-finals past new girl to the tour Danielle Lucas (Severne). On the other side of the heat the Venezuelan style queen  Yoli De Brendt (Fanatic / North) defeated Mio Anayama (NeilPryde) with an enormous forward loop and her super smooth spocks.

In the second women’s heat Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Dakine / AL 360) and Xenia Kessler (JP / NeilPryde) went head to head for the sixth time this season. Kessler looked to be struggling with the choppy conditions allowing Aukes to squeeze ahead and into the semi-finals. Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) blitzed her way past Svetlana Martynova landing all the big moves.

Heat twenty-three of the women’s single elimination saw Treboux and Offringa dominate their opponents De Brendt and Aukes as they battled it out for their place in the winners' final.

Women’s Final

With just seven minutes to perform their most impressive stunts, the duo immediately burst into action. Treboux opened the heat with a clean spock 540 and a planing grubby diablo in front of the judges. Eager to take control, Offringa launched into a perfect toad, a switch kono and a smooth funnel. Treboux attempted to fight back with a shove-it spock but Offringa was already too far ahead on the score-sheets.

Double Elimination

Kessler was the star of the women’s double elimination; she performed a vast variety of tricks to work her way into fourth position past, Martynova, and Aukes.

De Brent put a stop to Kessler’s rampage in the double elimination, Kessler fought hard but it wasn’t enough to see her advance and De Brent was on fire landing a mean set of switch trick’s to advance to face Treboux.

Treboux was on fire throughout the heat landing a fully planing grubby under the judges' noses, De Brent fought back landing a forward loop and a flaka. It came down to the final minutes of the heat when Treboux upped the game landing a one handed clew-first spock and a one handed flaka to secure her place in the final.

Women’s Final

Just nine minutes separated Offringa from claiming her third event crown and her fourth world champion title. Offringa didn’t let the pressure affect her performance and she sailed an inspiring heat landing an incredible set of moves. Treboux upped her game, landing a funnel and a switch kono, but she was unable to match the power and diversity of Offringa's moves. Offringa was awarded the victory to the cheers of the crowds on the beach after an amazing season where she was unbeaten on the water.

Winners quote

Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
“It’s my fourth world title and I am really happy, I sailed a great heat landing all my biggest moves. It’s a great way to finish the year. I am really pleased for Laure, Yoli and Xenia they are all sailing really well.”

Men’s Slalom

With the freestyle results secured and the world champions’ crowd, the slalom fleet was released onto Fuerteventura’s testing waters for an incredible ten race showdown. The slalom sailors were handed every variety of conditions from gentle racing to forty knots of wind mixed with small waves. Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) emerged victorious by the skin of his teeth, with Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North) in close second and Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) in third place.

Race by Race

Elimination 1- Winners' Final: Albeau takes advantage

Albeau opened the winners' final with a perfectly timed start providing him with the advantage from the very beginning. Ludovic Jossin (Loft) and Finian Maynard (RRD) followed in second and third, whilst Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear) was buried amongst the rest of the fleet at the first gybe. By the second mark it was all change and Dunkerbeck’s blistering board speed had allowed him to power his way through to second place. Albeau managed to distance himself away from the rest of the fleet allowing him to focus on the finish line. Dunkerbeck went down on the final gybe however he was back up and running in a split second but by this time he was unable to catch Albeau. Dunkerbeck had to settle for second place, with Van Der Steen hot on his heels in third and Jossin in fourth. Albeau was cheered back to the beach, having sailed the perfect elimination winning first place in every heat.

Elimination 2- Winners’ Final: Albeau secures another

Albeau nailed another perfectly timed start; however Dunkerbeck was hot on his heels. Dunkerbeck opted for an aggressive inside line on the first gybe mark, but it wasn’t enough to make it past the French slalom master. Albeau played Dunkerbeck all the way down the second leg, not letting him gain an inch. Further down the pack Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails) and Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) were charging hard following Dunkerbeck’s every move. By the third mark Albeau had distanced himself well ahead of the rest of the fleet, leaving Quentel and Dunkerbeck to fight it out for the podium positions. Quentel managed to blitz his way past Dunkerbeck on the final straight to secure second place.

Elimination 3- Winners’ Final: Cyril’s victory

Without the windsurfing slalom sentinels Dunkerbeck and Albeau present, the door was open for the rest of the fleet to fight for first place. Cyril Moussilmani spotted his opportunity and sprang into action off the start line. Van Der Steen, Volwater and Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun / Dakine) were close behind fighting for second, third and fourth place. Angulo pushed his gybe too hard at the third mark and went down, allowing the rest of the fleet to rush past and Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) to slip into fourth place. By the final leg Cyril was well ahead of the rest of the fleet, winning the third elimination and boosting his result up to fifth place.

Elimination 4- Winners’ Final: Albeau aces it

Antoine Albeau continued with his winning streak, claiming his third elimination and increasing his lead on the rest of the fleet. An incredible start saw Albeau hit the start line on the buzzer and gain the advantage from the word go. Cyril Moussilmani, Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) and Maynard were in pursuit; however they were unable to match Albeau’s board speed over the rough choppy water. At the final mark Albeau was well over fifty meters in front of the fleet allowing him to cruise down the final leg comfortably over the finish-line.

Elimination 5- Winners’ Final: Van Der Steen scores.

An exhilarating race saw Van Der Steen claim his first elimination in Fuerteventura. Volwater hit the start-line on form, charging ahead of the rest of the fleet, followed by, Van Der Steen, Albeau and Buzianis. Meanwhile, Bjorn Dunkerbeck suffered at the start and he was caught behind the rest of the fleet unable to pass. At the first mark Albeau lost control of his equipment and went down allowing Van Der Steen, Volwater and Cyril Moussilmani the advantage. Van Der Steen turned on his turbo-chargers for the remainder of the race to gain some ground ahead of the rest of the fleet and take the win. Albeau and Dunkerbeck were fighting to recover their positions, but it was too little too late, as they finished in seventh and fourth place respectively.

Elimination 6- Winners’ Final: Albeau’s back.

Albeau performed the perfect start, leaving the rest of the fleet in his wake on the speed run. Cyril Moussilmani was trying everything to match his board speed but Albeau was too far ahead. Further down the fleet, Bordes and Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra) had a collision at the first mark, putting them at the back of the pack. Van Der Steen sailed an incredible race working his way past his opponents to finish in third. Albeau cruised over the finish line well aware that he was over one hundred meters ahead of the rest.

Elimination 7- Winners’ Final: Another in the bag for Albeau

The winners’ final kicked off with Albeau nailing another blinding start. Cyril Moussilmani and Van Der Steen weren’t far behind and they were able to catch him by the first mark. Two smooth gybes later and Albeau was still in control of the fleet, Cyril Moussilmani and Van Der Steen were trying everything they could to match their experienced opponent. The crowds witnessed a drag race finish between the three, but there was no catching Albeau with his remarkable straight-line speed. Albeau claimed his second victory of the day and his fifth in the competition. By this time it looked like Albeau was in a commanding position but race director Juan Antonio Aragon called for one final race in the afternoon.

Elimination 8- Winners’ Final: Cyril sneaks ahead

After one false start from Van Der Steen, the winners’ final was up and running with Dunkerbeck leading the fleet around the first and second marks. Hot on his heels the Moussilmani brothers Cyril and Benoit were waiting for their opportunity to overtake. Benoit lost control at the third mark putting him out the race, so it was up to Cyril to make his move. Cyril chose his moment on the final gybe mark undercutting Dunkerbeck and then wasted no time in pulling the power back on, knowing he had an enraged tour leader on his tail. The pair drag raced to the finish, trying pulling out all the stops squeeze out every ounce of extra speed. Cyril took the victory by a board length, claiming his second victory in Fuerteventura and enough points to just push him ahead of Albeau on the overall scores.

Elimination 9- Winners’ Final: Albeau strikes back

With Cyril, Dunkerbeck and Van Der Steen missing in the winners’ final Albeau knew that if he nailed the start the victory would be his. Albeau timed it to perfection and hit the start-line at full speed, leaving the rest of the fleet as he blitzed down the speed section of the course. Buzianis and Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) were in hot pursuit but unable to match the master. Three smooth gybes and Albeau was on the home straight, sailing his way to the top of the overall scores once again.

Elimination 10- Winners' Final: Dunkerbeck dominates

Having snapped his mast in the first round an extremely nervous Albeau sat watching from the beach as the green flag was raised and the slalom elite charged over the start-line. Angulo opened the race at terminal velocity, putting him in the lead whereas Cyril Moussilmani was further down the fleet. Maynard and Dunkerbeck were rapid down the straight and able to beat Angulo to the mark. Eager to win a final, Dunkerbeck pulled two super smooth gybes, fending off Maynard and Van Der Steen at every turn. Cyril was trying everything he could to make his way to the front, but the top three weren’t making any mistakes. Dunkerbeck claimed the final with Cyril coming in fourth, much to the relief of Albeau on the beach.

Winners’ Quote

Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
“I had a great week, I won a lot of races but I also had a few poor results. I made a few mistakes and catapulted in the semi-final so I missed out on two winners’ finals. I feel like I sailed really well in both the light and the strong winds. At the end I broke a mast and I couldn’t do anything. It was a really tense finish having to watch the final, but I was the most consistent sailor and I am really happy with the result.”

Next Stop

Having battled it out in five events around the world, the slalom fleet still have everything to fight for in the next two competitions. Dunkerbeck currently leads the fleet with three event wins. Albeau sits just behind him on the ranking ladder with two of his own wins, and just behind the sentinels of windsurfing, Cyril Moussilmani and Van Der Steen are in easy reach of causing some upsets at the top. Who will claim the 2011 slalom champion title is anyone’s guess so make sure you head over to www.pwaworldtour.com for the final events on the calendar. The next stop will be the 2011 Pegasus Airlines PWA World Cup taking place on the 8th-13th August in Alacati, Turkey.

 

The 2011 Fuerteventura Men’s Freestyle Results
1st Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra)
2nd Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
4th Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
5th Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
6th Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails)
7th Davy Scheffers ( Tabou / Gaastra)
7th Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Simmer)

 

The 2011 Fuerteventura Women’s Freestyle Results
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
2nd Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
3rd Yoli De Brent (Fanatic / North)
4th Xenia Kessler (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Dakine / AL360)
6th Mio Anayama (NeilPryde)
7th Svetlana Martynova
7th Danielle Lucas (Severne)

 

The Fuerteventura Grand Slalom Men’s Slalom Results
1st Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)
3rd Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic)
4th Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear)
5th Finian Maynard (RRD)
6th Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde)
7th Sylvain Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer)
8th Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails)
9th Benoit Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer)
10th Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra)

 

The 2011 Men’s Freestyle Overall results (After 6 events)
1st Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra)
2nd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
3rd Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North)
4th Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra)
6th Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
7th Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Simmer)
8th Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
9th Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine)
10th Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails)

 

The 2011 Women’s Freestyle Overall results (After 3 events)
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
2nd Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
3rd Yoli De Brendt (Fanatic / North)
4th Xenia Kessler (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Dakine / AL360)
6th Mio Anayama (NeilPryde)

 

The 2011 Men’s Overall Slalom Results (After 5 events)
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear)
2nd Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic)
4th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)
5th Finian Maynard (RRD)
6th Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails)
7th Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde)
8th Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde)
9th Steven Allen (Starboard / Severne)
10th Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun / Dakine)

 

 

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