PWA BONAIRE WORLD CUP
The PWA Bonaire World Cup produced four out of five days of simply incredible freestyle. Having been absent from the PWA calendar since 2011 Bonaire truly excelled itself in an event that will live long in the memory of everyone. After two double eliminations had been completed it was the reigning PWA Freestyle World Champions - Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails) and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) - who came out on top by the end of the event after several astonishing performances.
As predicted Kiri Thode was almost unbeatable on his home island of Bonaire. The current PWA Freestyle World Champion was in irresistible form and stormed to victory in the first double elimination. However, things weren’t all plain sailing for Thode, who was defeated by his prodigy Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne) in the second single elimination in one of the best heats of the entire event. Angered by his loss on home turf, Thode came storming back through the final double elimination of the week, firstly defeating Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde), before exacting revenge over Vrieswijk. Thode then sealed an emphatic event victory by beating Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North / MFC) twice on the final day. The Bonairean proved to everyone that he is more than ready to win back-to-back PWA Freestyle world titles with his radical double air moves and unique style.
As in 2011 Steven Van Broeckhoven claimed second place overall in the opening event of the year. The Belgian maestro produced several scintillating displays as he exploded through ridiculous combinations to take down the majority of his rivals. Thode proved a step too far on this occasion, but SVB will be pleased with his start to the year. Van Broeckhoven claimed second place in Bonaire the year he won his maiden PWA Freestyle world crown, so he’ll be hoping that this proves to be a lucky omen again for 2014.
Eighteen year old Amado Vrieswijk showed plenty of potential in 2013, but in the season opener he proved to everyone that he is the real deal. The Bonairean was the only man to beat Thode during the entire event with a truly inspired display of sailing, with the highlight being his magnificent air kabikuchi - the first one ever to be landed in competition. Vrieswijk deservedly claimed his maiden finish on the prestigious podium as he claimed third place overall and he’s only going to get stronger from here. We think we are looking at a potential future world champion in the making. Watch this space.
Just missing out on the podium was Tonky Frans (Tabou / GA Sails). Frans’ style on the water is irresistible, and he wowed the crowd and the judges throughout the week. Meanwhile, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo eventually had to settle for fifth place overall in Bonaire after a disappointing seventh place finish in the first double elimination. The five-time world champion came storming back in the second single elimination to claim his first victory of the year, but even the Freestyle King couldn’t hold off Kiri Thode in the second double. Expect to see Gollito charging for the top in the next event in Fuerteventura.
Dieter van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne) set out with hopes of a top five finish in the first event of 2014, but agonisingly finished in sixth place overall. The Belgian later admitted he was still very happy with his start to the year, with the level on the water being so incredibly high. Sixth place also represents van der Eyken’s best ever start to a season, so he is definitely continuing to head in the right direction. The twenty-two year old usually excels in Fuerteventura too meaning he’s certainly one to watch very carefully.
Youp Schmit (JP / Avanti) claimed seventh place in Bonaire and was definitely one of the standout sailors throughout the five days of competition. The Bonairean was on fire throughout as he claimed the biggest scalp of his career so far by taking down Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo in the single elimination, as he broke into the top four for the first time. Unfortunately Schmit couldn’t quite hold his place in the top five, but once again demonstrated that he is one of the most exciting talents in the world right now. The nineteen year old also pulled off one of the moves of the contest - an outrageous shuvit spock into culo.
France’s Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) eventually finished in eighth place overall after placing seventh in both double eliminations. The Frenchman is one of the most stylish sailors on the tour and wowed everyone with his incredible shaka flakas. Ruenes’ self belief continued to build throughout the event and with an added slice of extra confidence, he’ll be even more dangerous in the next event.
Completing the top ten this time around was the Bonairean duo of Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui) - ninth - and Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / MFC) who finished in equal tenth alongside Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails)
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) reinforced her status as the Queen of Freestyle with another outstanding display as she extended her unbeaten run which stretches back an amazing six years. On her way to an emphatic victory the lady from Aruba showed that she has once again taken her sailing to another level as she landed culos and konos on both tacks together with double spocks and superb shakas to name just a few. Offringa is a formidable force and it looks like she’s going to be almost impossible to beat again in 2014.
A new star emerged in Bonaire in the form of sixteen year old Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who made her debut on the PWA World Tour last year. However, since then Huvermann has progressed an incredible amount and her hours of training in the cold European winter has paid off emphatically as she claimed a superb second place. The young Dutch girl showed incredible consistency in her moves as she combined spocks and flakas on both tacks with text-book e-sliders and flawless funnels to defeat her more experienced rivals. After this performance Huvermann is definitely a big name for the future, so watch this space.
The reigning PWA Freestyle Vice-World Champion - Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins) - had to settle for third place in Bonaire having been pipped to second by Huvermann. The twenty-seven year old still demonstrated an extremely high level on the water and she’ll be back stronger than ever for the second stop in Fuerte.
Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) and Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North) proved inseparable come the end of five days as the duo claimed joint fourth, which represents Johanne’s best result so far. Both women showed a fantastic variety of moves ranging from flakas and shakas to funnels and switch konos. Meanwhile, Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde) finished in sixth place.
The level on the women’s tour reached a new high in Bonaire with every heat producing fascinating battles, such was the standard of sailing on display.
Where’s Next on the PWA World Tour?
Next up on the PWA World Tour is a maiden voyage to Turkmenistan as the men’s slalom fleet prepare for their second event of the year, whilst the women’s slalom fleet to make their first appearance of 2014. You’ll be able to follow all of the brilliant action live from the 1st to the 6th July via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Overall Results PWA Bonaire World Cup - Men's Freestyle
1st Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails)
2nd Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne)
4th Tonky Frans (Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North / MFC)
6th Dieter van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
7th Youp Schmit (JP / Avanti)
8th Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui)
10th Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails)
10th Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / MFC)
Overall Results PWA Bonaire World Cup - Women's Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North)
4th Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
6th Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde)