The announcements are flying in thick and fast, but one of the most significant is that JP and NeilPryde have signed the world freestyle champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde). Van Broeckhoven has signed a two-year agreement with both brands after carefully testing both the board and sails. It wasn’t a decision that Van Broeckhoven made lightly as F2 and Gaastra have supported him from the very beginning. But the future certainly looks bright for the world champion.
This is what Steven van Broeckhoven had to say:
"JP and NeilPryde approached me last year but I felt very loyal to my old sponsors as they supported me right from the beginning - so I did not want to leave. This year JP and NP talked to me again and I got to meet Werner and Robert and was able to try the boards and sails. I was very impressed by the guys and the equipment. Werner and Robert immediately understood what I am looking for - we simply speak the same language. I really look forward to working with those guys and developing equipment, which will take me to a new level.
2012 will be a special year for me as for the first time I will be the one everybody wants to beat. It will be tough and interesting, but this is where I always wanted to be. I am positive that with the support of JP and NP I will be able to defend my title and hopefully further develop the freestyle discipline. I am also really happy to be part of a team, which includes some really big names - like Jason and Kauli and some guys I really like to sail with like Andy Chambers, Tilo Eber, Youp Schmit and Bryan Metcalf-Perez. I also like the way both brands support the youth with their Young Guns Camps and I look forward to be involved in that as well."
This is what Martin Brandner (JP Brand Manager) had to say:
"Steven is super professional and fit. He perfectly matches with Werner and the rest of our team. He is not a crazy youngster but a really cool guy with great personality. He knows exactly what he wants and will be able to help us greatly with our product development. He will not just compete for us and hopefully win but will also be very involved in the development of our future Freestyle line. Since he is not from a Caribbean island but from Belgium and started out sailing on a Lake, we also see him as a figure head for all those kids who do not grow up in windsurfing paradise but still dream about a professional career in windsurfing."
Marco Leconte (NeilPryde Brand Manager) added:
"We are stoked that Steven is joining TeamPryde. We are putting a lot of efforts in our freestyle program and, with Steven on board, we believe we can bring freestyle to the next level. Robert Stroj, our Designer, is very impressed with his input and knowledge and absolutely enjoys working with him. The future looks great."
Alongside this announcement JP have released this short clip with Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) speaking to Van Broeckhoven about his change and a few clips on the new kit.