Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam
Day 2 of the 2018 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam saw the men’s and women’s single eliminations completed in trademark Fuerte winds as Fuerteventura proved to be Fuerte by name and Fuerte by nature, once again. Over the course of the day, there was some incredible action as the world’s best freestylers laid down an impressive mix of explosive moves. However, come the end of the single eliminations there was nothing anyone could do to prevent current world champions - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) and Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) from claiming the top spots on the podium… for now at least.
Sarah-Quita Offringa survived a minor blip against Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) in the semifinals to book her place in the final against Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who required a last-second forward loop to pip Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) to a place in the top two of the single elimination .
In Heat 23b, Offringa, who is usually so stylish and reliable, looked a little out of sorts on starboard tack, as she landed just 1 out of her 4 opening starboard tack attempts and for a very rare occasion the 10-time freestyle world champion failed to complete her scoresheet (missing her 4th move on starboard tack).
However, as she so often does, Offringa then raised her game to another level in the final as the 27-year-old posted her highest scoring heat of the contest. Offringa was able to land a radical regular kono, while creating a new piece of history by landing the first spock culo in competition on the women’s world tour, which kept Maaike Huvermann at bay, and she was clearly pumped at raising the bar again, while taking a big step towards earning freestyle world title No.11.
Huvermann finishes second in the single elimination and the vice-world champion also tried to raise her level in final as she launched into an air skopu on the way out, but couldn’t land it and this time around couldn’t really threaten Offringa. Huvermann pushed the multiple-time world champion all the way last year and will hope for another shot in the double.
Oda Johanne recovered from the disappointment of just missing out of the final, by securing the final place on the podium, but she will obviously be determined to try and overhaul Huvermann in the double elimination with such fine margins between the two of them, so far this season.
Meanwhile, Arrianne Aukes completes the top 4 having earlier defeated Birgit Rieger (Flikka) with an assured display, but she couldn’t really impose against Johanne in the battle for 3rd and 4th place.
Like Offringa, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) also raised his level when it really mattered as the Venezuelan posted his two highest scores of the single elimination against Yentel Caers (JP / Point-7) in the semifinal and in the final against Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) to come out on top as he showed his champion winning qualities again by oozing his trademark style.
Adrien Bosson equals his best ever performance in a single elimination (also qualifying for the winners’ final in 2016 at the Austria PWA World Cup where he also faced Gollito) after performing at an incredibly high level throughout the single elimination. The Frenchman was locked in a tough battle with Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) in the semifinals, but eventually came out on top as he landed a sick air kabikuchi late on to take the victory and move into the final, where he pushed Gollito all the way. In fact the final was so close that by the end there was just 6.6 points between the two of them. Bosson will now look to hold onto second place at a minimum in order to record his best ever result on the world tour.
Yentel Caers (JP / Point-7) couldn’t quite find enough to defeat Gollito in the semifinals but walks away from the single elimination with 3rd place after beating Amado Vrieswijk in the battle for 3rd and 4th. The Belgian has finished in the top 3 here for the last two year’s and you certainly wouldn’t bet against him climbing higher in the double elimination based on his performances so far… due to the fact that there is so little separating the current crop of top sailors.
Having posted the highest scoring heat of the day yesterday - Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) - has to settle for 4th place in the single elimination - which may feel like a bitter pill to swallow. The 22-year-old couldn’t believe that he hadn’t won against Adrien Bosson, while his planing backloop against Yentel Caers in Heat 24 was adjudged to be outside the contest area and therefore didn’t count. Had that backloop have counted Vrieswijk would’ve taken 3rd place, but instead has to somewhat reluctantly settle for 4th. Vrieswijk landed a trademark double air culo - the only one of the contest - but even that wasn’t enough. The Bonairean will now have to regroup for the double elimination but realistically needs to finish no worse than 2nd in order to keep his titles hopes alive this season. Vrieswijk may now take additional time to study the current scoring system and see exactly what it takes to come out on top as he is clearly becoming quite frustrated.
The opening 3 rounds of the double elimination were also completed before the close of play and the biggest movers so far have been Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks), Mattia Fabrizi (Patrik / I-99) and Tonky Frans (RRD / RRD Sails) with all 3 men winning their opening 3 heats. The Canadian will now face Nicolas Akgazciyan, while Fabrizi and Frans will go head-to-head.
Soltysiak defeated Niclas Nebelung (I-99 / Gun Sails) and Berk Yalgin (Tabou / GA Sails) before claiming a hard-fought battle against Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses).
Meanwhile, Fabrizi looked stylish throughout and sailed with confidence to take down Loick Spicher (RRD / RRD Sails), Julian Wiemar (Starboard / Severne) and finally Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) for the biggest upset of the day.
Tonky Frans sailed with his usual style and flow to defeat Deivis Paternina (I-99 / Loftsails), Nic Hibdige (Tabou / GA Sails) - who landed a tail grab air spock - and finally fellow Bonairean - Youp Schmit (I-99 / Avanti) in an incredibly close heat to conclude the day.
The forecast predicts lighter winds tomorrow, but there should still be enough to continue the contest. The sailors will meet again at 10:30am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11am (GMT+1) onwards.
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Result Single Elimination - 2018 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Women's Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Johanna Rümenapp (I-99 / Gun Sails / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Nicole Bandini (Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Birgit Rieger (Flikka)
5th Lina Erzen (Flikka / Hot Sails Maui)
Result Single Elimination - 2018 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Men's Freestyle
1st Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Yentel Caers (JP / Point-7)
4th Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne)
5th Jacopo Testa (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360)
5th Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / Gun Sails)
5th Dieter Van der Eyken (Severne / Severne Sails)
5th Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing)
9th Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde)
9th Balz Müller (MB Boards / Severne)
9th Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360)
9th Youp Schmit (I-99 / Avanti)
9th Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails)
9th Nicolas Akgazciyan