FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup
Upon arriving to Sorobon Beach on the morning of Day 4 of the FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup it looked as though there may be a quick start to the action with conditions already looking promising. However, after patiently waiting the wind never really kicked in, which led to a two-hour break between 12-2pm. The wait was more than worth it though with Bonaire delivering exactly the kind of conditions the world’s best freestylers had been craving - 20-30 knots of wind and flat water - which allowed the men’s fleet to wow both the crowd and the judges with just over 3 hours of world class explosive freestyle.
Once the second round of the Men’s Double Elimination had been completed all eyes were drawn to a mouthwatering 3rd round battle featuring 9-time PWA Freestyle World Champion - Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) - and world title hopeful Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne). In recent years we have become accustomed to seeing arguably the two best freestylers in the world battle it out in the finals. However, after a surprising single elimination the two heavy-hitters would have to meet far earlier than they are used to - and perhaps with more pressure on the line - with no discard for the Freestyle fleet this year - defeat for either sailor would more than likely spell the end of their title hopes for 2019.
The action which followed was more than worthy of being a final with both men landing several outstanding moves and combinations. However, in front of a home crowd, who were fully behind their local man, and wanting to keep his title aspirations alive there was no stopping Vrieswijk, who went on to set the second highest scoring heat of the contest so far - 180.7 points - after Vrieswijk himself set the highest scoring heat of the contest thus far in the round prior against Mattia Fabrizi (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) - 181.9 points. During the heat, Vrieswijk landed a huge kabikuchi to kick things off and then went from strength-to-strength landing anything from a flaka-shaka-720, flaka-into-bob and almost perfect flaka-into-ponch, which not only drew massive cheers from the beach, but also drew celebrations from Vrieswijk, who upon hearing the cheers responded with a dab and pumping his sail!
Vrieswijk then dispatched of Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde), who tried to go big in order to match the Bonairean, but couldn’t on this occasion, to set-up another huge heat against vice-world champion - Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) - who had earlier defeated Jamie Howard (F2 / F2), Dieter van der Eyken (Severne / Severne Sails) and Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard / Gun Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) with a series of hugely impressive performances.
In Heat 30a both men once again went all out, while treating the crowd to another freestyle feast, but even with Bosson posting the 4th highest heat score of the competition - 176.9 points - there was still no stopping Vrieswijk from driving into the top 6 - leaving Bosson to settle for joint 7th in the opening event. Vrieswijk now holds the 1st, 2nd and 3rd highest scoring heat of the contest after setting a monstrous 188 points tally against Bosson, which is also the highest points haul ever since the new live scoring system was introduced. If the 23-year-old is even anywhere near the sort of level he showed today, it is difficult to imagine anyone stopping him from fighting all the way back to claim the event title. However, there is still plenty of work to do before reaching that point…
In the bottom half of the draw, both Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) and Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails) mounted brilliant comebacks of their own, which would eventually see the two teammates meet in Heat 30b.
Enroute to that point Ruenes dispatched of Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360), Nicolas Akgazciyan (JP / NeilPryde) and Taty Frans (Point-7), while Scheffers, who can blow hot and cold started to gather momentum and hit a hot streak which saw him style his way past Loick Spicher (RRD / RRD Sails), Nic Hibdige (Tabou / GA Sails) and Julian Wiemar (Starboard / Severne) - after combining the latest power moves with innovative combinations.
The heat between Ruenes and Scheffers turned into another fascinating battle with Scheffers once again making a flying start with a huge air bob culo, skopu 360, air funnel 720 and an amazing switch chachoo burner. However, after a flying start the 27-year-old, who was suffering slightly from a toe injury began to slow down. Meanwhile, Ruenes, who was a little slow to start began to come right back into it with a perfect spock-culo, flaka into ponch, air funnel-burner and a trademark no-handed burner taking the Frenchman into a narrow lead. Scheffers had the beating of Ruenes on starboard tack but crucially had to count a wet kabikuchi on starboard - only 11.6 points - which proved to be the difference between the two. Scheffers obviously knew that he was missing a move on starboard tack, but unfortunately just ran out of steam at the crucial moment as he crashed his final 3 attempts. Take nothing away from Ruenes though, who gathered momentum throughout the afternoon and sailed to the level everyone knows he is capable of. The Frenchman will now face Vrieswijk in the battle for 5th/6th place and beyond.
The forecast looks set for a Super Saturday Grand Finale with the strong Tradewinds predicted to continue. The sailors will meet again at 8am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 8:30am (GMT-4) onwards. Make sure you don’t miss any of the pulsating action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com.
To stay up to date with all the latest developments from Bonaire — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images, and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Result FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup - Women’s Freestyle
*Below results may still change
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU - Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Maaike Huvermann (NED - Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Oda Johanne (NOR - Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Arrianne Aukes (NED - Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins)
Result FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup - Men’s Freestyle
*Below results may still change
1st Youp Schmit (NB - I-99 / Avanti)
2nd Julian Mas (FRA - I-99 / Gun Sails)
3rd Yentel Caers (BEL I-99 / Point-7
4th Giovanni Passani (ITA - Tabou / GA Sails)
5th/6th Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne)
5th/6th Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails)