FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup
Bonaire is dubbed as the spiritual home of Freestyle and over the last 5 days, you can understand why with the world’s best Freestylers channeling its relaxed Caribbean atmosphere and taking full advantage of Bonaire’s world class conditions to provide a scintillating, and sometimes unpredictable, start to the season…
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) was pushed all the way by vice-world champion - Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who became the first woman in 11 years to win a heat against Offringa on the PWA Freestyle World Tour, but eventually it was still the 11-time Freestyle World Champion who would walk away from Bonaire as the event champion. Having not faced in defeat in so long, many people wondered how Offringa would cope in the Super Final, but she barely put a foot wrong as she posted the second highest scoring heat of the contest with 140.7 points.
Sarah-Quita Offringa: “Cheers first of all to everyone, and thanks to everyone on the beach, we can hear you cheering on the water and that really motivates us! This was the first time in 11 years that I’ve lost a heat, and I’ve been thinking about that this week - about how I would react… I didn’t want to be a sore loser and actually, I felt a sense of excitement after the heat with Maaike! Congrats to Maaike - she sailed an amazing heat! Thanks to everyone from the PWA for an amazing week!”
When Huvermann faced Offringa for the first time in the single elimination the 21-year-old said that she would use a different approach against the reigning world champion and that’s exactly what she did with Huvermann throwing everything she had at Offringa on each of the 3 occasions she faced her in Bonaire. Huvermann’s aggressive approach eventually paid off in the double elimination Final as she landed a regular chachoo on the buzzer to force a Super Final. In hearing the result Huvermann fell to the ground in celebration, but couldn’t quite find a way to defeat Offringa two-times in a row. However, the 21-year-old must be delighted with taking a heat off Offringa and things now become very interesting heading into Fuerteventura in July.
Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) sailed consistently and stylishly throughout to claim the final place on the podium. Last year’s world No.3 couldn’t find a way to threaten the top 2 this time out, but will no doubt be training hard between now and the next world cup in Fuerteventura.
Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) successfully defended her 4th place from the Single Elimination, but will probably be a little bit disappointed to have not beaten Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) as she certainly had the opportunity with the Norwegian not enjoying her best heat. However, Aukes couldn’t quite find the higher scoring manoeuvre she needed on starboard tack and may feel that this was an opportunity missed to earn her first podium finish since 2014.
Jazzy Zwerus (JP / NeilPryde) won 3 consecutive heats in the double elimination to fight back into 5th place in her first competition since 2016. On her way to fifth, the 23-year-old defeated last year’s world No.5 - Johanne Rümenapp (I-99 / Gun Sails) - Julia Pakosz and Francesca Floris (RRD / RRD Sails).
Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) may have had to do things the hard way, but eventually, the 23-year-old deservedly claimed the top spot on the podium to make the perfect start in the bid for his first world title. A second round exit in the single elimination meant that Vrieswijk then faced a gruelling fight back through the double elimination, but it was evidently a fight that he relished as he won 10 consecutive heats to deservedly be crowned the King of Bonaire. Vrieswijk consistently posted heats scores over 180 points - and was the only sailor to achieve this feat - so there can be no complaints that the best man won. Having defeated his major rival, 9-time Freestyle World Champion - Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) - in just the second round of the double elimination it now seems the path by finally be opening up for Vrieswijk to get his hands on the biggest trophy of them all.
Amado Vrieswijk: “It’s been a long, long, long week, a long week, but an amazing though. The wind was light the final, but the level has been so high throughout and Youp pushed me all the way! I’m just really, really happy!”
Youp Schmit (I-99 / Avanti) couldn’t quite defend his single elimination crown, but put up a brave fight against Vrieswijk in the Super Final. The 24-year-old had to sail through the pain barrier and then needed to be rallied by the home crowd after breaking his fin in the first few minutes of the Super Final and almost found a way to defeat Vrieswijk, but not quite. Schmit clearly revelled sailing at his home event and walks away from the opening event of the season with his first ever podium, while also emerging as a potential world title challenger for the remainder of the year!
There were quite a few upsets along the way in the men’s division with the form book seemingly being thrown out of the window, but the biggest upset of them all was delivered by Julian Mas (JP / Gun Sails), who defeated Gollito Estredo in the first round of the single elimination. The Frenchman landed a new combination in a contest with a flaka-bob and was consistently able to land this manoeuvre along with many others to advance all the way into the final of the single elimination, which would also guarantee Mas a first ever podium! Eventually, the 29-year-old would finish 3rd and can be delighted with recording his best ever result on the PWA World Tour.
Last year’s world No.4 - Yentel Caers (I-99 / Point-7) - starts the year with a solid 4th place and with he and Vrieswijk the only members of last years overall top 5to make it into the top 4 here in Bonaire - Caers could prove to be Vrieswijk’s main challenger for the world title going forwards.
Giovanni Passani (Tabou / GA Sails / AL360) will walk away from the opening event of the year a very happy man with the Italian deservedly claiming his first top 10 result on the world tour - 5th. The 23-year-old sailed brilliantly throughout executing his moves clinically and with plenty of style!
Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) fought his way back from the first round in the double elimination to 6th place after gaining momentum and winning 5 heats in a row. Firstly the Frenchman defeated former world champion - Kiri Thode (Severne / Severne Sails) - followed by Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360), Nicolas Akgazciyan (JP / NeilPryde), Taty Frans (Point-7) and finally a hard fought win over teammate Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails). However, Ruenes’ comeback was then brought to an end by eventual champion - Amado Vrieswijk.
Like Ruenes, Scheffers also staged a brilliant comeback through the double elimination which saw the Dutchman win 4 hits on the bounce to earn joint 7th place alongside last year’s vice-world champion - Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins), who was a little unfortunate to meet Amado Vrieswijk in Heat 30a as aside from the Bonairean, Bosson was the next highest scoring heat with - 176.9 points.
The top 10 was completed by Taty Frans (Point-7), Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard / Gun Sails / Shamal Sunglasses), Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde) & Julian Wiemar (Starboard / Severne).
The PWA would like to extend their thanks to the organisers, sponsors and everyone that helped out at the 2019 FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup for making it such a great start to the year - we hope to be back in 2020.
Where’s Next on the PWA World Tour?
Having started the season with an explosive installment of Freestyle it is now time for the Men’s and Women’s Slalom fleet to take centre stage for the first time this season. Where? The South of France for a new addition to the calendar with the Marignane PWA World Cup running between 17th-22nd April.
For a full recap 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
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)
5th Jazzy Zwerus (NED - JP / NeilPryde)
Result FORSA Bonaire PWA World Cup - Men’s Freestyle
1st Amado Vrieswijk (NB - JP / Severne)
2nd Youp Schmit (NB - I-99 / Avanti)
3rd Julian Mas (FRA - JP / Gun Sails)
4th Yentel Caers (BEL I-99 / Point-7)
5th Giovanni Passani (ITA - Tabou / GA Sails / AL360)
6th Antony Ruenes (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails)
7th Adrien Bosson (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins)
7th Davy Scheffers (NED - Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Sam Esteve (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
9th Steven Van Broeckhoven (BEL - Starboard / Gun Sails)
9th Taty Frans (NB - Point-7)
9th Julian Wiemar (GER - Starboard / Severne)