Fuerteventura PWA World Cup
The Men’s and Women’s Freestyle Single Eliminations were completed on Day 8 of the 2019 Fuerteventura PWA World Cup - sponsored by René Egli - but the tricky conditions continued. With gusty winds the heat duration was extended to 10 minutes with the judges looking for the best 4 moves from 7 attempts on each tack.
Current World No.1 & No.2 - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) and Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) - successfully booked their place in the winners’ final after overcoming Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) and Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne) respectively in the semifinals.
Huvermann made the brighter start and led for the majority of the final, but couldn’t quite hang on as after a slightly conservative start - perhaps due to the lighter winds - Offringa asserted late on with a flourish of power moves and combos to get on top late on, which sees her take a massive step towards earning a 12th Freestyle world title. Huvermann clearly knew she needed a stronger move on starboard tack to combat Offringa, but unfortunately the 21-year-old missed her rig duck in the dying seconds when wanting to attempt a culo and with that her chance in the single elimination was gone.
In the semifinals. Oda Brødholt managed to beat Huvermann on port tack - 41.5 points to 36.5 points - but with the best 4 moves from 7 to count on each tack, the Norwegian was crucially missing a move on starboard tack, which potentially cost her a spot in the top 2 in the single elimination. There’s no doubt that Brødholt has a preference for windier conditions, but she made no mistakes in the battle for 3rd and 4th, against Aukes in Heat 16, to secure third place in the single and the 30-year-old will have her eyes firmly focused on progressing up the ladder In the double elimination.
Meanwhile, Aukes finished in a solid 4th place and will now look to defend her position in the top 4 against any of the women who attempt to make a comeback in the double elimination. As things stand the top 5 is currently completed by Lina Eržen (Flikka / Duotone), Clare Elliot, Johanna Rümenapp (I-99 / Gun Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) and Jazzy Zwerus (JP / NeilPryde), but Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde) will be one to watch in the double elimination. The Russian will have to come from the first round of the double, but if she can start to build some momentum, she has the potential to produce an excellent come back.
Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard / Gun Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) deservedly claimed victory in the Men’s Single Elimination with the Belgian posting the two highest scores of the contest so far in the semifinals and the winners’ final. In the semifinal against Youp Schmit (I-99 / Avanti) Van Broeckhoven posted a monstrous score of 179.3 points, while in the final he again posted a huge tally of 174.1 points to earn his first win in a single elimination on the world tour since April 2015. The Belgian looked explosive throughout and could prove a hard man to pin back in the double elimination given his form thus far.
Jacopo Testa (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360) booked his place in his first winners’ final on the world tour after defeating the 2015 event and world champion - Dieter van der Eyken (Severne / Severne Sails) - in the semifinals after posting the third highest score of the competition thus far - 165.9 points. The Italian is now guaranteed his second PWA event podium - adding to his previous podium in Sylt, 2017.
The podium at this stage is completed by world title hopeful - Youp Schmit - after the Bonairean secured third place in the single elimination ahead of van der Eyken. There is obviously still a long way to go with the double elimination to come, but as things stand Schmit would head to the top of the overall rankings with current world tour leader - Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) - sat in joint 5th place after an earlier than anticipated exit yesterday.
Dieter van der Eyken completes the top 4 at the moment, but the Belgian looked a little bit frustrated with his performance at times today knowing that he had a realistic shot at making the podium. However, after several failed port tack moves in the battle for 3rd and 4th with Schmit the 27-year-old was left counting a forward loop as his 4th move.
The Men’s Double Elimination began shortly after the completion of the Single Elimination and the first round went virtually as you would expect. However, Niclas Nebelung (I-99 / Gun Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) produced a late come back to cause an upset against Loïck Spicher (RRD / RRD Sails), while Corto Dumond (Starboard / Severne) came out on top of the battle of the young guns by claiming victory in a close heat against Lennart Neubauer (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins).
Dudu Levi (Gun Sails) produced the highest scoring heat in the first round of the double - 145.6 points - but then couldn’t quite replicate that performance in the second round against Nicolas Akgazciyan (JP / NeilPryde). The Israeli led for the majority of the heat, but a late forward loop and a shuvit spock by the Frenchman proved enough to sneak Akgazciyan into the next round.
In the opening heat of the second round teammates - Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails) and Giovanni Passani (Tabou / GA Sails / AL360) - sailed a big heat with Passani currently ranked 5th in the overall rankings, while Scheffers came into the event in joint 7th. Unfortunately, Scheffers didn’t enjoy his best heat with the Dutchman failing to complete his scoresheet - only 3 counting moves on each tack rather than the 4 required - meaning Passani advanced. This will go down as a missed opportunity for Scheffers as the moves the 27-year-old did land generally scored higher, but his failure to fill his scoresheet cost him dearly.
The forecast for tomorrow looks every so slightly lighter than today and we may have to wait until the afternoon for the contest to resume with more cloud cover expected during the morning. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10:30am (GMT+1) tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11am onwards.
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Result 2019 Fuerteventura PWA World Cup - Women’s Single Elimination
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU - Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Maaike Huvermann (NED - Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Oda Brødholt (NOR - Starboard / Severne)
4th Arrianne Aukes (NED - Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins)
Result 2019 Fuerteventura PWA World Cup - Men’s Single Elimination
1st Steven Van Broeckhoven (BEL - Starboard / Gun Sails)
2nd Jacopo Testa (ITA - RRD / RRD Sails / AL360)
3rd Youp Schmit (NB - I-99 / Avanti)
4th Dieter van der Eyken (BEL - Severne / Severne Sails)
5th Amado Vrieswijk (NB - JP / Severne)
5th Antony Ruenes (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Yentel Caers (BEL - I-99 / Point-7)
5th Sam Esteve (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)