Mercedes-Benz Windsurf World Cup Sylt
The opening day of competition at the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA World Cup proved to be a day not to forget with heavy overhead high waves, and winds varying between 15-35 knots producing a true Sylt Classic as the Freestyle and Wave fleets hit the water for the first time this event.
At the end of the first day of competition in Sylt - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) - has hauled herself back into title race contention after claiming a convincing victory in the single elimination ahead of current world tour leader - Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / AL360).
The Aruban was at her brilliant best today and she dominated proceedings - setting 3 out of the 4 highest wave scores - including a superb 9 point wave - as well as also recording 4 out of the top 5 highest jump scores. Offringa won the event here last year and clearly demonstrated why with her performance today. If things were to remain as they are at the moment then Offringa would close to within just 200 points of Sniady heading into Maui - where she is also the defending event champion.
Sniady will be happy to have secured her place in a third final of the season - having previously never made a final - but was then out of sync with the conditions in the final as some times happens. However, Sniady is already guaranteed her third consecutive podium as she continues to enjoy her best season on the world tour.
At this stage, Lina Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails) completes the podium after defeating Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) in the battle for third and fourth. The German showed excellent wave selection and execution to prevail as the 22-year-old aims to secure back-to-back podiums in Sylt.
On her way to earning her best result in a wave single elimination - Maaike Huvermann - caused without doubt the biggest upset of the day by taking down reigning world champion - Iballa Moreno (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) - in Heat 5b before earning 4th place. You certainly wouldn’t rule Iballa out from storming back through the double still, but things have just become a whole lot harder for the 10-time world champion.
Iballa currently shares 5th place with Marine Hunter (KA Sail), Caterina Stenta (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins) and Steffi Wahl (Sailloft Hamburg).
The opening round of the men’s single elimination was also completed with Sylt producing hollow, punchy waves for the world’s best men to take advantage of - although there were some broken masts along the way.
Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails), who we mentioned in the preview, has a great Sylt record in recent years - kicked off his campaign this year by posting the highest heat score of the day - 22.85 points - as he defeated Miguel Chapuis (JP / NeilPryde). The Spaniard landed a big one-foot backloop, while pinging several trademark frontside 360s to eventually earn the highest single wave score also - 8.95 points. Mussolini will now face - Marc Paré (Simmer / Simmer Sails) - after the young Spaniard produced an excellent display against - Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) to advance.
All of the title contenders - Ricardo Campello (Brunotti Boards), Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX), Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone) and Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) are all safely into the round of 16, but Stone was the pick of the top seeds in the opening round. The Australian landed a massive goiter - the only one of the day - to earn 8 points, while also stomping a perfect double forward and tweaking a frontside air. Stone posted the second highest scoring heat of the day - 21.57 points - and early indications show he could be a major threat for the event title, having secured his first victory on the world tour last month in Tenerife.
However, Arthur Arutkin (Fanatic / Duotone), who was Stone’s opponent, will feel slightly aggrieved as he posted the 6th highest heat of the day, and still found himself on the losing side of the heat. The young Frenchman would have advanced through the majority of the other first round heats, but just got unlucky with his draw!
Elsewhere, Julian Salmonn (Bruch Boards / GUNSAILS) completed the double over his boss - Dany Bruch (Bruch Boards / GA Sails / AL360) after also prevailing against Bruch in Tenerife. Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) took down Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails), who came through the trials. Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) survived against last year’s giant killer - Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) - while Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / Duotone) progressed against Graham Ezzy (Tabou / Ezzy Sails).
Dieter van der Eyken (Severne / Severne Sails) enjoyed a successful day - posting the third highest Freestyle heat of the day - before eliminating Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX) in Heat 6a. Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX) negotiated his way past a potentially very tricky draw against Omar Sanchez (Star-Fish / KA Sail), 16-year-old Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing) claimed a big scalp by defeating Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde), while Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) progressed from a tight heat against Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Duotone).
Elsewhere, Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing), deserves a mention for his performance in the Qualification Round. The New Caledonian showed a fearless approach against Sylt’s heavy, thick waves and landed sick aerials and critical turns to deservedly earn his place in the main draw, before being eliminated by reigning world champion - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone).
At the beginning of the day, the contortionists of the windsurfing world took centre stage in typically difficult Sylt freestyle conditions, but as the first round progressed, so did the conditions and the scores.
The two main title contenders, Youp Schmit (I-99 / Avanti), Yentel Caers (I-99 / Point-7), survived the first round unscathed. Schmit faced easily the hardest first round test of any of the title contenders, but successfully negotiated his way past former world champion - Kiri Thode (Severne / Severne Sails) - despite only undergoing knee surgery several weeks ago. Caers also produced a proficient display to advance and will now face Balz Müller (MB-Boards / Severne), whilst Schmit will face another former Freestyle world champion in the shape of Dieter van der Eyken.
Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) kept his slim world title hopes alive by defeating Aron Etmon (Starboard / Severne) and will now face Jacopo Testa (RRD / RRD Sails) in Heat 9a. Meanwhile, fellow world title hopeful Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) will take on Riccardo Marca (Fanatic / Duotone) after the Italian defeated Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails). The Dutchman performed 3 port tack moves outside the area, which ultimately cost him a place in the next round. Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard / GUNSAILS) also safely advances into the round of 32.
Heat 8a between - Nicolas Akgazciyan (JP / NeilPryde) and Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing) - produced the highest scoring, and tightest, heat of the day with just 0.3 of a point separating them by the end of the heat. Albert posted the highest score of the day - 122.5 points - but Akgazciyan was incredibly unlucky as he posted the second highest scoring heat of the first round - 122.3 points - but was still eliminated. Next up for Albert, is Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone), who received a bye through the first round.
Elsewhere, Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde), Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360), Giovanni Passani (Tabou / GA Sails) are all into the next round.
The forecast for Sunday shows plenty of potential for more competition with the wind expected to remain side shore from the left. The only slight question mark remains over the amount of rain expected during the afternoon and early evening - 4.1-6.7mm - but the sailors will meet again tomorrow morning.
Skippers Meeting Times For Sunday | (All Times GMT+2)
- Foil 8:30am - first possible start 9:30am
- Wave & Freestyle 9am - first possible start 9:30am
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Result Single Elimination 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA World Cup - Women's Wave
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / AL360)
3rd Lina Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails)
4th Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Martine Hunter (KA Sail)
5th Steffi Wahl (Sailloft Hamburg)
5th Iballa Moreno (Severne / Severne Sails)
5th Caterina Stenta (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins)