Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam
The wind continued to howl on day 6 of the 2023 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam as gusts in excess of 35 knots were once again recorded, whilst the water conditions improved as the afternoon progressed once the tide began to drop back as the extremely treacherous chop was replaced with little stunt ramps, which allowed the world’s best Freestylers to produce an explosive start to proceedings. At the end of the first day of Freestyle only the top 4 men and women remain standing.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) is bidding to win a record extending 14th Freestyle world title and then Aruban made a successful start to her campaign as she posted the highest score of the quarterfinals - 27.2 points - to book her place in the semifinals where she will face Lina Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails), who is making her debut on the Freestyle World Tour after the German earned an impressive victory over - Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) - much to the delight of Erpenstein!
Meanwhile, Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne Sails) successfully negotiated her way into the semifinals after defeating Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde) with an efficient display. Brødholt would probably have been expecting to renew her rivalry with Maaike Huvermann (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins), but that will have to wait after - Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards / Sailloft Hamburg) - caused a huge upset as she claimed the biggest scalp of her career after defeating Huvermann in Heat 13b. The heat needed to be reviewed and once that had been carried out Kloster earns the win with 15.40 points to 15.05.
Reigning world champion - Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) - safely booked his place in the top 4 as the Frenchman consistently posted scores in the mid to high 30s range with an impressive set of performances, which saw him knockout; Michael Chovan, Robin van Linden (Severne / Severne Sails) and Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde).
Bosson will now face a tough test against Yentel Caers (JP / NeilPryde), who posted the highest scoring heat of the day - 39.2 points - against Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing) in the quarterfinals. The 2019 world champion sailed with his usual powerful style to setup a mouthwatering tie against Bosson.
For a while, it looked as though Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) had been eliminated by teammate - Takuma Sugi (Tabou / GA Sails / Black Project Fins) in the Round of 16, however it then became apparent that a couple of Ruenes’ moves had been marked down incorrectly, which then, unfortunately for Sugi, saw the heat reversed with Ruenes advancing by less than a point. The Frenchman then produced a great late comeback against - Niclas Nebelung (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) - to advance into the top 4.
Ruenes will take on Amado Vrieswijk (Future Fly / Severne Sails) after the Bonairean ended the hopes of Balz Muller (Severne / Severne Sails) in the quarterfinals with an impressive display of sailing. Vrieswijk posted the second highest scoring heat of the day - 39.1 points - against the Swiss as the 27-year-old seemed to make a seamless transition from the racing gear back to the Freestyle gear. Freestyle may not be Vrieswijk’s main focus anymore, but you wouldn’t bet against him going all the way.
For the Single Elimination, that means that Nebelung secures his best result to date on the World Tour with the German finishing in joint 5th place after claiming an impressive victory over Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard / GUNSAILS) in Heat 9b.
Elsewhere, Muller also shares joint 5th alongside Albert and Esteve. Muller was one of the most entertaining sailors to watch as he brought his innovative approach to the contest landing the first ever tabletop backloop and cheeseroll-360 in a contest, whilst he provided some pure freestyle moments with body drags and a hand wash duck gybe during his heats. Muller, who was unseeded due to not competing last year, also caused the upset of the day as he dispatched of vice-world champion - Jacopo Testa (AV Boards / Point-7 / AL360) in the first round. The Italian will now have to do things the hard way in the double.
George Grisley and Bodhi Kempen (Severne / Severne Sails) were both making their debuts on the Freestyle World Tour today and both sailors enjoyed winning starts to life on tour with Grisley claiming an impressive victory over Nicolas Akgazciyan (JP / NeilPryde), whilst Kempen dispatched of Nicolo di Marco.
With another solid forecast to come for Wednesday, tomorrow should see the conclusion of the Single Eliminations. The sailors will meet again at 11am for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 11:30am (GMT+1) onwards.
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Result 2023 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Women’s Slalom
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Blanca Alabau (ESP | Starboard / Severne Sails)
4th Justine Lemeteyer (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui / LOKEFOIL)
5th Jenna Gibson (UK | Fanatic / Duotone)
Result 2023 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Men’s Slalom
1st Nicolas Goyard (FRA | Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils / AL360)
2nd Johan Soe (DEN | FMX Racing / Point-7)
3rd Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne Sails)
4th Amado Vrieswijk (NB | Future Fly | Severne Sails)
5th Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Phantom Foils)
6th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
7th Bruno Martini (ITA | JP / NeilPryde)
8th Daniele Benedetti (ITA | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
9th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
10th Nicolas Prien (GER | JP / NeilPryde)