Gestern gab es Tramontana für die PWA Worldtour in Leucate und der Spot zeigte sein ganzes Potential, welches die Freestyler des Mondial du Vent Events voll ausnutzen konnten und die Double Elimination unter Dach und Fach bringen konnten. Nach einigen sensationellen Heats kam es im Finale erneut zum Duell zwischen Steven van Broeckhoven und Gollito Estredo. Der Belgier konnte seine Nerven unter Kontrolle halten und mit einer 3:2 Entscheidung knapp gegen den 6-fachen Weltmeister gewinnen und sich so über den perfekten Saisonstart freuen. Kiri Thode konnte den 3. Platz sichern und mit Dieter van der Eyken auf Rang 4 sorgte der nächste Belgier für eine Überraschung.
Bester Deutscher ist Adrian Beholz auf Rang 17. Auch Marco Lufen gewann in der Double Elimination einen Heat bevor gegen Adrien Bosson nichtmehr an ein Weiterkommen zu denken war. Platz 25 für ihn und Respekt dafür. Das Level hat über den Winter nochmals angezogen und die Heats sind super eng.
Noch mehr Infos gibts unten in der offiziellen Press Release des Tages von Chris Yates. Die Vorhersage für die restlichen Event Tage sieht nichtmehr mega vielversprechend aus, doch in La Franqui weiß man nie. Das Tow-In Finale sorgt in jedem Fall nochmal für Action bevor es für die PWA Fleet dann direkt nach Podersdorf geht. Die Langzeitvorhersage dafür sieht übrigens super aus.
The trademark Tramontana wind whistled down the Pyrenees Mountains on day four of the Mondial du Vent PWA World Cup, as La Franqui showed its world class potential, whilst the freestyle elite took full advantage of the conditions on offer to deliver an exhilarating day of sailing. There were several epic battles and performances throughout the day, but when it came down to it, it was Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde), who held his nerve to successfully fend off the challenge of Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North / MFC) in the final – and the Belgian is now on the verge of claiming the opening victory of the year.
Double Elimination – Winners’ Final
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo defeated Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails) in heat 50 to setup a repeat of yesterday’s final against Steven Van Broeckhoven – and the battle which ensued was outstanding as both sailors pushed themselves to the limits – move-for-move, toe-to-toe. Van Broeckhoven made the better start to the final as he stomped a big culo and a pasko, whilst Gollito missed his first sail duck. However, with a heat duration of eight minutes there was no need for the six-time world champion to panic and he soon hit back with an impressive air funnel into funnel and then a clinical kabikuchi. Gollito and Van Broeckhoven continued to trade blows – with the former stomping a quite ridiculous culo and a no-handed burner, whilst the latter landed a super technical air funnel-into-burner and an excellent kabikuchi of his own. The Belgian maestro then tried to take things to the next level with a shifty (shaka-into-pushloop) but on this occasion couldn’t quite pull it off. After much deliberation from the judges it was eventually announcement that Van Broeckhoven had come out on top by way of a 3:2 decision – such was the closeness of the duel.
click for fullsize – all pics by Eric Bellande / PWA
Steven Van Broeckhoven wins again:
“I’m really happy to win again today it was very, very hard against Gollito and before the heat I was a bit nervous. I knew I had good moves on the way in, but wasn’t 100% about the other tack. It was a super close heat and Gollito pushed me all the way.”
Another Belgian to enjoy a fine was Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne), who was simply on fire in his opening four heats. Van der Eyken first defeated French local Nicolas Akgazciyan (99NoveNove / Point-7 / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins), before also going on to beat Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails), Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) and Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) in emphatic fashion – with a combination of powerful air funnels and one-handed burner 360s on both tacks doing the damage, alongside spock-culos and regular chachoos as he demonstrated the majority of his repertoire in a hugely impressive display, which earns him fourth place in the double elimination – his best result to date. The next battle against Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails) proved one step too far on this occasion, but the twenty-three year old showed exactly how good he is today.
Dieter on a mission
Hugo Sousa (RRD / RRD / Maui Ultra Fins) made a strong comeback through the double elimination as he won three successive heats. The Brazilian shot to internet fame a couple of years ago with his radical approach and today he excelled in conditions, which are not too dissimilar to his home spot of Camocim. Sousa’s first victim was Balz Muller (Patrik / Severne), before also dispatching of Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde) and perhaps most impressively Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins), which saw Sousa move into thirteenth place. Youp Schmit (99NoveNove / Avanti) was the next challenge for Sousa, and a resail was needed to separate the two sailors – but this time around the decision went to Schmit.
Yentel Caers (JP / NeilPryde) and Romain Pinocheau (F2 / Avanti / Maui Ultra Sails) also deserve a mention today after breaking into the top ten for the first time in their careers – joint ninth respectively. Whilst Nic Hibdige (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) and Giovanni Passani (Tabou / GA Sails) also look like exciting young talents at just nineteen. At the moment they sit in joint seventeenth after the double elimination.
click for fullsize – all pics by Eric Bellande / PWA
The forecast doesn’t look quite as promising for tomorrow, but as always anything can happen. If the wind fails to materialise then we will see the conclusion of the tow-in contest, which will see the top twelve sailors battling it out for the €2,000 prize money. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning, with the first possible start at 10:30am.
Double Elimination Video
1st Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Jose ‚Gollito‘ Estredo (Fanatic / North / MFC)
3rd Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails)
4th Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
5th Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) | 6th Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) | 7th Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails) | 7th Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) | 9th Yentel Caers (JP / NeilPryde) | 9th Youp Schmit (99NoveNove / Avanti) | 9th Nicolas Akgazciyan (99NoveNove / Point-7 / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins) | 9th Romain Pinocheau (F2 / Avanti / Maui Ultra Fins)