After being in The Netherlands for a month, and with the temperatures dropping I was really happy November 12th finally arrived. Together with my grandma and mom who came out of Bonaire we travelled via Tokyo to New Caledonia. Lot’s of airtime, some heavy turbulence but we arrived safely on the for me new destination, Noumea, New Caledonia.
Surrounded by both mountains and sea, Noumea moves to the beat of its unique cultural mix, rocked by the trade winds (usually between 20-40 km/h). The different communities live side by side, meeting and mingling in the “little piece of France in the Pacific”. The most famous windsurfing spots belong to Anse Vata beach which is the tourist centre of the capital, with its Aquarium, Casinos & large hotels, where both locals and international travelers come to stroll among fashion boutiques and trendy bars. From there, the playground is immense and magnificent : by taxi boat, or even windsurfing, you can navigate from the beach to the islets – avoiding disruption of marine wildlife & protected species like turtles, rays & also dugongs and dolphins among the most admirable species. This little paradise located between Australia and New Zealand i
With 6 days before the event to get rid of the jet leg , we could explore and I could train before the start of the last PWA Slalom Worldcup of 2017.
With Jordy Vonk NED-69
Besides training and explore we also experienced our first and hopefully last earthquake. It made our building and bed swing through the night . Luckily no damages nor fatalities.
With the registration ( 64-riders) done on November 21th the races started immediately with perfect 7.8 and medium-board conditions. My first heat #6 took a while as one after the other went overearly and the 4 remaining sailors advanced automatically. Heat 10/Quarterfinal was a great race and very happy I could advance into the semi final. With a perfect start I ended in a 3rd place. Also the semifinal went very well and could make it into the first winners final of the event. A 8th place and stoked with my sailing and first day result.
In the evening the Opening Ceremony took place at the beautiful Chateau Royal Hotel
Day-2 started and in Elimination 2 during the quarterfinal my footstrap came loose and lost my qualifying position. A bummer , but I could fix it and was ready for the next challenge.
Elimation 3 was a close call in heat 5 ,could advance again, but crashed at the first mark and also this elimination was over.
In Elimination 4 and especially in the 5th it was extremely close at the finish but in both cases I unfortunately missed out on the semifinal.
Tough to keep my head straight as my goal was to get the Youth Worldtitile and already had the feeling it was slipping away.
Day 3 , 4 and 5 started with foiling as the wind had to build up.
I could earn myself out of the 32 competitors a 11th, 12th, 3rd, and 3 times a 10th place.
It was tactical racing , perfect on the JP-Hydrofoil 135 and Severne R8 8.6 in 8-16 knots.
Elimination 6 started on day 5 , with a second place into the quarterfinal, eager to score but got nailed by Rosati and Quentel at the first mark while in 3rd position. Heavily dissapointed, but hey it’s racing and no rules !
Elimination 7 could not be finished as the wind dropped in the late afternoon.
On the last day unfortunately the wind did not show up for slalom, but 3 more foil races were done.
A first bullit for me in foil elimination 7 Concentrating on the gusts over the course Severne-teammate Costa Hoevel and myself were in the lead from the start. In the end I took a more upwind course and could finish in first place. Good feeling !!
Elimination 8 was perfect again with a 3rd place rounding the island Ille de Canard.
The last elimination for the day , the event and the year was again around the island in front of Anse Vata Beach and was happy I survived. First I got stuck on the buyon-rope with my foil and 3/4 on the course I crashed and got run over by Malte Reuscher who could not swerve and sailed into my equipment. I could dive below his foil and missed it by a inch. Result some bruises , a broken Foil-board and a 17th place finish.
At 5 pm the Award-ceremony took place and it was time to pack.
Although I could not get the Youth Worldtitle Slalom this year I’m very happy with my slalom-sailing this season. Definitely improved a lot since last year.
Airwaves Noumea Dreamcup 2017 Slalom : 22nd place
Airwaves Noumea Dreamcup 2017 Foil : 9th place
Overall PWA Slalom 2017
Slalom : 25th place
Foil : 9th place
Congratulations to Antoin Albeau and Sara-Quita Offringa adding again a Worldtitle to their list.
A big thanks to my sponsors , this last trip of the season would not be possible without the top-equipment and support. Thank you grandma and mom for the catering, caddying , support and company , the PWA- and Airwaves Noumea Dream-cup-crew. Awesome livestream-coverage !! Amazing place !! Merci beaucoup !!
Tonight via Tokyo back to the Netherlands to repack, store my van and finally after a 8 month season going back to BONAIRE !!!
A season summary will follow soon.
Cheers from Noumea