Hmm…. After missing my flight in Vienna because of headphones and gate-changes, I had to rebook my return to Amsterdam on later flight that day. Mom waiting in Amsterdam wasn’t so happy about that. But once in Amsterdam I stored my freestyle-gear in the depot and the next day we checked in with TAP to fly via Lissabon to Terceira. Terceira is one of the Portuguese islands of the Azores.
It has been 4 years that I last competed in an IFCA Slalom competition. This was in 2010 in Hyeres, France where I becam 1st under 15 years. This time I competed in the IFCA Slalom MEN and was very curious how I could stand up against the big guys !! I had been training a lot on Bonaire, recieved my Severne Reflexx’ 5 in time to tune and felt excited to race again.
On Terceira the organisation (by Carlos Borges ) provided us transportation to the hotel and the equipment storage on May 2nd. The first 2 days on Terceira we ( Aron Etmon CUR-2) had some time to explore the bay. The winds were light, but we could have some short sessions.
With Chris Pressler
Registration-day. 57 entries from 18 nations representing 3 continents.
At night the opening ceremony took place with BBQ and music and some words from the events Principal Race Officer, Mr. Bruno de Wannemaeker.
Late registrations were possible until 12.00 and right after that the first skippersmeeting took place. Sadly the wind was very light and all competitors were on standby. I went out on my biggest gear. Starboard Isonic 107 and Severne Reflex 5 8.6.
The wind went up and down from 5 – 20 knots to unstable to start any heat. But Jordy Vonk, Aron Etmon and I enjoyed ourselves on the boulevard !!
At 5 PM the organisers announced that they would like to move the event to Porto Martins ( a 15 minute drive from Praia Vitoria ) the next morning to make the best out of the predicted forecast. So we had to pack our gear into the boardbags to be ready the next morning.
The Race officials went out by boat towards Porto Martins, but the wind measurements there were between 5-14 knots, a to much of a risk to transport all competitiors and their gear to the proposed location. So we rigged our gear again and were put on standby mode throughout the day untill the conditions became suitable for racing.
At noon we became the announcement : “ winds are 15 to 30 knots and the conditions are beautiful for some racing. FINALLY !!
I had to race in heat #7 , with some big guys like Pascal Toselli ( FRA-916). I was ready, had my gear on the beach and hit the water on time to race a little outside the cometition-area to warm-up.
Heat 4 was running and I unfortunately broke my mast during a waterstart. Derigged my gear quickly in the water, cut my foot very deep on the fin and was brought back to shore by boat. No time for treating my wound, grabbed my other kit an went back to the start-line as quickly as possible. Unfortunately just toooo late ! I was angry and dissapointed. Duct-taped my foot and had to wait until the Emerald-race.
Heat 18, the Emerald race, the race where 24 competitors race against eachother tob e ranked 32nd and down. I had my Isonic 97 and Reflex 5 7.8 ready to rock and roll. Nothing could stop me to race as fast as possible to make the unfortunate moment of early that day right.
I had a good start, rounded the first buyon in 2nd place and got a hugh gust that put me in first position. With rounding the 3rd buyon I could see myself far ahead of the rest of the 23 riders. This felt great. I ended in 1st place with a huge smile.
Ben van der Steen won the first round in the Gold-race.
Everybody was ready for the next round, but a Marine-ship had to leave the bay first and this took more than an hour. Finally it was gone and so was the wind. No second round this day, all were focussed on the final day.
All riders were praying for wind for the final championship day. The skippers meeting was held at 09.00 as usual with the last possible start scheduled for 17:00.
“The wind really sucks” summed up the whole day, competitors being on standby until the next announcement at 13.00. There was no change so competitors decided it was de-rigging and packing time and looked forward to the Awards Ceremony casual style in the evening.
I’m looking back at a great and well organized event !! Happy with my results : 32nd overall and 1st in Youth U20 !!
This event was a wake-up call for me to be more active not only in Freestyle but also more and more in Slalom. I hope to compete in the PWA in Fuerteventura in both disciplines.
Below you can find some more info about Terceira, a beautiful green island with very nice and friendly people.
Follow me on facebook : www.facebook.com/AmadoVrieswijkNb20
And take a look at Boardseekers magazine where they posted my daily-report during the IFCA Slalom Worlds. : www.boardseekermag.com
Om May 10th , we flew back via Lissabon to Amsterdam, stayed there for one day and than returned home to Bonaire to prepare for the PWA Worldcup from June 20-24th.
Thanks mom (Nancy Vrieswijk) and grandma (Helma Janssen ) for joining me on this trip !!
By the way…. I found out that there is a bai called Amado !! Sick !!
Bull-fights in the streets everyday between Mat 1st and September.
Lots of cows around the island
Stingrays near the shore
Very old architecture !!