No time to celebrate at home after winning the FORSA PWA WORLD CUP FREESTYLE , but packing and flying instead. Let the world tour really begin. It looked like a special PWA-flight when I left Bonaire on the 14th of April. PWA-crew and many riders were on board to Amsterdam.
After arriving I had 24 Hrs to sleep and repack, hit the gym and take to flight to a new destination Marignane, near Marseille in France. No time to take my van so it was back in the air again.
Quickly repacking with the help if my sis Chanel
Arriving at Club Nautique Marginalse it was nice to catch up with all the slalom-riders which many of them I saw the last time on Sylt in october 2018.
The wind did not look that optimistic. After registration of the 64 men and 29 women, I was rigged & ready for action. Who could have known it would such a long week to race 1 elimination. Ending the 2018 season in a overall 21st place , I was eager to improve this season.
Day-1 no wind
Day-2 With the skippers meeting at 10am , we all were anxious to hit the racecourse. At 14.45 it was ON. In heat number 7 I had a good start and all went perfect to finish in a 2nd position advancing into the quarter finals. Happy with that as I was mostly focussing on the freestyle in the past months.
Video Heat 7 – commentary by Ben Proffitt
Day-3 no wind
Day-4 As my next heat was the first in line as soon as the wind picked up, I had to be ready at all times. On this 4th day around 11am the wind was light ( patchy around 8-15 knots) but good enough to resume Elimination 1. With 2 over earlies at the start , this quarterfinal only had 6 riders instead of 8. With the best start and good gibes I finished in 3rd place and YESS into the semi-final and a guaranteed top 16 result in Elimination 1.
Video from the live streaming Heat 11
On Day-5 the wind did not show up at all and a tow-in session was organised. As I did not bring my Freestyle-gear I only could cheer for Adam Sims and Taty Frans who gave a good show in front of the crowd.
On the last day, it was was all or nothing. Everybody and especially the event organisers wanted a result. At 11.30 the wind readings were between 15-13 knots and it was ON !! ….and it was OFF, cancelled, resail, cancelled, postponed and N0. 14 , my heat , wasn’t my lucky number.
We started it several times , was in a good position, but once more cancelled due to the wind drop. Frustrating and exhausting to be on the water all the time waiting.
I could not make the final, and as the wind in the meantime was cranking out of nowhere I was on my biggest gear, wrong choice , wrong moment and finished in a 7th place in the “loser-final”
Very happy though I ended my first 2019 Slalom-event in a 15th place, which for me is a good start of the season also in this discipline. Especially in these tricky conditions at Marignane and only 1 elimination raced.
Gear setup :
JP-Slalom : 85/71
Severne Mach2 : 8.6/7.8
Fin : 45cm / 37cm
Merci beaucoup to the event-organisers at Club Nautique Marignaise and all riders for the good times during the long waiting periods. Thanks to my sponsors for supplying me with the perfect slalom gear and family and friends for all the messages :
Instead of flying back I chose to drive with Jordy Vonk, who earned himself a great 4th place at the event, back to the Netherlands. It was a long but fun ride through the night but the music kept us awake !!
On to the next races in Japan and Korea in only 2 weeks from now, but first to Neusiedlersee in Austria for the SurfWorldCup ( tow-in and possibly some Super-Sessions.)
Cheers from Zandvoort, The Netherlands