Another great season came to an end. 15 years ago I started windsurfing and still enjoy every windy moment on the water. 2018 was my 8th year on the PWA-tour and although I had to step down 1 place in Freestyle , I could climb the overall ladder in the discipline Slalom and Foil. If schedule and energy would have allowed me to do more wave-events , I would have done it and it is still my goal to do all disciplines at top-level.
With a short trip home to Bonaire after being traveling around the world for 5 months I was ready for the last PWA stop on Sylt in Germany. Back in the van and off to the cold Northern part of Europe. Together with Milan Gielingh we took the Sylt-faehre from Denmark to Sylt on September 26th to be prepared for the action filled 10 days at the Windsurf Worldcup #Mercedez-Benz -event.
After the registration the conditions were top for the wave-fleet and they started their eliminations. Rough sea and the wind was UP !!
On the 2nd day a full day of Racing was possible. 2 Slalom- and Foil-races were completed. In Foil my 1st final went totally wrong and ended in a 13th place, but could catch up in the 2nd round with a 4th place. Also in slalom it was not my best day. An early exit in both eliminations was not what I had in mind for my first day in action at this last event of the season.
In Foil I used the
JP-Australia Hydrofoil 150, Starboard Race Foil and Severne Sails Hyperglide 9.0
In Slalom JP-Australia Slalom 71, 37 fin and Severne Sails Mach1 7.8
Day-3 Not enough wind nor waves and a lay-day for all.
Day- 4 was wet and windy and the Freestyle-fleet could give it a go. . My first heat was No. 18 , but right after the start a rain shower came through and we were on stand-by for a few minutes. My opponent was Akgazciyan and could advance with 120.8 points on my scoresheet. I was powered up and ready to go for the next round but the conditions improved for the wave-sailors and the freestylers were released for the day. Not so happy with that , but it was great to watch the wave-sailors in action.
Day-5 The wave-sailors finished their single elimination and right after we continued with the Freestyle. Next up for me was the quarterfinal against Bosson. Conditions were tough and challenging. No flat spot and just random lumps of water everywhere and I could not get my moves together. It felt like a disaster losing against Bosson, had to take a moment to manage my dissapointment and charge up for a fight back in the double.
Great sailing by Gollito and Bosson and the latter deserved the win of the single-elimination.
My single elimination ended in a shared 5th place. Looking back to the Fuerteventura event where I could not score higher than a 4th place, mostly due to my back/stomage muscle injury I needed a good night sleep and make sure for a good battle in the double elimination to claim the highest overall score still possible : a 3rd place !! That would mean I had to win at least 5 heats in a row in the upcoming double-elimination.
Day-6 Started with the wave-sailors, and thank God the wind kept on blowing so the freestylers could race the double-elimination as well.
Charged up and ready for the long battle I saw my first heat coming closer. After a good warming-up at 14.25 my first heat was against Hibdige. I advanced
Next up heat 46B Fabrizi , all went perfect. Air Kabi, Future, a perfect shifty, a backloop on port but had to bail out on a double air culo while my equipment made a triple . All went according plan and could advance again. 2 down and at least 3 more heats to go.
Luckily one heat break to catch some breath and hydrate.
Testa was my next “victim” !!
In this heat I finally had a perfect double air culo which sealed the deal to step up another place on the ladder. For a 4th or 5th place I had to fight against Esteve. Still fully charged and eager to continue batteling the heat started at 15.31.
Again an excellent scoresheet and felt more and more confident on the water although my energy level was slowly going down. With my friends on the beach supporting me, the adrenaline came back.
Here with Caribbean boyz, Taty, Aron and Milan. Always good vibes .
15.53 Heat for 3rd or 4th place, so a very important one against JP-collegue Steven van Broeckhoven. With a air kabikuchi, culo, burner , shifty the difference in points was less than a point and had to step up the game and survived. My arms were cramping but was so happy to have reached at least a 3rd place and the opportunity to make it a 2nd for the event against my good friend Gollito.
The difference in points wasn’t that big, but somehow I got my time wrong and ended the heat 1 minute early. Maybe pushed a button while throwing a move, I don’t know.
But the highest place possible for the overall and another year on the podium MADE MY DAY !!
Happy with my performance and excellent freestyle equipment :
Severne Sails Freek 4.8
LSD fins 21
After a few days with extreme rough conditions Day-7 was calm and not enough wind for any of the 4 disciplines. Day 8 though we saw enough for some foiling and saw my chance for a podium-place disappear after 2 full fleet eliminations. Somehow I could not gain enough speed to score a good place and ended this event in a 11th place .
Day 9 was sunny and windless and on the last day we tried to race a 3rd slalom-elimination but the wind was not enough to complete it before the award-ceremony .
A fully packed beach, enthusiastic crowd, national hymnes and lot’s of champagne-corks flying around. The end of another great season.
PWA-overall results :
Freestyle (2 events) : 3rd place
Slalom ( 6 events) : 21st place ….improved 4 places compared with 2017
Foil (4 events) : 7th place
Best moments this year were the Foil-win in Costa Brava and the moment reaching 3rd place after 6 hard heats in a row last week on Sylt !!
Most horrible moment was my back/stomache muscle injury on Fuerte, but happy all is ok again.
Plans : Make it a active winter with training all disciplines to come back stronger again in 2019 !!
Thanks to all my sponsors for the best equipment, the support and believing in me !!
My family and friends for support and helping hand wherever I was on the globe.
All the photographers for again a massive load of awesome pictures
And not to forget the event-organizers for top-events on great destinations.
This will be my last event-blog of 2018 and hope to write a whole bunch of them again next year.
Keep following me on my facebook-page or instagram for regular updates during the coming winter months.