Japan and Korea 2019
After Bonaire, France and Austria it was time to visit the 3rd continent in 1 month’s time. The PWA Slalom and Foil in Japan and Slalom only (for men) in Korea.
It always is a adventure to travel all the way with 5 overweight and excess-luggage fully stacked with slalom- and foil-equipment. But on May 7th I was lucky ;( and “only” had to pay Euro 600 . Not a good start but still excited to start the first foil- and second slalom-event of the season.
The 3rd edition of the Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup is held on Tsukuihama Beach.
After registration on May 10th , the Openings Ceremony and groups-picture ( Yokosuka-Kanagawa-gen is known for it’s crops) the event could start…. If…… there was any wind. Even for foiling it was not enough on the 1st competition-day.
On day 2, and after a lightwind morning around 13.45 it was ON !!
With wind readings of 3-7 knots I was ready , rigged my JP-AUSTRALIA Hydrofoil 175, Starboard-foil and SEVERNE SAIL HyperGlide2 10.0.
With 56 men registered , in each elimination 2 heats are raced and top 16 advance into the final.
I could finish in a second place in Heat 1 and and a 6th place in the final. Good start as honestly, I was concentrating on Freestyle all winter and like slalom I hardly touched the foil-gear.
In the second elimination I had a very bad start and could catch up and qualify again in a 13th place and finished in a 10th position in the final.
By the end of the afternoon , the wind dropped again and the race-director called the end of the day. A solid 7th position after 2 eliminations !!
Day-3 was a overcasted and a long day waiting on the beach. No races.
On Day-4 the forecast was wind in the late afternoon and at 15.30 and wind readings between 3-10 knots the foil-races resumed.
A good start in heat 1 and and 4th at the finish, on to the 3rd foil-final .
In the final I had the worst start ever but could gain some speed and catched up to a 12th place at the finish.
The waiting game continued on Day 5 and 6. We had rain, but the vibes on the beach were very good. A 4th elimination was a wish from almost all riders and after 4 eliminations 1 discard could come into play. For some this could mean a lot in their event-ranking.
That was it. The wind refused to play ball, but we had a result in foil , but unfortunately not in slalom. So for that discipline all eyes were on the next week in Korea.
Congrats to Pierre Mortefon (1), Sebastian Kordel (2) and Alexandre Cousin (3) for winning the first foil-podiumplaces.
A massive thanks to the FLY! Ana organisation and the Maholova Hotel for their hospitality and super organisation. I hope to be back again in 2020.
All equipment from all riders, as well slalom- as foil-gear were flown with a cargoplane to Korea. What an awesome organisation. All riders could travel “light” to Korea, to Ulsan and JinHa beach for the next stop on the Asia-leg of the PWA-world tour.
After flying from Tokyo to Busan in South Korea, we had a great pick up from the airport to arrive at our hotel at night of May 16. The equipment would arrive on May 17th so we could relax a little. The next day it was arranging our pits again on the beach and all were looking like crazy for the wind.
Disciplines during the ULSAN PWA-stop were :
On may 18th, the first day, there was no breath of wind, rainshowers and more rain on the horizon. Disappointing but registration was done and with all riders, there is always something to laugh and amuse ourselves.
It was a nice distraction though on Day-2 as the organisers took all riders to visit a temple in the hills inland of Ulsan. It was quite interesting to see the monks and the art on the handmade chapels and buildings in the woods.
On day 3 only the ladies had some foil-action and the men had to stay calm and patient.
Day 4 brought sunshine, clear skies and WIND !!! After some foil-eliminations by the ladies and waiting for the thermal wind to build up it was ON at 13.30 with wind readings between 9 – 15 knots. That meant big board JP-Slalom 85 and Severne Mach2 8.6 rigged and ready for slalom racing.
With the wind up and down, cancelled heats , resails, my heat 9 was 18.40 late afternoon.
Very happy with my speed, good jibes and ofcourse my 4th position to qualify for the semi-final. Heat 9 was the last heat and so a good end of the day. In slalom 51 men registered. Each heat consist of max 8 riders of which only the best 4 can advance.
On the penultimate day we had 7-17 knots and could continue slalom-elimination 1.
In the semifinal I finished with good sailing in a 5th place and in the runners-up final in 4th , for a 12th place as a first result here in Korea.
Right after the final in which my friend Jordy Vonk took the win (awesome) the 2nd elimination started.
At 18.24 thought the AP-flag went up and all riders returned tot he beach, arriving there the race-director dicided to continue sailing as we had wind and had to make use of it.
I again was on the ladder in heat 9. (live-ticker comments and video last part of the heat below)
18:46 Result Heat 9 – 1st Albeau 2nd Dagan 3rd Williams 4th Vrieswijk – great racing from Vrieswijk who looks like he’s managed to snatch 4th place off of Cousin
18:44 Albeau, Dagan, Cousin and Williams with Vrieswijk chasing.
18:42 Heat 9 now sailing – Exiting the opening gybe it’s Albeau, Williams, Dagan, and Marotti, but that’s a poor gybe from the Croat and a good one from Cousin who goes into 4th.
18:38 Heat 9 starting in 4 minutes time.
At 19.14 it was called the End of the day, and again I was very happy with my sailing and the speed of my excellent gear.
May 23rd was the last day of the Asia Tour and I was windwise the best !! Wind was excellent for racing and took out the JP-slalom 71 and Mach2 7.8.
Elimination 2 continued and scored a 11 place and a 3rd elimination was started right away. One elimination to forget as I missed out on the semifinal due to an almost colision at the 2nd mark.
But…not complaining with a event-result on a 13th place !!
Words by PWA
Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) is developing the reputation as the comeback kid on the world tour at the moment, with the Bonairean continually fighting his way back from the dead. Vrieswijk recorded two top 16 results – 11th and 12th – and if he can fine tune his starting a little he could realistically threaten the top 10 and beyond going forwards.
A huge congrats to all ladies on the podium and my Severne-teammates Iacino (winner) and Algret (3rd), also massive congrats to my friend Jordy Vonk with an amazing 2nd place.
It was packing time again !!!
Thanks to the Ulsan organisation for hosting this event again this year. It’s now back to Europe, repack and of in the van 1400km and this all-in 3 days as the PWA Foil World Cup starts in Costa Brava.
4 PWA events down in 3 disciplines :
Freestlye : 1st – Foil 6th – Slalom 12th for the moment.
Happy with these results and with my excellent gear. Thank you sponsors, family, friends for the support.