PWA Worldcup Fly! ANA, Yokosuka – Japan May 11-16th, 2017
After driving all night from Austria where the IFCA/EFPT Grandprix ended on sunday May 7th, I quickly packed my slalom- and foil-gear for the next event and adventure on my schedule.
A first time visit to Japan !! The 11 Hours flight with KLM brought me to Amsterdam to Tokio. A representative of the event waited for me and…….took only my boardbags and gave me a bus and train ticket to travel to the event-site 3 hours from Narita, Tokio airport.
A challenge, as I never travelled with public transportation. On Bonaire we do not have trains and bus-services. But….. managed to arrive at the Maholova Minds hotel in Yokosuka. Again a new experience gained. Theislandboyz Taty Frans was already present as he came out of Korea a day before. Catching up and preparing our pit on Tsukuihama-beach, it was time for a good night sleep to get rid of the jetleg .
Day 1 – May 11th
Registration took place and everybody was ready, only the wind didn’t show up. For the many spectators on the beach Yuma Kobayashi J-100 ( who arranged some freestyle-gear for me), Taty Frans and myself gave a freestyle tow-in show and the crowd was very enthusiastic.
For sure very important to mention that the people here are so friendly, spontanious, interested and very willing to take a picture with each rider. For you who were present and read my blog, 万謝 (Thank you )
Day 2 – May 12thThe second day also did not bring enough wind for racing, but as I entered the Foil Exhibition-race , all foil-racers were called to the committee-boat. 16 riders participated in this new way of sailing, but we did not start as even for foiling the wind remained to light. To keep active I entered the stand-up paddle board race. The show must go on and a fully packed Tsukuihama beach needed some well deserved entertainment. 4 teams each 6 riders had to compete and happy to say that Team 3..my team won.
Stept in a shell but looked worse than it actually was 😉
Day 3 – May 13th
Started with an overcast and later on pouring rain, but… in the afternoon the wind came and slalom-racing could start. First the women’s fleet and right after the men could start. I was in heat 8, well prepared on the JP-Slalom 85 and Severne Reflex8 8.6.
I did not have a bad start, the problem in the first reach was the weed sticking to my fin. With some small jumps I tried to loose the weed but lost the speed also. More riders had this problem. Bummer as it costed me a qualifying place for the next round, it was over and out for elimination 1. The women’s fleet could finish the first elimination with Sarah Quita as the winner and the men could finish all heats up to the loser- and winner’s finals when the wind dropped completely and we were released at 18.00.
Day 4 – May 14th
Foiling on the programm as we had wind but not enough to finish the first elimination for the men. The JP Hydrofoil 135 , Severne Sails 8.6 and the Lokefoil was my set for the foil race.
It was a bit strange to start with all 16 riders at once. You do not want to fall and hurt yourself or anybody with the foils. Racing went ok, could get some good speed but many were faster and ended in a 13th – 9th and 10th place in the first 3 races. As the wind was building up further foiling was cancelled and all were on standby for slalom. It was a great winners final, especally seeing Jordy Vonk NED69 finishing in 2nd place, Great job !!
Right after the final the 2nd elimination was started to not loose any wind. I was in heat number 2 and had a good start, rounded the buyons quick and clean and finished in 4th place…on to the next round.
Such a shame that the wind started dropping again in heat 6. I again was in the qualifying position but when we passed mark 3 the heat got cancelled. They did try to run heat 7 but also cancelled, wind…gone.
Day-5 – May 15th
Foiling races on the programm. I could improve a little with a 9 – 9- 10th and a 12th position. With 2 discard I’m in 10th position out of the 16 riders. Lot’s to improve, but getting there.
Day 6 – May 16th
Unfortunately also the last day did not bring us any wind. It was packing up our gearbags and get ready for the awardceremony.
Ladies : Sarah Quita Offringa 1st, Delphin Cousin 2nd and Lena Erdil in 3rd
Men : Julien Quentel 1st, Jordy Vonk 2nd and Antoine Albeau 3rd.
Myself : 37th
It all came down on that one elimination, 1 chance to do it right and to avoid the dirt and weed in the water. The plan is going for a top 20 result this year so focused, concentrated and well prepared to the next event.
Team Caribbean and Oda Johanna
It was time to wrap it up for Taty Frans and myself on Tsukuihama Beach in Yokosuka , Japan. Back to Europe and back to my van.
Next stop : Costa Brava, Roses for the next PWA Slalom-stop from May 23rd-28th, 2017.
A big thank you for the WWCJapan organisation , the PWA-crew, the audience, my facebook and instagram followers, my sponsors and family who all made this a great first experience with Japan.
Check back soon for the Costa Brava update, or just visit my facebookpage and/or instagram.