PWA Super Grandslam #MercedesBenz Windsurf Worldcup Sylt 2017
Together with Julien Quentel from France who made a pitsstop in The Netherlands we drove in our vans packed with gear to Sylt. Instead of the train I took the Ferry out of Denmark and arrived at the Brandenburgerplatz in Westerland on Wednesday September 27th in the evening.
As I was a bit fluisch I decided not to go out training the next day and headed to the pharmacy to get something to ease my sore throat and stop my fever from getting worse.
Friday , September 29 was registration day. I registered for the Freestyle- , Slalom- and Foil-competition to be active everyday. In the afternoon the Openings-ceremony took place and was again proud to represent Bonaire with Tonky, Aron, Youp and Kiri . At the event 147 competitors were registered from 32 nations.
With light winds on Day 2 , The foil-races were held. 32 participants in this foil-exhibitionrace and I could manage to reach the finals in both races . Overall on a 10th place.
On Sunday it was nice and sunny and the wind picked up around noon. Enough to get started with the slalom-fleet. In my first heat I could finish in 2nd place and advanced into the quarterfinal to finish the 1st elimination in a 26th place out of the 64 slalom-riders.
A second elimination was started right after the finals and in Heat 5 I had the best start. Rounded the first mark in first place and kept my position until the 3rd mark when my footstrap came out the board and I crashed. Funny moment for the live-stream watchers as Ben Proffitt and Leni Erdal were just talking about me as a “talented bloke” . Watch the clip below.
Day -4 started windy, wet and wild when the wave-fleet men and women gave a good show.
In the meantime I felt a whole lot better and the flue was disappeared to hopefully far far and away.
On Tuesday October 2nd it was finally time for Freestyle !
Onshore wind, walls of white water and a strong side shore rip it was one of the toughest freestyle conditions I’ve ever sailed in. Challenging but fun. First up was against against Wiemar G-2111. All went perfect and had the highest score 111.4 points of the day so far and the perfect shifty as best move at that point. Time to step up !
In the next heat against my fellow Theislaboyz Tonky Frans NB-7 it almost went wrong as my batten in the 4.4 sail broke during the heat. It was a nerve-wracking moment as I lost power in my sail and Tonky was producing a masterclass in jumping. I could advance by only 0.7 points.
What a RELIEF !!
With the scary moment behind me the next heat up was at 12.30 against my colleague JP-rider and upcoming young and talented Sam Esteve F-79. With the Backloop, Bongka, Shift, planing Kono and Pasko I took the lead and advanced into the semi final of the single elimination.
Antoine Albert NC-21 was the opponent for the semi final and could sail my best heat, the highest score of the day with 136 points and always nice to execute my Double Air Culo.
With the good feeling about my sailing and to have reached the final of the first single-elimination I had to face my friend and top-sailor Gollito Estredo V-10. Confident to sail my best the heat started and with that also the wind picked up. Overpowered most of the heat I was not able to perform my moves as clean and perfect as they should be. My “caddy” to bring in the smaller kit could not make it in time due to shore break and strong current near the beach. I wasn’t that far behind in the scores but in the end had to take 2nd place. A bit bad luck but ready to more in the double-elimination which started right away. The first round was sailed before the day was over and the remainder of the competition had to wait until the next days.
Day- 6 Wave Man and Women were giving a great show !! Definitely will train the wave-discipline and will try to compete next year. Already booked tickets for Capetown this winter.
Day- 7 The waiting game continued as the Wave-riders had their perfect conditions to finalize their competition. Only a few freestyle heats were raced this day .
Friday October 6th it was ON again for the Freestylers. 4.4 conditions to start the day. I was fit, confident and ready. I watched my colleagues fighting for the next step on the elimination ladder and if I could reach the final again I had to beat 7 times Worldchampion Freestyle Gollito Estredo 3 times in a row. An almost impossible task but with a positive mind setting and my mind on that title I went out.
First it was Jacopo Testa ITA-261 for 3rd or 2nd place in heat 50 at around 12.30
The heat went smooth with Skopu, Culo, a wet shift but among other moves again a perfect Double Air Culo. Final coming up !!
Using the 4.4 in the semi final and looking at the conditions right before the final I decided to stay on the 4.4 as I did not want to be over powered as in the final of the single elimination earlier in the week. The heat did not start well as I crashed my first 2 moves and had to step up. With again a Double Air Culo , Air Kabikuchi, Future and more , I could catch up with Gollito’s scores .
As if I got punished again, the wind dropped quickly and this time UNDERpowered on the 4.4.
Mentally I was going crazy at that moment as I could not get planing to continue to fill my score sheet. I missed a move and if I only had done a body drag of something in the end it could have meant the difference in just loosing with a few points again.
BUMMER and heavily disappointed in the first hours after the final but at the same time very proud of my achievements this year again. Let the hunt for the title continue in 2018 .
Day 9 Stormy weather and time to pack my freestyle-gear and wait for the conditions to improve for maybe some more slalom in the last 2 days of the event. The women’s wave final’s were held and had a good time catching up with a lot of people now the pressure of the past days was gone.
Day 10 The last day and the sun came, but the wind was gone.
At the award ceremony the event winners and Worldchampions were announced.
Event Result : Gollito Estredo won his 8th Worldtitle, myself in second as Vice Worldchampion and great work by Jacopo Testa from Italy in 3rd place. (same podium for the overall 2017 results)
Champaign-shower with the champ and good friend. We possible will train together this winter in Capetown so we’ll be back in 2018 in full force.
A huge thanks to the Windsurf Worldcup Sylt team, the PWA-crew, Ben Proffitt for keeping the lifestream exciting, the spectators on the beach, the photographers for the great pictures , my SPONSORS , friends and family for the great work and support in the action packed 10 days I had on Sylt.
I will keep on hunting for the title , and will be back next year.
Off to The Netherlands and get ready for the DAM-X event in Brouwersdam. EFPT Freestyle from October 12-15.
More Sylt-event info via : http://www.pwaworldtour.com