After been on Maui for 3 weeks in April for the annual JP-Australia-photoshoot it was time to kick off the 2016-season in Podersdorf. Together with friend and collegue JP-rider Nik van den Eerenbeemt we drove to Austria with an overnight stop at my grandparents near the Chiemsee.
Neusiedlersee : Austria has no coastline, so, why does the world cup of windsurfing stop there for an event? The answer is simple: The lake is ideal for all types of windsurfing . Despite its size, the lake is very shallow and a normal sized person can stand and touch the bottom at almost any point. Neusiedlersee is one of the rare lakes in Austria ,only 45 minutes from Vienna, bordering on Austria and Hungary, the lake is approximately 35 km in length and at its widest 7 km. This year is the last time the event will be hosted in Podersdorf. Next year the event will be held somewhere else along the lake.
Once arrived at the event-site we hit the water immediately and it was freezing. Wind was blowing strong so eveybody had a great training-day before the event was a GO.
Day-1 Skippersmeeting, wind and off into the single elimination. The wind-readings were 25-35 knots and everybody was on their smaller boards and 4.0 – 4.8m sails.
My first heat was against Ruyssenaar NED-66 and could advance against Cears B-16 into the next round. I was on my FS92 and Freek 4.4 but fully overpowered as the wind had just gone up another notch.
Wrong choice of sail-size cost me this heat, I could not execute my moves clean enough. Ended in the first elimination in 9th place. The winner of this elimination in the end was Gollito Estredo from Venzuela. For sure a bit dissapointed but not the least eager to fight back in the double-elimination.
Day-2 At 5.30 my alarm went of to be ready for the 6 am skippersmeeting. The competition had to go on very early as the wind would drop in the afternoon. After a good night sleep and the right mind-setting for today I went into the second round. Wind was a bit less than the day before and FS101, Freek 5.2 and LSD-fin was my kit of the day !
>07.17 Heat 40 against Testa ITA2610 started at 07.17 am and all went perfect, on to the next round.
>07.53 Heat 43 with my JP-collegue Esteve F-79 . A few moves: Shaka3, kono on both tacks and a double culo at the end of the heat. I felt great and powered up to continue.
>08.17 Heat 45 against Canadier Soltysiak CAN-9. The more time on the water this morning the better I felt and show my repertoir of moves. Good news again, advancing !!
>08.41 Heat 46b against fellow Bonairian Kiri Thode NB-61. Double culo, kabikuchi, shaka, skopu and more brought me again a step closer to the top.
>08.58 again against Cears B-16 who defeatd me the day before. Let’s go !! And I did in my 5th heat of the early morning. As they wrote ..I was on fire and had my mind set in the right direction… TOP 5 !
With almost no time to rest in between the heats my next opponent was Ruenes F-86
>09.18 As I already came this far this morning I had the feeling nobody could stop me. Mentally and physically still feeling strong and just eager to win and make a good comeback from the 9th place in the single-elimination.
And YESS again my double culo, air-kabikuchi, airbob and much more made me compete against my friend, trainingspartner and number 3 from the day before Mr. Taty Frans NB-9 !!
>09.38 Taty and I had to sail for 3rd and 4th place ! What a feeling to be up there together . All went just fine as planned and trained hard for. And once more a step up the ladder. In the mean-time the next heat was my 7th in 2.5 hours time. Each heat was 10 minutes but then extentded to 12 minutes as the wind dropped a bit.
>09.59 Bosson F-296 was the next competitor on my way up this event. It was just now that I started to realize what was happening and how far I had come this second elimination. Air funnel, shuvit spock, a slightly wet double culo and many more were enough to sail… THE FINAL !!
Read about all that in the picture below taken from the live-ticker via the PWA-website. Please read from bottom to the top!
During the super final cramps started to appear in my legs and was glad , relieved and super happy when I could lie down in the grass afterwards to catch my breath , drink enough to get rid of the painfull cramps in my toes and legs. But what a feeling, what a ride and what an amazing result . Gollito was the winner with only 3 points difference.
L-R > 1. Gollito Estredo – 2. me – 4. Taty Frans and 3. Adrien Bosson
For the video of Day 2 go to the video-page .
Right after the double a new single elimination was started at 11.30 but with the wind dropping fast heats were cancelled at 14.10. With the forecast not looking very promising during the rest of the event I doubted if we could restart this elimination again. With a good feeling we went into the party that night, to celebrate !
Day-3 Sun was shining but the lake was clear and calm as a mirror. The European Freetyle Pro Tour organised a Tow-in competition in which I was selected in the first fleet. I did not make into the final but it sure was big fun. We were enjoying the well organised event-site with lots of entertainement for riders and off course the spectators. For the fans we had an autograph-session.
Day-4 Again a warm, sunny but windless day. Youp Schmit , Adrien Bosson and myself gave a nice interview in front of my mobilehome with the crew of Jaklar Positive Vibes and watched the 2nd and 3rd fleet of the EFPT Tow-in-competition run their show.
Day-5 and last day of the event. Again glassy water and wall to wall sunshine. Today the final of the tow-in was held and ofcourse the award-ceremony !!
The last Podersdorf-event was great, not only because of my result, but the perfect conditions in the first 2 days. Althought it was bitter cold, we had fun and saw a high level of freestyle-windsurfing. The last days were windless but warm and we could catch up with everybody again.
L-R Florian Wegerer (25th), Kiri Thode (7th), Tonky Frans (13th), Youp Smit (9th), Taty Frans (4th) and myself in 2nd !!
A huge thanks to all my sponsors, organisers in Podersdorf, John Carter and Continentseven for pictures and filming, Grandpa for visiting , fellow competitors for the great time and my fans for all the support.
The Bonaire-mobilehome !!
At this time I’am on my way to The Netherlands for some slalom-training as Taty Frans and I will be travelling to Ulsan, Korea next week for the next PWA-tour stop. Check back soon for more updates and/or follow me via Facebook and Instagram.