Back into the van, and off we go for the first road trip of the year. Zandvoort – Roses/ San Pere Pescador , 1490.km. With good friend Milan Gielingh we hit the road and drove all night to arrive at the check-in of Camping La Ballena Alegre 2 days before the event-start. Happy with my Brunotti-tent to extend the space outside the van and have some shade and dry space in case of rain, I prepared my gear and myself for the upcoming 6 days of foil- en slalom races.
Registration took place on tuesday June 5th and with the lights wind conditions the Foil-competitions was a go !
Good start, with a good course and top equipment I could win both the semi- and the final . What a good feeling.
Elimination 2 started right away and won the semi- and got 2nd in the final. Good first day : overall in 1st place.
Day2 brought me a second bullet in Elimination 3 and with the wind staying to light for slalom-races we continued foiling. Elimination 4, a 3rd place, but could discard the last result. Still overall on 1st place and totally happy.
Day3 was a day full of disappointment , disaster and stress. In Foil-Elimination 5 I earned a 4th place, but in the following final 6, I got pushed into the start boat at the start of the final. Crashed, broke my foil and limped around the course to make the best of it. A 23rd place.
With arriving at the beach so late, I had to hurry to change the foil. Ethan Westera was so kind to lend me his foil and my friends helped me change it quickly before hurrying back to the start for semifinal of El.7 again.
Arrived just in time and luckily could make it to the final again, but that one had to wait for the next day as the wind died and all sailors were released. Goyard and I tied in the ranking on 10.4 points.
Day4, June 8th #WorldOceanDay , we need to protect our daily office !!
After a good night sleep and not looking back at the disaster of the day before I was very eager to race the final of Elimination 7 to take back the lead, but again was unlucky. I got impeded by another sailor after tacking and crashed. A 14th place, what a bummer and disappointment to lose the lead of the event.
Shin up , and with the wind improving it was time to start the first slalom elimination. Due to my 13th place in Korea I started in heat 12 to race immediately for a spot in the semifinals.
All went perfect. Although I was in a 5th position at the 3rd mark I could gain some speed and pass Dagan to get that 4th qualifying spot. Stoked to make it into the semifinal. But again the wind died in the late afternoon and we could attack the diner and get back to some playstation-sessions in my van after another heavy day on the beach and water.
With Marco Lang and Milan Gielingh
The semifinal the next day was a battle between Jordy Vonk and myself. Rail to rail at the last mark and full power on to the finish. Foto-finish but unfortunately not in my favor.
In the loser’s final I got 4th and overall very satisfied with my 12th place.
With the wind getting lighter the fleet switched onto the foil-boards again. 6-19 knots and ready to chase Goyard and earn my first place back. In the semifinal I ended in 2nd place behind Goyard, the pressure was ON !!
In the final I had to pump desperately to make the upwind mark, but I did it and the rest of the final I was well ahead of the pack and gained another bullet. That felt good…back on TOP.
Another elimination, number 9 was started right away. Again into the final. This time I struggled and ended in a 7th place but well ahead of my closest opponent in 2nd place and could keep my No. 1 overall.
With 1 more day of the event to go I spend sanding my foil which I repaired with the help of Finian Maynard right after dinner and be ready to make my dream come true to win my first PWA racing-event.
A slow start of the last day, but at 1.30 pm and 6-10 knots a 10th foil-elimination started.
A first place in the semi-final and a 3rd place in the final. Now Koerdel was breathing in my neck on the 2nd place. It was all or nothing in the SUPER-final (full fleet race) No mistakes allowed and needed to end in front of Koerdel or right behind him.
With Koerdel winning the Full Fleet final and myself right behind him in 2nd place , it took me a while to let it all sink in and realize I won but already had a smile on my face crossing the finish for the last time this week.
Can’t say how happy and relieved I was after a week of foiling, disasters, stress but also big fun with my collegue competitors and friends.
Super satisfied with my results , and huge thanks to my friends, coach Alison and family for the support.
Without the perfect gear from my sponsors JP-Australia and Severne Sails, and not to forget the Starboard-racing foil it all would not be possible. Thank you sponsors !!
Muchas gracias Camping La Ballena Alegre and the local- and PWA-crew for the great event.
The gear I used : JP-Australia Hydrofoil 150 and JP-Australia Slalom 85
Severne Sails Hyperglide – 9.0 and Severne Sails Mach1 – 9.4
Starboard racing foil
Foiling : 1st place
Slalom : 12th place
Overall results after 3 slalom- and foil-events:
Foiling : 3rd place
Slalom : 13th place
Congratulations to Finian Maynard for winning the slalom and all others who completed the podium for slalom and foil.
Foil-podium L-R Sebastian Koerdel , myself and Julien Bontemps
More slalom coming up in Portugal in the next event. Packed my freestyle gear as well and hope to have some good sessions in between the racing and for sure when the event is over on my way back North.
Back on the road, another 1300 km to go to Viana do Castelo. Keep following me on my insta- and facebook-account for daily updates.
PS : Great words by the PWA in their event-summary :
Sources : www.pwaworldtour.com and pictures by John Carter.