Day two of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam — sponsored by René Egli — saw the howling winds continue to produce another frantic day of freestyle. Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) stomped her authority in the women’s fleet to claim an emphatic victory, while a new name emerged at the top of the men’s freestyle with Yentel Caers (JP / NeilPryde) claiming victory in the single elimination in his maiden winners’ final.
Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) booked her place in the final as she defeated Maxime van gent (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) in the semifinals with a proficient display of sailing. However, the Norwegian beauty then faced the ominous task of trying to overhaul Sarah-Quita Offringa in the winners’ final. Offringa, who hasn’t been beaten in 8 years, looked in imperious form in her earlier heats and the Aruban gem continued her magnificent display in the final to once again stomp her authority as the undisputed Queen of Freestyle. On her way to victory Offringa landed anything from shakas and bobs to radical skopus and burners and it’s almost impossible to see anyone knocking her off her pedestal at the top of the current event rankings — quite simply Offringa was in a league of her own.
In the battle for 3rd and 4th Maxime van Gent, who earlier defeated Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) much to her delight, took on Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins), who was looking to return to the podium and that’s exactly what the 29 year old managed to do with a combination of flakas, punetas and funnels and she will now look to, at least defend her position in the double elimination, while setting Johanne in her sights.
The opening 3 heats of the women’s double elimination were also completed and so far the sailors you would expect to advance have with Olya Raskina (JP / NeilPryde), Yoli Freites de Brendt (Fanatic / NorthSails), Birgit Rieger and Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) all progressed.
Yentel Caers (JP / NeilPryde) and Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) have frequently been drawn on the same side of the draw — usually resulting in one of them knocking each other out. However, the single elimination here saw them on different sides of the draw and both sailors took full advantage as they progressed into the winners’ final. On Caers’ route to the final the Belgian firstly defeated Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails) today, followed by, Nicolas Akgazciyan (99NoveNove / Challenger Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) and Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks). Meanwhile, Vrieswijk took down Balz Müller (Patrik / Severne) before defeating Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North Sails / MFC) in one of the heats of the day.
Caers may have never qualified for a final in his life, but he thrived under the opportunity who had deservedly earned and continued to impress with his powerful style in the final. The 21 year old made the slower start to the showdown, with Vrieswijk landing an absolutely amazing shifty bolt upright but he gathered momentum as the final progressed as he landed a radical pasko, double burner, kabikuchi and even a brilliant air chachoo. Vrieswijk also racked up the moves with a kabikuchi of his own, a spock culo, double culo and also a perfectly executed backloop, but crucially the Bonairean was missing a counting move on port tack with the best 4 moves from 7 to count on each tack. However, it would still have been an extremely tall order to overhaul Caers, who eventually won the final by 19.4 points as the new generation start to rise to the top of the rankings.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo, narrowly missed out on a place in the winners’ final, but he put any disappointment behind him to ensure he claimed 3rd place by winning the losers’ final. The 6-time world champion faced Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks), who will be delighted with his performance today after clinching 4th place in the single elimination and was leading much of the heat until Gollito landed a couple of big moves in the latter stages of the heat.
Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Shamal Sunglasses) was the name everyone was watching in the double elimination as the 2011 PWA Freestyle World Champion began to attempt his comeback through the double after being knocked out by Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails) in the second round of the single. The Belgian has now won four consecutive heats after ending the hopes of Cheppi Gustowski (Fanatic / NorthSails), Antoine Albert (Goya Windsurfing), Antony Ruenes and Mattia Fabrizi (Fanatic / NorthSails) and he will now have the chance to exact revenge against Thode in Heat 45a.
The biggest shock of the day was perhaps Davy Scheffers (Tabou / GA Sails) being defeated by Max Matissek (Fanatic / NorthSails) meaning the very talented Dutchman finishes last in the opening double elimination. Matissek was then defeated by Max Rowe (Simmer / Simmer / Mystic) in the next round.
Mattia Fabrizi enjoyed a fine day with the Italian knocking out fellow teammate Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins) — who finished 3rd in Austria — in Heat 40b with a sick burner and spock culo inflicting the damage.
Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) pushed Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne) all the way in the final heat of round 3, with the young Frenchman producing a fantastic array of moves on starboard tack — including a sick air skopu — but he couldn’t quite match his performance on port, after Van der Eyken sailed a solid heat.
The final heat of the day saw the legendary brothers — Tonky (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) and Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) — progress into round 5 of the double elimination after defeating Youp Schmit (99NoveNove / Avanti) and Jeremy Pluss (Tabou / GA Sails), respectively.
The forecast for tomorrow looks lighter than today, but there should still be more than enough wind to continue the freestyle. The sailors will meet again tomorrow morning at 10am skippers’ meeting — with the action commencing from 10:30am (GMT+1). Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com to follow the amazing action as it happens via the PWA live stream.
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Result Women’s Single Elimination – Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam:
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Maxime van Gent (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Jazzy Zwerus (JP / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Birgit Rieger
5th Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / NorthSails)
5th Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
Result Men’s Single Elimination – Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam:
1st Yentel Caers (JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne)
3rd Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / NorthSails / MFC)
4th Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks)
5th Balz Müller (Patrik / Severne)
5th Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails)
5th Nico Akgazciyan (99NoveNove / Challenger Sails / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Jacopo Testa (RRD / RRD / AL360)