- 04 July 2009 | Windsurfing
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic/North Sails) has smashed his way back to the top spot, fighting his through the rounds to twice-beat his Fanatic/North Sails teammate Marcillo Browne (Fanatic/North Sails). Showing nerves of steel with a battery of tricks to match, Estredo punished his nemesis in two grueling finals. In the women’s battle, World-Champion Sarah Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) never wavered despite a gallant effort from Daida Ruano Moreno (North Sails) in Pozo-esque conditions.
The battle ground was hardened with nuclear conditions that caused havoc amongst the sailors. Thread-bare flags ripped from their posts, while cyclonic gusts trampled through the judges tower, scarring the steel structure, and forcing a break in competition.
The hellish gales were not enough to stop stand-out sailor Taty Frans (Starboard/MauiSails) using the time to hone his high-wind skills. The lion-hearted Bonairian put on a fantastic aerial display as he boosted vast backloops high above the turbulent seas.
Frans’ fearless mind-set punished some of the biggest names in the world, as he took this dominant attitude forward, and charged through heats. Ian Mouro Lemos (JP/NeilPryde), Antxon Otaegui (JP/NeilPryde/MFC), Anthony Ruenes (Tabou) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun Sails) were cast aside without second thought in arguably the most competitive and arduous heats of the day. Taty showed a ruthless spirit as he even put brother Tonky Frans (F2/Gaastra) to the sword despite Tonky pulling out massive forward loops. Taty finally met his maker when he came across Estredo who had been watching in earnest.
Having sailed seven punishing rounds, Frans’ mettle was tested, and an outstanding display by the World Champion Gollito Estredo, saw the end of a heroic run. Kiri Thode (Starboard/Gaastra) was the only remaining challenger who stood between Estredo and a place in the final. At all times, their heat was nail-bitingly close, Thode showing glimpses of brilliance throughout nailing a triple spock as the heat entered the final minute. However, in the dying seconds, Estredo pulled off a brilliant air chacho, landing with such brutal force that he transcended physical limitations and claimed the fantastic stunt.
A battle for glory ensued as Estredo faced Browne, Gollito having to win twice to seize the event crown. The spectators were delighted as the two heavyweights locked horns in a dramatic encounter that saw Browne nail a clew first puneta, and a flawless air funnel thus taking an early lead. There was no room for error as Estredo raised the roof with a sickeningly clinical air chacho, unquestionably the move of the event.
Estredo had done enough to win the first test, and he never showed signs of weakness as he entered second final. The steel-nerved duo continued to impress as they busted vast stunts meters away from dry reef. An impossibly fast burner supported a switch-double-funnell in the dying throes of the heat, gave Estredo the edge. The defending champion had stamped his mark on the fleet, once again proving his dominance in this discipline.
Mention must also be made for gallant performances by Andy Chambers (JP/NeilPryde), Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North Sails), Anthony Ruenes (Tabou) and Leo Ray (Naish/Naish/MFC) that saw them climb up through the ranks in today’s epic event.
The women’s double was no stranger to action, with the Moreno Twins dominating the first rounds, while Nayra Alonso (Fanatic/Severne) and Sylvia Alba Orozco (MFC) sailed superbly through to the top eight. An unsympathetic draw saw Iballa Ruano Moreno (North Sails) face Daida Ruano Moreno (North Sails) in a staggering early clash. The two threw themselves into courageous stunts, each landing clean flakas, massive backloops and stalled forwards.
Daida made the most of the familiar conditions, ending the heat on top after a perfect one footed backloop. The Canarian local charged through against Alonso, Laure Treboux (Fanatic/North Sails) and Yolanda Freites de Brendt (Fanatic/North Sails). Alas, even the on-form Junko Nagoshi (Tabou/Simmer Style/Dakine) couldn’t stop mighty Moreno on her charge for the final, where she was to come up against the formidable Sarah Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) once more.
Their two styles seemed worlds apart as the finalists took to the water. Offringa’s effortless, feline poise disguised the rugged environment as she gracefully executed a flurry of moves, whilst Moreno’s fearless pushloop-tweak attempt and powerful flaka combination defined a different approach.
With refinement and certainty, Sara Quita conducted an orchestral display of freestyle trickery, leaving Moreno on the ropes, struggling for a foothold as the seconds ticked away. Once again, Offringa had proved herself a worthy adversary to even the world’s finest windsurfer, as she beamed back to the beach to await her coronation.
As the event heads in to its ultimate day, the two champions have already been crowned. An exceptional performance by both Estredo and Offringa has sent a clear message resounding to windsurfing’s elite: to win, you will need to be better than perfect.
Current Overall Event Ranking (After 2 Double Eliminations)
1 Jose Estredo
2 Marcillo Browne
3 Kiri Thode
4 Antxon Otaegui
5 Taty Frans
1 Sarah Quita Offringa
2 Junko Nagoshi
3 Daida Ruano Moreno
4 Laure Treboux
5 Yolanda Freites de Brendt
SOURCE: PWA World Tour