- 29 September 2009 | Windsurfing
It’s a one, two, three for the boys from Bonaire, with Taty Frans taking the lead after a full round of furious freestyle on Sylt’s Westerland beach.
The forecast was calling for plenty of wind from sunrise to sunset, so head judge Duncan Coombs made the call to meet for a 07:00 skipper’s briefing. Unfortunately for the wave sailors, the swell had failed to build, giving the freestylers a chance to wow the crowds. Both the competitors and spectators were not disappointed as both a single and double elimination of freestyle were completed.
With the difficult freestyle conditions that the sailors were up against, the higher ranked competitors played it fairly safe in the first round to ensure they made the cut and advanced through. There was still plenty of action on the water, with huge shaka’s and stylish esliders from the World’s best, pleasing the huge number of spectators on the beach. Unfortunately Canadian sailor Philip Soltysiak (Starboard, Dakine) pushed a little bit too hard and dislocated his shoulder during his first round heat against Thomas Traversa (Tabou, Gaastra). The crew had to help him off the water and take him to hospital to have it put back in place.
Highlight’s form the second round included the battle between 2008 Freestyle World Champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) and light wind freestyle master Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, MauiSails). Both of these guys were fully going for it and landing numerous combination moves and big power moves. It could have well been the World Championship final, but it was only the second round. Estredo dug deep and nailed a few more stylish moves to take the win and move into the quarterfinals. The Russian sailor Yegor Popretinskiy (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) had an easy second round due to the fact that Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) was still suffering from an ankle injury, which he picked up earlier in the year. Otaegui tried to make it out for his heat but was in too much pain to compete.
The quarterfinals were very tight in both halves of the draw with difficult decisions being made by the judges. Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails) sailed an extremely impressive heat to take down the current World Champion Estredo. And his brother Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) sailed an equally impressive heat to take the scalp of 2007 Freestyle World Champion, Marcilio Browne (Fanatic, North, MFC). On the other side of the draw, Kiri Thode’s (Starboard, Gaastra) technical superiority helped him get ahead of Four Dimension’s director, Andre Paskowski (Fanatic, North). And Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun) took down the young Russian, Popretinskiy.
The Frans brothers’ success meant that they met in the semi-final. Taty managed to style his way through the heat with a huge shaka diablo and an awesome culo. His brother Tonky put every effort in to match him with a nice backloop and a shaka, but it wasn’t quite enough.
- 26 September 2009 | Windsurfing
A windsurfer lost his life off San Francisco's Crissy Field, the U.S. Coast Guard has informed.
The body was recovered with no vital signs, about two-and-a-half miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, after a Coast Guard helicopter spotted a man wearing a wetsuit in the water.
Two hours before, a pedestrian walking on the Golden Gate Bridge reported a windsurfboard and a sail in the water.
That was when the U.S. Coast Guard launched both helicopter and boat for the search and rescued.
- 24 September 2009 | Windsurfing
From September 25th through to October 4th the Worlds best wave sailors, freestylers, and slalom sailors will battle it out for their final end of year rankings, and a share of the €105,000 prize purse at the prestigious German windsurfing location on Brandenburger Strand. Not only will they be earning points, but the wave sailors and freestylers will also be gunning for the most coveted prize of all, the PWA World Championship titles!
Sylt has played host to the World Tour for more than 25 years now, so a win here will mean the rider gets their name inscribed in the history books along side windsurfing legends such as Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne), Robby Naish (Naish), and Jutta Muller.
For the third year in a row, the slalom-racing superstar Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) has taken the World Title with an event to spare. Albeau has performed outstandingly throughout the year taking 5 victories back to back from Ulsan to Alacati. However, rest assured he’s still going to make the journey to Sylt and compete none the less to affirm his dominance. The rest of the podium is left relatively open with Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde), Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Da Kine), Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde), Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne) and Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) all capable of standing tall next to Antoine in the overall rankings, but also more than capable of taking the event win if everything goes their way. With this in mind, be sure to follow the action live. Even though Albeau has the overall title, it doesn’t mean he’s got the final event in the bag!
The freestyle tour also reaches its conclusion in Sylt, and the main players will all be on the water busting out their best tricks in an effort to claim event victory and the overall title. Last years PWA Freestyle World Champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) has been the most consistent sailor so far this year, claiming event victories at both of the previous stops of the tour in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Although he currently leads the rankings, it doesn’t mean that he’s claimed the overall title for a second year running just yet. Hot on his heels – and all on equal points behind Estredo – are, the youngster from Bonaire Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra), fluid freestyler Everon ‘Tonky’ Frans (F2, Gaastra), and 2007 PWA Freestyle World Champion Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Fanatic, North, MFC). This is set to be a showdown not to be missed, expect powerful moves and mind-blowing action.