Opening the 2011 PWA World Tour in emphatic style, the men’s freestyle fleet inaugurated the season at the all new competition venue of Mui Ne, Vietnam. Delivering four days of back-to-back wind, this set the ball rolling for the much anticipated European leg of the world tour, which picks up the action where it left off with the highly regarded PWA Surf World Cup, on Austria’s stunning lake Neusiedler.
What’s The Deal?
A six day freestyle extravaganza, featuring the cream of the men’s PWA freestyle discipline going head to head for a share for the event’s €30,000 prize purse, and crucial early season point towards the overall tour rankings.
Dates To Remember
29th April: Freestyle registration / Day 1 of competition.
30th April: Surf magazine tow-in night competition.
4th May: Final day of competition / Prize giving.
The Low Down
The PWA Surf World Cup Neusiedler See is unique in that it’s the PWA’s only inland competition stop on the globe trotting world tour. Situated one hours drive to the south east of Vienna, this fresh water windsurfing Mecca supports a vibrant and ever expanding windsurf scene, which takes full advantage of the 315 square kilometers of water on offer.
The PWA Surf World Cup Neusiedler See is a truly unpredictable event. In the past we’ve seen everything from howling 40 knot winds coupled with torrential rain, right through to idyllic afternoon breezes and temperatures more often associated with Mediterranean beach resorts. Needless to say, Lake Neusiedler rarely disappoints, having delivered some truly stunning action over the course of the event’s rich history.
On the land, the action certainly attempts to compete with the on water antics. The event site is set up in the style of a mini-festival, with revelers coming from afar to both rub shoulders with their sporting idols, and sample the eclectic atmosphere of party tents, live music, promotions, and general merriment.
It’s been an unpredictable start to the year for the men’s freestyle fleet. After the dominance of Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / North) in 2010, Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) stepped up to the plate to take his first ever event win at this season’s opening event in Vietnam.
This hugely significant step from Thode will give him a massive confidence boost as we enter the second freestyle tour stop of the year. The ultimate question is, will Estredo dwell on the defeat, or rise up to challenge? We will have to wait and see.
With the Thode and Estredo duel cast to one side, historically speaking, Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic) should be one of the top performers when the green flag goes up. Having secured victory here in 2010, this Bonaire style maestro thrives on performing his polished repertoire to the droves of fans that flock to see the action.
Similarly, last year’s second ranked sailor at the event, Belgium’s Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra) should be a major contender on the Austria waters, having spent numerous hours training in similar conditions in his homeland, and neighboring Holland. Unfortunately for Van Broeckhoven, a knee injury in Vietnam threw a spanner into the works of his competition campaign, leaving him in 14th for the event. No doubt he’ll be looking to come back firing on all cylinders, and make amends.
And it goes without saying that the smiling face of freestyle, Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) will always be hustling for a top spot. Throw in the likes of an on-form Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne), and super consistent Canadian freestyler Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine), and we have the makings of yet another classic Austrian showdown.
Scope The Action
For information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, navigate to www.pwaworldtour.com
Here you can use our:
• Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
• Check live elimination ladders
• View results
• Read daily news summaries
• Browse awesome action photo galleries
There’s also a dedicated event website which can be found @ www.surfworldcup.at
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org