The 2007 Colgate World Cup Sylt – Day 3
Jose Estredo storms back into the freestyle title hunt as a volatile North Sea flicks the switch to turn on a raging tempest.
In a day of stark contrasts bright sunshine turned to howling winds and showers after a frustrating morning of gusty unsuitable conditions.
To entertain the crowds the organisers resorted to a fun freestyle contest won by Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North) to regain his taste for victory.
But the patient were eventually rewarded when a gentle day at the beach suddenly turned into a furious freestyle conflict as the wind kicked-in and the head judge gave the nod for official freestyle competition.
All the top seeds advanced through the first couple of rounds and the first upsets occurred when world number 6 Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) was knocked-out by) Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails).
Ruenes’ hometown team mate Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), who’s currently ranked third overall, was next to fall at the hands of fellow Frenchman Leo Ray (Naish/ Naish).
But perhaps the day’s most critical heat was between Bonaire big-hitters Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra), the current tour leader, and Tonky Frans (F2 / Gaastra).
Frans was on a roll and had to sail tough and ignore the implications a win would have on his young friends lead in the rankings to date.
Sure enough experience paid-off and Tonky sailed through to make the top 4 and eventually a final showdown with 2006 champ Gollito.
Frans’ path of destruction also dented the hopes of the last event’s winner Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) from taking the lead in the rankings.
The Caribbean style master axed the young Brazilian in the semi-finals relegating him to the loser’s final.
Browne had full support in the driving rain on the beach from his mentor Nik Baker (Mistral / North) and the Mistral team boss, but suffered after slicing his foot, and now relies on a double elimination to repair his hopes after Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde) defeated him in the loser’s final.
Another squall blew-up for the final to really test Estredo and Frans’ skills and stamina. In truth both riders crashed, burned and wrestled in the gnarly choppy conditions.
The die-hard Westerland spectators cheered when Tonky pulled a shuvit spock 540 right on the inside, and narrowly missed a stylish chacho – still one of the hardest moves to execute.
Typically though, the young Venezuelan, who was the youngest PWA champion in history last season, threw down to his trademark move, the one-handed burner, to leave Frans stunned and the judges in little doubt as to who’d won.
The title race is certainly tense now. If this single elimination remains as the only result here in Germany, then today’s dramatic twists will award Estredo a second successive crown to carry back to Margarita aged just 18.
But it’s tight between the top players and the trophy is still up for grabs to a number of competitors dependant on a double elimination being run or not.
Amongst the many scenarios possible the best chance of displacing Estredo rests with Kiri Thode who only needs to climb two positions to reclaim the trophy for Bonaire.
Who knows what the brooding Brandenburger strand will throw up during the rest of the holding period? First possible start tomorrow is at 08.30 for the wave sailors and 10.30 for the racers and freestylers.
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