Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne and Sarah-Quita Offringa set the standard for the forthcoming days, securing crucial first elimination victories on day one of competition.
Browne takes the early lead
Offringa on dominant form
Tonky Frans and his trademark
Costa Teguise, on Lanzarote’s rugged east coast became the focal point of global windsurfing, as it opened its doors for the start the PWA Freestyle World Cup.
First on the agenda was the registration of the men’s and women’s freestyle fleets, which was completed by early afternoon, leaving only a short lunch break before competition could launch into action.
Famed for consistent conditions, Costa Teguise brought ample servings of wind for the first single elimination, delivering 20-25 knots of cross-offshore perfection.
The men took to the water first, pulling out all the stops from the word go. The first round progressed without upset, paving the way for some explosive action in the subsequent rounds.
It started to become clear who the dominant forces were, as round two followed its course. Some of the finest action came from heat 17b, where the UK’s Andy Chambers (JP, NeilPryde) took on Bonaire’s Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra). It’s a tribute to Thode, when underdog Chambers strung together a run that included burners, double spocks, 8-foot high shakas & numerous flaka combos and still couldn’t topple the freestyle maestro.
The quarterfinals consisted of the eight biggest names in freestyle, all poised to unleash their aerial arsenals. The action came thick and fast as World Champion Browne (Mistral, Gaastra) deployed misty flips and huge ponchs on German Normen Günzlein (JP, NeilPryde). Günzlein replied with konos and one-handed shakas but ultimately failed to provide an adequate rebuttal to Browne’s polished performance.
On-form Thode dismissed rumors that he’s all slide and no pop as he executed massive shakas, kono’s and combination moves to defeat his more than competent rival, Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde).
Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde) had to deliver near perfection to defeat Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) who seemed hell bent on advancing to the semis. In a run that witnessed a soaring backloop and one of the slickest spock-ponch combos of the day, Campello dispatched the determined Frans.
In the last of the quarters, Andre Paskowski (Fanatic, North Sails) took on teammate Jose Estredo (Fanatic, North Sails). Paskowski showed form but failed to reply to Estredo’s sky-high air shakas and high scoring combination moves, Estredo advanced.
The star-studded semi final went off in the building swell, with height being the name of the game. Browne turned up the heat to deliver faultless one-handed burners to compliment his high, powerful repertoire and was eventually rewarded with the victory over Thode.
The second semi final was a clash of the titans, as Campello went head to head with Estredo. The resulting duel churned out more combinations than any other heat. Estredo showed determination, but pushed too hard, resulting in numerous crashed moves, opening the door for Campello to claim his position in the final, alongside Browne.
The finals were on another level. Browne stated his intentions early in the heat with a smoking one-handed air funnel, only for Campello to reply almost directly afterwards with the same move. In the losers final a similar game was being played, Estredo skied a one-footed forward loop, so Thode delivered his own version.
Ultimately, it was consistency that reaped the greatest reward, and Browne toppled Campello with a stellar performance, similarly Estredo, who crashed less, edged ahead of Thode in the losers final.
In the women, the eight-strong fleet was quickly whittled down to a semi final consisting of Laure Treboux (Fanatic, North Sails) versus Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde), and Iballa Moreno (North Sails) against her sister Daida Moreno (North Sails).
The strengthening conditions tested the semi finalists. As the heat progressed Daida Moreno and Offringa produced the greater hit rate of landed moves, defeating their rivals and advancing into the winners final.
With conditions getting ever more testing, the final pushed the sailors ability to the limit. Daida Moreno linked a flaka on the way in with a huge one footed forward loop on the way out. This wasn’t going to be enough though, as Offringa steadily built up a base of moves before pushing for the more risky, higher scoring maneuvers. This tactical game rewarded here with the elimination win.
In the losers final, Iballa Moreno showed she was more suited to the howling wind than Treboux, who linked together some nice sliding moves, but failed to match Moreno’s presence in the air.
With a single elimination completed, the day’s competition was called to an end, giving the sailors a chance to recover before tomorrow’s double elimination.
Day two’s skippers meeting is scheduled for midday, with heats getting underway from 12.30pm onwards.
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