EFPT Prince of the Wind – Day 1
All good, except a tiny bit called “the last heat of the day”…
The second half of the first day of the Prince of the Wind on Naxos was coined by the young new school kids and powerful freestyle, but hold on a moment, the EFPT is beyond old school and is also getting rid of new school, the EFPT is now into higher education.
After the single elimination and a one hour lunch break all systems were on go for the double elimination. Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun) was ambitious to correct his bad result in the morning. He won 2 more heats, but in the end he could not sail as good as you and we have seen it before. The French crowd favourite finished on the 7th place. Young Belgium rider Dieter van der Eyken (Starboard/Severne) was pushing himself to a new level of freestyle windsurfing, fighting his way through the double elimination beginning from place 5 performing heat after heat his young, fresh and very slidey new school style. One of the highlights today was his heat against Christopher Kalk (Fanatic). Both guys, 17 years old, showed their best freestyle windsurfing and made the decision for the judges not easy. In the end van der Eyken passed over Kalk, but was finally stopped by the routine of German rider Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North Sails). So everything was up for heat Nr. 35, the final heat of the day between the leader of the total season ranking Steven van Broeckhoven (F2) and his closest pursuer Paskowski (Fanatic/North). Steven and Andre started their heat chasing each other through the upwind part of the heat area. Both had to pump hard because of the waning wind and in the end it came like the judges and race director Tom Hartmann feared it. The wind was not strong enough to lift our freestyle heroes out of the water so the heat had to be canceled. The race direction decided to wait for 15 minutes and restarted the heat, but the second try was even worse. At about 18.00h the double elimination was postponed to Thursday morning. This leaves Andre, Steven and the crowd with a thrill of anticipation for tomorrow morning.
Deserving appreciation today was for sure the whole Judging Team. Sitting on the beach from 8.00h until 18.00h, always staring at the blue sea can become a long lasting struggle. Nevertheless the crew did a perfect job and Anna Wattler gave her debut above the judging sheets as the first woman judging in the efpt.
For the 2nd day of the Rip Curl Prince of the Wind on Naxos held by Flisvos Sportclub the skippers meeting is set for 9.00, expecting the wind to blow from the early hour on.