PWA FREESTYLE QUALIFIER, COSTA BRAVA, DAY 2
Lack of wind blights contest
There was no competition on the opening day here in Costa Brava at the
2002 Catalunya, PWA freestyle qualifier. Despite the predicted thermal
breeze picking up during the afternoon the wind never reached the required
levels to allow any official action.
This morning, the full fleet of 48 sailors were busy making last minute
preparations and fine-tuning their equipment. By mid afternoon the breeze
tempted many to the water, although most of the time the wind was too
light for planing. The occasional gust was all that was needed for some of
the sailors to bust out some tricky moves for the crowds but it was never
enough to persuade the race crew to start the competition.
Aside from the big names who have congregated here in Spain the event has
also attracted an interesting field of new talent who are hoping to cause
some major upsets. Tonki Frans (AHD, Gaastra), brother Tati Frans (AHD,
Gaastra) and Christiaan Gerard (Starboard, Gaastra) who all hail from the
Caribbean Island of Bonaire, flew in yesterday directly from the last PWA
qualifier, The King of The Cape. Tati who is extremely highly rated by
those that have seen him sail, took the event by storm by reaching the
final and almost defeating American PWA sailor Matt Pritchard (Gaastra,
AHD). Christiaan Gerard was not far behind taking third place, whilst
Tonki Frans took fifth. The Caribbean trio are hoping to continue their
success here in Costa Brava and by all reports some of the experienced PWA
pro¹s are looking very nervous!
TONKI FRANS (GAASTRA, AHD)
"King of the Cape was a lot of fun, we had some nice wind and perfect
freestyle conditions. I made it through to the semi finals while my
brother Tati and Christiaan both made the final. They were up against
Martin Van Geenhoven (AHD, North) and Matt Pritchard and were really
ripping. We are hoping to cause some surprises here in Costa Brava, you
never know what can happen in these competitions. After this event we are
hoping to make it into King of The Lake and then the PWA contests Gran
Canaria and Fuerteventura. We have a lot of young guns growing up back at
home. It is because when we are there, we are sailing nearly every day in
lots of different conditions. We keep up with all the moves by buying new
videos and trying to get hold of all the latest magazines. Right now we
have some of our own new moves, which we have been keeping under-cover. We
might be revealing some of them when we go into action here!"
A PWA world cup has been scheduled to take place in Bonaire during mid
December. From what we have been hearing, some of the local Caribbean kids
could pose some serious threats to the highly ranked PWA top guns.
MARTIN VAN GEENHOVEN (AHD, NORTH)
"For sure these guys are really good. I saw them last year in Cape Cod
the first time but it was so light you could not really tell how good they
were. This year I saw those guys going off when it was windy. They are
making nearly all the moves on both tacks it is incredible. They only need
to see a new move once and then they just go out and start pulling them
off! They are very natural and also like to put on a show. Guys like these
are very refreshing new blood on the tour!"