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

pro┬╣s 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

for

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!"