The battle between two generations of windsurfers couldn't have been more
dramatic at this year's Red Bull King of the Lake - right through to the
final, which saw rising young star Colin Sifferlen (Mistral/North Sails)
defeat surf legend Briton Nik Baker (Mistral/North Sails) in one of the most
exciting heats ever seen in freestyle windsurfing.
The judges called their windsurfing in the last heat "unbelievable"
referred to it as "possibly the best performance in freestyle windsurfing
ever!" The North Sails and Mistral Team rider Nik Baker was on fire, pulling
off the most difficult moves, such as Grubbies, Spock 540s and other tough
technical sail tricks. However, it was his 17-year-old team mate Colin
Sifferlen (Mistral/North Sails) from New Caledonia who amazed all spectators
by performing the best freestyle tricks ever seen - an explosion of
freestyle perfection. Apart from traditional tricks, he performed several
varieties kinds of Spocks, a perfect Diablo, the "move of the year",
Swayze and a never-before-seen Grubby Diablo.
Josh Stone (JP/Neil Pryde), whose fantastic performance won him third place,
called Colin's performance "simply shocking." The revolution in freestyle
windsurfing took place today!
Windsurfing has been one of the most popular sports in the world for
decades. However, in recent years, it seemed like no new talents were
emerging who were of the caliber of a Björn Dunkerbeck (Proof/Neil Pryde)
a Robby Naish (Naish/Naish), the pioneers of this sport.
But this impression was simply blown away at this year's King - everybody
was spellbound by the young league of 14 to 17 year old windsurfers' attack
on the pros. The young guns, including the Venezuelan Alexis Zabala, Douglas
Diaz, Dionicio Guadagnino (JP/Neil Pryde) and Ricardo Campello (JP/Neil
Pryde), the Brazilian Kauli Seadi (Naish Sails) and the "South Sea Kids"
Tonki (AHD/Gaastra), and Tati Frans (AHD/Gaastra), Keke Dammers (Starboard),
and Colin Sifferlen (Mistral/North Sails) are part of this group of
challengers, who were ready to dethrone their idols.
This year's King was definitely dominated by the younger generation: tough
competition amongst the women saw 22-year-old Colette Guadagnino (JP/Neil
Pryde) from Venezuela take the crown of the Queen and 16-year-old Brazilian
Konan Lang (Naish Sails) beat 23 other would-be princes.
The pros might feel a little threatened, but they are also thrilled with
what the kids are doing for the scene. On the one hand, they are faced with
a whole armada of rivals at the competitions, but on the other, the young
wild guys have woken the sport from its slumber.
This year's Red Bull King of the Lake certainly gave us a taste of that and
the exciting future that lies ahead for freestyle windsurfing.
Additional reporting by Dr. Beat, E-69