A last minute freestyle frenzy sees Seadi’s hopes of a comeback disappear as quickly as the wind, but his team mate and former rival, Campello cruises through!
During a lengthy period on standby windsurfing legend, Robby Naish and waterman prodigy, Kai Lenny kept the crowds entertained with their SUP antics, whilst the rest of the PWA’s top performers waited patiently for the wind to fill in.
Late in the afternoon a moderate cross-offshore breeze had built allowing sixteen of the most tricked up windsurfers in the world to kick-start the competition. The gusty direction made it tough for them to fill their score sheets, but air flakas, chachoos, and shakas were still amongst the many moves laid down to impress the judges.
Former freestyle world champion, Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) was amongst the first tricksters to hit the water, and despite looking a little rusty walked through his heat against Eric Sanllehy – partly because he failed to show up! Advancing from the other side of the draw, and on the water at the same time was Dutch student, Paul Zeper (Patrik, Hot Sails) who pulled off far more moves than his rival, Thomas Wessel Svensson (Gaastra).
The second heat of the day saw Italian, Mattia Fabrizi (Fanatic, North) fighting hard with the only Israeli freestyler on tour, Yarden Meir (Fanatic, Simmer), whilst Max Droege (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) dished out his moves on Bonairean, Endro Finies (RRD). The Israeli had his day and saw off Fabrizi to advance, as did Droege who out flared Finies.
The final heat for the un-seeded sailors saw the infamous three times wave world champion and former freestyle world champion, Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) return to the fleet. Unfortunately for him, an on form Nicola Spadea (Starboard, Gun) stopped him right where he started! Perhaps we’ll see the old champ fight back through the double… On the other side of the draw, German rider Dominik Schonthal (Fanatic, North) made sure that the Frenchman, Maxime Gaubert (Tabou, Gaastra) met the same fate as Seadi with a faultless display in the dying winds.
With what breeze was left, Nicholas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun) dominated the first heat of the second round, exploding into action in the gusty conditions to not only take the scalp off Zeper, but also raise the bar far higher. A closely contested heat on the other side saw featherweight wave head, Thomas Traversa (Tabou, Gaastra) out style Canarian, Antxon Otaegui (JP, NeilPryde) by the narrowest of margins, which caused a voicing of opinions outside the judge’s box!
The next heat began in far lighter winds, but after the current world number two, Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra) failed to get planing after three minutes it was called off. With seven days still to go though, we’re bound to see much more action before the week is over!
Eye On The Horizon
The forecast for the following few days is looking promising for both the racing, and the freestyle fleets.
Keep in the groove
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