32 riders registered for the EFPT Lanzarote 2016. Amongst the top freestyle windsurfers like Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Neilpryde), Yentel Caers (JP/Neilpryde), Amado Vrieswijk (JP/Severne) and Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic) we were also more than happy to have two ladies signing up. Maxime Van Gent (JP/Neilpryde) and JP/Neilpryde team-mate Jazzy Zwerus were ready to take on the mens division.
Apart from this we could also welcome several EFPT rookies like Manuel Rodriguez, Marc Sogl from Germany, Stepperd Gustowski (North/Fanatic) from Bonaire and Johnny Yagen from Israel just to name a few.
With pumping wind and swell the first heat was on the water by 12.00am. With seven minute heats and an unlimited number of moves the riders could risk to go big. The three best moves each tack were then scored and the better rider according to style, diversity and technical difficulty was advancing to the next round.
Already in the first heat we’ve seen a big surprise with local boy Noah Vocker (Fanatic/North) taking out routined sailor Tonky Frans (Patrik Diethelm). Vocker was showing all of his wave and freestyle skills whilst Frans didn’t seem to have his had screwed on and missed moves on both tacks. Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic) from Italy prooved once more and from the first minute onwards how professional he had become in just two seasons of being in the pro windsurfing scene. In his heat against Sebastijan Jancovic (Patrik Diethelm) from Slovenia he showed good nerves after his mastfoot broke. A quick sail-change later he has been flying through nice shakas and culos whilst also Jancovic showed his improvement compared to the last season. Marca took down the Slovenian rider as well as Noah Vocker in the second round. The heat against Fanatic/North team-mate Adrien Bosson was a very close one and underlined once more the high level of the young freestyler.
The Italian riders seemed to be a league of their own on this first day. Giovanni Passani who entered an EFPT freestyle competition for the first time was convincing the judges with a powerful and clean style in all of his freestyle and wave maneuvres. Man of the day though must have been Jacopo Testa who signed up last minute after the Italian championships had to be cancelled. Testa landed perfect double forwards, pushloops, backloops and burners on port tack and double culos, spock culos and planing spock konos on starboard tack in most of his heats. He worked his way up to the winners final when he could only be stopped by multiple European Champion Steven Van Broeckhoven. Van Broeckhoven stated: ‘I love the conditions. I don’t think that there can be better conditions for freestyle. You can do big jumps and you can do freestyle tricks!’ After being injured last year Van Broeckhoven looked very confident going for huge pushloops, backloops, shifties, shakas and paskos as well as culo, burner and funnell combinations.
Adrien Bosson who is competitor on tour for many years now once again showed his diverse windsurfing skills. The Frenchie went for double forwards and other big wave maneuvres as well as culos on both tacks and sliding moves like switch chachoos to round it all up.
Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde) who had his debut last year was sailing absolutely incredible and stomped perfect paskos and air-funnell burners in his heats. He was taking out Francesco Cappuzzo and Loick Spicher but had to give way to Van Broeckhoven in the quater final.
Amado Vrieswijk who was placed third in the EFPT Lanzarote last year, showed one of the most complete heats of the day in his first round against Sogl landing perfect shifties, air kabikuchies as well as super high backloops just to put down a few highlights. He battled his way up to the semifinal where he was stopped by Testa whose sailing seemed out of this world today.
Outstanding was also the performance of the young New Caledonian rider Antoine Albert, who changed sponsor this season and is now sailing on Goya sails and boards. Albert went for air chachoos, double forwards, nice pushloops, backies and bonkas as well as no-handed burners and big air-skopus. He could defeat Jazzy Zwerus and Adam Sims (Patrik Diethelm) who was riding on quite a high level himself in a very close heat and a 2:1 decision. He got stopped by Vrieswijk in the quater final.
The top four of the single elimination were:
1st Steven Van Broeckhoven
2nd Jacopo Testa
3rd Adrien Bosson
4th Amado Vrieswijk
In the double elimination that started just an hour later, we’ve seen some great comebacks. Above all Tonky Frans who seemed to have his competition head screwed on after all. Tonky made obvious that Las Cucharas was his playground and fired through super high wave maneuvres. He sailed five heats taking out Jancovic, Marco Lufen (JP/Neilpryde), Riccardo Marca and of Adam Sims. Sims could sail a very solid heat against Jeremy Plüss from Switzerland before by throwing super tweaked pushloops, paskos and huge shakas. However he couldn’t defeat Frans.
Yentel Caers (JP/Neilpryde) who had a comeback of his own stopped Tonkys run. It was a very close heat between the two sailors but Caers could convince with a combination of high jumps on the way out and stylish freestyle tricks coming in like double burners and double culos. After the Belgian rider obviously wasn’t sailing quite like he expected to in the single elimination he seemed on fire in the double.
Young Julian Wiemar (Starboard/Severne) from Germany was holding the German flag up high, sailing decent heats against Aron Etmon (Starboard/Severne) from Curacao and Loick Spicher from Switzerland. Rick Jendrusch (Severne) was then stopping the German. The second Dutchie of the fleet Maarten Van Ochten (JP/Neilpryde) who is having his competition comeback this year went for nice double forwards and air chachoos at the reef. He managed to pull some very decent heats in the single and also double elimination yet had to give way to Loick Spicher in the end.
The first heat on the water tomorrow morning will be a two-man heat with Yentel Caers sailing against Antoine Albert. One or the other sailor will then have the chance to fight his way up into the top four.
We are looking forwards to more breathtaking action on day 2 of the EFPT Lanzarote 2016.