The horn of the first heat of the double elimination here at the European Freestyle Expression in Six Fours les Plages went off around 12.00am. The forecasted wind filled in even faster than the day before and delivered suitable conditions for the competition.
Many riders were longing to improve their positions of the single elimination and were highly motivated to fight their way up in the ranking. One of those riders was UK sailor Adam Sims (Sailloft/Patrik) who just recently won the British Freestyle Champion title. Sims used the nine minutes heat duration to show a variety of sliding and power moves and could impress with nice shove-it spocks as well as one-handed bobs on both tacks and massive culos. He took out Lucien Bottex (North/Fanatic) and Paco Mercader from France. The Brit looked very confident in his heats, yet couldn’t get past Philip Soltysiak (Starboard) from Canada. In a very close heat and a 2:1 decision Soltysiak could advance.
Also Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic) from Italy who seemed slightly disappointed with his performance in the single elimination could sail two very strong heats against Loic Viendier (Sailloft/F2) from France and Dmitry Tertyshnyy (RRD) from Russia. The young Italian sailed with a lot of control and style yet was taken out by Julien Mas (JP), who seems to be in a great form at the moment, by a 2:1 decision.
Yentel Caers who got kicked out by Antoine Albert in the single elimination which caused quite an upset, was ready to fight back in the double. The Belgian sailor is known for his powerful style and was charging through his heats agains Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde) from France as well as Phil Soltysiak from Canada. Soltysiak was sailing as consistent as ever, yet couldn’t take on the explosive sailing of Caers. Once again Julien Mas was the one to stop Caers from storming through even further.
Mas had a run through his heats taking down Marca, Loick Spicher, Yentel Caers (JP/Neilpryde), Antoine Albert and was then stopped by Amado Vrieswijk (Severne/JP). Mas showed spock-culos in most of his heats as well as no handed flakas, ponches as well as very technical maneuvres like a funnell clock. Mas ended up in an excellent 4th place in the end.
An outstanding performance was also shown by Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic) in the heat against Amado Vrieswijk when the Frenchie had to defend his second place. After their first heat had to get cancelled due to the dropping wind, both of the riders showed a firework of moves after the heat got restarted. Both riders sticked spock-culos, burners, air-funnells, ponches, shaka combinations, big konos as well as other power maneuvres. Bosson could convince the judges and won by a 4:1 decision against the Bonairean sailor.
The heat of the day and probably of the whole competition was shown by European Champion of 2014 Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Neilpryde) from Belgium in the big final against Adrien Bosson for second and first place. Van Broeckhoven once again proved his world-class potential with an absolutely massive air-kabikuchi which was the move of this event. He filled his judging sheets furthermore with a perfect spock-culo, a barracuda, very stylish air funnell – funnells and other powerful moves.
With the setting sun on the last day of the European Freestyle Expression in the South of France we could award the top three of the event as well as the top three of the EFPT overall in 2015 and a new European Champion: Amado Vrieswijk from Bonaire. Steven Van Broeckhoven had a great comeback after his injury and ended up second overall. Local rider Adrien Bosson could finish in third position, which let the crowd on Brutal Beach go crazy.
We caught up with Amado to find out how it feels to take home the European title for the first time and what his plans are for the upcoming season.
Amado with only 19 years you are one of the best freestyle windsurfers in the world and now won the European Freestyle Champion title in your second year on tour. How does it feel?
After Brouwersdam I knew that I would have a chance to win it. I never looked at the overall ranking before. After I heard that I could win I really wanted to go for it!!! It feels good and I am really happy about my perfomance this year taking 3rd in the world overall and also winning the EFPT title! That gives me even more motivation for next year.
How did you like the year on the EFPT and which event did you like the best?
For the conditions I liked Lanzarote the best! It was super sick! But I also really enjoyed the event in France: I ended up in a good position and also won the overall title there, so this is definitely something to remember.
What is your goal for the upcoming season?
It is always challenging to get a first place and I like this challenge- so I will fight to get even more podium positions. The plan for next year is to stay in the top three in the world-ranking and also in the EFPT ranking. I will also enter slalom events again and maybe even go for wave events. I will see how much training I can get in for that – but I am really interested to join it one day.
We are looking back on a very successful event and are looking forwards to return to this beautiful coastline soon.