After seven years of absence, the Toro Andaluz and therefor the European freestyle windsurfing elite could return to the shores of the Spanish South coast – Tarifa. The windy city, located at the Strait of Gibraltar is one of Europes most famous watersport destinations worldwide, providing strong wind basically the whole year around.
Working together with the Andalusian tourism board and several industry as well as out-of industry sponsors, Hugo Miravalles from the Volare windsurfing center in Valdevaqueros, now managed to bring the EFPT back!
The competition site close to Tarifas old town, is as spectacular and extraordinary as it gets. Located at a courseway which is leading to the ‚Punta de Tarifa‘, it provides suitable conditions in both main wind directions, the ‚Poniente‘ coming from the Atlantic ocean and the ‚Levante‘ blowing from the Mediterrenean side. At Balneario, the event-beach, Levante is offshore, providing strong wind and flat water, whilst Poniente pushes onshore, creating waves that can reach a height of more than two meters.
17 riders signed up in the morning to compete with an incredible forecast in the upcoming days. Just around midday the thermal onshore wind got suitable enough to run the heats. The conditions looked more than challenging with head high waves pushing in. Already in the first round, all the riders were putting on quite a show which underlined the high level of this smaller fleet.
Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde) from France, who was placed 4th in the first EFPT event of the year, did a perfect demonstration of his skills in various conditions. The young sailor already gained the reputation to be unbeatable on his starboard tack and made clear that he will have his foot in the door when it comes to the top positions in the international freestyle windsurfing scene. He was going through his moves with a lot of style, height and an extra of control and landed air-funnells, culos, burners, air-funnells, futures, shakas and no-handed flakas in most of his heats, mixing it up with some sliding maneuvres. Esteve beat Eilon Wilson from Israel and Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD/RRD) but then had to give way to Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic), who took revenge for the EFPT in Neusiedl am See. Bosson sent Esteve straight to the losers final, where he could succeed over Antoine Albert from New Caledonia, who was ranked 4th overall in 2016. Albert who is definitely a sailor to watch out for, accepted his defeat yet seemed very determined to climb up the ladder in the following days.
Defending his current top 5 position was Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic) from Italy, taking out team-mate Max Matissek from Austria, who seemed to struggle a bit, yet was the first one in the event to stick a perfect backloop. However, it wasn’t enough to beat Marca who was filling up his judging sheets on both tacks.
Jacopo Testa (RRD/RRD), who was going into this event with the highest seeding, performed on an outstanding level, beating his borther Matteo Testa (RRD/RRD), Rick Jendrusch (JP/Severne) in the quaterfinal and Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya) in the semi final to then face Adrien Bosson in the winners final. Testa was sailing powerful as always, throwing big one handed burners, culos, stylish konos, one handed shakas and a clean backie in the final. Bosson was answering with big moves of his one, sticking a pasko, a superclean shove-it spock and various other power moves. Both riders could impress on diversity, style and technical difficulty, yet the judges decision favored the French rider.
Bosson was sailing all of his heats with a maximum of technical skills and style and was causing upsets for Tony Mottus (JP/Neilprye) from Estonia, Italian rider Giovanni Passani, as well as Sam Esteve. The French rider seemed very determined throughout the whole day and stated that he was keen to defend his first place of the first single elimination over the next days.
The top 3 after the first single elimination:
1st Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic)
2nd Jacopo Testa (RRD/RRD)
3rd Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde)
We are looking forwards to the upcoming days, with a forecast of over 40 knots, conditions that might reshuffle the cards again.