Today the crew and the riders of the EFPT conquered the OTC in Weymouth which is located right next to the Portland Sailing Academy, also been the venue for the Olympic sailing disciplines 2012. Sunshine and wind welcomed us and it became clear how much potential this spot has as a destination for sailing and windsurfing competition.
The registration today started at 8.30 and saw a big involvement of British sailors of different levels. Next to top pro riders Andy 'Bubble' Chambers (JP/Neilpryde), Jamie Drummond (Starboard) and Adam Sims (Sailloft) we saw some Brits giving their debut in international competition. Charlie Jones (North/Fanatic) and Josh Sparks (North/Fanatic), both under 18, decided to give it a shot this year. While some of the english sailors who already competed in France and also got involved showed more confidence and were already hunting the EFPT team for the 2013 tour plan.
After an epic competition in Six Fours les Plages where many riders drove to by car, we saw quite a few familiar faces turning up either yesterday or today after a decent road trip to the UK. Andraz Zan (F2/F2) from Slovenia got involved with the intention to fight back his top 5 ranking. Team mate Rick Jendrusch (F2) from Holland also travel up together with Dieter Van der Eyken who won the last EFPT competition and wants to make sure to be on the 2012 overall podium. Furthermore we had Adam Gavriel from Israel, Davy Scheffers, Nikos Athansiou (F2) from Greece, Frenchie Julien Mas and Jeremy Plüss from Switzerland following the European Tour to England.
The cold wind tricked us a few times here and the start had to be postponed several times. At 12.30 the conditions seemed to be sufficient to start the heats and race director Tom Hartmann sent the riders out on the water. Standing out sailors in the first round were definitely Greek sailor Athanasiou (F2) who sailed his first heat against himself and showed an outstanding heat, making the most of every gust. Also Malte Hecht, member of the Sailloft Hamburg team sailed a solid heat leaving his british opponent Ben Lee no chance. Furthermore young Dutch Tim Ruyssenaars surprised with Burners and Culos at spots where there wasn't any wind expected. The closer the elimination progressed towards the final heats the higher level got. Scheffers was easily spinning his way through his heats, pulling off some moves directly in front of the spectators at the OTC. After changing to a bigger sail in his heat against Mas, he started off switch at the beach and planed through an eslider, a funnel and gozzada all within one run. Sailing with more confidence was also Israeli Adam Gavriel after his 7th place in France. On his way to the losers final he beat Malte Hecht (Sailloft) and Andraz Zan (F2/F2) clearly. The riders who waited for their heats could seize the 42 degrees warm hot tub in front of the center to heat up again or should we say defreeze… From there they could watch a very strong sailing Andy 'Bubble' Chambers (JP/Neilpryde) who was absolutely on fire today, convincing the judges with style, diversity, variation and also technical maneuvers. Bubble will meet Gavriel tomorrow in the losers final to battle for the 3rd place in the single elimination.
Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard) and Rick Jendrusch (F2) both showed double move combinations on a top level including also massive spock culos. Dieter beat his travel mate (Jendrusch) and afterwards dispatched of Chambers in a very close heat to meet Scheffers in the final. There is certainly nothing that those two riders will give away in the final tomorrow and we can be sure to see a hard fight for place number one.
Unfortunately the organizers couldn't send the girls fleet, which consists of seven girls from the UK, to the water due to the low wind in the evening. Femi Pleasure sponsored the girls competition with goodie bags for all entrants, sick prizes and even some prize money. The organisation would like to make an official EFPT female competition happen next year.
Skippers meeting is scheduled for 9.00 am tomorrow. First heat on the water will be the losers final Gavriel against Chambers, afterwards the final with Van der Eyken against Scheffers. Before we start the double elimination the girls will get their turn to show how it's done!
Copyrights Pics: Jay Hasey (Globalshots)
CHECK OUT SOME ACTION OF DAY 1: