When you consider the completion of the single elimination today, most would call it perfect timing. We only had to run the losers and the winners final to get a full standing result. Seeing Andy 'Bubble' Chambers (JP/Neilpryde) against Adam Gavriel from Israel in the losers final and winner of the previous event Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard) against current tour leader Davy Scheffers from Holland in the winners final, always promised for a high class finish to the first round.
Even though the morning surprised the crew and the riders with sun instead of the forecasted English rain, the weather was freezing cold and the motivation of the first competitors of the day should be highlighted, especially Adam Gavriel, who is used to much more tropical temperatures.
In the losers final Chambers (JP/Neilpryde) and Gavriel hit the water on their 4.8's and the warmest wetsuit they could get hold of. In the onshore conditions of today we saw a very close heat between the Brit and the Israeli, both showing a good variation of maneuvers, but perhaps just lacking the power moves because of the slightly lower wind. Whilst Bubble was showing routine with a willy skipper, an eslider, a grubby, a spock and also a shaka, Adam managed to top this up with shakas on both tacks and slightly cleaner execution. A three to two decision still favoured Gavriel who couldn't stop smiling after the announcement. After two 7th overall places in the previous EFPT competitions he now managed to jump into the top five!
The winners final saw two really strong opponents with Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard) wanting to win again and Davy Scheffers who was ready to strike back after his third overall place in France. The two riders sailed a very tactical heat, copying the moves from each other, trying to make them look better, smoother and more radical. Move of the day was definitely shown by the Dutch rider Scheffers as he did a perfectly clean chachoo right in front of the judges, fully claiming it afterwards - well deserved though. Some double moves and power maneuvers like a burner and a culo sealed the deal for Scheffers as he dispatched of the Belgium rider to the second place.
The announcement was made by Tom Hartmann right afterwards, while the four riders were sitting in the hot tub. The icing wind made them literally dive in after their heats and there they remained through the announcement of the winners.
The girls fleet for the Femi Pleasure Queen of the Wind entered the heat area shortly afterwards, however the dropping wind made a proper competition not possible. Showing a few light wind tricks in the rapidly decreasing winds allowed a result for an expression session which at least gave a ranking for the Femi Pleasure goodie bags including hoods, beanies and t-shirts by the brand. The girls freestyle competition has been on stand-by until 5.00 pm but the wind didn't fill in again today. The prize giving was held at 5.30 pm and the prize money of 300€ was distributed evenly amongst the female riders as a proper ranking could not have been determined. The organizers hope to attract some more international girls for next year to potentially run the battle for the female European title in freestyle.
The forecast for tomorrow looks promising and the skippers meeting is once again set for 9.00 am in the morning. Please follow us on www.facebook.com/EFPT1 to also see the updates during the day!
Copyrights: Trevor Hibdige, Josh Willmot