Due to the postponement of yesterdays fleet, today promised to be an afternoon and evening loaded with tow-in action.
In the first round of the competition we've seen some impressive stuff from the Caribbean top freestyler Tonky Frans who stuck a burner 720 with some serious height. Even an amateur could see that this would guarantee him a place in the final, which will be held on the 30th of April. With 49,5 out of 60 points he had the highest score from the first fleet. Also as impressive as expected was Julien Mas (Sailloft) from France who has done some serious training in tow-in, which has clearly paid off. A super clean double air funnel with the second pop being even higher than the first one brought him 49 points. Björn Saragoza another Caribbean top rider impressed with a high double funnel and scored 45,5 points.
18 year old pro Youp Schmit (JP/Neilpryde) from Bonaire was really going for it and almost landed his double funell on the big stage just in front of the beach. Adam Sims, Sailloft team mate of Mas, stuck a much better move on his final run but just slowed on the second rotation of his double funnel. The other UK rider of the fleet Max Rowe (North/Fanatic) showed a clean funnel in the first round with the intention to double it up in the second round. Unfortunately he couldn't land the maneuver which ended his run for the final.
The three riders we will be seeing in the final on Tuesday:
1. Tonky Frans
2. Julien Mas (Sailloft)
3. Björn Saragoza (Starboard)
Watch here a short clip produced by Continentseven of round number 1 and 2:
After a break of two hours race director Tom Hartmann sent the second fleet of riders out on the water. Sadly the two high class riders Vladimir Yakovlev (JP/Neilpryde) from Russia and Anthony Ruenes from France had to draw back from the tow-in competition due to injuries. Great for Rasmus Oegelund (JP/Neilpryde) freestyle rookie from Sweden who had an opportunity to take part. Just before the first rider Matthias Kraschitzer (Naish/Naish) got towed the wind started to pick up and made the circumstances a little more difficult. Yet the riders remained professional from head to toe and coped well with the unusual conditions. The great thing about this was that the riders had the chance to show more 'real' wind-related moves like Shakas, Bobs and even Konos.
Andy Bubble Chambers (JP/Neilpryde) and Amado Vrieswijke (Starboard) showed the first proper Shakas ever shown in an official tow-in competition. Rick Jendrusch from Holland made the spectators cheer with his perfect Bob. He actually ducked the sail and nailed the move super clean after letting go of the rope, the judges honored this effort with 42,5 points. Travelmate and friend Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard) showed a good burner in the first round and a very clean and powerful one in the second run which brought him 43 points and the third place. After a rather disappointing first run from Taty Frans (Starboard), the Bonairean rider changed his 4.8 down to his 4.4 and stuck a massive burner into funnel, which he entered at perhaps the highest speed of the day; 44 points and second place for him.
Freestyle world champion Gollito Estredo (North/Fanatic) was asked before the contest which move he would like to do and confidently answered 'a triple burner'. Everyone had high expectations anyway but with the increasing wind the excitement grew. Already at his first run he landed the most amazing burner completely upright and even came out of it with a good speed. With 47,5 points he had the second highest score of the day and secured his place for the final.
We'd like to compliment all riders again for their professional behavior and this amazing show we saw today. You rock!
Pics by Martin Reiter.