Not enough wind but a bunch of motivated riders and an awesome organisation.
After checking the forecast yesterday, EFPT race director Tom Hartmann started to plan the tow-in training session and the bigger night tow-in show in the evening, together with the crew of the Aqualeto Cup straight away. The weather couldn't have been more ideal for the training session which started at 3.00 pm: no wind, glassy flat water, perfect sunshine and temperatures that made wetsuits useless. Still the riders seemed a bit tired of the continuous tow-in shows, yet the moves we saw were clean: double funnels, double air funnels, culos, burners and some switch kono tries.
After discovering a wakeboard speed boat owned by the hotel, the idea of running a little wake-surf session came up. Seeing the waves behind the boat the eyes of the riders and of our race director Tom started to sparkle. Filling the back of the boat up with people to create a bigger wave to launch off, we started our first test-runs. Running this format for the first time ever on the EFPT we needed an expert to try out speed, distance and angle. This was noon less than tow-in pro from France Julien Mas (Sailloft) who is pushing the limits in this discipline whenever he can. It took a while to figure out the right way of doing it, with the rest of the riders feeling a bit suspicious about it and didn't seem too keen to try it out to start with.
In the evening though when we started the night tow-in show we had a big surprise: all twelve riders who were participating decided to do it with the wave of the boat to get some ramps and pull out some more radical maneuvers. Even Adrian Beholz (Fanatic/Sailloft) who is not necessarily known to be a tow-in fan was smiling from one ear to the other after his first try where he was going for a massive double air funnel with both rotations being almost fully in the air. He asked the rest of the fleet if he should rather go for a skopu or a forward in the second run and the riders replied in unison: forward! While all of the people who knew what was coming were holding up their phones to video it, Beholz fully went for it! The crowd honored him with loads of cheering and applause.
Also the other riders impressed: Adam Sims (Sailloft) from the UK who showed a super high one handed burner into funnel. Rick Jendrusch (F2/Severne) from the Netherlands, Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard/Severne) and Max Rowe (North/Fanatic) from the UK showed some super high air funnels and also Russian rider Alexey Karachevtsev (RRD/RRD) didn't disappoint the spectators at his local spot and did a clean burner.
Even though the performance of all the guys was remarkable and stunning at the same time, Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Neilpryde) and Julien Mas (Sailloft) managed to upstage them. Fixing two tow-in lines with different lengths on one jetski, they were pulled at the same time. The speed boat was charging past them full speed and everybody was clearly holding their breaths as they took off almost perfectly synchronized to circle two super high and fast funnels through the air. The audience at the beach was unstoppable and demanded more of Van Broeckhoven and Mas who really seemed to enjoy their time on the water.
With the forecast looking a bit better for tomorrow it is an early night tonight for everybody. The skippers meeting has been set to 10.00 am. We'll keep you posted during the day on our Facebook page!
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