Flying from Egypt on Thursday, we visited the UK where we attended the Mumbles UKWA Freestyle event before jumping on the next plane out of Gatwick on Tuesday to Fuerteventura, picked up a car and caught an early ferry out the next morning to Lanzarote to stay for a few nights in Costa Teguise, the venue for Phil’s first PWA event. So after a very long weekend of travel it was straight into the action as we hit the water on Wednesday afternoon to check out the conditions for the competition. After a good session getting used to it, we spent the evening catching up with the other competitors over pizza and WiFi, before the event began the next morning.
Registration was done and then heats were due to begin at 2pm. The Single Elimination began and Phil’s heat was drawn, he would take on current tour leader Kiri Thode in the first round. This helped to ease the pressure and Phil was able to relax and enjoyed his first heat. Both guys sailed well, Phil making many moves on both sides to get a good score, but he was unable to match Kiri’s style as he pulled powerful moves such as spock-culo’s, air bob’s & Burners in the challenging conditions.
The single continued that day but the finals had to be held off till the next morning as the wind dropped off around 6pm. Day 2 saw really light winds, so most of the day was spent chilling in the shade, waiting and hoping the wind would increase to enough for the finals to be ran. At 5pm the wind had luckily filled in and the finalists took to the water with sails around 5.3′s, and the crowd was entertained with the guys putting in a huge effort to get the results they wanted. The Single results saw Gollito in 1st, Steven Broekhoven 2nd and Anthony Ruenes in 3rd with Davy Schefers taking the 4th spot, a great achievement for the guys.
Day 3 we began the double, the heats were drawn and Phil was up against a friend, Andraz Zan, SLO 49. The wind had filled in by the afternoon and guys took to the water with sails around 4.7 – 5.0′s. For Phil, the heat was a close one, with him and Andraz pulling similar moves but Phil got the upper hand with a big Shaka and and nice Kono off of one of Costa Teguise’s waves.
The next heat for Phil was to be Tonky Frans, a tough draw but having already retained the 17th spot there was nothing to lose for Phil. The heat started unpredictably for Tonky crashing a lot of early moves giving Phil the early advantage. Phil was sailing well pulling a mixture of powerful and safe moves but it was not enough once Tonky found his feet and started to show why he has been one of freestyles top competitors over the last decade, landing Backloops, Bonka’s (Forward loop in to Flaka) and other insane moves.
The rest of the day the wind held and so the double was continued up until the quarter finals when the judges postponed the action to be completed the next day. So the competition was finished on the Sunday, with amazing heats seeing the worlds best use the windiest day of the competition to really show what they can do. Pushloops, Air Chachos, Spock into Air Bob were some of the most impressive tricks amongst many being seen and after really tight heats the final saw Gollito Estredo take on Steven Broekhoven again. Both competitors were throwing massive tricks but in the end even Steven’s no handed burner couldn’t beat Gollito’s massive Air Chacho and other strong moves he pulled in the 8 minute heat.
The event was brilliant, the windsurfing displayed was incredible by all the riders, the wind and waves were good and a great competition was finished, leaving the competitors excited for the next event in Fuerte, although for many doing the whole tour the next 3 weeks will give them a welcome break after 3 weeks back to back events in Bonaire, Aruba and Lanzarote.
For Phil and I, we are now in Fuerte training for the next event with Adam and many other UK riders. Its set to be a great few weeks, with challenging conditions to get used to, definitely no shortage of wind!
Contributed by: Danielle Lucas