The world's finest windsurfers were treated to ten days of stunning weather on Westerland beach in Sylt as a high pressure lingering over Europe brought with it blazing sun, but it also prevented the flags from flying.
The huge crowds were treated to four astonishing tow-in freestyle competitions, SUP races, wave tow-in action, a spot of slalom racing, surfing and the world champions being crowned at the prize giving. The fleets remained patiently on standby throughout the week but were unable to take part in any official competition, therefore leaving the results and world rankings unchanged.
A round of slalom
When the flags started to flutter on the third day, the race crew wasted no time in sending the slalom fleet out to sea. Winds reading around 8-12 knots made for particularly tactful racing on the sailors largest equipment. Ten races of elimination one were completed, however it wasn't quite enough to achieve an official result.
But, it was enough to see some exceptional sailing from Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra), Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra), Kurosh Kiani (Simmer / Angulo) and the flying Frenchman Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic). The sailors destroyed their opponents in the light wind and made their way into the next round with ease. The crowds also witnessed some upsets as big players Finian Maynard (RRD), Peter Bijl (JP / NeilPryde) and Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails) as they all went out the elimination early, fortunately for them the round didn't count towards their overall ranking.
The slalom fleet remained on standby throughout the remaining days however, the high pressure hanging over Europe refused to move, preventing any wind from building.
Freestyle and wave fleets
Bar the tow-in freestyle and wave action the fleets were unable to hit the water for any official heats, therefore leaving the results and rankings unchanged. Having sailed two insane competitions this season and walked away with first places at both events Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) has managed to retain the world title for another year.
Throughout the week the world's elite freestylers battled it out in four insane tow-in freestyle competitions. With 1000 Euros up for grabs each time, the sailors went all out trying to upstage each other with every run, much to the delight of the huge crowds.
Kicking off the week, Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North) was the man on fire behind the jet ski, wowing the judges with his super-fast burners into funnels, the world champion Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra) proved he was also handy in the light winds launching into tremendous air funnels off the back of the small waves.
As the week progressed the water flattened off and the sailors got more and more used to the tow-in allowing them to break the boundaries of tow-in freestyle and up the game with the moves they were pulling. Estredo remained on amazing form winning the next two competitions, breaking the judges' scales with mind-blowing funnel in burners. The brothers from Bonaire Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) brought their unique style to the competition going for each move one-handed or as close to the crowds as possible.
Also making a guest appearance in the tow-in, former world freestyle champions Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) and the Marcilio Browne (Fanatic / North / MFC) dusted off their freestyle boards and delivered spectacular burners and burners into funnel to make the podiums.
The crescendo for the tow-in came in the form of the Panasonic night tow-in freestyle competition. The beach was jam-packed full of spectators, and the water was lit-up with powerful spot lights, providing an amazing stage for the world best to do their thing. Van Broeckhoven made his way into the final with ease by landing a perfect triple jumping funnel, as did Estredo with one of the fastest burner- funnels of the week. Also excelling was Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails) who delivered a super-stylish one-handed double funnel.
Having been so amazing all week, Estredo was unlucky in the final and he went down on both of his moves, opening up the top spot for Van Broeckhoven to step-up with a triple funnel. Saragoza made his way onto the podium for the first time this season with a double air funnel and Browne stole third with a perfect burner into funnel.
Wanting to keep the action going the PWA arranged two adrenaline fuelled SUP races, the sailors arranged themselves into three and four man teams and fought their way around the three-mark course. Proving they had the most power, the elite team made up of Browne, Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) and Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) left the competition in their wake in the first race when the waves were up, but favoring the flat water the French team made up of Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde), Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic), Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) and Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde) stole the show in the second race.
The official 2011 men's slalom rankings
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear) has returned to glory in the 2011 season, having played second fiddle to Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) for the last five years. Dunkerbeck has delivered a fantastic season of races and has been seen to recover from even the trickiest of situations. Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) has secured his podium finish with two event wins, and in third place sits Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) having had an exceptional season on tour.
1. Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear)
2. Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
3. Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic)
4. Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)
5. Finian Maynard (RRD)
6. Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde)
7. Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails)
8. Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde)
9. Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun / Dakine)
10. Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)
The official 2011 men's youth (U.22) slalom rankings
With so many experienced sailors the slalom fleet is a particularly tough fleet to crack, where experience often overrules natural talent. However the tour always needs new blood and there is no better way than to improve than take on your elders.
There were many talented youths fighting their way around the race course this year, but it is Jules Denel (Exocet) that walks away with the youth slalom champion trophy. Denel been charging this season and has been up there with the best of them. We expect big things from Denel next season.
1. Jules Denel (Exocet)
2. Matteo Iachino (JP / Gaastra / Mystic / AL360)
3. Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Starboard / North)
The official 2011 men's freestyle ranking
It has been a rough ride for the freestylers this season but Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra) has emerged victorious. Van Broeckhoven has blown the judges away at all seven of the stops this year with his huge moves and has rightfully been awarded the world title. Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) has had his most successful year on tour winning two events to put him in second, and Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North) wowed the crowds in the Canaries to finish in third.
1. Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra)
2. Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
3. Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North)
4. Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
5. Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra)
6. Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
7. Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Simmer)
8. Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
9. Philip Soltysiak (Starboard / Dakine)
10. Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails)
The official 2011 men's wave rankings
All eyes have been on the youth star Philip Koster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Dakine / Maui Ultra Fins) this season and with three event wins under his belt it is no surprise. Koster has slayed his opponents with his incredible planing double forward all season. The man with some of the highest jumps on tour Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC) sits in second place, and Brazilian Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde) has earned third for his stunning wave riding.
1. Philip Koster (Starboard / NeilPryde / Dakine / Maui Ultra Fins)
2. Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde / MFC)
3. Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde)
4. Victor Fernandez Lopez (Fanatic / North)
5. Daniel Bruch (Starboard / Severne / AL 360)
6. Dario Ojeda (Tabou / Simmer / Dakine)
7. Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra)
8. Alex Mussolini (Tabou / Gaastra)
9. Marcilio Browne (Fanatic / North / MFC)
10. Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra)
The official 2011 women's wave rankings
Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) has defended her title for another year, she has made sure she is a step ahead of her opponents all season by throwing the highest stalled forward and even a few doubles. In second place her sister Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne) has been flying higher than ever to make sure she made every final, and in third place Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) has had an extremely successful year on tour, slaying her opponents with her super-stylish wave riding.
1. Daida Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne)
2. Iballa Ruano Moreno (Starboard / Severne)
3. Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne)
4. Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
5. Evi Tsape (F2 / North)
6. Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
7. Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North)
7. Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde)
7. Heike Reimann (Hot Sails)
The official 2011 constructor's rankings
All season the brands have been battling it out for the constructor crown, over in the board front Starboard have snatched the crown with four world champions to their name. JP has taken second with just one point separating them from Fanatic.
NeilPryde walk away as the 2011 sail constructor champions, but it was a close fight as Severne and North sails sit just one and two points behind.
3. North Sails
5. Simmer Sails