This is a big boost to the Freestyle scene because not only is the title of European Freestyle Champion up for grabs for both men and women, but a much structure will be created below the PWA world tour. It will also provide the opportunity for new talented riders to develop their competitive instincts close to home. One such, is Kevin MEVISSON (NED) who won the 2003 tour then went to Bonaire to compete in the PWA 'King of the Caribbean' where he finished 7th and gained a place inside the top 16 on the PWA Freestyle Ranking. Developing talent is what the 2004 European Freestyle Pro-Tour is all about.
Gerhard POLAK, CEO of EFPT, said, "We would like to give each event on the tour, the chance to grow and become more attractive to sponsors. The fact that you are part of the EFPT provides you with the best riders, and gives you an international touch, however small your event. We're really pleased to have support from the industry so we have set up a pool with F2, Mistral, North Sails, Fanatic, JP, Neil Pryde, Naish, Starboard and AHD already. We're talking to many other brands and look forward to them joining real soon."
Bruno DE WANNAMAEKER, chairman of the International Funboard Class emphasized the point by saying, "The EFPT should be considered as a platform for top European riders to fight for the title of the IFCA European Champion, as well as for new talented guys to join a professional tour where they can develop their skills before moving on to other bigger world wide events."
"Our goal is to encourage as many new riders to join the tour as possible and to improve the level of freestyle windsurfing as much as possible in as many places as possible. I'm sure EFTP will do all they can to raise the quality of each event in terms of prize money and to increase the amount of media coverage each one gets. This is a big step forward for the sport of windsurfing."
Both Bruno and Gerhard are realistic in their approach and want to see the EFPT grow and mature over a number of years. The key to developing the tour is to establish it and then "raise the bar" year by year, both in terms of services provided; media coverage and quality of competition. For the moment, the 2004 EFPT is a great first step forward….
|Mar 31-4||Swiss Windsurfing Cup||Hyeres / France||EURO 10.000|
|Apr 15-18||Windfestival Imperia||Imperia/Italy||EURO 5.000|
|Apr 29-2||Spark7 Surfcup||Podersdorf / Austria||EURO 20.000|
|May 7.-9||Swiss Windsurfing Cup||Urnersee / Switzerland||EURO 5.000|
|June 7.-13||EFPT / Costa Brava||Costa Brava / Spain||EURO 20.000|
|June 17-20||EFPT / Prasonisi||Prasonisi / Greece||EURO 5.000|
|June 23-27||Jump & Style||Wustrow / Germany||EURO 10.000|
|July 7-18||King of the Wind||Sicily / Italy||EURO 20.000|
|Aug 3-7||EFPT / Bredene||Bredene / Belgium||EURO 10.000|
|Aug 12-15||Engadinwind.com||Silvaplana / Switzerland||EURO 20.000|
|August||EFPT / Poland||Poland||EURO 5.000|
|Sept 10-12||Pannonia Soul Classic||Weiden / Austria||EURO 5.000|
|Oct 7-10||EFPT / Holland||Netherlands||EURO 5.000|
|Oct 29-1||Hallowind||Premantura / Croatia||EURO 10.000|