The following heat was undoubtedly one of the hottest of the day with Estredo taking on light wind legend, Steven Van Broeckhoven in a freestyle semi final spectacular. The moves were off the scale, and it resembled more of a final than simply a semi. Nerves had the better of the both of them at the beginning, but eventually Broeckhoven was seen busting out huge konos, culos, and burners, whilst the World Champion was replying with much of the same. However, it was all too late for Broeckhoven who had unfortunately already used up some of his six attempts with failed shakas earlier on with
Estredo stuck to his guns and used his experience to win once again. On to the final showdown with Taty Frans and Estredo claimed it on a 4-1 decision, pulling off cleaner and higher moves in the toughest of conditions.
With very gusty, cross-offshore winds, which would normally suit racing, head judge Duncan Coombs took a bold decision to run single elimination heats of an otherwise unheard of twelve-minute duration. With such a long time to perform six moves on each tack, of which only three would count, the world's best had plenty of time to wobble around between the gusts, and then explode into action when the wind increased to the delight of the crowds.
The new king of 'pop', Steven Van Broeckhoven played up to his name yesterday with some of the biggest konos of the contest so far. Perhaps he is made of rubber, or maybe his board is packed full of springs. Whatever it is, it works. The Belgian boy wonder has the ability to launch himself high into the air in the lightest of zephyrs, and off chop that wouldn't even register on the mastfoot high scale! If Broeckhoven continues to impress the judges in the same way he has this year, it will not be too long before he is carrying a crown.
The 2010 Podersdorf champion and 2009 Sylt freestyle champion, Taty Frans finished the single elimination in second, which means he is on course for finishing second overall for the year. Frans was also one of the only sailors yesterday to land fully planing double moves. Plenty of people throw in an extra 360, but Frans nailed a fully planing double spock to really impress the judges in the extremely light winds.
Former freestyle world champion, Ricardo Campello, had burst into action on his new freestyle board, but it would seem that he is a year too early. Campello caused a huge upset to the tour by beating the current world number two, Kiri Thode. Campello's excellent display included a regular chachoo, arguably the most difficult move to perform, but it became apparent that his board was a 2011 prototype. In Campello's days of tricking it up, this would not have posed a problem, however today the rules clearly state that riders must be on production gear .
1. Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic, North)
2. Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic)
3. Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2, Gaastra)
4. Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up-to- date with all the live action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
World Sailing Newsletter
It features the latest news and events from the sailing world together with features and info in an easy-to-use format.