The inaugural event of the 2013 PWA World Tour saw Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic / North) produce a supreme performance as he made the perfect start in the quest for an incredible sixth world title, by winning the opening event of the year ahead of Steven van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different).
After a quiet start to the PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf on day one - which saw sailors registering for the upcoming competition, whilst basking in the glorious sunshine - Austria's famed Neusiedler See burst into life on day two as 25-30 knot winds greeted the sailors, allowing both the single and double eliminations to be completed after an enthralling day of action on the water.
The reigning world champion, Jose 'Gollito' Estredo faced Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) in the first final of the year and the Venezuelan wasted no time to explode into action as he launched into a monumental shaka, which Thode then matched to leave the heat evenly balanced. Gollito - as he so often does - found another gear as he rotated his way through a super smooth skopu and a radical ponch to edge ahead. The Bonairean tried to respond with a brilliant culo and a trademark air-funnel, but it was soon revealed that Thode hadn't quite done enough to prevent Estredo from winning another final.
Elsewhere in the single elimination, Germany's Adrian Beholz (Fanatic / Sailloft Hamburg / Maui Ultra Fins) enjoyed his best to result to date, 7th, as he caused the first upset of the competition by defeating Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins) in the second round, before continuing his rich vein of form to dispatch of the Dutch maestro Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra).
With Saturday being predicted to be the best day of the week for wind, little time was wasted in starting the double elimination, which eventually finished just before 8pm to conclude an enthralling day of competition, which spanned almost nine hours.
Steven van Broeckhoven produced a near perfect heat against Kiri Thode to book his place in the winners' final. The 2011 world champion received several tens from the judges for both style and diversity as the Belgian stated his intention to regain his world champion status. Unfortunately for van Broeckhoven, he was up against the man who is now undefeated in the last four events, Gollito Estredo. The five-time world champion was determined to defend his single elimination crown and that is exactly what he managed to do, as the twenty-four year old produced a devastating display consisting of a stunning one-handed burner, a one-handed air flaka and a divine one-handed shaka to illustrate exactly why he is the reigning world champion. Van Broeckhoven responded with a massive air-funnel, an outstanding planing culo and a tweaked shuvit spock, but on this occasion it wasn't enough to prevent Estredo from securing his first victory of the year.
Jose 'Gollito' Estredo speaking after winning the double elimination, "I'm super happy to have won the double elimination. It was a long day, but the conditions were really good and I'm pleased with how I sailed and the result. Lets see what happens for the rest of the week."
Meanwhile, Davy Scheffers came storming back through the double elimination, after a disappointing display in the single, to eventually battle his way to fifth place. The Dutch maestro won five successive heats as he delivered a masterclass in freestyle wizardry. On his way to defeating Andy Lachauer (JP / NeilPryde), the super talented Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde), Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui), the twenty-one year old consistently landed huge culos, amazing no-handed burners and simply massive air-funnels to leave his opponents with no chance.
Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne) is certainly one name to look out for in the future. The seventeen year old made his debut on the PWA World Tour in 2011 and he finished in the top ten for the first here in Austria, as he impressed the judges with his fluid style and powerful moves.
The remaining three days of the contest witnessed light winds, meaning that no further heats were completed, despite a day of teasing winds on Monday. There was, however, still plenty of action on and off the water, as the European tow-in event took place each evening at eight O'clock to keep the crowds entertained. After three qualifying rounds Jose 'Gollito' Estredo was eventually crowned the tow-in champion of Neusiedler See after landing a burner into a mix between a funnel and a burner, Steven Van Broeckhoven finished in an extremely close second, followed by Bjorn Saragoza.
Overall Results of the PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf
1. Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic / North)
2. Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different)
3. Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
4. Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra)
5. Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra)
6. Bjorn Saragoza (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui)
7. Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
7. Dieter van der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
9. Adrian Beholz (Fanatic / Sailloft Hamburg / Maui Ultra Fins)
9. Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
9. Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde)
9. Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne)
Scope The Action
For information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, navigate to www.pwaworldtour.com