The opening day of competition at the PWA Fuerteventura World Cup delivered the goods as both the men's and women's single eliminations were completed in 20-30 knots of wind.
Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic / North) proved that the injury he sustained to his knee a couple of days ago isn't affecting his sailing, as the five-time world champion put on a breathtaking display to take the single elimination crown, whilst Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) dominated in the women's to claim her regular place at the top of the podium.
Men's Single Elimination
Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) lined up against Jose 'Gollito' Estredo in the opening winners' final of the week and the two men put on a stunning performance. Frans opened the heat with a brilliant burner360, whilst Gollito chose to begin with a perfectly stomped culo, from here the level only continued to go skywards. The duo both launched into paskos, but the reigning world champion just edged that dual with additional height on his rotation. Frans then set about pleasing the crowds on the beach as he pulled a silky smooth lollypop diablo in his own unique style. With the two sailors still neck-and-neck Gollito took matters into his own hands as he delivered a perfectly executed air chachoo, a superb spock into culo and a radical backloop to march into the lead. Frans tried to respond with an exquisite air chachoo of his moments before the end of the heat, but it wasn't enough to turn the tie in his favor.
Words from the winner Jose ' Gollito Estredo, "Thanks to everyone here today, we had really good conditions with some good ramps for jumps. Overall been a really good day. Thanks to all the sponsors who make this event possible. I'm really happy to have won the first elimination of the week."
Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different) saw off Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) in the losers' final to claim third place in the single elimination. The Belgian landed an outstanding pasko and a quite brilliant pushloop to edge out Thode, but it could've been a different story had the Bonairean's double culo counted. Unfortunately for Thode he had already completed his score sheet and he'll now have to wait until the double elimination to try and gain revenge.
The a-side of heat three saw an extremely close battle between Rafael de Windt (Hot Sails Maui) and Oscar Carmichael (Fanatic / North) - who was making his debut on the PWA World Tour. All three judges had both of the sailors tied meaning that head judge - Duncan Coombs - was left to compare the duos non-scoring moves. In the end the decision went in favor of de Windt by the narrowest of margins.
Elsewhere in the single elimination Dieter Van Der Eyken (Starboard / Severne) put an end to the hopes of his fellow teammate Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne) with a fine performance to move into equal fifth place alongside Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde) - who showed his massive potential again as he dispatched of Anthony Ruenes (Tabou / Gaastra) in the third round - Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins). The Frenchman impressed throughout the day and he was rewarded with his highest finish to date on the PWA World Tour.
Rick Jendrusch (F2 / Severne / Mystic) recovered from a below par performance in the first round to conquer his way into joint ninth - his first top ten result - as he took down Yegor Popretinskiy (Maui Ultra Fins). Andy 'Bubble' Chambers (JP / NeilPryde) also secured his place in the top ten with a brilliant performance in the second round, as he landed powerful shakas, konos and burners to see off Jacopo Testa (RRD /AL360). The top-ten was completed by fellow Brit Max Rowe (Fanatic / North) - who consistently landed massive shakas and stylish one-handed air funnels to dispatch of qualifier Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD / AL360) followed by Christofer Kalk, before Estredo ended his run - along with Phil Soltysiak (Starboard / Sailworks), Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard / Point-7 / Maui Ultra Fins), Amado Vrieswijk, Julien Mas (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) and Anthony Ruenes.
Women's Single Elimination
The familiar face of Sarah-Quita Offringa lined up in the winners' final once more, as Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins) seized the opportunity - in Laure Treboux's (Fanatic / Severne) absence - to book herself a place in her first ever winners' final having dispatched of Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North). The reigning world champion made the better start to the final as the Aruban gem quickly rotated her way through a perfect funnel. However, Aukes responded with a brilliantly landed forward loop and an e-slider to bring herself back into contention. Unfortunately for her Offringa then began to step up her game as she landed a one-handed puneta, before later adding a switch kono and a fantastic shaka to put the final nail in the coffin of Aukes.
Words from the winner Sarah-Quita Offringa, "I sailed two really good heats before the final, so I was a little bit disappointed with how I sailed in the final, but I'm still very happy to be on top here in Fuerteventura. Congratulations to Arrianne [Aukes], Yoli [de Brendt] and Maxime [Van Gent]."
After narrowly missing out on a place in the winners' final - after a close battle with Aukes in the semi-finals - Yoli de Brendt quickly erased any lingering disappointment from her mind to secure her place on the podium as she defeated Maxime Van Gent (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins) by landing a forward loop, a radical air flaka and a clean e-slider. The seventeen year old won't be too disappointed though as today marks the first time she has finished in the top four.
The forecast for tomorrow looks good again, so with this is mind the skippers' meeting has been called for 10am with the double eliminations beginning from 10:30am if conditions allow. Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com to follow all of the action live.
Results After Single Elimination - Men's Freestyle
1st Jose 'Gollito' Estredo (Fanatic / North)
2nd Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)
3rd Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde / Different)
4th Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)
5th Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Dieter Van Der Eyken (Starboard / Severne)
5th Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde)
Results After Single Elimination - Women's Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Yoli de Brendt (Fanatic / North)
4th Maxime Van Gent (Fanatic / North / Maui Ultra Fins)
Scope the action
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com