Day 4 – Prize Giving and a game of WINDSURF – FPT King and Queen of the Caribbean 2023

April 12th, 2023

The last day of the 2023 FPT King and Queen of the Caribbean saw the celebration of everyone’s achievements at this event. Gathering crowds cheered on as the top 3 received their trophies on a backdrop of the turquoise paradise lagoon. Youp Schmit (GA-Sails/Tabou), Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) and Yentel Caers (JP/NeilPryde) took to the podium and enjoyed the spotlight. The athletes also enjoyed a game of windsurf, which was the last super session that the judging panel had on the menu. Read on to find out everything about the closing day of this fantastic event.

The top 3 during the official prize giving. From the left: Neubauer, Schmit and Caers.

After a slow morning, riders gathered on the beach for the last planned super session. This time a new concept was tested, a combination of the game of skate and add-on from skateboarding. One of the athletes who was eliminated earlier in the competition was randomly selected to perform a move. Every other contestant then had to replicate the move. The next rider is selected to perform the first move, and then add on a move of their own. All riders then have to perform both moves again. The rules were simple: you crash – you’re out. The chain continued until only one rider was left standing.

Leander Halm with a No-Handed Spock!

Upcoming rookie freestyler Leander Halm (Starboard/Severne) opened the game and immediately put a twist into it. Throwing down a No-Handed Spock he caught a lot of the pro’s off guard. They now had to do a NH Spock on every single run from here on out. A couple competitors immediately lost out at this stage, likely because they had never tried this variation of the move before. Next up, it was up to Maarten Molenaar (Starboard/Gunsails) to do a NH Spock and add on a move of his own. Failing to initiate a Matador rotation, a new move was born – a Matador position Chop Hop. Riders now had to duck the sail, get into the back to sail Matador position, and pop the board while flipping back the sail. Understandably, quite a few riders dropped out again, some on the Spock, but many on the Matador, as the back to sail position is not that easy to achieve. Continuing the streak was Steven van Broeckhoven (Starboard/Gunsails) who went for the risky strategy. Completing the first two moves, again, he then went for his signature move – the Barracuda. Everyone on the beach had already expected him to do it, but what they did not expect was for the 5 x European Champion to go down.

Steven Van Broeckhoven going for his signature move the Barracuda – so far so good …

Only 3 riders were left in contention at this point: event winner Schmit, reigning Vice-European Champion Caers and Molenaar. It was up to Caers to set the next move, and the Belgian saw his opportunity in the form of a fishing boat and seized it. Launching into a Forward Loop off of the wake, he made sure that both of his competitors did not have the same advantage as he did. After Molenaar suffered a broken outhaul rope and crashed, it came down to a shootout between Caers and Schmit. Trading moves, the list was getting longer and longer until Schmit was not quite able to replicate an Air Funnel Funnel, most likely due to dying winds. Yentel Caers had thus won his third super session at this event, showing off his versatility.

Schmit and Neubauer enjoying their trophies

The event was then concluded with a prize giving ceremony on the beach. With the crowd warmed up from the super session, the winners got their last applause as they were dressed up with merch from Kuma Movie and Ayu Picc. A massive note of appreciation goes out to Forsa and The Frans Paraidse, the driving force behind making this event happen. The Freestyle Pro Tour was honoured to bring freestyle competition to a place with so much history in our sport.

To close off the event, 4th place Bodhi Kempen went for a quick sundowner session to squeeze the most out of his time on Bonaire