It has been a dream for many years now to add another Canary island to the EFPT calendar. Davide Zilli, who has been on the EFPT judging team for several seasons and who is a passionate freestyle windsurfer himself, made this wish come true. The owner of the Pro Wind Fuerteventura brought tour-stop to Matas Blancas, a bay upwind of the famous Risco del Paso here in the South of the island. Matas Bay has been one of the ‚secret‘ spots amongst freestylers, who were traveling to Fuerte and is known to be a flatwater paradise, offering ideal training conditions particularly during the summer months. The Matas Bay Wind- and Kitesurf Center, that opened up just a few years ago, made the spot more popular and accessible and became the host of this 5.000€ event.
28 riders signed up, amongst them the contenders for the top positions in 2018 like Tonky Frans (RRD/RRD), Giovanni Passani, Loick Spicher (RRD/RRD), Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya), Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic) and Julian Wiemar just to name a few. Since the first ever official EFPT junior division is also staged at Matas Blancas, we are delighted to also welcome eight U16 and U18 riders, many of them new to the international competition floor but equipped with a lot of talent.
14 years old Lennart Neubauer, who is certainly one of the top picks for taking the u16 juniors title this year has been joined by local rider Ancor Sosa (Patrik), who is the youngest competitor at this event. New Caledonian freestyle rookie Corto Dumond and Stefan de Bell from Curacao completed the younger junior division, whilst Maksymilian Lesniewski (Patrik), Eugenio Marconi, Robin Van Linden (Patrik) and Marc Sogl will compete in the U18 category. Since the level of some of the juniors is super high, six wildcards have been issued to give them the possibility to join the pro fleet, sail some more heats and gain some valuable experience.
With a slightly strange general weather situation, Fuerteventura that has a wind statistic of over 90% (above 4 bft) during the months of May to September, didn’t quite deliver the epic conditions that everyone has been hoping for. However, the offshore wind kicked in around 11.00 am and provided the chance to run the first few heats of the single elimination. Dudu Levi (Fanatic/Gunsails) from Israel, who had his debut on tour at the EFPT Sardinia earlier this year proved some real potential in his heat against Slovenian sailor Sebastijan Jancovic. Gunsails team-mate Valentin Böckler could advance over Pawel Kazmierczak from Poland, who showed a decent performance but couldn’t stop the German rider who filled his judging sheets on both tacks. Fellow landsman Julian Wiemar took down Robin Van Linden in the upcoming heat, whilst Adrian Beholz (Sailloft/Patrik) succeeded over Sebastian Holtz. Slovakian rider Michal Chovan (JP/Neilpryde), who lives on Fuerteventura took on Alex Mertens (Fanatic) from the US, but couldn’t go past the American younggun. On the other side of the draw, wildcard receiver Stefan De Bell caused an upset for Amit Markman by winning over the Israeli by one point only.
Just after the third heat the wind dropped and a fair competition was not possible anymore. The riders were kept on stand-by until 07.00 pm. Even if the conditions seemed to improve a bit during the later hours of the day, it never got to the point where another heat could be started.
For the moment we got our fingers crossed for suitable conditions tomorrow and the following days. Apart from following the live scoring you can also check the brand new EFPT live stream! Make sure to head to the LIVE page on our website and follow the action first row.