It is the fifth consecutive year that the EFPT has been staged at Costa Teguise, Lanzarote. The organisation team around former European Champion and worldclass freestyler Antxon Otaegui have been working hard to set up, what is now known to be one of the best windsurfing events of the season. The forecast for the upcoming days promises yet another year of outstanding freestyle action. 33 riders signed up this morning to fight for the 10.000€ prize-money and valuable points for the overall ranking. Apart of most of the sailors, who have been travelling onward from the previous stage in Fuerteventura, there have been some high class additions to the fleet: Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Gunsails), Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic), Antony Ruenes and Dieter Van der Eyken (Severne/Severne) are just four of the big names to join the EFPT here.
The green flag for the first heat of the day went up at 12.30 am. The strong wind and some nice wave sets turned las Cucharas into the perfect freestyle playground with action that was off the scale and high scores dropping regularly throughout the day.
Getting his competition game on was Nic Hibdige, the young sailor from the UK. Despite being one of the most promising upcoming riders, the Brit couldn’t quite show his potential in the previous years. However, today was his time to shine. Hibdige recovered in the heat against Adam Sims (Sailloft/Patrik) with a last minute score, landing a perfect pasko and a double culo, to then move onward to Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic). Marca showed a strong heat on starboard tack, but was missing the big moves on port. Hibdige could only be defeated by Marcas team-mate Adrien Bosson. Despite landing a double culo, burner, kono, pasko, shifty and air spock to count, the British sailor couldn’t go past Bosson, who marked down a minimum of 40 points in most of his heats today.
The event-winner of 2015, Antony Ruenes started off with the highest scoring heat (40,69) of the first round, sailing against Amit Markman (JP/Neilpryde) from Israel. The Frenchie scored with a skopu, an air-funnell and his signature move burner no handed on starboard and a megahigh shifty, a pasko and a tweaked pushloop on porttack. He took down Loick Spicher (RRD/RRD) and Neil Cukier in the upcoming rounds, to then be stopped by fellow countryman Adrien Bosson, who was a force of his own today.
Sailing up to the semi final were furthermore Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya) from New Caledonia and Yentel Caers (JP), who was absolutely killing it today. Albert on his side, caused quite an upset for EFPT leader Tonky Frans (RRD/RRD), by taking down the title contender in the quarter final by 0,07 points only. Speaking of title contenders- Giovanni Passani who is at Frans heels for the overall win this year, injured himself in training yesterday and therefor will not be able to join the competition. We are really sorry about these bad news and wish him a fast recovery!
Caers showed a routine that was unbelieveable landing double burners, double culos, air bob culos, pushloops, bongkas, shifites and paskos in all of his heats, marking down the highscore of the day with 44,17 points in his battle against Albert. Even though the Goya rider has been dropping some high scores himself, landing kabis both tacks as well as jumping maneuvres in all of his heats, he couldn’t defeat the Belgian.
Once again it has been Bosson in the winners final to stop Caers from marching through to first place. The French sailor stayed consistent in his performance with crazy double moves on the way in and huge air moves on the way out. Caers answered with big tricks of his own, but fell against the North/Fanatic rider by two points in the end.
The top three after the first single elimination:
1st Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic)
2nd Yentel Caers (JP)
3rd Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya)
Since there is also high attendance of sailors under 18, it seemed obvious to also run a juniors only division. The result doesn’t officially count into the EFPT juniors ranking, yet gives the young guns the chance to compete against each other. Once again some riders were standing out: Corto Dumond (Starboard/Severne) from New Caledonia, who won the U16 category in the EFPT Fuerteventura performed on a really high level alongside Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne) from Greece. In the end it was 14 years old Lennart Neubauer, who could take victory in front of Corto Dumond and Stefan de Bell (Fanatic/Severne) from Curacao.
Top three juniors:
1st Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne)
2nd Corto Dumond (Starboard/Severne)
3rd Stefan De Bell (Fanatic/Severne)
The forecast looks sweet for the upcoming days and we are looking forward to more action in the double elimination tomorrow!