Eight years ago, the EFPT event in the North of Sardinia went down in history with conditions that demanded everything from the riders offering light winds up to howling storms. After many years of absence, the windsurfcenter Culuccia at Porto Liscia brought the tour back to its beautiful shores.
19 international riders signed up this morning, motivated and with high hopes that the thermic wind would come up over the five days event period.
A group of eight Italians registered, all of them not being new to the scene. Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic), Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD/RRD), Rossel Bertoldo (RRD/RRD), Stefano Lorioli (RRD/RRD) and Gigi Maddedu (RRD/RRD) travelled straight from the Italian championships at Lake Garda to join fellow countrymen Giovanni Passani, Marco Vinante (JP) and Mattia Fabrizi (Patrik) at this 10.000€ tour-stop.
Apart from ‚team Italy‘ a high number of Israeli sailors. Amongst them known names Yarden Meir (Goya/Goya) and Eliran Levi, yet also newcomers Amit Markman (JP/Neilpryde) and Dudu Levi (Fanatic/Gunsails), who had their debut in international competition today. With an outlook of attending most of the remaining EFPT stops this season, team Israel was starting off strong.
Tour pros Adam Sims (Patrik/Sailloft) from the UK, Julian Wiemar (Starboard/Severne) from Germany, Julien Mas (Gunsails/JP) and Antony Ruenes from France, Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Gunsails) from Belgium and current tour-leader Tonky Frans (RRD/RRD) completed the fleet.
With extremly high expectations for some sailable conditions throughout the day, this place didn’t disappoint. Just around midday the thermic westerly wind started to fill in. At 2.30 pm it was sufficient to launch the comeptition, as the riders were powered up on their 4.8s – 5.2s. and the horn for the first heat went off.
Marco Vinante, who stepped back a little from the event-scene due to his job, had an amazing comeback going for regular chachoos, cana bravas and stylish power moves in his heats against Amit Markman and Riccardo Marca. He managed to take out the Israelian sailor but couldn’t get passed Marca in a very close heat. Marca showed a lot of consistency and smart competition sailing against all of his opponents.
With three moves counting each tack in the eight minute heats, rookie Dudu Levi from Israel had a great debut dominating over Gigi Madeddu showing a clean culo, burner, a ponch, an air flaka, a spock and a nice shaka to count. However, it has been impossible for Levi to get past local-by-choice Giovanni Passani. The light wind favored the Italian and Julian Wiemar on the other side of the draw, who managed to beat Adam Sims in another close heat.
The wind has been going up and down a lot and led to several cancelled and restarted heats later in the elimination. Mattia Fabrizi sailed an excellent heat against Francesco Cappuzzo. Fabrizi landed a perfect spock culo, shaka flaka and chachoo to count on starboard and judges marked down a shaka 360, flaka shaka and ponch on port tack.
The highest score of the day was also marked down in this battle, yet in the other panel: Tonky Frans did a stylish spock culo, scoring 6,42 points against Rossel Bertoldo who put on a great show against the experienced Bonairean sailor. The Italian lost to Frans by 1,35 points only and was extremely happy about his sailing.
Just before the quarter final, the wind dropped again. Riders were kept on stand-by until 8.00pm when race director Tom Hartmann called it a day. The forecast for tomorrow predicts the same wind direction, which means that we’ll hopefully be able to continue with the remaining heats of the single elimination.