After eight full hours of competition, the single and the whole double elimination had been finished on the last day of the Surf Opening in Neusiedl am See! The north wind kicked in just like forecasted around lunch time and the first heats were up and running.
Jacopo Testa (AV Boards / Point-7), is finally back on tour after several years of absence and how good it has been to see him back on the water with the EFPT. The Italian was on a winning streak in the single elimination and could only be stopped from claiming victory by no other than Amado Vrieswijk (Severne/Futurefly), winner of this very event in 2017. On the other side of the draw there have been French freestyler Adrien Bosson (Duotone / Fanatic) and Yentel Caers (JP / Neilpryde) making their way up to the finals. Caers defeated Bosson and claimed third place in the single elimination.
Without a break, the first riders of the double elimination were sent out on the water by race director Danny Kater. We’d like to mention a few names here, but two in particular: Giovanni Passani and Lennart Neubauer (Starboard / Severne).
Lennart Neubauer is one of the biggest upcoming stars in the windsurfing scene. He started entering the pro events already several years ago and started to cause some upsets in recent seasons within the other pro riders, however never managed to sail that high up in a double elimination as he did today. Losing early in the single elimination against Adrien Bosson, put the young sailor to work in the double. The Greek rider won four heats and took down big names like Youp Schmit and Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde). Neubauer put together some high-scoring heats landing spock konos, spock culos on both tacks as well as kabikuchis, skopus, air funnell and burner combinations. Only Giovanni Passani could end his run – just like in the single elimination. Lennart has certainly been one of the sailors of the day!
Passani himself had been taken out by Vrieswijk in the quarter finals of the single elimination and sailed as determined as one can be, to make it up to the top positions taking down Felix Volkhardt (Severne/Severne), Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard/Gunsails), Lennart Neubauer and Adrien Bosson. He however lost the fight for third place against European champion Yentel Caers. After defending his third place of the single elimination it was Caers turn to challenge Testa for second place. It has been one of the closest heats of the day, but the Italian could seal the deal with only 0,15 points difference. Caers however stated, that he was happy with his start of the season and after being off competing for almost two years, he seemed pretty pleased with his performance.
Testa went on to fight Vrieswijk for the first place in the double elimination. The wind had dropped slightly, which definitely favored Jacopo Testa, with him being the lighter rider. Testa won over Amado and therefor took victory in the double elimination – this meant, that we would see a superfinal between the two riders.
With the lighter and gusty conditions the heat time had been extended to 15 minutes, with three moves counting per tack. It was thrilling to watch the live-scoring and the lead, jumping from one rider to the other. Vrieswijk was about one point behind Testa until the very last minute of the heat when the Bonairean landed a powerful culo – the move that saved the day for him.
Amado Vrieswijk claimed the overall victory at this event, followed by Jacopo Testa in second and Yentel Caers in third place. What a show it has been and what a thrill – we have seen amazing comebacks, super close heats, a lot of motivation, discipline and great sportsmanship over the course of the past days, which proved that even in times like these, running a windsurfing event is possible.
A recap of the event with more details of the double elimination will follow tomorrow with the final video highlights of the Surf Opening 2021 – a year to remember.
Thanks to everybody who made this possible and to everybody who was with us: at home following the livestream, interacting with us on social media and all the riders and crew that made this event so special – you are amazing!