Maaike Huvermann (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) wins the Women’s Freestyle in tricky conditions on the last day of the 2023 EFPT Vieste. With Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft) in second and Oda Johanne Brodholt (Severne/Starboard) in third, the women managed to squeeze in a result on the bigger equipment. The men’s fleet was not as lucky, having to abandon the competition halfway through the second round. With a couple of riders showing great promise though, the event came to an end with no official result. Watch the highlights from day 5 and read the report below.
With the best forecast for the entire event window, riders anxiously prepared in the morning as some large rain clouds passed over. When the wind finally kicked, the decision was made to run 4-man heats in order to speed up the progression of the rounds. Impressing the most in these hectic few heats were Takumi Moriya (Severne), Jamie Howard (Severne) and Dudu Levi (FutureFly/Gunsails). Moriya, a 16-year-old Japanese rider, used his light weight to his advantage and was consistently putting in power moves all over the heat area. Amongst the flurry of moves on the water, he bested Tigo Kort (NeilPryde/JP) and would be up against another Brouwersdam youngster – Bodhi Kempen (Severne) in the 2nd round.
UK Rider Howard was also on a tear, and dispatched of Raphael Bauer (Severne) with a beautiful Air Funnel into Funnel on his scoresheet. Dudu Levi was similarly on it, with some beautiful Air Bob’s as well as Culo’s. When the second round came, we saw some of the top ranked riders hit the water as well. Current tour leader Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) had a tough heat against Howard but managed to advance. In a similar fashion, Yentel Caers (JP/NeilPryde) who came off of the back of a Foilstyle win, managed to stop a never to be underestimated Mathias Vingaard (Starboard/Severne). The last heat in the men was between Moriya and Kempen. With deteriorating conditions, the judges decided to cancel the heat and go on standby, hoping for the conditions to improve.
When the wind picked up again, it was the women’s fleet turn. It was soon into the semi-finals with Brodholt facing off against Huvermann, and Clare Elliot (Fanatic/Duotone) up against Lisa Kloster. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Huvermann and Brodholt face off, hence a great battle was sure to be had. With light winds, the Norwegian Oda ended up missing a significantly scoring move on her Starboard Tack side, giving the current European Champion the opportunity to capitalise. On the other side, Kloster was building up an advantage as well. We’ve seen a lot of powerful windsurfing from the German rider, and she managed to translate it very well into light wind sailing.
The final had to be sailed twice, after the first attempt was abandoned due to the conditions. After swapping some gear around, with Huvermann and Kloster both trying out a 5.2 for the first time, there was a 12 minute window with enough wind to get a result. Despite having to get used to the new set-up, Huvermann showed us why she has been the only woman so far to become European Champion. Winning by a safe margin of 5 points, the Dutch rider continues her streak on the European Freestyle Pro Tour. Her opponent was making the most out of the conditions as well, with Spocks, Puneta’s and a nice Shaka. After the final, Kloster said that she was “just happy to be on the water with Maaike, I knew she is so much better, so I didn’t even feel the pressure and was just trying to do my best and enjoy our time together out there!”. In the Small Final, Oda was dominating. With a nice Kono on starboard tack, she now made sure not to repeat her mistake from the semi finals. Backing it up with Shaka on port, her podium place was now secured.
With no more sufficient winds for the continuation of the men’s fleet, the competition came to an end. With a beautiful closing ceremony the podium’s of both the Freestyle Women and the Foilstyle mixed fleet got celebrated on stage. The FPT would like to wholeheartedly thank the local organisation for putting on this groundbreaking event! The tour and the riders are more excited than ever to return to Vieste in 2024!
Make sure to re-watch all the action from day 5 on the official livestream below:
Top 4 Women
- Maaike Huvermann
- Lisa Kloster
- Oda Johanne Brodholt
- Clare Elliot
Top 4 Foilstyle
- Yentel Caers
- Lennart Neubauer
- Steven Van Broekchoven
- Tim Gerdes