After three days with changing weather conditions the waiting finally paid off on the last day of the Martini EFPT Croatia here at the Surf Centar Perna. The horn for the first heat went off at 9.15am. Heat duration was set for seven minutes with the best three moves counting on each tack.
The conditions were quite tricky with super strong yet gusty wind and the sailors were overpowered on their 4.4s. With a big heat area and perfectly flat water the pros could still perform on a really high level though.
One of the first heats on the water saw Johnny Yagen from Israel competing against Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya) from New Caledonia. Already in Lanzarote Yagen proved to be a sailor to watch out for in the future. Although the young Israeli with Canadian roots was putting together a decent heat he couldn’t take down the more experienced New Caledonian competitor.
Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic) who is hunting the European Freestyle Pro Tour Champion title was showing a great performance on both tacks in the patchy wind. He was going for skoups, burner, culos, konos as well as powerful shakas and shove-it spocks in most of his heats and managed to advance over local sailor Matko Jovanovic as well as Antoine Albert in the semi-final to then face current leader of the tour Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Neilpryde) in the winners final. Once again the Frenchie and Belgium top rider were battling it out – just like in the EFPT Lanzarote earlier this summer.
Van Broeckhoven proved to be a force of his own in the changing conditions. He was powering through double maneuvres with great style and pop like shaka-flakas, one handed air-funnell funnells and even a future 360. He took down young up and coming freestyle talent from Greece Lennart Neubauer (Starboard) and Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic) from Italy in the next round to meet Bosson in the final.
Riccardo Marca on his side of the draw was sailing against Rafael De Windt from Curacao when he broke his mast going through a kono. North/Fanatic team-mate Adrien Bosson showed some great teamwork and sailed his own equippment out to Marca who could then finish his heat and even succeed over his opponent. After having to let Van Broeckhoven pass to the winners final he met Antoine Albert in the battle for third place. Due to the lighter wind in the last heats the duration has been extended to 10 minutes. However the gusts got more rare and both riders were giving it all on their 5.2s and big boards. Whilst Albert was going for a ponch, culos and both tacks, a speedloop and an air-funnell, Marca answered with a flaka, a shaka and culos on staboard and port tack as well as a burner and a funnell. In the end the New Caledonian rider could win by a 4:1 decision.
In the winners final the riders were mixing up new-school powermoves like culos and burners as well as nice shakas, flakas and sliding moves like lollypops and switch chachoos. In the end Van Broeckhoven could take victory over the French sailor.
The whole fleet was very motivated to go straight into the double, yet the wind was dropping more and more and didn’t deliver sailable conditions anymore. After waiting for several hours, race director Tom Hartmann was calling it at a day just after 5.00pm. The results after the single elimination therefor remain the same.
The prize-giving will take place tonight at K2. We are looking forwards to a nice social evening with the crew and riders.
The next EFPT stop and tour final of 2016 will take place in Brouwersdam, Holland from the 12th-16th of October. We are looking forwards to more action in the North of Europe where we’ll award the European Freestyle Champion 2016 of the men and the women division.