New Moves! – Day 3 EFPT Geneva 2023

October 6th, 2023

Tow-in windsurfing once again saw innovation as the second round of qualification was ran at the 2023 EFPT Geneva. Steven Van Broeckhoven (Gunsails/Starboard) and Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft) came out on top and secured their spot in tomorrows final amongst others. Glassy waters and excited crowds made for the perfect celebration of showmanship in freestyle windsurfing. Check out the video highlights, and read about all that happened on day 3 below.

The forecast gave no hope for potentially running the Foilstyle. This meant that the focus was all on Tow-in, the discipline in which riders use the apparent wind to throw down their moves. By getting towed up to 80 km/h, the athletes can use the wind generated by their speed (much like sticking your head out of the window of a moving car) to perform the same moves as they would when normally windsurfing. Add a wakeboat wave to it, and you’ve got all ingredients for a fantastic show that can be brought right in front of the fans.

Grisley qualified for the final, and has a shot at the European title thanks to this massive Shove-it Spock. Picture by Protography Official

First up was the conclusion of quite an exciting qualification round from yesterday. Due to technical problems there were two riders left that had to do a run and complete their scoresheets. George Grisley (Duotone) and Jamie Howard (Severne) still had to do their Regular Stance runs in order to decide the final 3 riders that made it out of Quali 1 into the finals. Being good friends, the two said they would have been happy with any result regardless. Howard took a big hit on the first run, but considering he didn’t actually take off, he got a second chance. Going for a Shaka he managed to put a decent score together. However, with Grisley in a better position coming into the final run, it was going to be exciting to see who actually makes it. Grisley took a page from Steven Van Broeckhovens textbook, and attempted a Shove-It Spock. Almost stomping it, he impressed the judges enough to gain an edge over his fellow countryman and advanced to the Saturday final. This also means that the elimination of Yentel Caers (JP/NeilPryde) is now official, confirming the big upset! Check the full results of the first qualification round below.

Lisa Kloster will be challenging against Huvermann in tomorrows final. Picture by Protography Official

Having caught up on the schedule, the next fleet got to go out for qualification round 2. In the women we saw Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft) face off against Anina Heimoz. The Swiss Heimoz was making her debut in the Tow-in discipline and impressed with her commitment. Kloster had the advantage though, with some more experience in her pocket. The german rider who embodies the definition of freestyle managed to throw down one of the best Tow-in Shaka’s ever seen in competition to secure her place in the Saturday final next to Maaike Huvermann (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins). She actually gathered more points than the decorated reigning European Champion, meaning that the final could be very close tomorrow!

Despite not qualifying for the final, Kempen was enjoying his time on the water. Picture by Protography Official

The second qualification round line-up in the men also provided the goods. Due to a mild injury, Tim Gerdes (Severne) decided to sit this round out, meaning that 5 riders were battling it out for that coveted place in the final tomorrow. Bodhi Kempen (Severne) missed out on it, but still managed to show everyone what he’s made of. With a nice flat water Culo in the Regular category and a solid Air Funnel in the Air category, he came short by a hair to qualify. The same applies to Andreas Roessler (JP/NeilPryde), who had one of his best Tow-in sessions ever. Stating that he thinks he has never had this much airtime while windsurfing, the Austrian impressed with a flowing Double Funnel, a Double Air Funnel send and an insanely high Cheeseroll attempt.

“I think this is the most airtime i’ve ver gotten in my life” – Andreas Roessler impressed on his Air run! Picture by Protography Official

Sam Esteve, who is one of the world’s best Tow-in riders, just about made it, with a third place in this qualification. Showing off a textbook, planed through Double Air Funnel, the Frenchman struggled to get his second score in a safe place. It was a Culo off of the wave that got him through in the end, but he will be anxious to show off his full potential tomorrow. Qualifying in second was Foivos Tsoupras (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins). The German raised quite a few eyebrows when he set up his run in Clew First. Coming at the wave in a peculiar position, he launched into what can only be described as a Clew First Flaka. Staying dry, he claimed his innovative move with a roar of approval from the crowds. 

Tsoupras ready to claim his insane Clew First Flaka. Picture by Protography Official

Stealing the show and qualifying in first was Belgian Steven Van Broeckhoven. With a Triple Funnel as his first score, he then proceeded to break down the doors of Tow-in conventions once again. As mentioned before, he was one of the first to do a Shove-it Spock in this discipline 2 years ago. He now proceeded to attempt a Pushloop and in doing so landed back on his board. In an interview after the run he stated that there is a lot more potential for this move if he manages to line up the wave better. We can’t wait to see what he does in the finals tomorrow!

Pushloop by Steven Van Broeckhoven… What?! Picture by Protography Official

All eyes now turn to the finals. The showdown will not only decide the event winner, but will also see the crowning of the 2023 EFPT Tow-in champion. With the current leader Yentel Caers knocked out, the title is now wide open. Foivos Tsoupras is currently in 1st position, passing Caers regardless of his finals result tomorrow. George Grisley also surpasses Caers if he gets 5th or better tomorrow. All other riders in the final can also still become European Champion, but only if Tsoupras and Grisley become 5th and 6th. Tsoupras and Grisley are therefore the main contenders for the European Tow-in title! A lot to play for in this ultimate showdown! Tune in tomorrow at 17:30 to watch the drama unfold on !

Men’s Qualification Round 1

Position First name Last name Sailsponsor Boardsponsor
1 Lennart Neubauer Severne Starboard
2 Balz Muller Severne Severne
3 George Grisley Duotone Duotone
4 Yentel Caers Neilpryde JP
4 Jamie Howard Severne Severne
6 Tigo Kort Neilpryde JP

Men’s Qualification Round 2

Position First name Last name Sailsponsor Boardsponsor
1 Steven Van Broeckhoven Gun Sails Starboard
2 Foivos Tsoupras Duotone Duotone
3 Sam Esteve Neilpryde JP
4 Andreas Rossler Neilpryde JP
5 Bodhi Kempen Severne Severne
6 Tim Gerdes Severne Severne

Women’s Qualification

Position First name Last name Sailsponsor Boardsponsor
1 Lisa Kloster Sailloft MB
2 Maaike Huvermann Severne Severne
3 Lucie Honegger Severne Severne
4 Anina Heimoz    

Rewatch the full stream from the second qualification round below: