The Toro Andaluz 2017 started off yesterday with challenging onshore conditions at Balneario, the location of the event-site close to Tarifas beautiful old-town. Today the wind shifted to the east and gave little taste of what we can expect in the next two days.
Whilst the forecast for the weekend looks nuclear, with Levante of up to 50knots, today started a bit easier and the riders could pick their bigger gear. Going into the double elimination seeking revenge for the single were Davy Scheffers and Tonky Frans (RRD/RRD), who didn’t seem to have a great time on the water yesterday. However, todays conditions seemed to suit the two sailors more, since Balneario provided quite a different playground with flat water and shoulder high set waves.
Shortly before 4.00pm the green flag for the first heat went up. Local Jose Pinyana, who was the only Spanish rider to enter, opened with a perfect cana brava, which Frans matched straightaway with a flaka. The riders could pull some moves, yet within the first few minutes, it already became obvious that the wind was still too patchy to guarantee a fair competition. The heat had to be resailed and even though the Spanish rider, who had his debut on tour, was sailing a solid heat, he didn’t stand a chance against worldclass freestyler Tonky Frans. Rick Jendrusch was causing a bit of an upset there for the Bonairean freestyler, by taking him out after two rounds.
European Freestyle Champion from 2012 Davy Scheffers seemed to be on a mission landing flaka shakas, spock culos, shove-it spocks, futures, double culos, air-funnell funnells, kabis, skopus as well as culo spocks in all of his heats taking out Matteo Testa (RRD/RRD), Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD/RRD), Giovanni Passani, Rick Jendrusch (Severne) and Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya). In the battle for 3rd or 4th place the Dutchie had to give way to Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde) from France.
In heat #31 Scheffers and Jendrusch both open with a perfect spock culo in howling conditions. Jendrusch kept his nerves, whilst Scheffers seemed to lose them a little bit. Both riders pulled their moves, but obviously struggled a bit with the gusts getting stronger and stronger. Whilst Jendrusch was sailing really solid throughout the whole heat, Scheffers could still turn the wheel around in his favor and sailed super impressive and consistent on both sides in the second half of the heat.
The Dutchie landed a one handed air bob into bob and a perfect double culo against Albert and sent the New Caledonian off to the 5th place to then face Sam Esteve in the battle for 3rd place. Expectations have been high for the upcoming battle, since the flat water and strong wind favor the young Frenchie a lot, by resembling his training-ground in Port la Novelle.
Esteve didn’t disappoint and Scheffers seemed to be really tired after sailing five rounds in the building Levante. In the seven minutes of the heat he sticked double culos, massive regular konos and culos on both tacks, kabis, skopus and even attempted a no handed burner and a double air culo, all within the last 40 seconds of the heat. Scheffers couldn’t stop the young freestyle hotshot of advancing to the next round.
Giovanni Passani was putting on a great performance living up to his reputation of being a very diverse and technical sailor. He was filling his sheets with clean and stylish moves like air skopus, kabikuchis, big konos, spock culos and spock konos proving that he can play in the same league as Jacopo Testa (RRD/RRD), Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic) or Davy Scheffers.
Passani could take out Austrian sailor Max Matissek (North/Fanatic), but couldn’t get past team-mate Davy Scheffers in the end.
Highlighted has to be the performance of young Johnny Yagen from Israel. The EFPT rookie of the year 2016 landed nice culos, huge konos and double spocks in his heats. He put on a hard battle for Tony Mottus (JP/Neilpryde), who had several setbacks in the past years due to injuries. Even though Mottus from Estonia is a very powerful and skilled sailor, he couldn’t beat the Israeli. In the next round the rider was on fire and defeated Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic) from Italy.
As the pressure was building up heat by heat, so was the wind and the perfomances of the competitors. Whilst the level in all of the heats today had been quite high, the last few heats of the day were outstanding.
Jacopo Testa was sailing an incredibly technical heat against Sam Esteve landing a full planing spock kono, double spock, spock culo and a kabi on porttack and a burner 360s, a flaka ponch, a skopu and a flaka shaka on starboard tack, which made it the most technical heat of this competition so far. Esteve has been answering with a double culo, culos both tacks, a shove it spock, a kabi and a skopu to name a few moves, yet he couldn’t pull some of his signature moves like the airfunnell-burner and no-handed burner, which he kept aiming for.
In the big final of the double elimination it was once again Bosson against Testa. The Italian rider is definitely on form at this event, which he impressively demonstrated in the final. Testa landed a tripple spock, a spock culo and a perfect spock kono. Bosson put together a strong heat with spock culos on both tacks, a shove-it spock and the future but couldn’t defeat the RRD rider from Italy.
In the super-final for the first place, Bosson looked like he got a bit of a wake-up call. The French sailor landed all of his moves, like big culos and culo combinations, as well as a shove-it double spock, which we haven’t seen in competition before. Bosson beat Testa in a 3:2 decision, leaving the Italian eager to beat be on top of the podium in the upcoming eliminations.
The forecast for tomorrow is insane with Levante of up to 50knots. Skippers meeting is schedulded for 9.00am in the morning. We are looking forwards to some crazy action on the weekend.