Day 3 started just as predicted by the locals – already in the early morning hours, the Levante, coming from the Mediterranean Sea, was howling with more than 30knots. The water came flying over the courseway leading to Punta Tarifa. The strong offshore wind transformed Balneario to a flatwater playground, which did definitely suit some of the sailors.
When the horn for the first heat went off at 10.00am, the conditions were absolutely pumping and the boys straightaway picked their 4.0s and small freestyle boards. Jose Pinyana who has his debut on tour at the Toro Andaluz, showed his local knowledge in the first heat of the day and was sailing well against Eliran Levi from Israel, landing clew first punetas, spock540s, nice forwards and switch konos.
Already from the second round onwards, the action was off the chart. Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde) was sailing amazing throughout all of his heats landing air skopu 360s, air funnell burner 360s, nice ponches, shove-it spocks and even a skopu into switch kono in the semifinal against Jacopo Testa (RRD/RRD), who himself was a force of his own today. The Italian rider was landing the first ever spock into kabikuchi in competition, not only once but twice in his heat against Esteve and Scheffers. Furthermore the RRD rider impressed the judges with spock culo, spock kono and double spock combinations all performed on his 3.8m RRD sail.
Once again Rick Jendrusch (Severne) was putting on a great show in the strong wind landing spock culos, nice ponches, konos, shakas, burners in his heat against Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD/RRD), who was spinning through some powerful tricks himself, yet had been missing moves on starboard tack and therefor couldn’t take out the Dutchie, who was placed 6th after the first double elimination.
As the competition moved forwards, the sailors were increasingly getting problems with ducking their sails and even top riders like Jacopo Testa and team-mate Tonky Frans (RRD/RRD) struggled in the first minutes of their heats before getting more used to it. Unfortunately Frans couldn’t quite get his game on, as much as he was hoping for and had to let Jacopo Testa pass through in the quater finals.
Tony Mottus (JP/Neilpryde) put on a solid fight against Davy Scheffers, who had problems with filling the sheets on porttack, due to the slighty shifty wind in the far left corner of the competition area. Max Matissek (North/Fanatic) was going through nice burners and shakas and even landed a willy skipper, yet couldn’t take out Antoine Albert (Goya/Goya), who sailed with a lot of control despite the stormy conditions.
Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic), who was disappointed with his result after the first double elimination, had his competition mode back on and was doing great against Johnny Yagen (RRD/RRD), who seemed to have a lack of control in the pumping conditions. Marca stomped super nice air skopus and burners in his heat and took out Yagen, before he broke his mast going through a huge kono in the heat against team-mate Adrien Bosson.
Some of the riders were definitely in a league of their own today, as we saw crazy action in progressive conditions. The winners final resulted in a French battle of Bosson, who always convices with his diversity and technical skills and Esteve, who made the conditions look like a walk in the park. Esteve sailed his heat, hardly dropping any move on starboard tack, where the young JP/Neilpryde rider landed an air funnell burner360, a double burner and an air skopu 360 to count.
Also the riders of the losers final, Scheffers and Testa, made quite a statement by proving that single moves were just not enough to get into the top positions. We saw double burners, double culos, spock culos, spock konos, air-funnell burners as well air skopus and air kabikuchis in both of the final heats.
Esteve could beat Bosson in a 5:0 decision and claimed victory in the second double elimination. Testa could advance over Scheffers and claimed the third place on the podium.
The plan for the launch of the double elimination in the afternoon has been abandonned by head-judge Tom Hartmann, since the wind increased to a point which made a safe competition impossible. With a perfect forecast for tomorrow, the start of the double has been postponed to tomorrow midday, when the Levante is supposed to drop off a little.
It will be an interesting fight for the event win, since Bosson, Esteve and Testa can still take first place overall at the Toro Andaluz 2017. Skippers meeting is schedulded for 12.00, first possible start 12.30pm!
Make sure to check out the video of yesterday, to get an idea of the action here at Balneario: