What to expect during the EFPT Surf Opening in Austria

April 25th, 2022

The legendary freestyle windsurfing event on lake Neusiedl is back! Since 1998 the best Freestyle Windsurfers in the world travel down to the Austrian water sports capital to compete in the European Freestyle Pro Tour. This edition, taking place between the 27th of April and the 1st of May, will be historical in that for the first time ever Women will be competing at the EFPT Surf Opening as well! With equal prize money and a stacked fleet of the best freestyle girls in the world, mouthwatering action is guaranteed! 
Attending the Men’s fleet will be current World and European Champion Amado Vrieswijk (FutureFly/Severne). The Bonairian is set to face a tough battle against other top riders like Frenchman Adrien Bosson (Fanatic/Duotone), Belgian Yentel Caers (JP/NeilPryde) and Italian Jacopo Testa (AV-Boards/Point-7) among just a few names that have previous held European and/or World titles to their name. Amado said: “ I’m very excited to start the new freestyle season defending my European title at the Neusiedler lake. It’s a very fun spot to sail and I hope to see everyone there!”. Missing will be last years Junior Champion Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne/MUF) who is recovering from an injury. A bad start to the season for the Greek super talent will hopefully be set right later in the season!

Will Amado Vrieswijk defend his title from last year? (Picture by Alex Lang)

On the Women’s draw it is reigning European Champion Maaike Huvermann (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) who will be defending her title against a fleet of fresh but radical new faces on tour. Among them is German Lisa Kloster (Sailloft), Austrian Hanna Poschinger (Starboard/Severne) and Dutch upcoming freestyle star Sterre Meijer (Fanatic/Duotone).
Apart from the big names, a host of rookies will be joining the tour at the opening event as well. We will see a fresh burst of talent from countries like Denmark and Poland – nations that previously were underrepresented on the European Freestyle scene. Check the full entry list HERE.
The forecast is already looking good for the first two days of the event! And in case the wind doesn’t play ball, a Tow-in show – where riders are towed in on a motorised winch creating wind in their sail through speed – will provide the highest level of freestyle action as well. The newly introduced Airstyle format will see its Austrian debut, bringing the exciting elimination based format, where riders are on their toes the whole timed, right in front of the crowds on the beach. Depending on conditions there will be both an official Tow-in elimination, as well as the infamous tricks for cash show format.

Adrien Bosson as he qualified for the tow-in final in 2021 (by Alex Lang)

Known as one of the best destinations for windsurfing in Austria, wind and waters ports have blossomed at lake Neusiedl. The north-western or southern wind direction will hopefully give the lift for our riders to show off their newly trained moves. Spring-time is one of the best times to visit this spot, as the wind will be strongest during the transitional seasons. A big surf community and the buzz of a new season are the perfect conditions to start out the 2022 European Freestyle Pro Tour with!