About a week ago the last PWA of the year ended in Sylt in some of the coldest conditions I ever sailed competition in. Sylt is the biggest and longest event of the year taking in total 10 days of competition and 4 disciplines makes it always a bit harder to know when you exactly will have to sail. The first days the Slalom was running and the Freestylers where on standby in case it would get wind enough. Lucky for us the main concern during those first days was slalom making us be released at 3 or 4 in the evening.
Together with Starboard and Severne teammate Amado Vrieswijk we packed the car to go sailing in the south at a spot, which should be one of the best on Sylt, and maybe even in Germany the owner of surf school Sudkamp told us. When we got to the spot we weren’t disappointed while the slalom sailors where on their biggest gear racing we had the best session we could imagine. 5.2 weather fully powered up on the flattest water you could imagine and nobody else around! It was perfect to do that little bit of extra training just before the contest. The day after we did exactly the same and could even sail on our 4.8 and sailed till it was dark before going back to the event side.
Amado flying high always great to sail with him!
Thursday and Friday were the days the Freestyle finally got started. With still easterly winds the competition was sailed far outside which made it harder to choose the right sail but luckily for me I was in one of the last heats and could see where the rest of the guys where sailing on. I took out my Freek 4.8 and Flare 91 as most guys where on 4.5 and 4.8. The combination was perfect being sometimes a little bit overpowered in the gust but most of the time nicely powered up during the whole heat. My first heat I was against Max Mattisek from Austria who improved a lot the last year and is always sailing good heats. I had a perfect heat with moves like Pasko, kabichuchi , burner and so on. After that I was against Phil Soltysiak where I sailed another good heat against with maybe my sickest kabichuchi of the event, which helped me to win the heat and make it in the top 8.
The next heat was against Golitto Estredo, I knew I had to step it up a little bit if I wanted to win this one and took a little bit more risk, trying to go higher on everything and put my best heat together. The first 3 minuts of the heat I was sailing the worst I sailed from the whole elimination but I could still produce a really good heat the last 4 minutes. I knew it was going to be close and I needed one more big move with 15 sec. on my watch I was hoping for a good gusts which I got but just could not get the good pop on my spock culo making me land it very wet.. in the end this made the difference making me lose in a 2-1 decision losing by just 1 point.. So now it would all come down to the double elimination.
On Friday the wind was a lot lighter making me choose straight away for my 5.2 to be powered up enough against an on fire Ricardo Campello who was sailing better every heat. I sailed a perfect heat and although he landed pretty much a shovit-‘air’spock straight in front of me I knew I had won before I even heard the result so I sailed in very fast to have a drink and warm up a bit as it was only 6 to 7°C (without wind-chill). Next heat I was against Anthony Ruenes (one of the guys who battled for 5th place) I sailed a quite good heat but not really my best one as the wind got really light. In the end I did enough to advance and sailed to the beach again to hope that Taty won from Davy Scheffers as this would secure my top 5 position on the overall! When he did, all the stress was from my shoulders and I sailed just to have fun.
Against Taty the wind was still light but I found more a rhythm in this winds and changed my tactics of moves a bit because of the lighter wind. I sailed really good and scored one of the highest scoring heats for me this event getting even 54 points on one sheet! Next heat I was against Kiri Thode, I was getting so cold by this time I almost couldn’t feel my feet anymore and was just dreaming of getting underneath a warm shower at this point but I still gave it my best to get a top 4 result finally at the end of the year. The wind was light and it was searching for gusts but I put a good heat together and just like against Golitto I knew it would come down to the last move which had to be high scoring. I went for the chacho in the last seconds and landed it just a bit wet.. In the end I thought I lost for sure but after hearing I only lost by half a point I was a bit bumped it was so close. Luckily this feeling disappeared very fast as Kiri improved his heats and finally could get the world tittle after all these year of being so close to it! Big congratulations to him!
The new world champion Kiri Thode!
For me 2013 has been a great year but it isn’t over yet, the goal in the PWA is reached with a top 5 placement but with one more event to go on the EFPT the season isn’t completely over yet. To get the overall title here will be hard as there are only 100 points to win, which would mean that Steven has to finish outside of the top 5 to have a chance to win the overall title so the main goal is to defend my first place there from last year and hope I can win it again to finish the season really good but I know this wont be easy!
Poster for the EFE end this month!