Continentseven rider Dieter van der Eyken predicted the winners of the 2014 PWA World Cup Bonaire just a few days before the event. Now he sat down and wrote a summary about an extremely exciting freestyle event on Bonaire. It was an event dominated by the local riders in the men’s fleet. 6 out of the top 10 riders were from Bonaire island. 2013 Freestyle world champion Kiri Thode won the first event of the season. Steven van Broeckhoven, last year’s number 3 in the overall ranking, was again the strongest European rider and finished in 2nd position. 18 year old local hot shot Amado Vrieswijk, last year’s number 11 in the overall ranking, surprised everyone and completed the podium in 3rd place. 

Multiple world champion Sarah-Quita Offringa dominated the ladies fleet with incredible high skills. The lady from Aruba probably would have done very well in the men’s fleet. She still looks for a sail sponsor for the current season. 16 year old Maaike Huvermann made a big step forward since the last event in Brouwersdam, Netherlands in September 2013. She stepped up from 6th place at Brouwersdam to an incredible 2nd place at Bonaire. It’s her first podium finish and the biggest success in her career so far. Her fellow countrywomen Arrianne Aukes, last year’s number 2, landed on 3rd place this time. In general the freestyle level has increased and even on flat water or small choppy conditions we saw bigger moves than ever. The airtime got increased from last season to 2014. Actually the riders have to land more moves during their heats. The 5 best out of 7 moves judging system really favored the riders, who have incredible high skills on both tacks and take much risk. One crash can reduce the chance to win indeed.

 

 

DIETER VAN DER EYKEN
Nationality: Belgium
Sailnumber: B-35

5th PWA Freestyle 2013, Vice European Champion Freestyle, Coach for Next Generation Project

Sponsors: Starboard, Severne, Fox-Sports, Chocofins, Sunwise Sunglasses, Camaro

Connect with Dieter: Facebook | Twitter | Website

 

 

 

 

A summary by Dieter van der Eyken (B-35)

PWA Bonaire is officially over. It was an incredible contest, wasn’t it. It still keeps me pretty speechless as the last 4 days were the best freestyle heats I have ever seen in my life. This year Freestyle windsurfing really went to a whole new level and Bonaire delivered the best conditions we ever had in a contest. If I would write about every good heat, I’d be able to publish a little book. Besides the riders the judges had probably the hardest 4 days of their judging career. I sometimes would like to be in their place to determine who actually won some heats as there were many close calls.

 

Dieter on form at the first event of the season (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Dieter on form at the first event of the season (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

The top men

 

So, for myself it was a pretty good event. I got 6th which isn’t bad at all if you look how high the level was. I didn’t reach my goal finishing in the top 5 but …well, just one place difference that’s not that bad, right? I am happy about my heat in the  second double elimination against Steven van Broeckhoven, who sailed a very solid and consistent event! But I missed qualifying for the top 4 in the single eliminations, but in the end I can look back on a great event.

 

What about the rest?
Everything happened exactly like I expected looking back on my preview and predictions before the event! Kiri Thode was the absolute winner of Bonaire only losing one heat during the whole contest! So a true winner during this epic event. Of course he also had some close calls. Steven lost just against Kiri during the first single and also Gollito got really close during the last double elimination with a really solid heat. Kiri isn’t unbeatable, but on his home ground he really proved why he is the king of flat water freestyle!

 

Kiri Thode, the event winner, with a fast spin (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Kiri Thode, the event winner, with a fast spin (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

Amado Vrieswijk, my number 3 did exactly what I was hoping for and is the only rider who was able to win a heat against Kiri. He landed the best move in a freestyle heat I’ve ever seen, a huge Air Kabikuchi which was just insane, flying a couple meters over the water to start the heat! In the end this was also the winning move in an extremely close heat putting him on the stage and making my prediction come true! The food poisoning at the beginning of the event did make it a bit more tight than I expected, but in the end he did exactly what he could do!

 

Amado Vrieswijk with great action at his home spot (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Amado Vrieswijk with great action at his home spot (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

 

Who else were standout sailors (except the top 5) during this event & which guys were a bit unlucky 

 

For me, the Swiss windsurfer Jeremy Plüss was the biggest winner of the event. At the start of his first full year on tour he scored a 15th place on an event with the highest level ever. Keeping his head cool he impressed everyone with a powerful, but fluid style and his secret weapon the big Kabikuchis on the inside on port tack! The biggest victory for him was defeating Davy Scheffers in the second single elimination making team Swiss go crazy! So it was a perfect start for him!

 

Mister Taty Frans just got into the top 10, but was often close to win much more. He was on form and sailed well, but had one very close defeat against Antony Ruenes, who gave him extreme hard opponents for getting into the top 8 or more in the next eliminations. Twice he faced Amado Vrieswijk to go into the top 8 and during his last double elimination he almost caused a huge upset by almost defeating Steven Van Broeckhoven in a super close heat! Although he lost sometimes very close the smile never disappeared of his face and his daughter made sure her daddy would always keep smiling!

 

Taty Frans with top action (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Taty Frans with top action (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

Hugo de Sousa, the flying Brazilian didn’t have luck in his first double elimination having to sail in light wind and not being able to show what he trained he showed everyone in the next double why he is a guy to be looking out for in the upcoming years! After losing by just 2 points against Kiri Thode in the single Hugo worked his way up in the double to 13th place before losing very closely against Davy Scheffers after defeating Adrien Bosson in the previous heat. He showed double Culos in almost every heat and impressed with big Konos on both sides, I bet he can’t wait for the strong winds at Fuerteventura. Let’s see how far he can get there!!

 

Hugo de Sousa with big airtime (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Hugo de Sousa with big airtime (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

Youp Schmit one of the best sailors during the first single and double elimination almost scored his highest event result to date becoming 4th in the first elimination. His win against Gollito Estredo will be remembered for a long time as well as his Shovit Spock Culo (Link Move video: Shove It Spock into Culo) to defeat the 5 times World Champion! In the second elimination he got pain in his knee again after a pretty bad crash against Amado. Being unlucky in the double to meet Björn Saragoza, Youp dropped from 4th to 7th which for sure didn’t make him happy but still he was the first to congratulate Björn after his victory. 

 

Björn Saragoza almost had the same story as Taty, he lost 2 times extremely close to Gollito in the 3rd round of the single eliminations and pushed me all the way to my limit to end his comeback in the first double! His Flaka Ponches and Flaka Shakas were the most consistent of anyone out there and getting 6th in the second double. That result for sure must have made him happy as he really showed what he can do! For the training he did over the winter he sailed amazing during this event. Imagine if Björn Saragoza would train a whole winter again! 

 

Okay, the  last guy I would like to mention, otherwise the list really gets too long, is Dutch rider Nick Van Ingen. He finally sailed good heats in his second double elimination storming through till his best result ever on the PWA with a 13th place in the second double before he got stopped by Björn Saragoza, who was on fire! But I think Nick will be happy he finally got into the top 16 of an event on the PWA and sailed some solid heats! 

 

 

What about the girls? 

 

Well what can I say. Not only the men have been training hard during this winter, the women did as well. The level is so much closer compared to last season especially when they compete on such a perfect place as Bonaire! All the girls were sailing really well and in the top 8 many heats were close! But one girl is still the Queen and that’s Sarah-Quita Offringa. With her heats she did she would have scared many men, if she would have entered a heat! Burners, Culos, Konos, Shovit Spock etc. she lands pretty much in every heat and with the big smile on the face she is there to support everyone!!

 

Sarah-Quita Offringa action (Pic:PWA/Carter)

Sarah-Quita Offringa action (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

The big rival at this event was Maaike Huvermann sailing such amazing heats everyone was more than impressed with her consistent performance during her heats, and like Bonaire local Maxime Van Gent would say ‚“she really never falls off!!” she stormed her way to second place in front of a also very well sailing Arrianne Aukes! Maaike even landed her first Puneta on her bad side during her last heat against Arrianne pushing her one place back compared to last season! Well done, especially as you know she has only been freestyling for 2,5 years!!! I would watch out Sarah-Quita, someone is on a mission!

 

Maaike Huvermann with 16 years on the podium (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Maaike Huvermann with 16 years on the podium (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

 

Tears of happiness came from Oda Johanne when she defeated Yoli De Brendt in the second single elimination making it into the semi finals after sailing an amazing heat with a switchstance Kono, a Shaka and more in the stronger windconditions on day 4! When she afterwards got 3rd in this elimination by beating Maaike Huvermann she couldn’t stop smiling for the next couple of hours! In the end she became 4th in the event together with Yoli De Brendt which is her best result till now!

 

Oda Johanne after a good heat (Pic: PWA/Carter)

Oda Johanne after a good heat (Pic: PWA/Carter)

 

Well as you can see keeping it short is quite hard with such a great event like this one. As Duncan Coombs, the PWA head judge said this was the best Freestyle PWA contest ever done in history so bet we all can’t wait for Fuerteventura to see what everyone does there!

 

Cheers Dieter

 

©continentseven.com 2014, Dieter van der Eyken