The 2018 EFPT Surf Worldcup started with wind. Nice sunny weather and proper wind conditions welcomed the 20 riders, who are fighting for 15.000 € price money in the freestyle windsurfing competition.

Southern wind arrived during the early afternoon and the race crew managed to complete 11 heats. What a nice start to the competition and the wind forecast looks promising for the remaining 4 days.

It was the first encounter of some of the freestyle pros, who trained a lot over the past winter. It looks like they can go higher, even with the lightest gusts. We saw double Spocks, Spock Culos, Bobs, a Kabikuchi, Konos, a Pasko, Shakas, Esliders, switch Chachos, a Barracuda, Willy Skipper combos, Spinloops, Funnells, etc.

Heat area in Neusiedl, Austria

Heat area and judging boat in Neusiedl, Austria

The fleet 2018

20 riders from 10 different nations are registered for the top level 5 star EFPT event in Austria. The winner takes 300 points. Most riders are from Austria (5), followed by Germany (4), Italy (3) and France (2). It’s a mix of a few very experienced riders like Tonky Frans, Steven van Broeckhoven, Chris Sammer, Max Matissek, Adam Sims, Mattia Fabrizi, Julien Mas and younger riders like Sam Esteve, Giovanni Passani, Riccardo Marca, Loick Spicher, Alex Mertens, Felix Volkhardt, Julian Wiemar, Tim Ruyssenaars…

Giovanni Passani rotates through a Kono

Giovanni Passani rotates through a Kono

Who made it into the top 4 (semi final)?

Two Italians, one French rider and one rider from Bonaire: Riccardo Marco, Giovanni Passani, Sam Esteve and Tonky Frans. One of these names will win the single elimination here at Neusiedl, Austria.

Giovanni Passani had to make it through a resail of his heat against Swiss rider Loick Spicher. He managed to beat Loick and qualified for the top 4. Giovanni is one of the riders, who has big chances to win the event. He landed big Konos and Culos (even one handed), double Spocks and defeated Austrian freestyle legend Chris Sammer, who had a competition comeback today. Thumbs up Mr. Sammer! He was the only Austrian, who has won the prestigious event in Austria (it was in 2003).

Tonky Frans, who was on fire today, defeated Steven van Broeckhoven, who looked fit after his injury. Local Max Matissek lost in a close heat to the French hotshot Sam Esteve by 2 points difference. Max is happy – he is the best ranked Austrian – and Sam is even more happy to beat the experienced local in lighter wind conditions. “I am much more used to strong wind conditions, as I windsurf most of the time in South of France”, Sam stated. We would say Sam has big chances to make it on the podium. He is strong in light wind conditions, too.

EFPT single elimination heatboard

EFPT single elimination heatboard Neusiedl, Austria 2018

Rankings after day 1:

Top 4: Sam Esteve, Tonky Frans, Riccardo Marco, Giovanni Passani 

5. Mattia Fabrizi, Max Matissek, Loick Spicher, Steven van Broeckhoven

9. Alex Mertens, Tim Ruyssenaars, Adam Sims, Julien Mas, Chris Sammer, Andi Lachauer, Valentin Böckler, Julian Wiemar

17. Max Brinnich, Lorenz Forstenlechner, Matthias Kraschitzer, Felix Volkhardt 

Giovanni Passani, Tonky Frans, Sam Esteve and Riccardo Marca made it into the semi final

Giovanni Passani, Tonky Frans, Sam Esteve and Riccardo Marca made it into the semi final

©continentseven 2018