High wind freestyle at its best on the final day of the Palekastro Freestyle 2009! Crete delivered excellent conditions throughout the 3 event days with two full double eliminations completed and Steven van Broeckhoven winning the 3rd event in a row.
Saturday night “Lee Frankcom & tris Palekastrianos” were giving a concert on the stage at the beach, then another riders presentation was up and after the beach party was on fire. Free drinks for the riders made it a long night for some of them. There was only the second double elimination to be finished on Sunday, skippers meeting was scheduled for 11.00h, so everybody could rest a bit after the party. When the riders came to the beach, the wind was already howling stronger than the day before. Sailors where on 4.0-4.5 sails and the wind was a bit gusty on the inside, so the choice of the sail size was crucial, to not be overpowered on the gusts of over 35kts but still keep on planning in between. 12.00h the action was on for the start of the double elimination and the crowd was pleased by powerful high wind moves and some spectacular crashes too.
Showing a great performance today was youngster Yarden Meir (Fanatic/Simmer) from Israel working his way up the ladder by winning 5 heats in a row. Yarden seemed to be on fire and was putting a big repertoire of moves together in his runs. With moves like Shaka, Burner, Culo, Kono and double moves he was eliminating Tony Mottus (Starboard/Neilpryde), Sassa Teixeira (RRD/RRD), Davy Scheffers, Phil Soltysiak (Starboard) and Maarten van Ochten (JP/Neilpryde) before he got stopped by Niklas Strahlen (RRD/Simmer) and finally settled in 5th position of the second double elimination. Niklas then went on to meet Nicolas Akgazcyan (Starboard). The wind got even stronger towards the end of elimination and both riders were really powered up. There were couple of crashes on both sides and in the end it was Niklas Strahlens (RRD/Simmer) overall impression who made him advance and leave Akgazcyan in 4th place. Niklas was facing Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) then and seemed to be a bit tired not landing all his moves, while Andre was performing very consistent and securing him the spot in the final against Steven van Broeckhoven (F2).
The final was up and conditions got pretty rough then with gusts of solid 40knts and flying sand through the heat area. Andre and Steven were fully overpowered on their small sails and tried to make the best out of it. Steven even tried to go for an airchachoo but a gust just took his gear away from him and threw it 30 meters away. It took him some time to swim after it and continue, while Andre could rack up points on the scoresheet by landing some nice moves like a full planning Forward, high one handed Shaka, Toad and several switch moves. Andre came out as the winner of this heat, so both riders had to battle again in the super final.
Steven had injured himself on one of the hard crashes and came out of the water with a bleeding cut on the eyebrow. Race director Tom Hartmann checked with Steven if he is able to continue sailing. Steven could feel his eyebrow is swollen, but said he wants to go for it. All eyes were on the super final then between the 2 times European Champion Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) from Germany and the current tour leader Steven van Broeckhoven (F2) from Belgium. The show was worth it with high level freestyle action on both sides. This time Steven was able to perfectly execute his new school power moves again and therefore gained victory of the second double elimination and also the overall event. After the heat Andre and Steven kept on sailing and pulling some moves together, before they got off the water and the winner was announced at the beach in front of the spectators. Everybody was stoked… what a great show here at Kouremenous beach in Crete!
At 18.00h the official prize giving was held at the main stage. All riders got awarded with medals and windsurf trophies for the Top3. This has been an awesome event here in Palekastro with some of the best action seen so far on the tour and also great hospitality of the village. We are looking forward to rock this place again next year.
1. Steven Van Broeckhoven
2. Andre Paskowski
3. Nico Akgazcyan
4. Niklas Strahlen
5. Marteen Van Ochten
6. Davy Scheffers
7. Edvan Souza de Pedro
7. Phil Soltysiak
9. Adrian Beholz