EFPT/EFE Six Four Les Plages, October 24th – 27th
Steven van Broeckhoven wins the Single Elimination in front of Dieter van der Eyken and Adrien Bosson.
Preparing for an early start on day 2 race director Tom Hartmann scheduled the skippers meeting for 8.30 am as the forecast looked sufficient throughout the whole day. A single elimination was the master plan and maybe a double elimination could have started later in the afternoon at Six Fours les Plages in southeastern France. The area and beach is world famous for windsurfing as the well known Brutal Beach. This time the conditions were not as “brutal”. The forecasted east wind with 15 to 20 knots showed up around midday and allowed the 25 registered competitors to start their competition
“It was just after midday when the east wind started to pick up a bit, delivering conditions for bigger freestyle sails. When EFPT race director Tom Hartmann decided to give it a shot and start the competition, the riders were heading out with their 5.0-5.3s and big freestyle boards.”
The final EFPT event has a big fleet of French riders. 10 Frenchies registered this time, but one of the biggest surprises on day 2 was Le Brusc local Olivier Gouezo, who is quite new to the international competition scene. First he took out Andraz Zan from Slovenia and then eliminated Max Rowe from the UK in his next heat. Olivier Gouezo could only be stopped by top PWA freestyler Antony Ruenes in the third round and finished the single elimination in an excellent 5th position.
Throughout the whole single elimination the conditions stayed very tricky with gusty light winds which seemed to favor the riders, who where at the right place in the right time. That was also the reason why the heat format was changed to best trick (three tricks each tack count) and the duration time was extended to ten minutes.
In spite of the light wind, the level was impressive and the riders made the best out of it with a lot of professionalism. Steven Van Broeckhoven, who recovered from his physical problems during the Sylt event, impressed with clean power moves like big Culos, Air-Funnel into Funnel and Flaka into Shakas and also some ‘oldschool’ orientated maneuvers like Tucans and Lollypops, just as the pressure in his sail allowed. Antony Ruenes, part of the French windsurfing team, defeated team-mate Nicolas Akgazciyan, who sailed great in those light winds, but wasn’t able to show his best performance against Antony.
Belgian Dieter Van der Eyken, actual number 5 on the PWA tour, wanted to defend his first place from last year. He mixed up sliding tricks with power moves and made it up to the winners final defeating local Adrien Bosson, number 12 on the PWA tour, who not only sailed excellent during the single elimination but as well is involved in the organisation. In the final he faced his fellow country man and number 3 in the PWA world ranking and actual EFPT tour leader Steven van Broeckhoven.
Whilst the wind seemed to drop more and more towards the evening of day 2 at Six Fours Les Plages the EFPT race director Tom Hartmann let the riders decide if they wanted to continue in those conditions or rather prefer to postpone with the possibility of not having a final result as the forecast looks marginal for the next days. There was a clear decision by the riders to run the final.
“We could have wished for better conditions but that’s not how it works if you are having fixed dates. Everybody and especially the riders made the best out of it, even they could not perform all the new power-moves it was still an exciting single elimination, which got definitely shaken up by some ‘outsiders’ “ (Hanna Poschinger, EFPT)
Overall the top ranked PWA sailors made it in the top 4 of the event. Local Adrien Bosson impressed with local knowledge and a great performance and was able to hold off Antony Ruenes, number 7 in the world ranking.
Congratulations to the winners. The wind forecast isn’t too good for the remaining time of the event and looks like that the result of the single will be the final result. In the overall ranking Steven will take the 2013 EFPT title, followed by Dieter van der Eyken in 2nd place and German Adi Beholz in third position. Phil Soltysiak ,who had to undergo a surgery at his right shoulder, was not able to defend his 3rd place. We wish him a quick recovery! Steven dominates the EFE event at Brutal beach as he won the Tow-In competition as well ahead of Vladimir Yakovlev and Matteo Fabrizi today.
Result EFE/EFPT single elimination:
1. Steven van Broeckhoven
2. Dieter van der Eyken
3. Adrien Bosson
4. Antony Ruenes
Freestyle windsurfing action from the EFPT final in Six Fours, South of France
©photos by Alexis Fernet 2013