On the last day of the first newschool EFPT event of the year at Porto Liscia in the north of Sardinia the wind finally showed up and one single elimination could be finished. The young blood sailed on top: Belgium top freestyler Steven van Broeckhoven in front of Davy Scheffers, 17 year old Brouwersdam local. In third position Andre Paskowski, who could beat classic freestyle hero Nicolas Akgazciyan.
The morning of day 4 brought some heavy rain again. Hardly any rider showed up at the Skippers meeting at 9 am and race director Tom Hartmann postponed the next possible start a few times. About noon the sky cleared up and the first small gusts passed their way through the clouds.
In order to deliver the crowd some action the event organizers decided to place the Red Bull Ramp in front of the beach. Nicola Spadea (Starboard) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun) pumped their lungs out and made some huge jumps over the ramp applauded by the increasing crowd. To encourage all the riders, main event Sponsor Toshiba gave away a video camera for the best trick. The Italian Stallions Raimondo Gasperini, Fabio Calo and Nicola Spadea (all Starboard) entertained the crowd with some nice loops, but in the end a Table Top into Forward by Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun) was the winning move.
After the ramp session the wind picked up to an average of 20 knots and the sun returned to Porta Liscia, so the single elimination could be continued in front of a big crowd. Heat number 3 was the first one on the water, but had to be canceled twice because of inconsistent wind. The 3rd try could be finished and from that time on the heats were run back to back. Even though the conditions were not easy, the level of the competition was really high. Tricks like a Groupie by Antony Ruenes or Steven van Broeckhovens (F2) huge Konos put some Ooohhhh`s on the faces of the spectators.
Thomas Traversa and Davy Scheffers were the two surprises at the Toshiba Freestyle Grand Prix. Thomas more and more becoming a grand in wavesailing, showed the audience that he still knows how to do a freestyle competition and finished 5th. The heat between Thomas and Davy was a really close decision, but in the end Davy`s overall impression won against Thomas` radical style.
The semifinals were Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) against Steven van Broeckhoven (F2) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun) against Davy Scheffers. From the beginning on Steven packed up to 15 high level moves in his heats and his powerful style made him go straight to the final. Nicolas Akgaczyan (Starboard/Gun) maybe pumped a little bit too much in the ramp session, so in the semifinal he lacked of power and did crash more than usual, which led the way to the final to Davy Scheffers, who also showed an impressive repertoire of new school moves. Fighting for the 3rd position then, were Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) and Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun). Andre was on fire, because he didn´t make it to the final, and wanted to make this heat clear for him. With a solid performance and a 5-0 decision he gained the 3rd place in the competition.
The last heat on the water was the winners final between Steven van Broeckhoven (F2) and Davy Scheffers. Davy was sailing a good heat again, but Steven repeated to perform his run with an outstanding powerful style and variety of moves and therefore claimed the win of the Toshiba Freestyle Grand Prix.
The results of the finals were kept secret till the prizegiving which was held on the main stage at the beach. The top riders got showered with champagne and everybody was stoked about the Grande Finale on the last day of the event.
Most riders and the EFPT crew had to hurry up right after the prizegiving to get everything packed and catch the ferry in the same night heading towards Greece to the next event at Milos Beach/Lefkada, which starts on Friday.
Single Elimination ladder:
Final Result EFPT Toshiba Freestyle Grand Prix 2009:
1. Steven van Broeckhoven
2. Davy Scheffers
3. Andre Paskowski
4. Nicolas Akgazciyan
5. Chico Bento, Nicola Spadea, Thomas Traversa, Gabry Varrucciu