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17|06|2002      costa brava freestyle qualifier - was ging ab?






[Sunday, June 16, 2002]

[Day 6]


The wind refused to play ball here on the final day of the Costa Brava 2002 PWA qualifier but did fill in enough to allow an unofficial freestyle expression session this afternoon. In a thrilling final held right in front of the crowds Tati Frans (Gaastra, AHD) took first place followed by his brother Tonki (Gaastra, AHD) in second with Andrea Rosati (Neil Pryde, RRD) of Italy finishing in third. Despite the lack of an official result, organizers and competitors are still heralding this years event as a major success. Sailors have been out on the water everyday and the hospitality and festival feel of the event has been received well by the crowds.

Gusty winds were the reason for race director Frank Roeget's decision not to allow official competition to start this afternoon. With time running out he opted to run an un-official freestyle expression session and which was run as two semi finals followed by a ten man fifteen minute final. The occasional 15-knot gust was enough for sailors to pump up onto the plane and scram in towards the waters edge to bust out some incredible moves.

Todays winner, Tati Frans (Gaastra, AHD) amazed the crowds with a dynamic display of slick freestyle manoeuvres and won the final despite fierce opposition from the likes of his brother Tonki (Gaastra, AHD), Andrea Rosati (Neil Pryde, RRD), Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde) Vidar Jensen (North) and Bruno Andre (Gaastra, AHD). Amongst the moves, which earned him victory here today Tati pulled of a smooth willy skipper back wind gibe, a scintillating one handed spock 540 and lots of push tacks and tricky transitions. Tati just managed to squeeze ahead of his brother Tonki who was also nailing a wide variety of moves. Andrea Rosati Rosati of Italy who took third place here today was out to impress the judges and pulled off some sick Swazzies, smooth grubby¹s and sensational spock 540¹s.

The PWA world tour will now move onto Lake Garda in Italy for a freestyle special where 58,000 Euro., will be up for grabs.

[Saturday, June 15, 2002]

[Day 5]


The wind failed to co-operate here on the penultimate day of the 2002 Costa Brava Freestyle Qualifier. Although some of the gusts this afternoon were strong enough for some of the sailors to pull off the occasional spectacular move the breeze never reached consistent planning conditions. Blue sky, warm water and 10-15 knot winds were all good enough reasons to entice most of the fleet into the water at some point during the day.

The likes of Tonki and Tati Frans (Gaastra, AHD) who both hail from the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean once again put on a world-class freestyle exhibition for the large crowds who have gathered here for the weekend. Tonki Frans pulled of several Grubby 720¹s, which had the spectators and the judges back on the beach jeering in appreciation. Tati meanwhile busted out a wide array of tricks including some incredibly slick one handed spock 540¹s.

Andrea Rosati (RRD, Neil Pryde) and Tony Garcia (RRD) put on a long board freestyle demonstration, which proved to be an excellent visual display on how much fun windsurfing can be in light winds.

Next door to the campsite a huge exhibition of the latest windsurfing kit has been on display. Many of the spectators have been checking out the products and the likes of Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish Sails) and Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde) were on hand to explain some of the designs.

With only one day remaining we are all hoping that tomorrow will give us more consistent conditions and hopefully we can finish the competition. There is a wealth of talent here all fired up to compete and if the wind blows the climax to the event is likely be absolutely ballistic!



[Friday, June 14, 2002]

[Day 4]


We have action at last here in Spain, with the first six heats of the PWA Costa Brava freestyle qualifier taking place late this afternoon. The wind took us all by surprise by making a totally unexpected appearance from a southerly direction after an earlier thermal breeze had died and most of us had given hope of action for the day!

The first heat kicked off around 6pm and with the wind blowing slightly offshore the smooth water made for idyllic flat-water freestyle conditions. Tati Frans (Gaastra, AHD), Tonki Frans (Gaastra, AHD) and Christiaan Gerard Dammers (Starboard, Gaastra) the Caribbean trio all advanced comfortably into the second round. All three sailors were nailing some extremely smooth looking moves and for sure are going to pose major threats here in Costa Brava. In the next round Tonki will face French young gun, Julien Taboulet (JP, Neil Pryde), Tati will go up against Pozo specialist, Orjan Jensen (North, Proof) and Christiaan will go head to head with Brazilian "Samba sensation", Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish sails).

CHRISTIAAN GERARD DAMMERS (AHD, GAASTRA)
"I loved it today, the winds picked up and our team kicked some butt! The wind took us all by surprise, it was a little bit gusty and a little bit choppy but the conditions were good for competition. I just hope it blows tomorrow!"

Also advancing into the second round was Chris Audsley (Mistral) of Britain who defeated local Spanish sailor Nacho Rocha (JP, Neil Pryde). Audsley busted out a worm burner, a spock 540 and several well executed transitions during his heat and goes through to face Martin Van Geenhoven (Mistral, North) of Canada.

Other impressive performances today came from Colin Sifferlen (Mistral, North) of New Caledonia, French sailor Baptiste Gossien (JP, Neil Pryde) and Luigi Colombo (RRD) of Italy. Most of the big guns who are competing here in Spain were given byes into the second round and did not compete today. Josh Stone (JP, Neil Pryde) Kauli Seadi (Naish boards, Naish sails) and Vidar Jensen (North) were all out on the water however taking advantage of practice session.

COLIN SIFFERLEN (Mistral, North)
"It was good today, doing nothing is boring and I was glad I competed. I feel very relaxed now. I don¹t know who I have tomorrow, I don¹t actually care, I am just out there sailing my best and doing it for myself"

The event here in Costa Brava has become one of the sailors favorite stopovers on the PWA freestyle tour largely due to the incredible hospitality of the local organizers. Every evening the sailors have been treated to local food and wine in various restaurants around the area. During the day when the winds have not been blowing there plenty of alternative activities around the Ballene Alegre 2 camp where the sailors are all staying. French sailor Bruno Andre (AHD, Gaastra) seems pretty hot on the tennis courts, Yann Sune (Fanatic, Arrows) also of France has proved to be the top footballer while British sailor Chris Audsley (Mistral) is claiming to be the table tennis champ!

We still have two more days to go here in Costa Brava and according to the locals we could be in for big winds over the weekend! With some competition finally in the bag the atmosphere has become far tenser around the camp and sailors are preparing for a major showdown and an exciting climax to the event!



Autor: PWA / Pics: PWA


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