Gollito Estredo of Venezuela did what many predicted and won the day with a brilliant varied and technical display, but it was second placed Tonki Frans from Bonaire who won the crowd and the applause.
Tonki sailed to the final via a flawless semi final, even more entertaining and reminiscent of the Josh Stone days. His laid back style with a massive grin really went down well. He slid along the longest willy skipper whilst smiling and waving at the crowds and judges, before flicking into a sweet 540. He then went out and nailed a perfect one handed forward, very audaciously waving to everyone at the beach. It was returned by a massive cheer. At this point he was against Anthony Ruenes of France who was really pulling every trick out of the bag. It was just that Tonki had more bags and very Gucci ones at that. Mid heat he went back 5 years and put in some old skool stuff to for variation, and then ended with one handed shaka’s, big air flaka’s, double flaka’s and a Gozada. Unfortunately for Tonki he fell off once in the actual final – still Tonky could not stop grinning and the crowd loved it.
Sitting in the crowd it was really noticeable what moves are appreciated! A good old forward for one, shaka’s. air flakas and ponches really go down well! Taty Frans’ Ponch double flaka and Gollito’s Burners (Funnell into Ponch) got big cheers. Throughout the day there was not one round that was lacking in entertainment. Anxton Oteagu and the French pair of Thomas Traversa and Anthony Ruenes kept the European flavour. A slightly taller and more powerful Kiri Thode made it a South American three at the top.
There was an earlier than usual exit for Ricardo Campello, he was up against Tonki. A hard heat was made worse when he rescued a clew first move with such force that the sail could not take the strain and the mast popped through the top. He had to sail in, plug in a bigger sail and then try and claim some ground back whilst well overpowered.
A new face stood on top the womens podium. That of Sarah Quita Offringa. She went to the top with a fine display of flakas, spocks and Switch grubbies and spocks. Technical moves that even the queen of windsurfing, Daida Moreno, could not match this time. Sarah from Bonaire is still in her teens, and shows a graceful presence on the water. It might be a different story tomorrow when the wind and waves are meant to pick up.
The overall standard of the womens fleet makes excellent viewing. With Laure Treboux, Sarah Quita, Nayra Alonso, Silvia Alba and Junko Nagoshi putting together varied routines with plenty of new school freestyle it is not just the Morenos providing the headlines. Karin Jaggi is the only name absent, following her Slalom win she is now on the Speed course, impossible for her to do the freestyle which happens at the same time.
The double elimination is up next. We will keep you posted.
Photo Credit: PWA/Carter