Today at PWA Sylt it was all about freestyle. After finishing the single yesterday where Steven Van Broeckhoven took the win and Kiri and Gollito ended up fighting for 3rd place. Well today we saw the comeback of all comebacks as Kiri stormed his way to victory in the light winds. The victory which now secures him his first ever PWA World Title should there be no further competition here at Sylt.
How the title chase panned out
With the title wide open it was in the first place in Gollito’s hands, all he had to do was beat Kiri in a man on man heat and no matter where he finished after that he was world champion. As the day progressed the wind got lighter and the conditions began to favour the light wind specialists, one of which was Kiri Thode, but by no means was Gollito not a favourite in these conditions either. The heat got underway and it was soon clear that Kiri was excelling in the lessening wind, he pulled incredible moves with pin point accuracy with almost no power in his sail. By the end of the heat it was fairly conclusive that Kiri would advance.
In third place now Kiri only had one other person who could take the title from him – Steven Van Broeckhoven. First he had to pass his cousin, Tonky Frans, no mean feat. Yet again he showed his class pulling double spocks in the light winds, big burners, culos, konos, one handed shakas and more! Again he passed.
Dispatching of his cousin all he had to do now was defeat Steven, here he faced his biggest match so far, but the winds kept on dropping and so Kiri won the first heat. Being a double elimination both Steven and Kiri had won one elimination each, this meant a sail off would take place for the event win. The sail off was crucial for the title, if Steven won he would be world champion, if he lost Kiri would take it. However… this was not quite the case, as the PWA rules were soon brought out, Rich Page (Head of the PWA) pointed out that if Kiri won, the points would be exactly equal and in such a case the count back on number of heats won over the other competitor, per elimination, would be the winner. This would be Kiri no matter what. So without realising Kiri was sailing his winners lap, nonetheless the Bonairian pulled it out the bag and secured the title well and truly by defeating Steven one last time.
So Kiri Thode becomes the new freestyle world champion should there be no further competition. With winds looking light, it is playing into the hands of Thode who, after many years, has failed to just leap over that final hurdle.
Join us later on Boardseeker when we will have more from the man himself!