The 2014 international freestyle season is officially open. Having swapped from PWA to EFPT, the former PWA Surf Worldcup is now the EFPT Surf Worldcup, but how can still hold the name Worldcup you might be asking. Well check our feature with the event organiser, Gerhard Polak to find out more on that. For regular updates throughout the event be sure to head back here to this continuing feature covering all sorts of highlights, lowlights and the odd 'alternative' moment.
Scroll through the pages to see previous updates.
DAY 6 - SINGLE ELIM FINISHED in the lightest possible winds
Congratulations to the winners of the single elimination.
Day 5 - A Teasing Day
With gusty winds all day the competitors who were first to the beach made it on the water for a session. Being 7am and not on the forecast it caught the EFPT riders and crew off guard and the only people to actually launch were Phil Soltysiak and Steven Van Broeckhoven. Phil quoted that "the conditions were not bad, I was on 5.4 and pumping a bit but mostly powered up, tomorrow looks more promising and we should be on for competition".
So like every other day there was a plan B, and today's plan saw the riders drive 20 minutes from the lake to Speed World where they got to try out stand-up jet-skiing. No one had ever tried it before but as expected these guys, who are some of the most talented people on the world when it comes to standing on a board/boat, took to it like a duck on water and found their feet within one or two minutes. A lucky few managed to jump on a fly-board, which launched them up to 15ft in the air as they hovered around the lake. Check out the video below (100% produced on the iPhone) and stay tuned for plenty of updates tomorrow as the wind is forecast to kick in from the early morning.
Click through the pages to see more action and videos from the event.
DAY 4 - Tow-In Video Highlights
It was a close fought battle with a high level of moves. It was in training that we saw some of the sickest action, in particular from Adrien Bosson who stuck a clean burner into burner, incredible moves from the French tow-in master. He continued his form into the competition and finished top of the fleet. Steven Van Broeckhoven who took second did the highest air funnel into burner ever seen, unfortunately he got a little stuck on the landing but was still rewarded highly for his attempt, in the end it was his first move that secured him second place. Taking the final spot was Vladamir Yakovlev who has been training tow-in a little back home in Russia. His first run saw him land a one handed burner, you could see he was after the no handed burner, yet another move never landed in competition, on his second run that is exactly what he did as he launched through a one handed burner to then let go on the second part of the rotation. Again he also got stuck on the landing of his second run and it was his first move that counted, scoring highly for the progression and risk factor.
Check out the action in the video below all filmed and edited on an iPhone.
Want more, then check out the daily reports on EFPT.net - Click here.
With a promising forecast of south wind the riders and EFPT crew met a little earlier today. Despite this, the wind has yet to kick in with enough strength to allow competition. In previous events we have seen the riders hit the water in 12-15 knots, however, the wind is struggling to reach gusts of 12-14 knots with an average of 8-9 knots, meaning that the competitors are waiting tentatively on standby until it picks up that last little bit.
Sitting around on standby is no longer a huge problem for the riders who find themselves with a whole host of activities at their fingertips. This morning the one that was utilised the most was the skate park, where Yegor Popretinskiy, Antoine Albert, Romain Pinocheau and Youp Schmit put on a in impromptu display for their fellow competitors and passers by. Check out our little edit which solely filmed and edited on the new iPhone, it's a first for us, so give us a little feedback and we'll work on some more. Stay tuned for the tow-in one from today's final qualification round.
Another standby day with hardly a breath of wind, but where windsurfing was lacking tow-in took centre stage. Round 2 of the qualifications took place later in the day, but first the riders met with the judges to discuss how tow-in freestyle should progress. There was a lot of debate about how moves should be scored, how the format should work and how to make it more progressive.
Later the competitors gathered at the skimboarding pool for a little head to head battle. After several attempts and a few falls Yentel Caers came out on top and won himself a free meal from any of the stands in the event site.
At 4pm training commenced for the tow-in and many of the younger guys got in quite a few practice runs. As 5 o'clock approached the beach began to fill up with spectators who were keen to see the pros ripping and the local superstar Max Matissek in action.
The first round saw quite a few hard crashes, not least was one from Matissek who tripped his rail on take off and slammed super hard right in front of the crowd. Putting the pressure on for his second run he knew that he would need to stick his move to stand a chance of advancing. Meanwhile Julien Mas stuck a clean funnell into funnell on his first run and found himself on top of the leader board. Also impressing was Youp Schmit with a huge culo, of which he just fell on the final sail flip, however the amplitude and style scored him some pretty big points and put him in third place after the first round. On the second run, Matissek launched into a clean funnell into funnell, the execution was near perfect and this was rewarded by cheers from the crowd and third place just in front of Youp. The final results can be seen below.
Light winds filled the first day of competition. This meant that the riders took the chance to prepare their gear, enjoy catching up with each other after a long winters break and make the most of the activities on offer.
Heading in to the afternoon we saw the crowds start to build for the first round of the tow-in qualifications. The format will see groups of 9 or 10 compete against each other over the next 3 days, the top 3 of each round will pass through to the final on Wednesday, whilst one lucky loser (with the highest score) will also make it, resulting in a final heat of 10 riders. Each rider gets 2 runs to impress, with the judges scoring, style, execution and technical skill.
Today we saw 9 riders take part, the list can be seen below.
After the first round it was clear to see that despite little training the level had increased yet again. There was not one rider who couldn't pull off a good attempt at a double move or a solid power move, everyone was pushing for the podium position. In the end Adam Sims, from the UK, finished with the highest result, of which he could hold through the entire second round as well.
Read the report from day 1 on the next page.
Riders Arrival, Registration and Briefing
With all the riders finally present, or almost all of them, the competitors from 11 different countries and 4 different continents (plus New Caledonia), the registration and briefing got underway. However, not without a few last minute flurrys. The first of which was the final wildcard placement. Having pulled out of competition at the very last minute, Nick Van Ingen offered up his wildcard to the next person on the list, Nik Hibdige from the UK, unfortunately with less than 24 hours to change all his plans for a week and travel from the UK to Austria, Hibdige had to pass up on the offer, next up Mauricio Alvarez. Alvarez, who has recently only just returned to the water after one and a half years break due to knee surgery also passed up the offer for obvious reasons, in the end Paul Simmerl was the one to take that last spot and so he joins the remaining 31 riders to begin competition as of tomorrow.
The other flurry of activity saw a strong storm rage across the competition area during the final minutes of registration, Adam Sims, who was already signed up and rigged, threw on his wetsuit and hit the water on his 4.8 Sailloft Quad and Patrik 101l. He returned fairly promptly, after one run, despite pulling a couple of moves, due to a huge bolt of lighting stretching across the sky not so far out in front of him.
During the briefing the riders were told about the usual rules and regulations and shown the heat ladder for both the tow-in and the official competition. There is a lot of focus on the riders this year and presenting them to the public, there is one thing that is for sure, it is a great week to be an EFPT competitor.
The forecast is changing from hour to hour, however it looks like wind is set to kick in on Sunday and also Tuesday. the plan will be to finish a double elimination and to complete tow-in qualifications on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the final on Wednesday evening.
ContinentSeven Best Trick Contest
Lastly, ContinentSeven will be hosting a best trick contest this year with €1000 prize money up for grabs. The format of which will be announced closer to the time but one thing that we can be sure of now, if the wind provides, then you know those tricks you see on the pros video parts? Well it might just be the first time we ever see some of them stomped in competition. Stay tuned, or perhaps leave your thoughts on how you would like to see it run in the comments below.