The EFPT’s final event this year took place on UK shores, at Weymouth, the Olympic sailing site. Boardseeker finds out more from Hanna Poschinger.
Photos: Jay Haysey/GlobalShots.
After seeing the South of France with every possible weather scenario ranging from howling winds to calm sunny days the EFPT team and many of the riders travelled onwards to the first ever EFPT tour stop in the United Kingdom: Weymouth.
Seen by many people as an ex-olympic site, the event company XPLG (Xtreme Playground), with the leading managers Sam Burnett and EFPT rider Adam Sims (Sailloft), decided to make it a venue for the 2012 finale of the European tour. In only two months they pulled in a high value main sponsor, Centaur Executive Coaches, who saw the potential in supporting such an event in the popular windsurfing scene of the United Kingdom. Starting from scratch only 60 days before the competition took place, the organisers worked like maniacs not to only make it happen, but to provide a great event for the riders, partners and the spectators.
Because the EFPT team has been working very closely together with the organizers of the event, we'd like to give you some insights into just exactly what went on behind the scenes. After driving for approximately 1,000 miles from Six Fours les Plages in France to Weymouth in the south of England, spending the night in 'interesting' travel lodges, having more fuel station food and Red Bull than you can shake a stick at, the experience of severe hail showers on the highway (not good!) and the enjoyment of driving the last 200 miles with only 50mph because the car broke down, we safely arrived at our destination - the OTC right in front of the big National Sailing Academy within Weymouth. Being welcomed by strong winds everybody was craving for a windsurfing session. We still decided: first the work, then afterwards the fun bit, not quite considering that it was (almost) winter and the sun would set at 5 pm. Anyway with a small but motivated group of helpers we started to set up the 12 x 6 meters marquee without any instructions which probably wasn't the best idea ever considering that we used all the wrong poles for the roof, screwing in dozens of tiny screws which we had to unscrew again (of course) to exchange for the right poles. As the day got later and darker the hope for a windsurf session was gone and only the drive for food made us continue on. It was good to see that even competitors got involved and helped us setting up this massive tent in order to provide a wind protected chill-out area for everyone throughout the following days.
On the registration day we saw a big number of competitors entering, with a high number of Brits. Adam Sims (Sailloft), Nic Hibdige (Starboard), Ben Lee, Jack Sawbridge (North/RRD), Charlie Wilson (North/Fanatic), Nick Bentley, Jamie Howard (RRD/RRD), Phil Richards (F2), Josh Sparks (North/Fanatic), Will Rogers (Starboard), Andy Bubble Chambers (JP/Neilpryde) and Jamie Drummond (Starboard) all paid the entrance fee in order to compete against some of the best European freestylers such as: Davy Scheffers, Dieter Van der Eyken (Starboard), Andraz Zan (F2/F2) and Adrian Beholz (Sailloft).
Different to the other tour stops we saw this year, there was also be a girls fleet sent out in Weymouth. The organizers called for female freestyle windsurfers to compete in the 'Queen of the Wind' event sponsored by Femi Pleasure. The Polish brand provided not only prize money and nice clothes for the top three, but also goodie bags for every entrant. Seven girls registered to fight for the crown.
If we would have to make an equation after the last two tour stops it would be: strong winds = cold temperatures. The first day of competition delivered enough wind to run almost the whole single elimination with the postponement of the losers and the winners final to the following day. The hot tub just in front of the Official Test Center (OTC) was heavily used by the riders. Fast in, warm up, fast out was the motto as people were lining up to get at least their feet and hands into the steaming water. It all looked pretty life saving to me. Good job to the organizers for providing it!
The single elimination saw Davy Scheffers taking victory with Van der Eyken in second and Adam Gavriel and Andy Chambers in third and fourth. Right after the final the wind dropped and sailors were released.
Monday was the day that was awaited with high expectations. First of all the wind was back and we could send the riders through the whole double elimination with Rick Jendrusch (F2) definitely being the man of the moment. He sailed amazing heats, taking out Jeremy Plüss from Switzerland, Adrian Beholz from Germany and even Andy 'Bubble' Chambers, to end up in fourth position overall. The top three positions stayed the same with Davy in first, Dieter in second and Adam Gavriel from Israel in third place.
In the evening the schedule included a night tow in show at Weymouth town beach! Every year fireworks light up the skies during the traditional Guy Fawkes night celebrations. With many thousand spectators expected, this evening promised to be a big happening for the 13 experienced tow in riders. Red Bull were of huge support for the show and provided the jetski, the music truck (DJ Chubsy) and plenty of free cans, they guaranteed the right atmosphere at the beach, especially with the likes of Colin 'Whippy' Dixon taking over the towns PA system. Also with the funfair and the bright lights in the background the scene was amazing and all the riders were hyped up for their two runs ahead. The two powerful spotlights were switched on and the competitors provided a great show with Max Matissek (Fanatic) from Austria winning the discipline, Andy Chambers in second and Julien Mas in third place.
It wouldn't be an English event if there wouldn't also be the right parties to go with it. Jay Haysey and Adam Chubbock from Globalshots made sure that Saturday (Royal Rave) and Monday (Globaland) were unforgettable nights. With a lot of UV paint, glow sticks , funky glasses and Adam 'Chubsy' Chubbock as the guy behind the turntables, we had a great celebration after the tow in show.
The prize giving was held the day afterwards in the Spinnaker room of the National Sailing Academy. Honoring the top three of the event and also the top three overall in the 2012 EFPT ranking, Davy Scheffers (1st), Dieter Van der Eyken (2nd) and Adrian Beholz (3rd). Davy who won the tour for the first time fulfilled one of his dreams and stated:
'What I reached today shows me that you can get everything you dream of as long as you keep going for it and work hard.'
It was a great event and a great show at all the tour stops this year. We would like to say thank you to everyone who participated, organized, helped in any way or followed us in this season. We are hoping to provide an even bigger and brighter tour for you next year with a lot of wind, action and fun!
Let the good times roll and stay tuned!