The Surf World Cup at Podersdorf in Austria has seen non-stop action over the weekend. With glorious sunshine, variable wind, huge crowds and some epic tow-in action, the inaugaural freestyle event of the year has got off to a great start.
Gusty winds saw four heats get completed in the Single Elimination on Saturday. Frustrating conditions for many of the sailors as their heats were cancelled and resailed numerous times. Sunday saw some stronger and more consistent winds blowing over the competition area as the world\'s best battled it out. Entering the semi-finals, the top four names were a mirror image of the single elimination last year: Steven van Broeckhoven, Kiri Thode, Taty Frans and Gollito Estredo. The big shock came when Frans knocked out the Belgian world champion, leaving him to battle it out for third place with Thode.
Struggling to get on the plane as the fickle wind dropped, van Broeckhoven simply couldn\'t rack up enough big moves as the Bonairean lightwind master rapidly filled up his score sheet. It must have been frustrating for Steven as the wind in the winners final was much stronger.
The final saw some massive action from both sailors, with Estredo throwing down Burners and Culos on his bad tacks as well as a breathtaking Flaka-Shaka-Flaka. Frans responded with slick double moves and somehow managed to pull out an Air Chachoo (on a lake!) but it wasn\'t enough to combat the on-form Venezuelan. For the full results, elimination ladders and more, head to the PWA website.
Andre Paskowski brings us a short teaser clip with some action from the lake yesterday. Gollito tells Andre which moves helped him secure the win, check out the Flaka-Shaka-Flaka, the four-time world champion is definitely back on form!
Alongside the PWA action, the EFPT have been hosting the first ever European Tow-in championships. Three nights of qualifying rounds have narrowed the fleet down for the big final tonight. Standout moves so far have been Steven van Broeckhoven\'s Triple Funnell, Gollito\'s Burner 900 and Kiri\'s Double Flaka Pirouette - be sure to head to the EFPT Facebook page tonight for the Live Ticker. Check out a short clip of the action below...
Wave-sailing legend Matt Pritchard has posted a short report from his recent clinic in Punta San Carlos. The Baja waves really turned on for him and his students and a great week was had by all - you can see some more great photos by clicking here.
Also revelling in great conditions on a coaching week is top UK coach Sam Ross. Not content with delivering some fantastic conditions and inimitable coaching for his students, Sam put together a short music video to keep his group motivated once they return home! \'Don\'t Stop Believing\' à la Sam\'s intermediate group...
As mentioned above, André Paskowski is at the Surf World Cup, documenting all the action and enjoying the event. Well, tonight is your opportunity to ask the superstar anything you like. Our sister site Boards.co.uk will be hosting a LiveChat with the pro sailor turned pro-ducer at 17.00 GMT. A great opportunity to ask André about his upcoming movie project RAWv01 (check it out on Facebook), his future plans and who is going to take the title this year. Click here for more details.
Down on the UK\'s south coast, the second British Slalom Association event of the year was held in some ferocious winds this weekend. Starboard rider James Dinsmore took the win in the challenging conditions, with 2011 champion Ant Baker in second and Sam Sills in third. Full report to follow shortly.
Based on the Isle of Wight, Rapanui are an eco-friendly clothing label with some hugely innovative ideas. Traceability maps to track product materials and the excellent \'Ecolabelling\' are just a couple of their eco-friendly practices. They have just launched their summer 2012 collection, check it out on their website and in the video below.
After several years establishing themselves as some of the top coaches in Egypt, the GetWindsurfing team of Danielle Lucas and Phil Richards are back in the UK and ready to offer some great coaching days. This Bank Holiday weekend will see three days of coaching at Hayling Island and Eastbourne, covering everything from harness work to jumping. Click here for further details.
Prior to heading to Austria, top Belgian \'styler Dieter van der Eyken spent some time in Bonaire to get in some training. Joining local sailor Amado Vrieswijk, Dieter scored some nice conditions, check out his report on the Starboard website.
That\'s all the news for this morning, we\'ll be back later with some hot video action in the PM update...
Photo Credit: JC/PWA