The final day of the PWA Bonaire World Cup provided another fantastic day of freestyle windsurfing as the second double elimination was completed. With winds lighter than yesterday the majority of sailors reached for their 4.8-5.2m’s as they battled it out for the final time this week. Several sailors came storming back through the doubles but in the end Kiri Thode took the overall victory over Stephen van Broeckhoven.
After a hard fought battle Kiri Thode and Steven Van Broeckhoven eventually earned their places in the first winners’ final of the year. It turned out to be a heat that was almost too close to call, but as always there has to be one winner. Thode and Van Broeckhoven had been on form the whole day, and that continued into the final, although Thode later admitted he wasn’t 100% happy with his performance. The Bonairean opened the spectacle of the day with a great air bob into culo, only to see the Belgian maestro respond instantly with a superb double culo. With the tone now firmly set, things only got better from here as the duo went toe-to-toe for the first blood of the season. As the end of the heat approached both Thode and Van Broeckhoven had landed incredible manoeuvres and combos such as perfect Kabikuchis and text-book spock-culos, but the best was definitely saved until last. With moments to go Van Broeckhoven went all out for the win as he landed - what some sailors considered the move of the day - an incredible air funnel into burner, landed perfectly dry. However, in true world champion fashion Thode dug deep, whilst staying cool under pressure to stomp an outrageous double culo seconds before the final buzzer. After much deliberation, it was eventually revealed that Thode had just edged the battle as he claimed the first victory of the season by way of a 3-2 decision.
Having successfully defeated Tonky Frans, Steven Van Broeckhoven once again faced Kiri Thode in the winner’s final. The duo were almost inseparable yesterday and today proved no different as they pushed the limits of not only themselves, but freestyle as well. SVB made the better start to the final as he out performed Thode’s opening moves. Firstly the Belgian maestro unleashed a stunning spock culo before adding a perfect future. After a slow, start by his standards, Thode then returned with a vengeance as he exploded into a trademark air bob into spock and a double popped shaka into flaka. However, Van Broeckhoven instantly transferred the pressure back onto his rival with an incredible kabikuchi. Having seen this, Thode responded with a brilliant kabikuchi of his own as the duo continued their furious battle. In the end Thode edged ahead as he landed two killer combos - a spock into culo and the best of the bunch a simply amazing air bob into culo.
Single and Double Elimination II
Amado Vrieswijk met Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo in the Singles final with Gollito coming out with a victory. Steven Van Broeckhoven finished in fifth.
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo met Kiri Thode in the final of the Doubles eventually forcing a Super Final. The battle there was close but Thode emerged victorious. Steven Van Broeckhoven finished third.
Bonaire produced four unbelievable days of freestyle out of five and will go down as one of the best freestyle windsurfing events in the history of the PWA - with the action on the water reaching incomparable heights from what we have seen before. The final day was concluded with a vibrant closing ceremony representing the true culture of the Caribbean.
Overall Results PWA Bonaire World Cup - Freestyle
1st Kiri Thode (Starboard / GA Sails)
2nd Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne)
Story adapted from PWA. Photos by John Carter.