Day 3 started with high hopes to launch the freestyle competition at 6.00 am in the morning. Unfortunately the conditions left riders and crew disappointed, as the weather front seemed to have passed through in the night.
Around midday we started into the second round of the tow-in championship. Big names like Adrien Bosson (North/Fanatic), Davy Scheffers, Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Neilpryde) and Yentel Caers (JP) were taking part. Local hero Max Matissek (North/Fanatic) was keen to fight his way into the final. The first line was joined by Giovanni Passani from Italy, Jeremy Plüss from Switzerland, freestyle prodigy Sam Esteve (JP/Neilpryde) and Tim Ruyssenaars. Since Max Rowe had to drop out due to health issues, Rik Coumans from Holland completed the fleet of ten.
Using the wake of the boat Davy Scheffers, who is the reigning EFPT overall tow-in champion, showed action on an outstanding level. The Dutchie spun through a double air burner and managed to pulled the highest score of the event and one of the highest scores ever, 57 points. Sam Esteve, who is still a newcomer to the freestyle scene was placed 2nd, followed by Giovanni Passani who seemed very pleased yet surprised about his performance. The Italian landed a clean one-handed burner 360. Tow-in expert from France, Adrien Bosson made his way to the final with a burner 3. The five riders to qualify were then completed by the multiple European Champion in freestyle and tow-in Steven Van Broeckhoven.
With a beach packed with people and perfect weather, the first rider of the final was on the water by 6.30pm. Like every year, the riders were granted three runs, to guarantee a more radical show. Since Steven Van Broeckhoven had to drop out of the final fleet due to a slightly injured shoulder. Local Max Matissek was therefore the one to complete the fleet of ten, which happened to be a real crowd-pleaser.
The onshore southerly wind was picking up during the day and once again delivered different conditions for the riders. In the final all the sailors chose to use the wake as a ramp and the action was exceptional. All the boys showed that they are in this final for a reason. They were spinning through perfect air burner funnells, double air burners and funnell combinations. Tonky Frans was going for huge skopus, yet the landing was a bit scatchy. Loick Spicher and Max Matissek were going in regular stance, and went for a culo and a kono respectively. Nicolas Akgazciyan and Julien Mas were both showing some great skills behind the jetski, whilst Adrien Bosson, who was a contender for the top three, was struggling a bit with the challenging conditions.
The new move
Suprise of the day has been once again Sam Esteve, who went for superhigh 900 degrees of air rotation. We couldn't figure if it was a double air burner into air funnell or a double pasko so we decided to give Sam the chance to name this move, which was landed for the first time in tow-in competition. The 'Samair' sets a new benchmark in tow-in competition.
At the end of the day, the French podium wasn't an illusion anymore:
1st Sam Esteve
2nd Nicolas Akgazciyan
3rd Julien Mas
It is great to see, how the discipline has been developing over the past years and how all the riders keep pushing it.
Skippers meeting for tomorrow is set for 10.00 am. The forecast looks promising for the afternoon! Fingers crossed we'll see some freestyle action on the last day of the IFCA Grand Prix here in Neusiedl am See.