Day four: Aruban freestyle queen Sarah-Quita Offringa sailed to an emphatic victory in Fuerteventura claiming the world championship title.
The fourth day in Fuerteventura kicked off to a tense start, with light winds blowing over the competition area and relaxing tunes being played in the main tent. The remaining five men and four women were placed on standby, to anxiously wait for the conditions to improve.
With little change in the wind by two o’clock the sailors began to panic that they would not be able to complete the competition, however the wind gods were on their side, blessing the sailors with breezes up to twenty knots for the final flurry of action in the double elimination.
Head judge Duncan Coombs wasted no time in sending out the brothers from Bonaire, Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) and Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra) to warm up and test the conditions. The brothers launched into action straight off the beach and the judges declared the conditions suitable for a fair competition.
Venezuelan Yoli De Brent (Fanatic / North) and Xenia Kessler (JP / NeilPryde) were the first women to take to the battle arena, fighting for third place. The duo looked fairly evenly matched both landing clew first spocks and loops and flakas. However De Brent was able to take the lead separating the pair with her switch moves, seeing her advance to face her teammate Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North).
Treboux was on fine form throughout the heat landing a fully planing grubby under the judges' noses, De Brendt fought back hard landing a forward loop and a flaka. It came down to the final minutes of the heat when Treboux upped the game landing a one handed clew first spock and a one handed flaka to secure her place in the final.
Just nine minutes separated Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) from claiming her third event crown and her fourth world champion title. Offringa didn’t let the pressure affect her performance and she sailed an inspiring heat landing an incredible set of moves. Treboux upped her game, landing a funnel and a switch kono, but she was unable to match the power and diversity of Offringa moves. Offringa was awarded the victory to the cheers of the crowds on the beach after an amazing season where she was unbeaten on the water.
With the double elimination completed and the winners announced the sailors were released for the day. The final day of freestyle will kick off tomorrow morning with the skippers' meeting at 11:00am with the first possible start of competition at 11:30am.
The 2011 Fuerteventura Women’s Freestyle Results
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
2nd Laure Treboux (Fanatic / North)
3rd Yoli De Brent (Fanatic / North)
4th Xenia Kessler (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Dakine / AL360)
6th Mio Anayama (NeilPryde)
7th Svetlana Martynova
7th Danielle Lucas (Severne)
photos Janos Schmidt