After 18 months of waiting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was finally time to compete again in a PWA slalom-event. From June 21st-25th, the world's best racers could battle it out in a totally new location for the PWA - Professional Windsurf Association 2021 Tiberias World Cup.
Tiberias is situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee - approx. a 2 hour drive north from the capital of Jerusalem. Tiberias has great significance in both Judaism and Christianity and is steeped in history. In June of 2021 however it played host to a modern generation attempting to walk on water, albeit with equipment! Throughout the summer months, regular therm winds generate superb flat water conditions with breezes of 18-30 knots not uncommon, which created the perfect playground for plenty of high octane slalom and foiling.
I already travelled to The Netherlands end of May, to train and prepare all the gear for this 1st PWA-event, but on June 17th, PCR tested and packed, it was time to fly to Israel. For the PWA a new destination, but also for me the first time to visit this country.
A smooth night flight with 4 fully packed gear bags brought me from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv. The security measurements and the checks took a while but than all was very good organized and arrived at the Sea of Galileemearly morning June 18th.
With Future Fly team-mate Taty Frans
With 3 days to go to the start of the competition, I could prepare all the equipment and get familiar with the conditions. Amazing to see a glassy lake until 2pm and turn it around in no time to a windy place with gusts up to 30 knots. Also exciting was how the new format would turn out. With this being the first event with the new format in which sailors have to make their own choice on whether to foil or use the fin.
After the registration of the 37 men and 16 women, skippers meeting and setting the course the race was ON.
Elimination 1: I had a great start and was leading. A windshift got me confused and I headed to the wrong buoy ...... luckily the race was cancelled as the course had to be set again and could forget this mistake. The re-sail went perfect and could advance into the first semi final of the event. A good 1st day ending in a 11th place.
Example Elimination: First 4 finish will advance.
I could hold on to my 11th place on Day-2. Although the wind was a bit lighter and hard to decide foil or fin as the conditions were very gusty. I was happy to make it into the semifinals of Elimination 2 and 3. Excited all went very well on this for me first slalom/foil event on the Future Fly Boards and Severne Sails Mach4
Have a look at the short video of Heat No. 2 of Elimination 4. Click on the above picture
Day-3. The best feeling to win a heat. Elimination 4 Heat2, but from there luck was not on my side. I had a close call to reach the final but came a few meters short. In the runner-up final I crashed, had a huge crack in my board and ended the day in a 15th place. With 2 more days to go I had to push the limits. Goal at the beginning was Top 20 but now all focus was to keep a Top 16 place.
The Ron Beach Hotel was excellent to rest, eat and have a good time with all the riders . More info on : www.ronbeachhotel.com
Day 4 in Tiberias, a day to forget as the condiotns were rough and with crashes all over the place it was hard to reach the finish line in a qualifying position.
The last day things did not go any better for me in Elimination 7. Ended this awesome event in Israel on a 19th place. Not good, but not bad either. Very happy how the equipment worked out and eager to do it all over and even better next time.
Gear used :
Slalom/Fin : Severne Sails #Mach4 7.8
Future Fly Boards #DarkHorse 117
Carpenter Fin 37cm
Slalom/foil.: Severne Sails #Hyperglide 8.0
Future Fly Boards #FlyingCamel 178
It was tricky to choose the right gear in this new format of racing. Most of the time the wind was strong on the starting line, but on the inside marks it was very light and gusty. I did not feel very fast on the foil, but felt very comfortable on the slalomer with fin. Lesson learned :
Train in one spot, one wind/water condition on the 2 different set-ups in the same session.
A huge thanks to Arnon Dagan, the organizer of this event, all the crew and sponsors who made it happen in these strange times of Covid-19.
The Ron Beach Hotel, thanks for the hospitality and of course the PWA-crew not to forget.
All pistres by John Carter
Massive congrats to Nicolas Goyard F-465, Sarah-Quita Offringa ARU-91 for winning the event. Marion Mortefon F-118 winning Foil Women ( the ladies still have the disciplines Foil and Fin separated)
What's up next ?
I will fly back home for a short time and than again return to Europe on July 23rd to train foiling with the Dutch Olympic-team and of course prepare for the Silvaplana-event mid August.
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