Sylt – PWA Freestyle 24 & 25. September 2023
“schauinslandreisen Windsurf World Cup Sylt” was the final freestyle event of this year and the decider in the world title race. With his victory on Fuerteventura, Yentel Caers was leading the rankings before this event on Sylt, which raised expectations and put him under a lot of pressure.
Freestyle Day 1
started with a disaster for Yentel: The first round exit! Luckily, the conditions allowed for a Double Elimination and not all hopes were lost. But it’s common knowledge that to be successful everything has to line up perfectly with no mistakes allowed.
“Where to start🤔 coming into Sylt? Leading the world title race isn’t easy. I came a few days earlier because of a good forecast and this definitely helped me to prepare as this place isn’t like anywhere else where we train. Feeling confident to make things happen. My hopes got immediately crashed as i had the hardest draw of all. Not sailing my best heat in the single and losing straight out against an on-form Lennart was a hard moment. But I’m not someone who gives up quickly. I know I could come back but it was a long way. And I was not the only top rider who dropped out in earlier rounds…”
Yentel: “On the evening of the first freestyle day we already started the double where I would get my second chance and wanted to give everything. One heat in the double before the wind dropped.”
Freestyle Day 2
“…was more like my favourite conditions with more wind, so, the perfect day for a comeback. This day was all or nothing.”
The final freestyle day began with a tough heat against former world champion and old-hand Van Der Eyken, who achieved the second highest scores of Yentel’s opponents. But B-16 was on high alert and pulled-off the best performance of the day to that point.
Yentel: “Winning 5 heats in a row before the most important heat of the day against Bosson – losing would mean to finish 4th in Sylt and also losing the title. But after winning so many heats with the highest heat scores of the event I was feeling really confident. I was not thinking about the importance of the heat but just sailing the same as against anyone else. And this worked out my way 🔥💪 getting my second FREESTYLE WORLD TITLE 🏆🏆 and I was still in for the event win as well.”
Yentel: “Staying focussed was hard after knowing I’m made the impossible comeback happen. Next up was against my best mate Steven! Again a solid heat and stoked to get the win here as well…”
Caers was the only rider of the event to go over 40 points and he did so six times on this day ! It was incredible to see him sail with such precision again and again.
After it was announced that Yentel had managed to secure the 2023 overall freestyle title, he sailed another round at his best level: In this heat against his friend and former world champion Steven Van Broekhoven he managed to score 40 point already after the first half of the heat !
Then, in the final, “Yentel’s tank was pretty empty“. The wind continued to drop and Yentel’s moves –still on the same ‘small gear’– started to miss this extra bit of power compared to the previous rounds. No longer Yentel could achieve one of his 40+ scores. Still rested and fresh Neubauer rigged a bigger sail, sailed flawless and with the highest score of all of Yentel’s opponents the German won the event.
Yentel: “My energy level was getting lower after a long day. Next was the final against Lennart. Dropping wind didn’t play in my favour but still got in a solid heat … not as good as my previous ones and just losing by 0,3 points. Congrats Lennart but my goal was achieved: Finally bringing my team the FREESTYLE WORLD TITLE.
I can’t be more stoked …