Yentel wins Fuerte Freestyle

Yentel's report about his first ever PWA victory !

Photos: John Carter / PWA Worldtour

Victory for Yentel Caers : the belgian wins the PWA Fuerteventura event.

PWA World Cup Fuerteventura Freestyle

# 1 – Yentel Caers  B-16

# 9 – Sam Esteve F-79

#13 – Nico Akgazciyan  F-400

#25 – Tigo Kort  NED-195

Yentel jumps for joy!

Yentel Caers, B-16 — First Fuerteventura event victory !
It may come as a surprise that this is Yentel’s first ever PWA double elimination victory. Yes, the former World Champion already won many events before but those were National or EFPT or FPT ones. Any yes, he did win PWA single eliminations but so far never succeeded in the doubles.

Oda ran to the water and was the first to congratulate!

Here is Yentel’s event summary…

“Fuerte has been my favourite event since I started competing: Strong wind, choppy and nice, small waves sometimes. I have been on the podium of this event since 2016 but never managed to win it. Always 2nd or 3rd, winning the single elimination but losing out in the double. This year I was gonna give everything. I know I could do it but it wouldn’t be easy.”

Day 1
“…of the competition had epic conditions! Strong wind and waves. The 4,0 Wizard and Freestyle 85 was my gear of choice.  In the first heat I was struggling a little because some healthy stress. But after that I got into the flow and was feeling extremely confident in my sailing. The highest heat score of the day to put me in the semifinals. Finishing off the day like that was a great feeling… hungry for more! I also want to mention that all my team mates where ripping! Specially Sam Esteve: in my eyes, he was sailing the best of everyone I watched heats from.”

Yentel's trademark move pulled-off in style

Day 2
“…was unfortunately a lay day because with the full moon the lagoon got too high which killed the wind. A long waiting day but unfortunately in vain.”

Day 3
“…was finals day for the single elimination. 

The semi final against Adrian was a hard draw as the raining world champion is amazing in all conditions.  But I had the feeling I could win. I went in the water with loads of confidence and was sailing a good heat for my self. My starboard tack was –for my feelings– unbeatable but on port tack I made a few mistakes too many and I lost with a small margin.  I knew why I lost in that heat and that wasn’t gonna happen again! Nevertheless, I still could get on the podium… if I could mange to overcome Amado, the man to beat since many years.  We both started the heat with a crash 🙈 but from then on we probably made one of the best-ever freestyle shows with synchro moves like Shifty’s.
In this heat I made the highest heat score of the event, putting me in 3rd place in the single elimination.” (see the PWA video of this heat here->

“After this, the double elimination started right away. No time to lose. But the top guys would be off for the day.”

Impressive hight !

Day 4
Double elimination finals day!! All or nothing! 

Waiting in 3rd place can be a hard one as everyone is trying to comeback and climb up the elimination ladder. But for one reason I wasn’t feeling any stress: I have been on Fuerte since 2 weeks before the event, knowing what I could and should do in these conditions.

Everyone trying to come back gave his best – a mega show for the event! A few out-standing guys on this day were Lennart, Jacopo and the legend Steven who always helps me and who was ready to caddy and support during finals! In the end it was Amado who stopped all the guys’ comebacks and it was the same battle between the two of us as the day before, this time over who had to settle for 3rd and who would proceed. Once more, we did an amazing show, putting down the highest heat scores of the day once again. That gave me the extra confidence boost for the next heats because if you can beat Amado two times, you can also win!

Next heat up was against Antony. He is competing on Fuerte for 20 years and it is the first time for him on the podium in this event. So, he was extremely happy which doesn’t make it easy to compete against him. Additionally, the wind got slightly lighter and I swapped to my next bigger sail … but I made it!

Next and final rival was Andrian who I had to beat twice to win. That was my ultimate goal! Making my dream come true to win this event – finally. After sailing the two heats before, I was ready for it and felt like everything was going my way. Starboard tack is my best tack and I pushed to get as many points as possible there. From there, I built up more and more points on the port tack, too. This tactics worked out and I won this heat.
One more to come! I decided to make the same moves which did the trick!

I can’t be more stoked to finally win Fuerteventura!
Greetings, Yentel

Tongue acrobatics

About Yentel’s run:
In the single elimination Yentel was able to improve his performance and consequently his scores in every single round, starting with 32.2 points against Molenaar, 35.4 against Dumond, 39.2 against Albert, 44.9 against Bosson (which he still lost) and  51.1 against Vrieswijk in the runners-up final. Maybe it was already a good sign that he did not win the single elimination but ‘only’ finished third ? It was definitely a good sign that he managed to take the highest score of the single elimination with 51.1 !

This was a confidence boost and great motivation for the double, when Yentel stated that he put down, “…the highest heat scores of the day ones again…”.

Congratulations, Yentel!

Yentel's freestyle version of an 'eagle wing'

Sam Esteve, F-79 — PWA World Cup Fuerteventura – Freestyle Men: no.9

Sam had an absolutely stunning first heat in the single elimination. Here, he could show what he’s capable of and executed all his tricks at the highest level and had the highest score until that moment: 37.9 points while the best of the best had scored just over 30 point at this moment. His sailing looked easy and playful – like on a day of free sailing: Simply impressive! Unfortunately, he never managed to sail at this level in his later heats.

Check the hight -> note it's not a wave but freestyle event !

Nico Akgazciyan, F-400 — PWA World Cup Fuerteventura – Freestyle Men: no.13

Life ain’t fair. And judging can ‘feel’ even unfairer. Nico experienced that the hard way: First, a counting mistake cost him the victory in his heat of the single elimination. Then, when he noticed this mistake he was informed that his protest came too late. He was gutted as he felt that he was robbed of the chance to proceed.
Nevertheless, Nico claimed to be mentally strong and he proved to be by putting things in perspective: he progressed 3 rounds in the double elimination when a strong opponent stopped his run. Overall, a good recovery and a soothing result.

Tigo Kort, NED-195 — PWA World Cup Fuerteventura – Freestyle Men: no.25

The youngster in our team had demonstrated his qualities at FPT events before but could not adapt his style to the difficult Sotavento conditions as quickly and easily as others. Nevertheless, Tigo sailed solid heats and made another step in his young career.

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