Gaastra On Top of the World

Duncan Slater
Steven Van Broeckhoven
Steven Van Broeckhoven

After five freestyle events so far in the 2011 season, Gaastra have 4 of the top 6 places with Steven Van Broekhoven in first, Kiri Thode in second, Davy Scheffers in 5th and Tonky Frans in 6th! Sarah Quita Offringa sits on top of the women’s ranking; not only in freestyle but slalom as well!

Davy Scheffers
Davy Scheffers

Freestyle windsurfing is coming back to full power! “Freestyle is bringing the excitement right to the beach! We are out there sometimes only 10 feet away from the spectators spinning some pretty amazing moves- it is definitely impressive to watch” says the number one man of the moment, Steven Van Broekhoven. With moves such as the Bonka, No-handed Burners, Shaka’s and Konos to name a few, the level of freestyle is at an all time high! The talent that is out on the water these days is impressive, if not mind-blowing. “Freestyle is a part of me, I started when I was 5 years old and have been doing it almost everyday- I love it because it challenges me to learn new things that keep me motivated to stay up top,” says Kiri Thode.

Kiri Thode
Kiri Thode

When it all comes down to what it takes to win, most of the guys unanimously agree that having the right equipment is a big key! “You need to have confidence in your equipment and yourself. Without believing you can do a move most of the time ends up with a  crash. Having a sail that is well balanced and smooth lets you get creative and confident that you are gonna land that move when you need it most I have ultimate trust in my gear” says Steven.

Tonky Frans
Tonky Frans

The Gaastra Pure has been specifically designed to put the Freestyle team on the podium. Super light, quick to accelerate and effortless control make this sail a show stopper. The 4 batten configuration allows for the huge weight savings and the shaping characteristics give depth and power where you need it most. The sails twist out when overpowered but are mostly set up to be used in underpowered conditions. “I go out on my 5.4 when other guys are struggling to get planing on their 6.0’s! All I have to do is give a couple of pumps and I’m gone duder! The Pure is my sail, I love it” comments Tonky Frans. Davy Scheffers is quick to point out his love of the gear and says, “I’m always right at home on my Pure’s and Twisters- it is like they were built exactly for my style. I”m able to jump, spin, twist and do anything I want. The twin fin Twister makes for easier pops and keeps me upwind and in the contest zone!”

Sarah Quita Offringa
Sarah Quita Offringa

On the women’s side of things, Sarah Quita Offringa leads the women’s rankings and is in LOVE with her sails! “I get on the Pure and everything is how it should be! I can make a lot of the moves the boys are doing out there and I feel very comfortable. A sail this light makes it easy- I recommend all the girls to try these sails! Even if you are not a freestyler, the sails are perfect for learning to waterstart or just cruising around working on your turns and transitions!” Says Offringa.

Sarah Quita is also leading the Women’s Slalom rankings- she has been turning heads everywhere she goes. “I’m quite happy by the way I’m performing but to be honest all the girls are pushing hard and that’s why as a whole everybody’s getting better. There are more and more of the younger sailors winning races. Alice Arutkin usually wins at least 1 race in a competition and we’ve seen Lena Erdil and Fanny Aubet winning races for the first time in Aruba so that’s a big step ahead for all of us. The next generation has arrived!” commented Offringa. She looks to be a strong contender for the future of women’s windsurfing!

Clearly the Gaastra team is a strong force and the new equipment is top notch. Check it all out at www.gaastra.com

Current overall PWA Freestyle Ranking Men

1st Steven Van Broeckhoven (F2 / Gaastra)

2nd Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra)

3rd Jose Estredo (Fanatic / North)

4th Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic)

5TH Davy Scheffers (Tabou / Gaastra)

6th Tonky Frans (Tabou / Gaastra)

Current overall PWA Freestyle Ranking Women

1st Sarah Quita Offringa (Gaastra/Starboard)

2nd Laure Terbium (North/Fanatic)

3rd Yolanda Freites de Berndt (North/Fanatic)

Current overall PWA Slalom Ranking Women

1st Sarah Quita Offringa (Gaastra/Starboard)

2nd Alice Arutkin (North/Starboard)

3rd Fanny Aubet (Neil Pryde/ JP)

More at www.pwaworldtour.com

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