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Date:  May 28   - June 4th
Location:  Zandvoort / Holland
Status:   Grand Prix
Discipline:  Freestyle
Prizemoney:  50.000 US $

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The violent winds that swept over the Dutch coast over the weekend finally blew themselves out during the night leaving Monday morning with clear blue skies, sunshine and very light, on-shore winds. On the beach at Zandvoort the sailors made the most of the lull to finish preparing their equipment after their abandoned attempts the day before and the Organisers made hasty reparations to the event site.

Skippers Meeting was held at 10.00 am and due to the light conditions the first possible start was postponed until later in the morning. By midday, however, the wind had picked up sufficiently and the Head Freestyle Judge, Franky Roguet, decided to start the first single elimination of the week. After a 30-minute warm-up session the green flag was raised for the first heat.

The current leader, Web Pedrick (US-002) successfully passed through the first round despite finding the choppy conditions particularly difficult, as did Josh Stone (USA-6), Matt Pritchard (US-10), and Antoine Albeau (F-192) all top 3 ranking sailors. One surprise was the early elimination of Francisco Goya (A-211) who was competing in his first freestyle event of the year. Also Andy Pusch (G-121) a newcomer to the Tour, who has been seen practising regularly at Kanaha Beach Park throughout the winter, was eliminated in a particularly difficult round by Richard Foster (K-101) and Ramses Landman (H-72). 9 out of the 14 Dutch sailors competing passed through the first round with good performances from Peter Volwater (H-24), Erik Troostheide (H-90), and Remko De Weerd (H-23).

The first round went smoothly until a rainstorm passed leaving calmer, brighter conditions in its wake. With the now much lighter winds the Race Committee decided to abandon the competition for the day. The competition is due to resume tomorrow morning at 10.30am

Matt Pritchard (US-10)

"I knew I had a lot to work to do with the conditions like they are it is a dying wind now and I had to go out there and make it all happen as much as I could. I found it rather difficult to really make a whole lot happen but more or less it was just kind of in and out, back and forth with a trick in between, fell off a couple of times but, you know, I did my best and I got through so I am satisfied."

Web Pedrick (US-002)

"The water level is moving up and down a lot so everything is a lot harder it is a kind of a 'crash fest' right now because everyone is trying to do freestyle in these definitely choppy, really bumpy conditions . It is hard sailing, very hard but it is definitely a playground out there and there are a lot of opportunities to do cool stuff."

Peter Volwater (H-24)

"My first heat went pretty well I was against Niklas Olausson (S-24) and Martin Van Deth (H-46) and I fell down a couple of times but not too much, I almost landed a spock I pretty much made it. Yeah, it is quite bumpy so it is definitely a lot harder than Austria .. there are a couple of people sailing really well but Im used to these conditions here, Im quite organised here and I feel pretty strong too I havent start partying yet, like last year ! We will have to see what happens, Im pretty keen to get a top three position."

Antoine Albeau (F-192)

"I just tried out my new board which was made specially for light wind conditions and it was perfect for today as I had a really light wind heat. I really refer ocean water than fresh water because I float better I must be the heaviest guy competing !"

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last updated: 01/06/00