Please select your home edition
Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

Volkhardt and Erpenstein win the 2023 GFB x EFPT Surf-Festival

by Freestyle Pro Tour 26 May 17:01 BST
Massive fleet at the 2023 GFB x EFPT Surf-Festival in Fehmarn © Alina Kachelriess

Felix Volkhardt (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) and Lina Erpenstein (Severne) win the first stop of the 2023 German Freestyle Battles at the Surffestival in Fehmarn!

With a fleet of 58 athletes, this EFPT Proving Grounds Series event showcased that the Freestyle scene in Germany is alive and kicking! Two windy and action-packed days allowed both the mens and the womens fleet to finish a single elimination on the Baltic Sea. Check out the official highlight video and the full story below.

Like always, the Surf-Festival hosted the German Freestyle Battles in Fehmarn this year in order to show that Freestyle Windsurfing is more than alive amongst the youth. A novelty in 2023 is the cooperation of the GFB with the Freestyle Pro Tour, with the event becoming part of the EFPT Proving Grounds Series. Riders competing on the GFB will now also be ranked in the EFPT and will therefore kickstart their professional competitive careers.

The entry list for the competition kept growing day by day, finally halting at 58 competitors. Although mainly attended by Germans, there were representatives from Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands as well. With such a large fleet and a limited event window getting a result would prove quite the challenge! Luckily the GFB is a well oiled machine under the supervision of Loris Vietoris (GA-Sails/Tabou) and Leon Struppeck (Sailloft/Tabou). With on forecast events run in remote locations throughout the year, the two were well prepared for this weekend.

Voll(khardt) Power in the Men

On the third day of the event the wind finally filled in. The Single was kickstarted right away with some exciting heats. Wave rider Leon Jamaer (Gunsails) must have seen the FPT event in Cape Town and gained some confidence to enter the Freestyle. On his debut on the GFB he managed to beat Anton Munz with Loops, Shakas and Switch Chachoos during the 7 minute long heat. Further on in the ladder Lars Bubelach managed to take down wave rider Nick Spangenberg (Gunsails/JP) with a radical One Handed Flaka. It was close though, and it was once again confirmed that Wave and Freestyle are not as far apart as some might think.

Running out of sun and wind, the competition was halted with 16 riders left standing. With one day left, fingers were crossed to get a result on the Sunday. Prayers were answered with 4.8 conditions to push through to the finals. Although not the conditions that the GFB would normally run in, taking pride in only competing when it's 'proper' windy, the riders decided to continue in order to get an official result.

Both standout riders, Julian Wiemar (Starboard/Severne) and Felix Volkhardt found themselves in the final. Their showdown was particularly exciting, with the lead going back and forth between the riders as the heat progressed. Expertly navigating the gusts in the competition area, river-windsurf legend Wiemar managed to pull ahead towards the end, leading by 3 points. Volkhardt was not ready to give up, and threw down a Kono on the buzzer, elevating his scoresheet above his opponents. Securing his first ever event win, Felix relegated Julian to second place, making him wait for another chance at winning in his already 10-year-long GFB career.

"ErpenStyle" in the Women

With 8 women signed up, the level was being pushed through the roof. Similar to the mens fleet, we also saw a wave windsurfer enter the draw. Lina Erpenstein shook up the ladder as all women were throwing down Switch Konos, Spocks, Shakas and Loops. Elena Dominick (Severne/JP) managed to beat Danish representative Melina Schütt, who didn't mind being out as she was stoked to spend time on the water with so many freestyling girls around.

Lina "ErpenStyle" was not to be stopped. Beating Maike Lang and reigning GFB champion Johanna Rümenapp (Gunsails) she met Dominick in the final. Filling her scoresheet meticulously with Spock variations, Loops and Grubby's she claimed her first Freestyle event win.

Super Session

On the Saturday evening, competition gave way for a Freestyle Super Session. Originally planned as a Tow-In show, the jetski gave way to some proper windsurfing with some 20 knots filling the arena. The best 8 German freestylers got to show their craft in front of a massive crowd. Jannes Thomsen (Sailloft) impressed most, winning the session in front of Niclas Nebelung (Fanatic/Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins) and Foivos Tsoupras (Fanatic/Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins). On stage, Jannes said that he "had a lot of fun to sail a super session with friends in front of the crowds. I was excited to see so many people enjoying the show, and to win it in the end was a cherry on top of the cake!"

The next GFB events will be on forecast, so keep your eyes peeled for updates from a hopefully windy and flat-water-oriented event!

Related Articles

IFCA Slalom foil and fin Europeans concludes
After four of rather complicated weather on Lake Garda The youth (under 21 and under 17) and masters (over 40) fin and foil slalom European Championships came to an end after four rather complicated days in terms of weather. Posted on 25 Sep
EFPT Finals in Brouwersdam announced
The competition will ensure that the 2023 season will finish off with a bang The Freestyle Pro Tour is very excited to announce and confirm a season finale event in Brouwersdam, the Netherlands! Being a 6* event, the competition will ensure that the 2023 season will finish off with a bang. Posted on 24 Sep
2023 Caribbean Foiling Championships update
Free equipment transport for competitors Exciting news for competitors travelling from Guadeloupe to the Caribbean Foiling Championships. In a combined effort Compagnie des Iles du Nord (CIN) and Frigodom have teamed up to sponsor the shipping of a 20ft container to and from St Martin. Posted on 24 Sep
Windsurfing/IFCA Slalom Europeans at Lake Garda
Junior, Youth and Masters racing at Circolo Surf Torbole On Garda Trentino, after the rain of the first two days, on Saturday - somewhat surprisingly - the sun returned and, above all, the wind, which finally allowed the almost 100 youngsters from 12 nations. Posted on 23 Sep
EFPT Geneva 2023 - Registration closing soon
One of the most anticipated events of the year is less than a month away! One of the most anticipated events of the year is less than a month away! Tropical Corner will host the finale of the 2023 FPT Foilstyle Championship, as well as another stage of the Tow-In Series. Posted on 10 Sep
2023 Pacasmayo Classic - Day 2
Seriously beautiful waves and the world's great riders The 4 Star Pacasmayo Classic on the Unified PWA IWT Wave Tour is scoring seriously beautiful waves and the world's great riders are carving up the buttery smooth surfaces! Posted on 30 Aug
2023 Pacasmayo Classic opens
Riders have been here warming up in excellent conditions The 2023 Pacasmayo Classic opened yesterday with a sunset ceremony and today the heats begin. Riders have been here warming up in excellent conditions. Strong pro men and women's fields will make for an exciting live broadcast. Posted on 28 Aug
The 2023 Maui Strong Aloha Classic preview
Crowning the 2023 Wave World Champions The 2023 Maui Strong Aloha Classic is confirmed! This will be the Grand Final of the Unified PWA IWT Wave Tour. Posted on 20 Aug
Final day to register for Tiree Wave Classic 2023
Don't miss your chance to be part of this historic event Today (31st July 2023) is the final day that you can sign up to compete at the 2023 Tiree Wave Classic. Don't miss your opportunity. Posted on 31 Jul
2023 Pacific Games in Honiara Solomon Islands
Athlete Expression of Interest now open Australian Sailing is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to represent Australia at the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands. Posted on 22 Jul