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Kloster and Testa win 2024 FPT Cape Town in Paternoster down the line freestyle conditions

by Freestyle Pro Tour 16 Feb 16:59 GMT
2024 FPT Cape Town in Paternoster © Protography Official

Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft) wins the 2024 FPT Cape Town double elimination for the women and becomes the first FPT Freestyle Wave champion.

Fending off Heidi Jabbari who came battled her way up and came in second, the German rider wins her first ever international event in style. On the men's side most of the double was completed, with the exception of the final where the winds were not sufficient enough anymore. Jacopo Testa (WeOne/Point-7) therefore keeps his position from the single elimination and wins the event.

Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) defended his position from Sam Esteve (JP/NeilPryde) and due to an absent Niclas Nebelung (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins) managed to jump up to second. Read all about the exciting day where riders developed "down the line freestyle" below!

Due to the lack of suitable conditions in Cape Town, the decision was made to go on a strike mission north. A 2 hour drive up to Paternoster beach promised to yield enough wind and perfect waves rolling down from the point of the town. The first spot update in the morning looked promising, with wind and waves slowly filling in. After a front with a bit of rain passed, the waiting game was officially on. It soon became clear that there were no nuclear winds on the menu in opposition to the single elimination a few days prior. The double elimination, also known as the comeback round, is a chance for riders to improve their position from the single elimination. Once passing a heat, they get to go up against a rider placed higher who gets to defend their spot. If one has the skills and stamina, they can theoretically go all the way to the top!

When the first contestable gusts came through the competition was started and it was Manolis Chrysopoulos (JP/NeilPryde) who drew first blood on the water. In tricky and light conditions the greek rider and FPT regular managed to put together a solid heat and advance to the next round. Sebastian Gux (GA-Sails/Tabou) did not seem to mind the lighter winds as well, stomping a perfect Forward Loop amongst other moves to pass his heat.

Deciding to compete in the Men's fleet as well, Lisa Kloster impressed as well and got some good practice for the women's double elimination in. Beating Heid Jabbari and Victor Landau she was then up against Adam Sims (JP/Sailloft). She maximised her weight advantage and did not make it easy for her opponent. Sims had to produce a Pasko to fully secure the heat and advance into the next round. In the meantime Sebastian Gux took care of Alessio Stillrich and was then up against Felix Volkhardt (WeOne/Gunsails/Maui Ultra Fins). Volkhardt seemed in tune with his new gear and made light work of his fellow countryman. Up against George Grisley (Duotone) next, the conditions started to falter after the brit eliminated Chrysopoulos. With an almost 30kg weight difference, Grisley struggled for any power while Volkhardt meticulously filled his scoresheet and advanced.

Waiting for him in the next heat was Jamie Howard (Severne), the rider who keeps being a standout at every event he enters. This day was no different, with the brit being the first to crack the code for this spot in the lighter winds. Developing something that can only be called "float and freestyle" or "down the line freestyle", he started patiently waiting in the line up for a set of waves to come in. Using the wave to get planing and stepping into switch, he powered down the line and using the apparent wind from his speed he did his moves. "It's basically like doing Tow-in" he commented after one of his heats. Beating Maarten Molenaar (WeOne/Gunsails/Maui Ultra Fins), Adam Sims and Felix Volkhardt he found himself in the battle for 4th against Sam Esteve.

Esteve had already been out practicing Howard's technique and was enjoying it a lot. The frenchman didn't hold back and thanks to still being fresh he managed to stop Jamie Howard's run up the ladder. Esteve's advantage was negated now though, with Lennart Neubauer picking up on the same throughout the day and already being in tune with these novel competitive freestyle conditions. The 2023 EFPT champion went on an absolute tear, putting together a heat as if the light winds were just a fable. Burner 360's and Spock Culo's filled his scorecard, while Esteve struggled to keep up. It was already clear that Neubauer got his grove back in the runners-up final of the single elimination and one could see the evidence of that now. Winning this heat also brought a little surprise. Niclas Nebelung, who was set to defend his second place in the double, was unfortunately absent, meaning that Neubauer's win gave him 2 positions and allowed him to challenge Jacopo Testa for the event win.

In the women's comeback round Lisa Kloster was unbeatable. Navigating the waves expertly she filled her scoresheet with "down-the-line freestyle" moves and officially claimed the event win. Heidi Jabbari managed to get herself into second place, with Katja Haslinger in third. Amaya Iglesias just missed out on the podium, but was nevertheless impressive in these tricky conditions.

Despite the new party trick, Testa and Neubauer soon went from "float and freestyle" to "wobble and freestyle" in their final. There were not enough wind and waves anymore to properly fill their scoresheet in the Paternoster waves. After two attempted heats the judges called it off and the result of the single elimination was leading. Jacopo Testa wins the 2024 FPT Cape Town with Lennart Neubauer in second and Niclas Nebelung in third.

What a conclusion to the first Freestyle Pro Tour event of the year. With a mix of conditions, this Proving Grounds Series event has once again pushed freestyle windsurfing to innovate to new heights. The FPT would like to thank the event supporters Panini di Mare, Enermea, The Brand Stable and AALVAA Media for making this event possible. With such a strong start to the 2024 season, let's see what the rest of the year will bring!

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