Belgian Wave Championship 2013

May 12 2013
On what looked to be a promising weekend of wind, the call was made to sail the Belgian Wave Championship 2013. Unfortunately for both the spectators (and photographers :) as well as the competitors, the wind missed out on the appointment and created a very gusty, south tot south-southwesterly, side-offshore wind. The location set for this years competition was Twins Club in Bredene, a spot that tends to work better with a more westerly winddirection so conditions could definitly be called 'very far from perfect'.  

The single 

The single elimination was sailed on Friday but a quick look at the list of competitors made it clear it wouldn't be a very representative first day. Big guns like Olivier Pas or Wout Burman were unable to sail because of agenda-issues and Steven Van Broeckhoven was sailing in the DEFI-wind, making the fight for the top-5 a bit biassed. At the end of the first day, the podium was 1: Dieter Van Der Eyken 2: Jonas Handekeyn 3: Fabrice Devos.

The double 

On Saturday, the competition got underway at around 2 in the afternoon. Conditions were a bit better than Friday, but still the wind was extremely gusty and the waves were about knee- to waisthigh. Again the field of competitors was somewhat thin with Wout Burman (a definite top-3 sailor) not being able to compete, so the title would either go to Dieter or Jonas. In a very exciting final with 2 jumps and 2 waverides to count, both sailors seemed to keep each other in balance - both opening the battle with a backloop, Dieter sticking it a bit cleaner than Jonas. On the waverides it was Jonas to open with 2 taka's on 1 wave, just not making the second one. Meantime Dieter landed an ankle-dry shaka out the back putting him ahead on the jumping score to later back it up with a quick and clean one-handed backloop. Jonas had no problem finding waves to ride at his homespot throwing fins-out takas and extremely vertical topturns (considering the poor conditions) although he wasn't running into many ramps on his way out to fill up the other half of his scoresheet. On the waves Dieter was pulling a frontside wave 360 and taka's, as well as a very tiny aerial. A second, even higher shaka meant it was a clear victory for the 21-year old PWA-sailor from Stabroek over the Bredene local. In the final seconds, Jonas tried another extreme wave-move but went down and subsequently got a massive taka in the face by Dieter, who already knew the title was in the bag. All the competitors realised it wasn't a championship as it's supposed to be with the organisation even refusing to wait for a peak in the wind to sail the final, but the result stands nonetheless! 

Final standings:

1: Dieter Van Der Eyken (Starboard - Severne - Choco Fins) 
2: Jonas Handekeyn (Witchcraft - Hot Sails Maui - O'Neill) 
3: Roeland De Rycker (Sailboardstarifa - Loft Sails) 
4: Fabrice Devos (Naish - Prolimit)