DAM X European Tour

Posted on Posted in Competition, Travel
Cruising in Holland
Cruising in Holland

After the Sylt PWA event I had a 2 day break at my  friend Steven’s house in Belgium, then we went straight to Holland to probably the coolest windsurfing center ever, and the European Freestyle Pro Tour Dam X contest.

Brouwersdam is probably the coolest windsurfing center I’ve ever seen. It’s October, between 7 and 13 degrees Celsius during the day, yet there are hundreds of kids running around in wetsuits taking windsurfing lessons. On top of that the water is packed with windsurfers of all ages, Dutch and German windsurfers with their families, and the next generation of top level windsurfers are working on their Spocks, Shakas and Culos, some as young as 12 years old! It’s definitely a breeding ground for windsurfing talent.

Signing autographs for the kids
Signing autographs for the kids

As part of the contest there was also a very successful fun race, where various age groups raced against each other in a downwind slalom format.

We had wind nearly every day, and on day 2 of the contest it was my turn to compete. Sailing on my 4.7 and 93 I managed to advance over two riders from Curacao, Rafael de Windt and Richie to make it to the quarter-finals. In the quarter-finals I made a mistake by taking a bigger sail and bigger board because I was under the impression the wind was dropping. Instead of dropping the wind actually picked up solidly, and I had no chance to change back down before the heat. I think I only landed 3 moves during the whole 7 minute heat. With 8 moves counting and my competitor Sam Esteve on fire, I had absolutely no chance.

Phil Soltysiak Shaka in Brouwersdam
Phil Soltysiak Shaka in Brouwersdam

I redeemed my dignity in the double elimination the same day with a strong heat against my competitor Taty Frans from Bonaire, but he somehow landed a backloop in flat water, giving him the edge in our contest and leaving me to settle for 9th place.

EFPT Brouwersdam Results
EFPT Brouwersdam Results

The EFPT did try and complete a 2nd elimination the following days, but the wind was not playing ball, so although we completed a few heats, the results from the 2nd elimination don’t stand because we didn’t complete the final heats.

I’m now headed to Poland to visit family for a few days before flying back to Canada, where I hope for a couple fall days of windsurfing, and then on to Brazil to hit the water in board shorts once again!