With 2024 kickstarted, the FPT is looking back at the freshly passed season through the lens of the Nations and Brands rankings. The Dutch dominated during the 2023 season, coming out on top in the Nations Championship. The battle for the constructors was tight, especially due to the Foilstyle discipline, but it was Starboard and Severne who take the top spot respectively for boards and sails. Learn more about each of those rankings below.
One might expect the Belgians to come out on top in the Nations ranking, thanks to the stellar performance of both Yentel Caers (JP/NeilPryde) and Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard/GUNSAILS). However, with a lack of female representation from their country, and an ever successful Maaike Huvermann (Severne), the Dutch managed to claim the title for this season. Maaike won the 2023 European Freestyle title, and added the 2023 Tow-in title as a cherry on top. Arrianne Aukes (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins) made a comeback to the tour this year in Brouwersdam, and managed to bring some solid points home as well. Youngsters Tigo Kort (JP/NeilPryde) and Bodhi Kempen (Severne) were also paramount to the dutch succes. Both of them finishing the year on their highest ever ranking, with Bodhi in 5th and Tigo in 7th. Furthermore, their impressive debut in the Foilstyle discipline played an equally significant a role for the final total for the Netherlands.
In second place, the Belgians, followed by Germany in third. Belgium got carried by Caers and Van Broeckhoven, with no other Belgian riders on tour this year. This fact alone shows how unassailable the two powerhouses are. Their battle for second was close though, with Germany finally making a statement on the European Freestyle Pro Tour this season. With arguably the largest Freestyle contingent in the world, the country was always placed relatively low in the nations rankings. However, thanks to the succes of riders like Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft), Niclas Nebelung (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins) and Felix Volkhardt (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins), this year was different. Kloster took a solid 2nd this season, on more than one occasion even threatening the multiple European Champion from the Netherlands at events. Nebelung broke the scale with his sailing during the Brouwersdam final, taking down past European and World Champions as he showed everyone what he is capable of in strong winds. Adding to the succes of Germany was Volkhardt, who after wining the GFBxFPT Surffestival event in May, joined the Brouwersdam finals as well with quite a few other GFB regulars in tow. We can’t wait to see more of the German scene on the FPT, with lots of promise on the horizon.
In the Sail Constructor Championship the Freek by Severne came out on top. The European Championship winning sail, in both the men and women, is a regular on tour and always places high at competitions. Aside from the obvious success of Lennart Neubauer and Maaike Huvermann, riders like Bodhi Kempen, Tim Gerdes, Jamie Howard and Mathias Vingaard have all left a mark this season. Coming in second was NeilPryde, who was missing a strong female representative on tour to really be able to challenge Severne. Still, Yentel Caers and Tigo Kort who participated in basically all events raked in an impressive amount of points for their sail brand. Finally, completing the podium in 2023 was Duotone. Claiming one European Championship, thanks to George Grisley in the Tow-In discipline, they came in third. Helping in this feat were riders like Niclas Nebelung, Eugenio Marconi, Arrianne Aukes and the 2022 Duotone Rookie of the year Primus Sorling.
Finally, in the board category Starboard triumphed. Winning the European Championship in Neubauer’s hands, as well as the stellar performance when ridden by teammate Steven Van Broeckhoven in both the Foilstyle and Freestyle categories, gave the Ignite top marks. On the women’s side it was Oda Johanne Brodholt who contributed to the brands succes, which was very much needed as Severne came in close second with their Psycho riders. JP-Australia came in third, thanks to the spectacular performance of their boards in both the Tow-In and Foilstyle disciplines.