The 2023 EFPT Geneva starts tomorrow! This week will be marked by the conclusion of the European Foilstyle and Tow-In Championship battles on the beautiful backdrop of the Swiss city of Geneva. Hosted by the Tropical Corner, this event is an incredible showcase of Freestyle Windsurfing ingenuity. The previous edition was historical, with it being the first ever EFPT Foilstyle event (albeit without a result) as well as elevating the level of Tow-In to heights never seen before in our sport. You can expect nothing less from the upcoming days, with a good forecast for Foilstyle on Wednesday and idyllic conditions for Tow-in on the weekend! Check out the last editions highlights, and read all about what’s coming to your screens on the livestream in the article below!
The EFPT Geneva will decide the 2023 Tow-in and Foilstyle European Champions. Currently leading both rankings is Yentel Caers (JP/NeilPryde), who is coming off the back of just winning his second Freestyle World Championship last week. The Belgian is surely in a winning mood, but it will not be easy for him. Who’s knocking on his door? On the women’s side, Maaike Huvermann (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) is going to try and defend her top spot in the Tow-in rankings.
The current Foilstyle rankings were set after the EFPT Vieste in June. Mastering the Foil Pasko before anyone else allowed Caers to beat Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) in the double elimination final. The young Greek is currently leading the EFPT Freestyle rankings, and has proven to be a competitive machine since his return from injury. A good result in Geneva could put him ahead of Caers and grant him the Foilstyle title. Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard/Gunsails) is currently in third and will feel confident to improve his position as well, as he had put together the highest heat score of the event in Vieste.
Also challenging will be Tim Gerdes (Severne). He was already somewhat of a favourite for Vieste, and made an impressive comeback in the double elimination there. Rumours are he has put a few extra tricks in his repertoire, including Yentel’s event winning Foil Pasko, so keep your eyes peeled for the Brouwersdam local in Geneva. He’s accompanied by Tigo Kort (JP/NeilPryde) and Bodhi Kempen (Severne) who have also been training their Foil Freestyle skills relentlessly. Finally, coming into Geneva as ranked riders, Sam Esteve (JP/NeilPryde), Jamie Howard (Severne) and Lucie Honegger (Severne) will all be hoping to end the 2023 season on a high. The exciting prospect is that most riders are still figuring out their heat strategies and learning new moves, making the playing field quite levelled with a lot of potential for upsets.
Speaking of potential upsets, we expect Balz Muller (Severne) to cause quite a few at this event. Being the founding father of the Foilstyle discipline, the Swiss waterman is a clear favourite. Although he has no chance at winning the European title due to his absence in Vieste, Balz is by far the best rider currently out there. Along with his brother Jakob Muller (Sailloft), the two are set to put on an incredible display of what’s possible on the foil, while also likely taking out some of the title contenders in the early stages of the single elimination. Because they are currently not seeded, it’s possible they will be up against Caers, Neubauer or Van Broeckhoven really early on. There will therefore be an element of luck in the final championship fight, and the double elimination comeback round will be more important than ever.
Two other newcomers to the Foilstyle fleet in Geneva will be German Lisa Kloster (MB-Boards/Sailloft) and Swiss Anina Heimoz. They are sure to bring the battle to the men, who will be weary of their underground skills. It’s exciting to see more women join the Foilstyle discipline, after Lucie Honegger paved the way in Vieste earlier this year. Read more about Lucie’s debut in this inspiring article on BlueBoundWomen.
Geneva is etched into everyone’s memory as the most epic Tow-in event on tour to date. The combination of an expertly trimmed wakeboat from Wake Up Geneva and the high powered winch will launch riders into the stratosphere once again. Yentel Caers, winning Geneva in 2021, is leading the current rankings after leaving everyone else miles behind at the EFPT in Vesoul. The french event was missing the other Tow-In maestro’s Lennart Neubauer and Sam Esteve though. Both of them have shown incredible skill at the 2021 edition of the EFPT Geneva, with Neubauer coming in second and currently being the defending EFPT Tow-In Champion. Esteve wowed the crowds with his all new SamAir triple rotation that year, which puts him right up there with Yentel and Lennart.
Ranked in second position is Foivos Tsoupras (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins). The german rider has competed in Geneva before, which means he knows what to expect from the powerful wave. Will we finally see a landed Air Cana Brava from the ever stoked Foivos? Hoping to challenge him will be George Grisley who’s first ever Tow-in event landed him on the podium. The brit is rumoured to have made a sponsor change ahead of Geneva, and will be more motivated than ever to solidify his position in the rankings.
Another athlete to look out for is Austrian Andreas Roessler (JP/NeilPryde). Spending the season in Greece, he has practiced his Tow-in and will hopefully not end up under the judges table this time out. We can also expect some crazy action from Balz Muller. What innovation will he bring to the Tow-in discipline after working on his Freestyle send-list all summer? Finally, don’t discount the ever impressive Steven Van Broeckhoven. The 5 times European Champion, who is currently in second in the Freestyle Rankings, will be battling it out with the other Brouwersdam riders for a spot in the final on Saturday night.
Maaike Huvermann (Severne/Maui Ultra Fins) is the one to beat in the women’s Tow-in. Throwing down massive Burner’s in Vesoul, she is currently on top of the rankings. Lisa Kloster has also discovered her affinity for this discipline there, and is known to have a healthy disregard for fear. The german is likely to be going all-in when approaching the wave, so will we see her land a perfect Shaka after a couple of promising attempts earlier this year? Completing the fleet will be Foilstylers Honegger, currently ranked 5th, and Heimoz who will be making her debut in the Tow-In discipline.
Follow the action
With such an exciting week ahead, you will not want to miss it! Follow the livestream for the 2023 EFPT Geneva on freestyleprotour.com and check out our social media channels to get behind the scenes insights and updates!