Jacopo Testa wins Single Elimination despite injury - Day 1 FPT Cape Town 2024

Cape Town

February 10, 2024 by Maarten Molenaar

Jacopo Testa (WeOne/Point-7) wins the single elimination at the first day of the 2024 FPT Cape Town. The season opener was marked by nuclear winds on the Rietvlei lake at the Milnerton Aquatic Club, leading to spectacular action on the water. Lisa Kloster (Sailloft/MB-Boards) won the women’s single, putting herself in a great position to secure her first international event trophy. The talk of the day however was Niclas Nebelung (Duotone/Maui Ultra Fins) who claimed the second position in the men after taking out the 2023 EFPT champion Lennart Neubauer (Starboard/Severne/Maui Ultra Fins). Catch up with all the details from this exciting day below.

The first day of competition was focused around doing an entire single elimination for both the men and the women on flatwater conditions at the Rietvlei lake. With a stacked fleet of competitors, and winds gusting above 30 knots, all ingredients were present for an unforgettable day of freestyle. In the early rounds it was the Germans Marco Lufen (JP/NeilPryde/Maui Ultra Fins), Sebastian Gux (GA-Sails/Tabou/Maui Ultra Fins) and Felix Volkhardt (WeOne/Gunsails/Maui Ultra Fins) who all impressed and passed their heats. Unfortunately they were all up against the event favourites in the next round, and therefore had to concede for a chance at a comeback in the double. 

2023 Champion Lennart Neubauer was steadily climbing up the ladder © PROtography official

George Grisley (Duotone) put together a solid couple of heats as well, attempting to put his Flaka/Shaka into Ponch variations on display. His march got stopped however by an on form Sam Esteve (JP/NeilPryde). The flying frenchman had consistent heats cores above 35 points all day, even discarding an almost perfect Double Burner in his heat against Grisley thanks to his other moves on starboard tack. Jamie Howard (Severne) has also once again shown he is a dangerous man to sail against. Taking out Gux, the brit went on to face Niclas Nebelung. Despite a solid heat, Howard could not match the 43 point heat that was put together by the charging german. Nebelung sealed the deal with an excellent Double Air Culo among other moves and then got to go up against Lennart Neubauer who had been quietly making his way up the ladder throughout the day.

Jacopo Testa kept sailing despite his injury in one of the earlier heats © PROtography official

Before that heat was sailed though, Jacopo Testa, who had beaten both Lufen and Volkhardt, had a massive crash. Hitting his head with his mast, he needed some emergency medical help which resulted in him showing up to the next heat looking somewhat like a samurai. Despite the injury, he managed to best Sam Esteve to secure himself a spot in the final after an incredibly close heat. Esteve dominated on starboard tack, with an Air Funnel Burner, Air Skopu and an Air Kabikuchi. Testa made up on port tack and was soon waiting to find out who would join him in the final.

Sam Esteve felt right at home in the strong winds at the Milnerton Awuatic Club © PROtography official

It was between Nebelung and Neubauer. Both of them put together a 43 point heat but it was Nebelungs Double Air Culo, once again, giving him the advantage. The german was tipped as an event favourite here in Cape Town, due to the potential he showed at the 2023 EFPT Finals in Brouwersdam a few months back. Still, taking out Neubauer, the reigning champion, was an incredible feat that was surely the biggest upset of the day. Securing himself a final spot, he was now up against Testa, the very rider he managed to take out in Brouwersdam to put him on the map as a potential event winner.

Nebelung caused the upset of the day, taking out Neubauer © PROtography official

In the meantime, the women’s semi’s and finals we’re steaming ahead. Heidi Jabbari and Amaya Iglesias placed themselves in the the runner up final after both impressing with their sailing in the nuclear conditions. Jabbari edged out in the end, rewarding her the third place in the women, all thanks to showcasing some impressive tactical sailing. In the final Katja Haslinger took second just behind Lisa Kloster. Kloster was unbeatable today, with a diverse repertoire of moves. With powerful Shaka’s and Kono’s, supplemented by sliding moves like Flaka’s, Puneta’s and even the odd Gozzada attempt, the 2023 Vice-EFPT champion had the single elimination win in her bag in no-time. She will now get to defend her position in the waves upcoming week.

Kloster mid Kono. She will be defending her first place in the double next week © PROtography official

With the sun setting, the men’s final was underway. Had Nebelung put together another 43 point heat, he could’ve bested Testa. Unfortunately, fatigue was starting to show and the multiple German Freestyle Battles winner started dropping moves. With the wind trailing off slightly, Testa still managed to score over 40 points and thanks to an extremely radical Air Kabikuchi as well as a solid Spock Double Culo he put an 8 point gap between himself and his opponent. The injury did not seem to be stopping the Italian, and his perseverance paid off with the official win of the Single Elimination.

Testa was unstoppable in the final © PROtography official

After all this excitement, everyone’s appetite has been thoroughly wetted. The good news is that the double elimination will be run on forecast as well, most likely upcoming wednesday, thursday or friday. To mix things up, the comeback round will take place on the ocean. The addition of waves will result in the crowning of the first ever Freestyle Wave champions here in Cape Town, South Africa. How will all the competitors fare, and will we see any multi-heat comebacks? Stay tuned for the second day of the 2024 FPT Cape Town!

Results Single Elimination Mixed Fleet

Position First Name Last Name Sail Sponsor Board Sponsor
1 Jacopo Testa Point-7 WeOne
2 Niclas Nebelung Duotone Duotone
3 Lennart Neubauer Severne Starboard
4 Sam Esteve NeilPryde JP-Australia
5 Jamie Howard Severne Severne
5 George Grisley Duotone Duotone
5 Felix Volkhardt GUNSAILS WeOne
5 Adam Sims Sailloft JP-Australia
9 Manolis Chrysopoulos NeilPryde JP-Australia
9 Maarten Molenaar GUNSAILS WeOne
9 Sebastian Gux GA-Sails Tabou
9 Alessio Stillrich    
9 Victor Landau    
9 Marco Lufen NeilPryde JP-Australia
9 Tomer Shamgar   FutureFly
9 Heidi Jabbari    
17 Robin Van Linden Severne Severne
17 Lisa Kloster Sailloft MB-Boards
17 Katja Haslinger    
17 Amaya Iglesias    
17 Ivan Parushkin    
17 Alex Sorokin    

Results Single Elimination Women

Position First Name Last Name Sail Sponsor Board Sponsor
1 Lisa Kloster Sailloft MB-Boards
2 Katja Haslinger    
3 Heidi Jabbari    
4 Amaya Iglesias