Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The 2009 PWA Colgate World Cup - Slalom

The 2009 PWA Colgate World Cup, Sylt


The racing got underway promptly, and before long, the four gybe downwind course was blessed with 12-18kts of wind and wall-to-wall sunshine. This was champagne slalom racing at its finest.

Race 1
The usual suspects stamped their authority over the rest of the fleet during the first heats, with only a few surprises. The first of these came in the form of local legend Bernd Flessner (F2, NeilPryde) failing to make it through in front of his home crowd. Next up was PWA Chairman Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North) who also failed to make the cut. He crashed out on one of the long reaches, creating an impressive scene for those gathered on the beach early on.

In the final, Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) shot off the start line and straight into the lead. He dominated the whole race and won with a comfortable margin, reaffirming his position as the 2009 PWA Slalom World Champion. Behind him however there was a real race going on between the French Moussilmani Brothers, Cyril (Starboard, North) and Benoit (Starboard, Simmer). After a long recovery for an injury to his leg, Julien Quentel come back to the slalom race and reached immediately the winner's final scoring a safe 7th place!
! Welcome back Julien!

In the losers final there was even more drama. This time between long-term rivals Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) and Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde). It was extremely tight around the whole course, but Maynard put his foot to the floor and edged out just in time to take line honors.

Race 2
There was no hanging around today, as soon as the final for race one was complete, the heats for race two began. Again, the top seeds proved to their less experienced peers why they’re ranked as highly as they are and sailed their way through the early heats with ease.

The true excitement of race two came in the final rounds when the sailors pushed hard at the start and only managed to get clear after two general recalls. Falling foul on one of these was the slalom master, Albeau. This could have been a fatal error had only three full rounds been completed as he would have counted it towards his overall event standing. Luckily for him there was plenty of time to complete two more full eliminations, but he wouldn’t have known that at the time.

After showing plenty of promise during his heats, Josh Angulo (Angulo, MauiSails) also pushed too hard during this final and had to pay the price with a PMS. With two of the quickest guys in the world out of the final, it gave some of the other sailors a chance to steal victory. Maynard was right up there at the start and flying round the course, but fell at the last hurdle allowing Buzianis to take the bullet with Cyril Moussilmani and Diony Guadagnino (Hot Sails Maui, MFC) hot on his heels finishing second and third respectively. Quentel qualified for the second winner's final in a row and scored a good 5th position who allows our French man to reach a provisional third position overall. It seems the guys is not in that bad shape!

Race 3
Chaos best explains the heats in race three. With an abandonment of heat one early on due to a shift in the wind, and the course needing to be reset, many of the sailors failed to look at the board on the committee boat causing them to sail in the wrong heat and receive automatic disqualification.

Once the heats were back up and running smoothly Albeau had a shocking start but managed to fly through the pack overtaking almost everyone. He couldn’t quite do enough to steal the lead from former World Champion, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne) who led from start to finish in the same heat.

This was only a short lived victory for Dunkerbeck though as Albeau proved his worth once more in the final, leaving him with nothing to do but settle for second. Maynard found form again, and without any mishaps followed through in third. Quentel reached again the final and ended 8th.

Race 4
The wind began to moderate during the heats for race four creating mayhem for those that sailed out to the start line on their smaller gear. Even the most experienced sailors were caught out causing huge upsets as they failed to qualify for the finals. Victims of this included seasoned veterans such as Angulo, Maynard and Kevin Pritchard.

The heat carnage cleared the way for many younger sailors to seize the moment and claim glory, but none could quite match the masters. Plus, Dunkerbeck had a score to settle with Albeau and no one was going to get in the way of that. Dunkerbeck sailed a flawless race to take his first proper victory of the day, Albeau having to settle for second. Questel managed to reach another winner's final and ended his brilliant performance with another fifth place that give him a great 5th place overall. To score a Top Five position after a so long recovery from injury and in such tough conditions, it's really a great result!!!
Congratulation Julien!

Results 2009 PWA Colgate World Cup:

1st Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
2nd Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne)
3rd Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North)
4th Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde)
5th Julien Quentel (RRD, NeilPryde)
8th Finin Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde)
26th Andrea Rosati (RRD, NeilPryde)
30th Tine Slabe (RRD, Challenger Sails)

Men’s Freestyle
1st Elton ‘Taty’ Frans (Starboard, MauiSails)
2nd Kiri Thode (Starboard, Gaastra)
3rd Everon ‘Tonky’ Frans (F2, Gaastra)
4th Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North)
5th Nicolas Akgazciyan (Starboard, Gun Sails)

Men’s Wave
1st Alex Mussolini (Tabou)
2nd Klaas Voget (Fanatic, NeilPryde, MFC)
3rd Josh Angulo (Angulo, MauiSails, Dakine)
4th Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
5th John Skye (RRD, Naish, MFC)

Women’s Wave
1st Iballa Ruano Moreno (North)
2nd Daida Ruano Moreno (North)
3rd Nayra Alonso (Fanatic, Severne)
4th Karin Jaggi (F2, Severne)
5th Evi Tsape (Fanatic, NeilPryde)

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