Monday, 26 July 2010

The 2010 PWA Sotavento, Fuerteventura Grand Slam – Day One

Cyril Moussilmani claims an early event lead, whilst the long-standing legends fall by his wayside after three action packed rounds of Sotavento style slalom.

In an incredible first day in Fuerteventura the Frenchman, Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) sailed flawlessly in the tough conditions to create an amazingly consistent set of results which
includes a first, second, and third. His nearest rivals failed to match his slalom prowess putting him 5 points clear at the top.

The idyllic racing conditions found on the southern shores of Fuerteventura today provided the perfect start to this very special 25th anniversary grand slam. From first light, the wind showed great promise with the North Easterly trades guaranteeing the action. The course was set early enabling the sailors to commence battle on schedule at 10:00 in front of the many spectators lining the shore.

Throughout the morning the wind increased with gusts of around 30 knots sweeping across the course. Most of the competitors began the day on their 7.0s with a medium sized board. But, late in the afternoon many were holding on to their 6.2s and smallest boards often commenting that they should have been on something smaller.

Finian On Form – But Broken…

Although currently missing from the top ten overall the 2009 world rankings runner up, Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra) deserves a mention. He was without a doubt one of the fastest sailors on the water, and in the first two races was more consistent than Kev with two thirds to his name. Unfortunately for him, the strong winds took their toll on his equipment, and he broke a harness line just before one of his heats began in race three. He actually made it back out after coming in to change it, sailed his heat after starting last, gained momentum around the course, and finally finished in a qualifying position. However, whilst he'd sailed back to the start line it became apparent that he'd broken a rule – sailors are not allowed to sail in the triangle between the start line and the first mark in the minute leading up to the start - and was therefore automatically disqualified from that heat. When a discard kicks in, expect to see Maynard move up the results sheet.

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