- 13 August 2008 | Windsurfing
Starting the day with the second race in the men’s fleet, the 74 man first round was quickly pruned down to two ten man semi finals without major upset.
Showing his thirst for victory, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) made light work of the 4 buoy down wind course to sail to victory in his semi final, with rival Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) mimicking his performance in the second semi final. The pair both advanced to the final where they’d go head to head.
Final time, and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) made his presence known as he pressured Dunkerbeck for the number one spot. Behind them and off the pace of the leaders, Albeau jostled with Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) for third position.
The final reach said it all, as Dunkerbeck opened up an impressive lead to cruise to victory completely untouched by his nearest challenger, Pritchard, who took second place. The Albeau vs. Williams battle ended with William’s succumbing to the World Champion’s brute strength in fourth, leaving Albeau free to take third position.
In the losers final, Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) put his foot down to sail to victory ahead of Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) in second and Cedric Bordes (Tabou, Gaastra) in third.
Moving directly into race three, proceedings seemed to sway in favor of the unexpected. The first shock came when Peter Bijl (Fanatic, NeilPryde) blew his chances in the first round with a false start.
Moving into the quarterfinals, and Chris Pressler (Starboard, Severne) fell to the same fate when he crossed the start line early. This however, was only a small taste of things to come.
Rolling onto the first semi final, the crowds were dumbstruck when they heard that seven of the ten-man heat had false started. Amongst the perpetrators were Albeau, Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde), Peter Volwater (F2, North) and Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer). The mass disqualification left Pritchard, Matt Wemms (Fanatic, North) and Jesper Orth (Starboard, Severne) free to advance without even having to sail the heat.
The second semi final was marginally more predictable despite Dan Ellis’ (Fanatic, MauiSails) disqualification thanks to the seemingly contagious spat of false starts.
In the rerun minus Ellis, Dunkerbeck stole the heat from Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard), but his victory was by no means handed to him on a plate, as the defiant Turk battled right to the finish line to claim a well-earned second place.
In the race final, local Kozanoglu seemed hell-bent on avenging his previous clash with Dunkerbeck. Sniffing his first ever race win, and backed by the ecstatic local crowd, the Turkish racer summoned an almighty performance to fend off Dunkerbeck and defy all the doubters. Rapturous applause congratulated the local hero as he claimed the race as his, leaving Dunkerbeck to settle for second, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet, NeilPryde) in third and Pritchard fourth.
The twelve strong losers final was won by Albeau, who’d done the best he could to make amends for his semi final shocker.
Moving over to the women’s fleet for race two, and Verena Fauster (F2, Gaastra) and Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) made their intentions clear, winning their respective semi finals.
Advancing into the final, Karin Jaggi seemed the most determined to take the race win. After a spirited performance she sat untouched at the front of the fleet, leaving Marta Hlavaty (MauiSails) and Lee Korzitz (Tabou, Gaastra) to fight it out for second. On the finish line, Jaggi won by a clear margin, and Hlavaty sneaked ahead of Korzitz to take second.
In the women’s losers final, Lena Erdil (Loft) bounced back after narrowly missing out on a spot in the final. A stellar performance awarded her with the win ahead of Annika Gillgren (Severne).
Race three saw Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, Loft) return to dominance after victory in her semi final. In the ensuing final she laid waste to Jaggi’s advances to add another victory to her name. Jaggi had to make do with second place and Armenia’s Sarah Hébert (Starboard, Naish) mopped up the remaining podium place in third.
A depleted losers final thanks to three false starts saw Gillgren take the victory and therefore place eleventh in that race.