- 03 October 2008 | Windsurfing
After a morning that featured everything from monsoon like rain to bright sunshine, Westerland beach was finally treated to a solid 10-15 knot onshore breeze, allowing seven heats to be run before the wind died back to nothing.
After waiting patiently on standby, the slalom fleet was summoned to the water to kick off round one of race three. The first heat saw Bjorn Dunkerbeck (North) on dominant form; flawless execution of the four-gybe course left him nearly an entire reach ahead of his rivals when he crossed the finish line to take victory.
Other highlights included heat four, where Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) had to sail without a harness after tearing one of the straps before the race. Starting fast, fatigue soon kicked in and left Williams the challenge of qualifying before his arms gave up on him. Luckily, many of his rivals had fallen at the second mark, leaving him a drag race to the finish line with Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Severne, Starboard) before he muscled into third place.
After the seventh heat was completed (the most heats completed in a row thus far in Sylt), the wind backed off, placing competition back on standby,
An hour passed before a 25-knot breeze prompted the race committee to start heat 8 in some of the best conditions seen so far. However, no one could have predicted that the moment the sailors crossed the start line, the wind would, like clockwork, drop to absolutely zero.
This left the race crew the bizarre task of rescuing numerous windsurfers, as they were literally unable to sail back to the beach. The winds dramatic exit marked the end of competitions sixth day, as it firmly refused to return.