2009 IFCA Slalom Bonaire Worlds

What a difference a day makes. The sun was shining brightly and the winds were blowing creating a nice day of sailing. Heats were postponed when I left at 4:30, to change the course. The winds kept shifting creating some challenges the marks.

Twice today the committee members moved buoys around. Luigi Romano, from Italy and Nicole Van de Velden, from Aruba both expressed frustration on the course. Nicole also had some gear issues impacting her heats.  The winds kept squirrelling around making it a challenge for riders and committe members. The IFCA officials did a great job running the heats for day 4.

In the Master’s Division, heat 1, afternoon session,  Argentinian Sergio Mehl had a great day of sailing. Diego Domenianni sailing for the US , raced well placing third in this heat of the afternoon. In the heat 2 group, Marcus Poltenstein took first and Italian Thomas Fauster blazed a close second. Former Olympian Patun Saragoza followed a close 3rd. Event organizer Elvis Martinus took to the course after a long day of work and organization.

Enes Yilmazer, a Turkish student studying in Corpus Christi continued to reign today in the afternoon heats. Malta Reuscher from Italy commanded the heats and came in second in heat 2 this afternoon. Richard Jones, despite a heavy night of dancing and partying was rising to the occasion placing third.

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2009 Ronstan Bay Challenge 

40 Formula Windsurfing and kite boarders took to Saturday's long distance marathon, charging downwind in the 3k flood tide to round the Berkeley pier and back to a finish in front of the St. Francis. This year, the formula boards held the record with East Bay local Ben Bamer blazing the course in 1 hour, and sixteen minutes.

The top kiter, Sean Farley, finished 10 minutes back. For those not lucky enough to survive Point Blunts raging winds and current, there was a safety boat collecting sailors, their broken equipment and lost dreams!

Sunday's windward leeward course, set along the city front had the formula boards racing in the morning light and shifty breeze. Those sailors smart enough to have the 11.0m2 rigs on the water got around the course the fastest. Finally by mid afternoon, the wind pumped up to 20-25 with the boards and kites taking the course for 2 more exciting races.

The two fleets continue to merge and kite board designs are becoming more and more similar to the Formula Class design.

With the 1st World Course Racing Championship in San Francisco next month, the kite fleet is really pushing the envelope.

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2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has demonstrated that he is currently the best slalom racer in the world with another amazing performance at Pozo Izquierdo. With only one more race to go, Albeau will take the crown, but the remaining positions remain too tight to call.

The grey, cloudy skies that hung over Gran Canaria today bought with them the strongest winds that we have seen so far. At times pushing 50 knots, both slalom and wave fleets had to compete under immense pressure, as Pozo lived up to all expectations.

Slalom

The men’s slalom was a furious battle to decide the top five positions. The ocean seemed to take on a new form with the wind blown whitecaps creating an illusion of smoke on the water.  Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) looked solid early on, winning the first round after a nail biting battle with Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde). Swift was outstanding in his speed and starts today, leading the first final from the outset, but the physical strain after thirteen rounds took its toll, and Swift lost his position after a tired final gybe.

Peter Volwater (F2/MauiSails) had an excellent day, winning the second final, and finishing runner up in the first. Volwater has proven that he is one of the fastest and most consistent sailors in the slalom fleet, and has moved up to a well-deserved fifth place overall.

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