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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2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has extended his strong lead over the fleet after another epic day of racing in Gran Canaria. Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne) were the men of the moment, winning today’s finals, whilst Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) is forced down the ranks.

The 20-knot wind was a welcome sight to the sailors after a week of gale-force racing. The slight drop in intensity meant that the competitors could sail comfortably on their preferred gear. The course layout remained the same, and the stage was set for an entertaining day on the water.

The great Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has done enough today to hold his position at the top of the results ladder, and with only three races remaining, it seems like he already has one hand on this year’s title. After sailing consistently throughout the event, he has moved even further ahead, and will be confident as the contest enters the last two days.

The battle for the podium has really heated up, with mixed results from all of the key players. Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) suffered yet another heartbreak, as he was pushed out of the winner’s final in a controversial turning point. Ben Van der Steen (Exocet/Simmer) sailed in the wrong heat, and Williams felt that the Dutchman had pushed him off the start line. The PWA rules state the heat couldn’t be re-run, and Williams had to accept his position in the loser’s final, moving him to fifth overall.

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2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) managed to hold firm under building pressure today, while competition between the top five has reached an all-time high. Williams and Pritchard battled for second, yet an upset in the final elimination left the door open for the brilliant Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails).

New challenges awaited the fleet at Pozo this morning, with a course format that favored the more technical sailor. A six-mark layout shortened the broad reaches and increased the pressure at the gybes, forcing a day of tight and unforgiving racing.

Cracks began to show in Albeau’s amour, as the current leader failed to impose himself upon the fleet in the early rounds. However, like a true champion, his great mental attitude stood up to the pressure, and the giant Frenchman dominated the final round, finishing the day with a well-deserved victory.

Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) started excellently under the new format, winning the day’s first elimination and finishing runner up in round two. At times, Maynard looked like the favorite, his tactical sailing and consistent speed giving him an advantage. However, a cynical run in with a pack of Moussilmani brothers on the final gybe of the semi final led to a very unlucky ending for Maynard. As he found himself in their dirty wind, all three Frenchmen passed him, pushing him out of a qualifying position, and out of the final.

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