Antoine Albeau wins in Catalunya 

The final day of the 2009 PWA Costa Brava World Cup summarized the frustrating week of waiting. With a solid forecast, all hope was for one last blast of action to cap off the event with some late drama. All the ingredients were in place for a grand finale, but as the wind filled in high-level cloud moved into town, shutting down the breeze, and leaving the likes of Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) teetering on the edge of breakdown.

Williams stared the day, sitting in the nasty position of having everything to lose and nothing to gain. Competition could only mean one thing for the English high flyer: Having already lost his semi final heat the previous day, one more completed heat would have seen him drop from 2nd to 8th. Fortunately for Ross, despite numerous attempts to finish the second round, race director Juan Antonio Aragon eventually was forced to call it a day.  Ross Williams: “It has been a very stressful 12 hours, but it feels amazing now it is all over. In the morning I thought we would be racing and had dealt with it in my mind, but as the day went on and the chance of no action increased, it was really hard. The last hour of waiting was absolute torture!”

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) looked cool, calm and collected while he waited for the last call. By winning the event, he made it back-to-back victories, staking an early claim on the overall tour trophy. As always he remained as philosophical as ever:  Antoine Albeau “It was hard for everyone. In that sort of racing it is so easy to make mistakes. Looking back, I am really happy to have won that first round!”

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Bernd Flessner wins the 2009 IFCA Slalom Worlds

The WC windsurfing of 2009 was a successful edition. The event took place during the Zwitserleven Zeilweek on the Island of Texel. During the registration at Monday a bright sun warmed up the beach. With the good forecast we had a promising event to come. It was a shot in the hole on day one. Bernd Flessner (G16), top favorite was delighted: "It is years ago, when we had such condition during a slalom competition. Side shore winds and marks in the break. Unbelievable."

Surprises during day 1:

On day 1 during the WC windsurfing they completed three elimination with a windforce 5-6 from the south. While this WC is organized there is also a professional contest in Spain. Most topsurfers preferred to go there so we have a nice field of outsider and complete unknowns. The Dutchmen Jacques van der Hout was one of the suprises of day one. A few years ago he stopped with contest but he was in for a good windsurfing week. So the Former Dutch Champion got on the ferry and went to Texel. "I am happy to be here, my preparation is bad and now I am placed second. I hope my condition won't let me down. This could be a long week."

Best catch on day three

During day two and three we had to wait on the necessary 11 knots. But windsurfers rather stay on the beach then float around on the sea. Dutch fastest windsurfer Dirk Doppenberg. "It is absolutely useless to go out now. There is not enough wind and there is a lot of current. But we are used to it. Windsurfing is a nature sport where we need a lot of wind. Don't forget we cannot float like boats do. But we have a result now, the contest has started. We have sailed three eliminations and when we do two more we have an extra discard. That can make the rankings totally different." On the end of day three it looked like the wind was strong enough for another elimination. But the organizers had difficulties to set the course because the wind suddenly turned. After they had laid the course again a Fishing boat caught one of their marks. A good catch, but not for the organizers. Before they got their buoy back the wind died.

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2009 PWA Catalunya, Day Two 

Once again the day dawned quiet and tranquil here on the magnificent Allegre Ballena campsite. However the morning calm was quickly replaced by a stiff southwest wind, giving testing side shore racing conditions. With gusts up to 20kts and lulls at around the 10kts mark it proved difficult even for the world's best.
 
Early round highlights and upsets

Race 1 continued as expected, with all of the top 20 seeds passing through to the quarterfinals without any troubles. Perhaps the only real surprise was Gabriel Browne (Starboard/MauiSails). Suffering with the flu his concentration was clearly absent and he crossed the start line early, leaving him in bolt last position.
 
By the quarterfinals, things were heating up. Heat 9 saw number three seed Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet/MauiSails) jump the gun, ending his run at a very early stage. A hot tip after his performance in Austria, Julien Quentel (RRD/NeilPryde), also saw his race end in the quarters, after taking the fateful 5th position of heat 10.
 
Heat 11 saw one of the favorites for the event Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra) blow up down the reach as his outhaul rope exploded. He was left swimming and was forced to watch his rivals disappear without him. Heat 12 almost witnessed the biggest upset of the day as World Champion Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) missed the boom coming out of the gybe. Using all his strength he muscled the sail upright and continued into the semi-final.

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