Keith Atkinson

153 sailors turned out to race last weekend 6th & 7th June for Round Two of The UKWA Inland National Championships & The Rya National Junior Championships 2009 and the Rutland Marathon at Whitwell, Rutland Water.

With all eyes on a less than promising weather forecast the competitors made themselves at home at one of the most popular venues used by the UKWA and RYA. The forecast was giving a maximum of 10 knots for the weekend rain and more rain.

Saturday greeted competitors with overcast skies and a light chilly breeze, however as the time to race approached the wind began to fill in and all fleets went afloat. On the main course the race officer ran 2 rounds of racing for all fleets in the morning session. After lunch as the wind built a further two rounds of extremely exciting course racing for all fleets (techno one) with the wind building to 23 knots made the forecast look a little foolish.

On the junior course race officer Mike Roberts had 48 juniors racing to become 3.5, 4.5 & 5.5 National Champions for 2009. Mike ran two races before lunch and a further 2 races in the afternoon session. The juniors raced is a more sheltered area of the lake but still experienced challenging conditions, it was to the credit of their ability that so many finished the course still smiling and enjoying their racing.

At approximately 4.30pm the 2009 Rutland marathon began with all fleets including the junior sailors starting together. It was decided to sail the course clockwise so competitors began by racing towards the dam wall. With the wind gusting between 10 and 20 knots several competitors retired but the vast majority battled around the course in good time, with the winner finishing in 44 minutes.

1st Keith Atkinson(formula)
2nd Tim Gibson (formula)
3rd George Bowles (RS:X)

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Steven van Broeckhoven

After Steven's first victory in EFPT in Sardinia last week, Steven Van Broeckhoven took again the crown of the second EFPT event in Milos Lefkada (Greece).

The final was the same as in Sardinia, against Davy Scheffers from Holland. Steven won thanks to his powerfull stylish moves. Steven is leading the ranking in EFPT.
 
Results :
1. Steven Van Broeckhoven (Belgium)
2. Davy Scheffers (Holland)
3. Andre Paskowski (Germany)
4. Nicholas Ackghazyan (France)
 
With 4 events left, Steven is hungry to take the European title. The next competition for EFPT is starting in Crete from 12-14 june.

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2009 PWA Catalunya

Round 3 of the PWA World Tour Slalom is all set to kick off next week in the beautiful Costa Brava region of Catalunya, Spain.
Set on the Ballena Allegre Camping resort inside the Bay of Roses, this is a slalom sailing paradise ready to test the worlds best.

The Men
Leading the tour going into Round 3 is the 2008 World Champion, Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde). Having dominated slalom for the last 3 years, the big Frenchman is clearly still hungry for victory after finishing 2nd in Austria (Round 1) and 1st in Korea (Round 2). However Costa Brava can serve up a real mix of conditions, testing everyone and forcing mistakes.

If there are mistakes, you can be sure Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne) will be there to capitalise on them. He has more World titles under his belt than any other windsurfer in history and will be determined to get back to his rightful place on top of the podium.

Currently lying in 3rd place is Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet/MauiSails) from Argentina. Gonzo is one of the hottest of the younger generation slalom sailors and is finally starting to put in consistent enough performances to get the results he deserves. If the winds are light next week we could see him move up even higher.

Just behind the top 3 are a whole host of names keen for their piece of the prize purse. Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) has put speed sailing on the back burner to focus more on slalom. A lighter more agile physique means early planing and better gybes and at the moment it seems to be paying off. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/DaKine) in 5th position can be lethally dangerous when things go right for him. Despite a poor start to the season by his standards, nobody would be surprised to see him come out on top next week.

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