- 26 July 2009 | Windsurfing
Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) will leave the event site with his head held high, after claiming victory in one of the most daring and stunning displays of slalom in windsurfing’s history.
A morning of shifting winds and abandoned races gave today’s event an electrifying suspense. Early on, the wind speed ranged from 5 – 35 knots, whilst the fleet tried to complete the primary heats. After lunch, however, the conditions switched to create a perfect 40-knot offshore machine, and the racecourse was redesigned to create an epic battle ground.
There was only one round of racing today, yet the quality of the afternoon’s action will be remembered for years to come. The offshore wind meant that the course could be designed so the sailors would hurtle towards the huge crowds for the crucial and competitive first gybe mark. From the beach, it was possible to make out every detail of the determination, and fear, that showed on the sailors’ faces; not to mention the frightening speed at which they competed in the high-wind extravaganza.
Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) battled like a champion throughout the day. He had his work cut out for him, after being caught in the dead wind of the pack in the semi final. Despite rounding the opening mark in eighth place, he showed unbelievable speed and skill to overtake four sailors on one reach, and finished the heat in second place.
- 26 July 2009 | Windsurfing
For the fourth time in a row, the small village Afiartis on the idyllic island of Karpathos is preparing to play host for the world‘s fastest men and women in the speed windsurfing scene. From July 31st till August 5th all the big names of the sport will compete for points counting towards the 2009 Speed World Tour and, even more important, battle for the one-off Speed Windsurfing World Championship Titles !
In the men’s fleet, all eyes are set to the reigning world champion and 500m world record holder Antoine Albeau from France, who clearly dominated last season.
His strongest opponent is expected to be again European Champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck, living windsurfing legend. He won the 2008 Karpathos Event in the very last heat against Antoine Albeau to become European Champion. But also current tour leader Anders Bringal as well as the 2008 Overall World Cup Winner Cyril Moussilmani are expected to dispute the places on the podium.
Some more world class windsurfers from other disciplines are joining the speed tour this year, like local and Greek record holder Philip Adamidis, and legendary Chris Lockwood from Australia.
Also the women’s fleet is very strong for this major event of the 2009 season, including 2008 world champion and current tour leader Valerie Ghibaudo as well as second ranked Zara Davis.
- 25 July 2009 | Windsurfing
The pressure will begin to mount on Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) after an epic day of competition saw three new faces take the top spots. Michah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) has had a solid day, crowned by his win in the opening round. Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails/Dakine) finally realised his potential by winning the second round convincingly, whilst Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) took the third round after an incredible start line performance.
It would seem that the Rene Egli Centre is perhaps the best-positioned windsurfing school in the world. Sotavento Beach has once again provided incredible conditions, allowing the stars of the PWA to compete for glory just meters from an adoring crowd. The wind speed varied between 22 and 38 knots, in a day where consistency, talent, and speed were put to the test. It was all to play for as the competitors fought their way through the third epic day of slalom, here at the 2009 Fuerteventura Grand Slam.
It was made quite clear today that no sailors were prepared to step to one side to let the dominant Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) walk away with a victory. Albeau was constantly challenged, being forced back to second, fifth and twelfth in today’s three eliminations. By any normal standards these results would be exceptional, but for Albeau, nothing but the best will suffice.