More than 120 windsurfers race the 2009 UKWA Cup in Weymouth 

126 sailors turned out to race last bank holiday weekend 2nd, 3rd & 4th May for Round one of The UKWA National Championships Cup 1 at Weymouth sailing academy.

Saturday greeted competitors with sunshine and a light chilly breeze . The race officer ran 2 rounds of racing for all raceboard fleets in the morning session. After lunch as the wind built a further two rounds of extremely exciting course racing for raceboard fleets & three back to back races for formula were held.

On Saturday night there was a Welcome to The UKWA party in the function room at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, which was enjoyed by all.

Sunshine was again the order of the day on Sunday but the wind was far more challenging. Big wind shifts combined with gusts and lulls tested even the most experienced campaigners but the race officer was not to be deterred. 5 rounds of course racing for all raceboard fleets tested the strength and fitness levels of all not to mention the saw hands and blisters. Conditions made formula racing difficult, and a big sail, a good start and playing the shifts were the order of the day as three further rounds of racing were held for the formula fleet.

Monday morning again saw a light early morning breeze but by 11am it had settled and all fleets had two good races in the best wind of the weekend so far. However no one expected the afternoon to be quite so exciting. As competitors made their way to the start line for the final two races of the event the wind filled in. A steady 18 knots made for exciting racing in all fleets. A quite inspired decision by the race officer to lay the finish line 5 metres from the shore for the final race made a spectacular finish to the event enjoyed by competitors and spectators alike. A total of 13 rounds of racing for raceboard and 10 for formula made this a quite memorable event for all.

Thanks to Weymouth Sailing Academy for making us so welcome, the rescue crews, the race officer and his team, the admin staff, the scorer and all those volunteers who helped set up break down the site after the event.

Thanks also to Windtek, O’Neill, North / Mistral and Tushingham / Starboard for the prizes awarded to the ever growing raceboard fleet.

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Julien Quentel 

Just days before slalom’s opening event of the 2009 season, Italian board brand RRD have signed French slalom specialist, Julien Quentel. Setting his standards high, Quentel aims to break into the Slalom’s top ten in the forthcoming season.

Here’s the word from the man himself:

Julien Quentel: “Now everything is super cool! I was at home in St. Martin and my option was just to study and to stop windsurfing competitions, and then, in the twinkling of an eye, everything changed and I got a flight back to France to attend a new racing season!

RRD is very motivated having me on the RRD Team and finally also my sails sponsor confirm me for this season. My goal for 2009 season is to come back at the top of the racing rankings, and the plan is to attend all the most important slalom events and long distance in France, and all the PWA Slalom events in Europe.

I’m very happy being RRD Team rider, since my feeling now is to be part of a big family, and that’s perfect and really motivating for my come back in competitions!
I’m super happy with the boards. It’s just a couple of days that I received them and I still have to work on the trim, but my feeling is that X-Fire boards are super fast and very stable and very easy to jibe. So I’m really super happy for the performances of those boards and really motivated.”

Rrd Brand manager Roberto Ricci: “I’m very happy to welcome Julien in the RRD family. He is a very talented guy and I am sure that he will find the right support he need with us. RRD X-FIRE LTD 2009 are the racing weapons he needs to win!”

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PWA Podersdorf, day one 

There were no signs of nerves from slalom’s newest addition to the World Tour, as the opening day of competition in Austria delivered sun and wind in equal measure to start proceedings in style.
 
After a morning spent registering just shy of 400 sails and 200 boards, the 66-man slalom fleet took to the water to mark the official start of competition on Lake Neusiedl.
 
Powered by the prevailing NW wind, the racers had to negotiate a 4-buoy slalom course, starting and finishing on port tack. Opening proceedings, all eyes turned to race one.
 
Despite a new location, new regulations and many riders using new gear for the first time in competition, there was little upset in the opening rounds. Both Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne) appeared immune to the pressure of windsurfing’s media scrutinizing their every move, as they seamlessly extended their respective runs of form from 2008, to reserve places in the eliminations final eight.
 
Similarly, the UK’s Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) looked rock solid as he picked his path through rounds one, two and three with a comprehensive display exhibiting both depth and savvy, to reward him with his place in the final eight.
 
Continuing a seemingly relentless run of exceptional consistency, Peter Volwater’s (F2 / MauiSails) ability to deliver no-frills, reliable-sailing whilst under pressure made sure his name also featured in the race one final. 
 
Padding out the final 8 were: Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North Sails), who worked the gusting wind well to secure two seconds and a third place en route to the final, Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde), who on current form would be a solid bet to secure a podium finish in the event’s overall standings, and Steve Allen, whose dependable, heat winning consistency was once again very much on the money.
 
Going head to head, it was business as usual for Albeau, who never looked back after taking the lead on the first reach. A predictably slick execution of the following four gybes saw the Frenchman deservedly claimed race one. Second place went to a defiant Williams, who looked destined to take third until he pulled off a major coup, overtaking Quentel in a seemingly un-winnable drag race to the finish line.

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