2009 RS:X World Championships

Spanish sailor Marina Alabau remains the dominant force in the women’s fleet, with another flawless performance on Saturday, although Skandia Team GBR’s Bryony Shaw was back in contention today, bouncing back from her troublesome first day.

After the demanding 30 knot winds which swept across Portland Harbour for the opening day of the regatta, Saturday’s breeze was much moderated for the 163 contenders at these Championships, with the women’s fleet the first to get racing in 15 knots shifty wind conditions.

Alabau maintained her perfect scoreline, with two more firsts from the two races held, to extend her lead to nine points over France’s Eugénie Ricard, with Blanca Manchon (ESP) in third making it two places in the top three for the Spanish girls.

Shaw, Britain’s Beijing bronze medallist, picked up two second places to pull her into seventh place overall, and help her put a difficult opening day behind her.

“I think I’ve woken up!” Shaw explained. “I think yesterday I was a little bit asleep, but today I’m back in the game.

“Yesterday was tough – I haven’t really sailed in that stuff for a long time, and I wasn’t really set up for it.

“So I had trouble trying to clear my head yesterday evening, but I’m trying to treat each day as a new one, sail smart and sail how I know I can and that worked for me today.”

The Netherlands’ Dorian Van Rijsselberge was the man to beat in the men’s fleet on Saturday, with two firsts elevating him from his overnight position of seventh to the overall top spot in the men’s standings.

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RS:X World Championships 2009

The RS:X World Windsurfing Championships is the first ‘Olympic’ event to be staged at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in this quadrennial.

This is the venue for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Racing is expected to be inside the harbour blasting across the flat water in full view of the general public. Spectators are welcome to come and watch the action.

On Wednesday evening the Opening Ceremony was held ahead of the start of racing this Friday. It was blowing all day on Wednesday and is likely to continue for the next two days at least. Predicting conditions further out than that is always a fool’s game so let’s not go there.

However, lets just assume for a minute that we stand a good chance of getting some breeze later in the event. September is the month of the equinox. The change in the seasons, this usually brings breeze with it - sometimes in abundance.

This then is how we see it…

In the men’s fleet, Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) is always a name that springs to mind when the wind is up. Then there is Casper Bouman (NED), the 2006 RS:X Windsurfing World Champion who is really fast on flat water. And, there is nothing flatter than Weymouth harbour in wind.

The home supporters must be rooting for Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) both good all round performers. Marina Alabau (ESP) and Blanca Manchon (ESP) the dominant team in Women’s RS:X windsurf racing are however the ones to beat in the women's fleet

It will be interesting to see how the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion, Hei Man Chan (HKG) fares in the Olympic fleet. She is now fully recovered from the leg injury sustained just before the Palmalife RS:X Youth Windsurfing World Championships.

Peter Andre learns to windsurf

Pop Star Peter Andre and his brother, Mike, were down in Hove, on the south coast of England, filming for his reality TV show, and dropped into the Baker Academy for some windsurfing lessons from long term PWA star Nik Baker.

Naturally, the paparazzi were out in force, and like everything Mr Andre does these days, the pictures and story made it straight into the pages of the nationals.

Says Nik Baker:

"Peter seemed to love it and both himself and his brother Mike are booked in for regular lessons with us, which I think can only help increase awareness of windsurfing to the masses. It was actually being filmed for one of his TV shows for his upcoming series which starts in October in the UK, so keep an eye out for it to see how he got on."