- 16 August 2008 | Windsurfing
The Terminator returns on judgment day: Bjorn Dunkerbeck sails to victory in race eleven, crowning him the event winner on the final day of competition in Alaçati. In the women’s fleet, Valerie Ghibaudo wrapped up the event with a second in race eleven, having already done enough to take the event title.
With tensions mounting on the final day of competition, the ensuing last race of the event would prove to be make or break for Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) and Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde), who sat just 0.4 of a point apart at the top of the score sheet. For Albeau to rob Dunkerbeck of the event lead, he’d have to place in the top six, and beat Dunkerbeck in the final race. Likewise, for Dunkerbeck to take the event title, he’d have to place higher than Albeau.
In a warm up for the race final, Albeau and Dunkerbeck were pitched against each other in the semi finals. The resulting brawl saw Albeau gain a psychological boost when he crossed the line in second, two places above Dunkerbeck, however it was Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) that commanded the heat.
Coming down to the wire, the event title now hinged on the critical race final, with the winner quite literally taking all. As the green flag went up, Dunkerbeck seized the early advantage with a perfectly timed start. Off the pace, Albeau ran into problems when he caught a bag around his fin. The resulting drag left him towards the back of the pack, and stuck in dirty wind.
In contrast, Dunkerbeck, who seemed to be thriving under the pressure, screamed ahead of his nearest rival, Peter Volwater (F2, North) in second. By the fourth mark, Dunkerbeck was half a reach ahead, meaning the final straight was a mere formality en route to claiming the event title.
Crossing the finish line, the multiple world champion was greeted with wave upon wave of cheers and applause, as ecstatic fans congratulated the newly crowned event winner.
- 14 August 2008 | Windsurfing
The third day of competition started out with the completion of race four, which had been whittled down to the finals on the previous day. First to hit the race course was the men’s losers final, which got off to a nervous start after Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North), local Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard) and Patrick Diethelm (F2, North) all false started.
Taking the reins of the under strength heat, Gabriel Browne (Mistral, MauiSails) led from the start to take a decisive victory ahead of Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet, NeilPryde) in second.
Moving onto to the final, and disaster struck for Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) on the first reach “I went too downwind towards Finian at the gybe, and my clew hit his mast causing me to fall in”. The mistake left Albeau languishing at the back of the pack, and despite an effort to climb back up the ranks; he crossed the finish line in tenth position.
At the front of the pack, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) dialed into the conditions, opening up a massive lead before finishing the race a solid half reach ahead of his nearest rival, Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) in second. Filling out the remaining podium position was Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC), who managed to hold off a sustained attack from Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde), who had to settle for fourth.
In the women’s losers final of race four, Lee Korzitz (Tabou, Gaastra) struggled to match her form from previous events, despite finding herself at the front of the fleet. She stood her ground to take the win, and eleventh overall for the race, with Australian Annika Gillgren (Severne) crossing the finish line behind her in second, and twelfth for the race.
In the winners final, Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) had her foot firmly on the throttle as she negotiated the four buoy downwind course. On the finish line she was rewarded with the victory almost an entire reach ahead of the chasing pack. Padding out the all-French podium was Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North) in second, and fifteen year old Morane Demont (Starboard, Severne) in third.
- 13 August 2008 | Windsurfing
Starting the day with the second race in the men’s fleet, the 74 man first round was quickly pruned down to two ten man semi finals without major upset.
Showing his thirst for victory, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) made light work of the 4 buoy down wind course to sail to victory in his semi final, with rival Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) mimicking his performance in the second semi final. The pair both advanced to the final where they’d go head to head.
Final time, and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) made his presence known as he pressured Dunkerbeck for the number one spot. Behind them and off the pace of the leaders, Albeau jostled with Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) for third position.
The final reach said it all, as Dunkerbeck opened up an impressive lead to cruise to victory completely untouched by his nearest challenger, Pritchard, who took second place. The Albeau vs. Williams battle ended with William’s succumbing to the World Champion’s brute strength in fourth, leaving Albeau free to take third position.
In the losers final, Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) put his foot down to sail to victory ahead of Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) in second and Cedric Bordes (Tabou, Gaastra) in third.
Moving directly into race three, proceedings seemed to sway in favor of the unexpected. The first shock came when Peter Bijl (Fanatic, NeilPryde) blew his chances in the first round with a false start.
Moving into the quarterfinals, and Chris Pressler (Starboard, Severne) fell to the same fate when he crossed the start line early. This however, was only a small taste of things to come.