PWA Sylt 2008

Launching into action on competition’s third day, the slalom fleet dueled with the infamous Sylt shore break to pick up race one where it had been left off the previous day. Warning up the weather beaten German crowds, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (North Sails) drew first blood after sailing to victory in the opening heat, then the subsequent semi-final, granting him right of passage into the race final.
 
Also winning their second round heats were the UK’s Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) and France’s Julien Quentel (Starboard, NeilPryde), who advanced to take their seats in the second semi final.
 
In that heat, it was Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) that adapted best to the challenging and highly changeable conditions, piecing together a solid performance that ultimately earned him victory, and his place in the race final.
 
Moving onto the losers final, spectators were treated to the rare spectacle of a three-man sail-off, after four of the competing sailors false started, and Turkish sailor Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard) missed the heat through injury. This left Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North Sails), Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet, NeilPryde, MFC) and Dorian van Rijsselberge (JP, NeilPryde) to battle it out.
 
Diaz took the reigns of the heat from the first reach and remained untouchable right to the finish line, leaving Van Rijsselberge to take second place and Costa Hoevel in third.
 
Rolling onto the final, 27 year old French race specialist, Sylvain Moussilmani (F2, Simmer) made his intentions clear from the outset, sailing to the front of the pack, and into the clean air on the first reach. Unphased by the likes of Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) and Dunkerbeck breathing down his neck, Moussilmani kept his composure around the four-gybe course to be rewarded with victory, and in turn the early event lead.

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PWA Sylt 2008 

A fresh 11-16 knot breeze accompanied by clear blue sky provided a promising start to competitions second day in Sylt. Unfortunately, the prospect of racing in the perfect North Sea conditions was to be short lived.
 
Just moments after the sailors of heat ten hit the water to resume racing, the wind backed off, forcing the heat to be abandoned. The subsequent heat had more luck, and successfully secured the only result of the day, when Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra), Gabriel Browne (Mistral, MauiSails), Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North Sails) qualified from heat 11, and proceeded into the following round of race one.
 
Despite the race committee’s repeated efforts to restart competition, the wind refused to play ball, and ultimately resulted in the day drawing to a close with just one heat completed.
 
While competition was on standby, we took the opportunity to ask Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC), one of slaloms most emphatic stars (and Sylt’s celebrity commentator), about his injury, and outlook on the 2009 season.
 
PWA: How’s your recovery progressing?
 
MB: “It’s going well, but slower than I’ve have liked. I still haven’t been able to go out on the water. Just before coming out here I had some x-rays taken, and the doctors said I should be ready to get on a board again in a week or ten days, but that’ll be real gentle cruising to see how it goes. It’ll take some time before I can really push it again.”
 
PWA: Do you expect to be fully fit for the start of the 2009 season?
 
MB: “Ah, yeah, I’ll be fully fit before the end of this year, and back to full strength for next season.”
 
PWA: Was there ever a possibility that you were going to compete in the Sylt World Cup?
 
MB: “That was my goal, and I probably could have, but the repercussions may have ruined my training over the winter or even some of next season. Up until a week ago I was seriously considering it, I figured if I could get a week or so of sailing in, in Maui before coming here, that I might have just about been ready. But, if I couldn’t do that, I didn’t want to come here without any sailing under my belt.”

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Kaspar Aasa 

Under the alliance of Baltic Sea countries Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Russia, the Baltic Cup was staged for the first time in 2008. This year the three events that took place where Liepaja, Sopot and Tallinn.

The classes that participated in the Cup were the Bic Techno 293 (juniors) and the RS:X 8,5m2 (Youth)  and the aim was to give young racers the opportunity to gain more international experience at the lowest possible cost.

98 different competitors from 6 countries competed in the events. Sopot saw as many as 81 windsurfers, whereas Liepaja 39 and Tallinn 44.

Techno293 6.8 class had 29 sailors (16 boys, 13 girls), Techno293 7.8 class – 43 sailors (27 boys, 16 girls) and the RS:X youth class – 26 competitors (14 boys, 12 girls). During the regattas there were senior RS:X races staged both in Sopot and Tallinn.

The first edition of the Baltic Sea Cup has proven to be a great success, the level of competition being very high and young windsurfers competing to the very last race for the overall Baltic Sea Cup victory. Next year the Baltic Sea Cup will be staged in Liepaja (LAT), Warnemuende (GER) and St. Petersburg (RUS). This event has raised the level of competition in all participating countries, next year’s three stages will allow even more windsurfers to compete at international level.

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