Ross Willliams conquers the 2009 PWA Podersdorf

Opening the 2009 slalom season in style, Austria’s Lake Neusiedl took its cue to deliver both sun and wind in equal measure to christen slalom’s newest World Tour destination.

In total, four race eliminations were completed over the event’s six day holding period, in winds ranging from 7-25 knots. On Predictably good form, 3 x World Champion Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) set the pace for the opening race, seamlessly winning all of his heats before sailing to victory in the elimination’s final. Hot on his heels was the UK’s Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) who looked calm and collected as he picked a path through the elimination to bag second place ahead of France’s Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) in third.

Race two saw the early departure of Albeau in the first round following a start line collision with George Manev (Starboard / NeilPryde). With the elimination depleted of the multiple World Champion, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne) seized the opportunity to take reigns and claim his first race victory. Behind him, Finian Maynard (RRD / NeilPryde) showed class by securing second place in the highly testing Austrian conditions, leaving Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet / MauiSails) to make amends for his second round departure in race 1, by filling out the final podium position in third.

Moving into the second day of competition, the wind stepped up a notch to deliver some classic slalom racing in 15-25 knots of breeze. As the third race elimination was narrowed down to the semi finals, Costa Hoevel continued to exert his dominance by winning his heat, equally, Maynard’s campaign grew momentum with some slick sailing to hand him second place.

The following semi final proved to be close fought battle, ultimately going to a newly invigorated Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra / Dakine), who fended off advances from Albeau in second, and at-the-time event leader, Quentel third.

The elimination final proved to be an Anglo-French battle between Williams and Albeau. Despite Albeau’s blistering straight line speed, Williams’ faultless gybing and tactical negotiation of the race course rewarded him with a convincing victory. Close behind, Albeau made his presence felt as he chased in second, and Quentel continued his run of outstanding consistency in third.

The fourth and final elimination of day two saw more consistent sailing from Maynard, who executed three back-to-back heat victories to advance into the race final. Rising to meet the challenge, Costa Hoevel mimicked the British Virgin Islander’s run by stitching together his own faultless run into the final eight.

Looking more comfortable in the Austrian conditions, Josh Angulo (Angulo / MauiSails / Dakine) posed a potential threat as he tapped into his usual form to bag a spot in the semi finals. His run would be halted by a false start; in effect ruining his chances of posting a top ten finish in the overall event standings.

As the final rolled round, a selection of familiar faces took their positions to finish up the day’s racing with one last high-speed slalom bout. From the off, Williams showed he was very much in the groove. Taking the lead on the first reach, the four gybes looked to be a mere formality for the Brit, who consolidated his lead on the final reach, allowing him to savor the moment he secured his second race win of the event, and in turn the event lead.

Giving chase was Costa Hoevel, who finished the race in second, ahead of Albeau in third.

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Erasmus students will windsurf in the Hel Peninsula

This year Erasmus Student Network is organizing international event HEL(L) SURFIN' Windsurfing Trip 2009 for the third time (first edition was Mega Surf Weekend, second was Windsurfing Trip).

The aim of this international level event is not only to promote our region, but also bulding intercultural relationship, tolerance and estimate through fun.

This is extraordinary opportunity to meet so many culteres integrating in one place. The event is taking place from June 10 to 14 2009 at Hel Peninsula in two camps located between Chałupy and Władysławowo.

HEL(L) SURFIN' 2009 focuses on young, creative people, mainly students from all over the world, who'd like to take part in windsurfing challenge. This is non-profit event!

We are not windsurfing school and we do not earn any money by that.

Erasmus Student Network gives you oportunity to integrate and meet other culture by having fun and learning new sport skills.

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PWA Podersdorf, day two 

Picking up race two where it had been left off, the loser’s final opened competition’s second day of racing. On a slightly tweaked course with the start and finish switched to starboard tack, Italian racer Patrick Diethelm (F2, North Sails) drew first blood, sailing to victory to claim ninth position in the elimination, ahead of an eager looking Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) who settled for tenth.
The winner’s final was absent of 3 x World Champion Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) after he departed the race in the first round the previous day. This left Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne) free to exploit the situation after he muscled his way to the front of the fleet and remained unchallenged to the finish line. In his wake he left an on-form Finian Maynard (RRD / NeilPryde) in second and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet / MauiSails) looking equally dialed in to the conditions in third.
With the wind increasing to a solid 16-25 knots, race three enjoyed some of the finest conditions of the event thus far. Laying his demons to rest, Albeau settled back into his familiar position at the front of the pack to win his opening heat, repeating the feat in round two.
Continuing a run of uncharacteristically erratic form, Josh Angulo (Angulo / MauiSails / Dakine) exited in the second round of race three after missing out on qualification by two positions. It would be a tough call to say if the usually consistent Cabo Verde resident will regain his form in time to salvage his current twentieth position, luckily for Angulo, there’s still time on the clock.
Moving into the first semi final, Costa Hoevel continued to exert his dominance by posting a convincing race win. Behind him, Maynard’s campaign grew momentum with some slick racing in second.
The following semi final proved to be close fought battle, ultimately going to a newly invigorated Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra / Dakine), who fended off advances from Albeau in second, and at-the-time event leader, Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) in third.
The elimination final proved to be an Anglo-French battle between Williams and Albeau. Despite leading the pack, Williams had his work cut out to hold off sustained attack from Albeau, who was pulling out all the stops to try and overthrow the Brit. Where Albeau had straight-line speed, Williams’ lighter frame gave him agility and speed off the mark around the gybes. The stalemate continued to the finish line, where Williams stood his ground to take his first race win of the event, Albeau bagged second and Quentel finished up in third.
The losers final handed Adriaan Van Rijsselbergh (JP / NeilPryde) a solid result as he shocked his rivals with some classy sailing, which saw him win the heat and in-turn hand him ninth position for the elimination.
Heading directly into the fourth and final elimination of the day (four races allows sailors to discard their worst result), conditions continued to convince any doubters of Podersdorf’s credibility as a World Cup event. Wind gusting to 25 knots and comparatively flat water set the tone for some spectacular slalom racing.

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