2009 Palekastro Freestyle champions

Saturday night "Lee Frankcom & tris Palekastrianos" were giving a concert on the stage at the beach, then another riders presentation was up and after the beach party was on fire. Free drinks for the riders made it a long night for some of them.

There was only the second double elimination to be finished on Sunday, skippers meeting was scheduled for 11.00h, so everybody could rest a bit after the party. When the riders came to the beach, the wind was already howling stronger than the day before.

Sailors where on 4.0-4.5 sails and the wind was a bit gusty on the inside, so the choice of the sail size was crucial, to not be overpowered on the gusts of over 35kts but still keep on planning in between. 12.00h the action was on for the start of the double elimination and the crowd was pleased by powerful high wind moves and some spectacular crashes too.

Showing a great performance today was youngster Yarden Meir (Fanatic/Simmer) from Israel working his way up the ladder by winning 5 heats in a row. Yarden seemed to be on fire and was putting a big repertoire of moves together in his runs.

With moves like Shaka, Burner, Culo, Kono and double moves he was eliminating Tony Mottus (Starboard/Neilpryde), Sassa Teixeira (RRD/RRD), Davy Scheffers, Phil Soltysiak (Starboard) and Maarten van Ochten (JP/Neilpryde) before he got stopped by Niklas Strahlen (RRD/Simmer) and finally settled in 5th position of the second double elimination.

Niklas then went on to meet Nicolas Akgazcyan (Starboard). The wind got even stronger towards the end of elimination and both riders were really powered up.

There were couple of crashed on both sides and in the end it was Niklas Strahlens (RRD/Simmer) overall impression who made him advance and leave Akgazcyan in 4th place. Niklas was facing Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) then and seemed to be a bit tired not landing all his moves, while Andre was performing very consistent and securing him the spot in the final against Steven van Broeckhoven (F2).

The Final was up and conditions got pretty rough then with gusts of solid 40knts and flying sand through the heat area.

Andre and Steven were fully overpowered on their small sails and tried to make the best out of it. Steven even tried to go for an airchachoo but a gust just took his gear away from him and threw it 30 meters away.

It took him some time to swim after it and continue, while Andre could rack up points on the scoresheet by landing some nice moves like a full planning Forward, high one handed Shaka, Toad and several switch moves.

Andre came out as the winner of this heat, so both riders had to battle again in the super final. Steven had injured himself on one of the hard crashes and came out of the water with a bleeding cut on the eyebrow. Race director Tom Hartmann checked with Steven if he is able to continue sailing.

Steven could feel his eyebrow is swollen, but said he wants to go for it. All eyes were on the super final then between the 2 times European Champion Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) from Germany and the current tour leader Steven van Broeckhoven (F2) from Belgium.

The show was worth it with high level freestyle action on both sides. This time Steven was able to perfectly execute his new school power moves again and therefore gained victory of the second double elimination and also the overall event.

After the heat Andre and Steven kept on sailing and pulling some moves together, before they got off the water and the winner was announced at the beach in front of the spectators. Everybody was stoked... what a great show here at Kouremenous beach in Crete!

At 18.00h the official prize giving was held at the main stage. All riders got awarded with medals and windsurf trophies for the Top3.

This has been an awesome event here in Palekastro with some of the best action seen so far on the tour and also great hospitality of the village.

We are looking forward to rock this place again next year.

Antoine Albeau wins in Catalunya

The final day of the 2009 PWA Costa Brava World Cup summarized the frustrating week of waiting. With a solid forecast, all hope was for one last blast of action to cap off the event with some late drama.

All the ingredients were in place for a grand finale, but as the wind filled in high-level cloud moved into town, shutting down the breeze, and leaving the likes of Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) teetering on the edge of breakdown.

Williams stared the day, sitting in the nasty position of having everything to lose and nothing to gain. Competition could only mean one thing for the English high flyer: Having already lost his semi final heat the previous day, one more completed heat would have seen him drop from 2nd to 8th.

Fortunately for Ross, despite numerous attempts to finish the second round, race director Juan Antonio Aragon eventually was forced to call it a day.  Ross Williams: “It has been a very stressful 12 hours, but it feels amazing now it is all over. In the morning I thought we would be racing and had dealt with it in my mind, but as the day went on and the chance of no action increased, it was really hard. The last hour of waiting was absolute torture!”

Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) looked cool, calm and collected while he waited for the last call. By winning the event, he made it back-to-back victories, staking an early claim on the overall tour trophy. As always he remained as philosophical as ever:  Antoine Albeau “It was hard for everyone. In that sort of racing it is so easy to make mistakes. Looking back, I am really happy to have won that first round!”

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Bernd Flessner wins the 2009 IFCA Slalom Worlds

The WC windsurfing of 2009 was a successful edition. The event took place during the Zwitserleven Zeilweek on the Island of Texel. During the registration at Monday a bright sun warmed up the beach.

With the good forecast we had a promising event to come. It was a shot in the hole on day one. Bernd Flessner (G16), top favorite was delighted: "It is years ago, when we had such condition during a slalom competition. Side shore winds and marks in the break. Unbelievable."

Surprises during day 1:

On day 1 during the WC windsurfing they completed three elimination with a wind force 5-6 from the south. While this WC is organized there is also a professional contest in Spain. Most top surfers preferred to go there so we have a nice field of outsider and complete unknowns.

The Dutchmen Jacques van der Hout was one of the surprises of day one. A few years ago he stopped with contest but he was in for a good windsurfing week. So the Former Dutch Champion got on the ferry and went to Texel. "I am happy to be here, my preparation is bad and now I am placed second. I hope my condition won't let me down. This could be a long week."

Best catch on day three

During day two and three we had to wait on the necessary 11 knots. But windsurfers rather stay on the beach then float around on the sea. Dutch fastest windsurfer Dirk Doppenberg.

"It is absolutely useless to go out now. There is not enough wind and there is a lot of current. But we are used to it. Windsurfing is a nature sport where we need a lot of wind. Don't forget we cannot float like boats do. But we have a result now, the contest has started. We have sailed three eliminations and when we do two more we have an extra discard. That can make the rankings totally different."

On the end of day three it looked like the wind was strong enough for another elimination. But the organizers had difficulties to set the course because the wind suddenly turned. After they had laid the course again a Fishing boat caught one of their marks. A good catch, but not for the organizers. Before they got their buoy back the wind died.

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