2009 Irish Slalom Series 

Round three of the Irish Slalom Series (ISS) took place on June13th/ 14th at the world famous windsurfing location of Brandon Bay, Co. Kerry. Based just outside the small village of Castlegregory on the Maharees peninsula the event was hosted by Jamie Knox Watersports. With a poor wind forecast throughout the week, some regular faces of the series choose to risk not taking the long journey south – boy did they miss out on a great weekend!

To begin the weekend, the ISS Crew were delighted to announce the new title sponsor of the ISS for 2009; DiscoverIreland.ie. Castlegregory has always provided some exciting racing over the past few years. Some competitors begin their preparations early and got some training in on Friday at Dumps beach. 

The official start of Round 3 began early on Saturday morning at Jamie Knox’s. With such a wide choice of top notch beaches, Jamie decided to call the beach on the day to best suit the conditions. With registration complete, each entrant was presented with a shiny new racing bib supplied by DiscoverIreland.ie. Five minutes later 40 vehicles headed off in convoy on the short trip South to Sandy Bay – which ended up as the race venue for the entire weekend.

After twenty minutes the car park was a wash with colourful sails and supporters banners. Despite the poor forecast over 14 Gold Fleet and 19 Silver Fleet competitors were on the beach ready to battle for some national championship points. True to form Ireland’s most efficient race officer; Greg Day, had competitors on the water straight away. With a large Silver Fleet contingent it was decided to run both fleets separately. A strong 20 knot breeze allowed the race crew to set a large downwind slalom course for the Gold Fleet and a slightly easier course for the Silver Fleet.

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Fourth consecutive win for Steven van Broeckhoven in the 2009 EFPT Alacati 

There was not enough wind on the third day of the Alacati King of the Bay to run another race. With two double eliminations completed we have a great result and Steven van Broeckhoven (F2) is winning the fourth event in a row.

After the party at Sole Mar on friday night everybody was happy that skippers meeting was set for 11.30h. The wind did not pick up more than 7 knots, so a super session was sheduled for the afternoon, but also that could not be run due to insufficient wind. The riders were chilling at the ASPC surfcenter and got prepared then for the big party at the Shaka surf bar.

Around 23.00h the party got underway with the RedBull Hummer and DJ pumping the beats all over place. Everybody was in perfect mood after 2 days of good sailing conditions and ready to go full power. At 01.00h the event prize giving got started. All riders were called on stage and got awarded with medallions and trophies for the top3, Nico Akgazciyan (Starboard/Gun), Andre Paskowski (Fanatic/North) and Steven van Broeckhoven (F2). One more time it was Steven on top with another victory and strengthening his current lead in the European Freestyle ranking.

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Shahar Zubari

Israel's Shahar ZUBARI and Marina ALABAU of Spain are the 2009 RS:X European Champions, claiming the titles following today's Medal Races in Tel Aviv.
The women’s Medal Race was held first and it turned out to be a sweet victory for Marina ALABAU (ESP). European Champion in 2007 and 2008, she now adds the 2009 RS:X European Championship title to her impressive list of successes. By finishing second in the Medal Race, she has demonstrated that she is the dominant force in the Women's RS:X fleet. No other woman can live with her, except perhaps...

Her team mate. Blanca MANCHON (ESP) ran out of power on the last day. She topped the leaderboard for the whole of the championship. However, she scored a DNF in the first race of the day yesterday suffering from heat stroke. She dug deep. Took on the 10th race in the series (the second of yesterday's races) and came third. All she had to do today was finish in the top five.

Sadly, it was not to be. She spent the morning in hospital, hooked up to a glucose drip. She was so dehydrated that the doctors told her not to race.

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