2009 PWA Catalunya, Day One

The first day of the Catalunya Costa Brava PWA World Cup saw a relaxed start as light morning winds allowed competitors time to prepare for the week ahead. With a skippers meeting at 1pm and a first possible start at 2pm, the race crew were ready and waiting for the sea breeze to kick in.
On cue at around 2pm a light 10-15kt thermal wind switched on, giving the PWA elite their first chance to test the waters. The spectators were treated to an incredible show as the worlds best hit the ocean and went head to head to check their speed.

With the course set for a four-gybe downwind slalom, the red flag went up for the first at 2.50 and the first 8 sailors hit the start line at full speed.
From the outset it looked like the major players meant business, with the top four seeds of heat one easily qualifying for the first quarterfinal. Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) continued where he left off in Korea, taking the win, despite still suffering with a chipped metatarsal. Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra), loving the light winds, was right on his tail in 2nd. Interestingly Ross registered one of the smallest sails of anyone (8.4) as his biggest sail. Benoit Moussilmani (Starboard/Simmer Sails) and Arnon Dagan (Tabou/Gaastra) both fought hard to claim the final two qualifying positions.

Heat two saw the biggest surprise of the day as French racer Damien Le Guen (JP/NeilPryde) shot into the lead ahead of one of the event favorites Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet/MauiSails). Damien is a light wind specialist and took advantage winning the heat and staking his place in the next round. Gonzo finished just behind in 2nd, like Ross opting for a smaller 8.4 sail to give him a higher top speed. Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde) took the 3rd place whilst Ertugrul Icingir (Starboard/NeilPryde) of Turkey claimed the final qualifying place.

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Keith Atkinson

153 sailors turned out to race last weekend 6th & 7th June for Round Two of The UKWA Inland National Championships & The Rya National Junior Championships 2009 and the Rutland Marathon at Whitwell, Rutland Water.

With all eyes on a less than promising weather forecast the competitors made themselves at home at one of the most popular venues used by the UKWA and RYA. The forecast was giving a maximum of 10 knots for the weekend rain and more rain.

Saturday greeted competitors with overcast skies and a light chilly breeze, however as the time to race approached the wind began to fill in and all fleets went afloat. On the main course the race officer ran 2 rounds of racing for all fleets in the morning session. After lunch as the wind built a further two rounds of extremely exciting course racing for all fleets (techno one) with the wind building to 23 knots made the forecast look a little foolish.

On the junior course race officer Mike Roberts had 48 juniors racing to become 3.5, 4.5 & 5.5 National Champions for 2009. Mike ran two races before lunch and a further 2 races in the afternoon session. The juniors raced is a more sheltered area of the lake but still experienced challenging conditions, it was to the credit of their ability that so many finished the course still smiling and enjoying their racing.

At approximately 4.30pm the 2009 Rutland marathon began with all fleets including the junior sailors starting together. It was decided to sail the course clockwise so competitors began by racing towards the dam wall. With the wind gusting between 10 and 20 knots several competitors retired but the vast majority battled around the course in good time, with the winner finishing in 44 minutes.

1st Keith Atkinson(formula)
2nd Tim Gibson (formula)
3rd George Bowles (RS:X)

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Steven van Broeckhoven

After Steven's first victory in EFPT in Sardinia last week, Steven Van Broeckhoven took again the crown of the second EFPT event in Milos Lefkada (Greece).

The final was the same as in Sardinia, against Davy Scheffers from Holland. Steven won thanks to his powerfull stylish moves. Steven is leading the ranking in EFPT.
 
Results :
1. Steven Van Broeckhoven (Belgium)
2. Davy Scheffers (Holland)
3. Andre Paskowski (Germany)
4. Nicholas Ackghazyan (France)
 
With 4 events left, Steven is hungry to take the European title. The next competition for EFPT is starting in Crete from 12-14 june.

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