Antoine Albeau

The 2009 PWA Ulsan World Cup proved to be a showcase of French windsurfing talent, as Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) and Valerie Ghibaudo (Loft Sails / Tabou) delivered outstanding performances to claim victory in their respective fleets.

The event is now in its third year on the PWA World Tour, and is currently the only event to take place in Asia. Competing from the 16th-22nd of May, racing took place on the waters off Jinha Beach, in south eastern Korea.

Over the course of the week long event, there were two full days of racing, powered by the local south western thermal wind, which was gusting up to 22 knots both days.

Competitors had to wait until competition’s third day before Jinha Beach awoke to show its true colors, delivering side shore wind under blue sky.

The women’s fleet were first to christen the race course, with Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish) setting the early pace: “The first race was really light, but I got a good start so I was leading from the beginning. After that I managed to stay in front and make some good gybes. I was pumping a lot to make sure I was going fast. It’s the first time I’ve won competing against Valerie (Ghibaudo) and Karin (Jaggi).”

The second women’s clash saw Valerie Ghibaudo muscle her way to the front of the pack to claim her first race win: “I got a really nice start, but it was hard conditions. Sometimes it was really light and then there were really strong gusts. Luckily I managed to hold on and win, but I think I made a lot of mistakes”.

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Matt Wemms

Competitors were greeted by torrential rain as they left for the beach on day six. As forecast, the downpour persisted for the best part of the day, in turn killing off any hope of starting competition.

The past two days have been a frustrating affair, with those in desperate need of points to improve their event rankings feeling the frustration the most. As time on the clock looks to come to an end, the final day of competition is now their last hope.

Current forecasts give a grim outlook for the prospect of wind on day seven, however Jinha Beach frequently receives wind from a local thermal effect that does not show up on forecasts.

Here are the rankings as they stand at the close of day six:

The 2009 PWA Ulsan World Cup results after day 6:

Slalom Men

1 Antoine Albeau (NeilPryde / JP)
2 Micah Buzianis (NeilPryde / JP)
3 Björn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne Sails)
4 Finian Maynard (RRD / NeilPryde)
5 Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North Sails)
6 Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra / Dakine)
7 Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet / MauiSails)
8 Josh Angulo (Dakine / Angulo / MauiSails)
9 Ben Van Der Steen (Simmer Style / Exocet)
10 Patrick Diethelm (North Sails / F2)

Slalom Women

1 Valérie Ghibaudo (Loft Sails / Tabou Boards)
2 Karin Jaggi (F2 / Severne Sails)
3 Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North Sails)
4 Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish Sails)
5 Lena Erdil (Starboard / Loft Sails)

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2009 US Wind and Water Open

Racing began today in windy Corpus Christi. Long known for the warn breezes and friendly faces of the US Open, Texas delivered the goods again.

At the 10am skipper's meeting, sailors were greeted with 20 knots of wind that they knew would only pick up as they made their way to the water for formula racing.

After three grueling races, the sailors skipped over the breakwater into a flatwater speed sailing course using GPS to monitor their average speed over 10 sec and max speed.

Maui Sails rider Jon Jay Earnst climbed his way to the top of the standings in both disciplines with his TeamRace sails. Earst is being challenged by PWA racer Enes Yilmazer from Turkey for the top spot in both disciplines as well. Maui Sails riders Charles Allen and Chad Allen claim the third spots in Formula and speed respectively.

Event Coordinator and Maui Sails rider Chad Allen says, "Corpus Christi has held this event for over twenty years and rarely disappoints. Our nationally recognized race committee from the CC Yacht club kept the flags rolling and the sailors on the water. After the formula races, the competitors crossed over to the speed course which offers excellent opportunities to bear off far down the marina and slide through the calm waters. I'm sure they will sleep well tonight."

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