- 07 May 2009 | Windsurfing
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.
- 06 May 2009 | Windsurfing
126 sailors turned out to race last bank holiday weekend 2nd, 3rd & 4th May for Round one of The UKWA National Championships Cup 1 at Weymouth sailing academy.
Saturday greeted competitors with sunshine and a light chilly breeze . The race officer ran 2 rounds of racing for all raceboard fleets in the morning session. After lunch as the wind built a further two rounds of extremely exciting course racing for raceboard fleets & three back to back races for formula were held.
On Saturday night there was a Welcome to The UKWA party in the function room at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, which was enjoyed by all.
Sunshine was again the order of the day on Sunday but the wind was far more challenging. Big wind shifts combined with gusts and lulls tested even the most experienced campaigners but the race officer was not to be deterred. 5 rounds of course racing for all raceboard fleets tested the strength and fitness levels of all not to mention the saw hands and blisters. Conditions made formula racing difficult, and a big sail, a good start and playing the shifts were the order of the day as three further rounds of racing were held for the formula fleet.
Monday morning again saw a light early morning breeze but by 11am it had settled and all fleets had two good races in the best wind of the weekend so far. However no one expected the afternoon to be quite so exciting. As competitors made their way to the start line for the final two races of the event the wind filled in. A steady 18 knots made for exciting racing in all fleets. A quite inspired decision by the race officer to lay the finish line 5 metres from the shore for the final race made a spectacular finish to the event enjoyed by competitors and spectators alike. A total of 13 rounds of racing for raceboard and 10 for formula made this a quite memorable event for all.
Thanks to Weymouth Sailing Academy for making us so welcome, the rescue crews, the race officer and his team, the admin staff, the scorer and all those volunteers who helped set up break down the site after the event.
Thanks also to Windtek, O’Neill, North / Mistral and Tushingham / Starboard for the prizes awarded to the ever growing raceboard fleet.
- 06 May 2009 | Windsurfing
Just days before slalom’s opening event of the 2009 season, Italian board brand RRD have signed French slalom specialist, Julien Quentel. Setting his standards high, Quentel aims to break into the Slalom’s top ten in the forthcoming season.
Here’s the word from the man himself:
Julien Quentel: “Now everything is super cool! I was at home in St. Martin and my option was just to study and to stop windsurfing competitions, and then, in the twinkling of an eye, everything changed and I got a flight back to France to attend a new racing season!
RRD is very motivated having me on the RRD Team and finally also my sails sponsor confirm me for this season. My goal for 2009 season is to come back at the top of the racing rankings, and the plan is to attend all the most important slalom events and long distance in France, and all the PWA Slalom events in Europe.
I’m very happy being RRD Team rider, since my feeling now is to be part of a big family, and that’s perfect and really motivating for my come back in competitions!
I’m super happy with the boards. It’s just a couple of days that I received them and I still have to work on the trim, but my feeling is that X-Fire boards are super fast and very stable and very easy to jibe. So I’m really super happy for the performances of those boards and really motivated.”
Rrd Brand manager Roberto Ricci: “I’m very happy to welcome Julien in the RRD family. He is a very talented guy and I am sure that he will find the right support he need with us. RRD X-FIRE LTD 2009 are the racing weapons he needs to win!”