2009 IFCA Slalom European Championships

This year's IFCA Slalom Youth & Master European Championships at Schoenberger Strand finished as a very successful event for all competitors and partners of the event.

Perfect wind conditions with wind forces of up to 7 beaufort allowed slalom eliminations on all six event days. The very challenging conditions required a lot from the 63 starters who completed 12 slalom eliminations in the masters fleet and 11 slalom eliminations in the youth fleet. In the masters fleet the Slalom European Master Champion Title 2009 went to the German sailor Bernd Flessner (GER-16, F2, Neil Pryde).

He has now scored three titles this year: the 14th German Master Title, the Slalom World Champion Title and now the European Master Champion Title. In the youth fleet (U-20) Maciek Rutkowski (POL-23, Starboard, Maui Sails) from Poland won the Slalom European Youth Champion Title 2009.

The final day of the IFCA Slalom Youth & Master European Championships 2009 presented itself as great as all event days before. Excellent conditions with wind peaks of up to 25 knots allowed one more slalom elimination in both categories, youth and master. 

On top of the masters fleet there were no surprises anymore. The title candidate Bernd Flessner (GER-16, F2, Neil Pryde) won the last elimination of the event and clearly secured the Slalom European Master Champion Title 2009 with 6.3 points.

His strongest rival Helge Wilkens (GER-63, Starboard, Gun) from Germany was always on his heels and became Vice-Slalom European Master Champion 2009 (20.4 points). An exciting fight started about the third place in the masters fleet.

Thade Behrends (GER-94, Exocet) from Germany led just two points ahead of Alexander Lehmann (GER-373, Fanatic, North) before the last race. Behrends kept his nerve and secured the third place (31.0 points) in the overall ranking with just one point ahead of Lehmann, who scored the fourth place (30.0 points). The Italian sailor Luis Marchegger (ITA-6, JP, Gaastra) followed in fifth place (47.0 points).

In the youth fleet Maciek Rutkowski (POL-23, Starboard, Maui Sails) from Poland made his way through the starter field of 38 youth starters and won the Slalom European Youth Champion Title 2009 with 14.1 points.

The vice-title went to Teade de Jong (NED-777, Mistral, North Sails) from the Natherlands (25.0 points) in front of the French sailor William Alikiagalelei (FRA-540, AHD, Loft) with 34.4 points. Place four in the youth fleet went to Thomas Gaudiot (FRA-909, Starboard, Gun Sails) from France.

The only German competitor in the top 5 was the current Slalom Vice-Youth Champion Sebastian Koerdel (GER-220, Lorch, Neil Pryde). Best in the category junior (U-17) was Jacek Piasecki (POL-013, Starboard, Neil Pryde) from Poland in sixth place. The best girl, with a 27th place, was Marion Mortefon (FRA-118, Starboard, Neil Pryde) from France.

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The Mission 2009

In the weekend of 22 & 23 August 2009 Project44 organises the 6th edition of The Mission, one of the biggest amateur windsurf events in the world, held at the Kabbelaarsbank, at Sail and Surf Centre Brouwersdam, the Netherlands.

The event is open for all ages and will be held with the Olympic spirit in mind: participating is more important than winning.

The course sailed is a downwind slalom format, the rules are easy: just go for it, jibe and get your way to the finish line! For non-participants the event will certainly also be interesting: during the whole weekend the brand new 2010 windsurf equipment of Fanatic, F2 , MauiSails, Choco Fins and ION will be available for testing and teamriders will be on site to answer all questions about the new gear.

The event will be attended by many professional windsurfers amongst whom Laure Treboux, Tonky Frans, European Champions Steven van Broeckhoven and  Andre Paskowski, Peter Volwater, F2 Shaper Dani Aeberli, and others). Of course national top riders from Holland and Belgium will attend to.

In the Battle of Giants the pro’s will show all the latest moves. For this edition of The Mission the jump competition is there again, where the riders will use The Red Bull ramp to make huge jumps. Who jumps the highest, who makes the best move, who crashes his entire windsurf kit?

The first day of the event will be finished off in style with a BBQ and a big party. The next day it is back to business with another series of racing, battles and ramp action.

Valérie Ghibaudo

Its party time, Turkey style, as the Pegasus Airlines World Cup draws to an exciting climax. Antoine Albeau and Valerie Ghibaudo predictably take the titles. 

It was a long and hot day in Alaçati, as the competitors sweated it out on the beach, nervously waiting as the wind hovered around the minimum. With 5-15kts on the course, light wind patches were making life exceptionally difficult for race director Juan Antonio. Eventually at 16.30 he was forced to admit defeat and the show was finally over.

However on the beach, a huge crowd had gathered, the carnival atmosphere aided by the free flowing supply of Fosters beer. The obviously decision for the organization was to run a fun event, so the top 8 men were called forth once again for an encore.

The format was simple. A beach start in front of the growing audience, up to the first outside gybe mark, before continuing around the 4-buoy slalom course to finish back on the beach.

Allen proved he continues to be a powerful force in the lighter airs by dominating from start to finish. Behind Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) and Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) scrapped for second, but for a change it was Albeau that came out the loser, taking third place.

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